The immigration debate has become divisive and hate-filled to a degree that undermines Christian and civic values. Christians have a responsibility to bring our core values of love, mercy and justice back into the debate, to unite our communities, to bridge deepening divides, and to be a source of healing and reconciliation.
As the debate over illegal immigration continues to rage, some pundits and policymakers are claiming that unauthorized immigrants do not pay taxes and rely heavily on government benefits. Neither of these claims is borne out by the facts. Undocumented men have work force participation rates that are higher than other workers, and all undocumented immigrants are ineligible for most government services, but pay taxes as workers, consumers, and residents.
Across the country, states and localities are grappling with the problem of illegal immigration, and scores of communities are considering the role their police department might play in helping the federal government enforce immigration laws.
A report released on June 20, 2007, by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) argues that the increase in the number of less-educated immigrant workers in Georgia between 2000 and 2006 causedemployment levels among less-educated natives to decline. However, there is no evidence of a direct, negative relationship between employment levels for immigrants and natives in Georgia.
The debate over how many immigrants should be permitted to enter the country each year under a new temporary worker program is clouded by a common misconception: that the greater the number of temporary workers admitted, the greater the downward pressure on the wages of native-born workers. However, this assumption is not supported by the facts.