March 27, 2006


Groundswell of Protests Back Illegal Immigrants (NINA BERNSTEIN, 3/27/06, NY Times)

When members of the Senate Judiciary Committee meet today to wrestle with the fate of more than 11 million illegal immigrants living in the United States, they can expect to do so against a backdrop of thousands of demonstrators, including clergy members wearing handcuffs and immigrant leaders in T-shirts that declare, "We Are America."

But if events of recent days hold true, they will be facing much more than that.

Rallies in support of immigrants around the country have attracted crowds that have astonished even their organizers. More than a half-million demonstrators marched in Los Angeles on Saturday, as many as 300,000 in Chicago on March 10, and — in between — tens of thousands in Denver, Phoenix, Milwaukee and elsewhere.

One of the most powerful institutions behind the wave of public protests has been the Roman Catholic Church, lending organizational muscle to a spreading network of grass-roots coalitions. In recent weeks, the church has unleashed an army of priests and parishioners to push for the legalization of the nation's illegal immigrants, sending thousands of postcards to members of Congress and thousands of parishioners into the streets.

The demonstrations embody a surging constituency demanding that illegal immigrants be given a path to citizenship rather than be punished with prison terms.

The Church knows where its growth is coming from, even if the GOP doesn't.

African churches bloom in U.S.: A new, dynamic wave of Nigerian-based churches is establishing itself in America, evangelizing with fervor in hundreds of communities. (RACHEL ZOLL, 3/27/06, Associated Press)

On the 25th floor of a luxury office tower, a church most people have never heard of is planning to save America.

Its leaders believe Jesus has sent them to spread a difficult truth in the United States: Demonic forces are corrupting society and only spiritual warfare can stop them.

Call it the message.

The messenger comes from Nigeria.

The Redeemed Christian Church of God was founded in Lagos by men and women who were once the target of missionary work themselves. Now their church has become one of the most aggressive evangelizers to emerge from the advance of Christianity across Africa.

The Redeemed Church is part of a boom in African churches establishing American outposts. Jacob Olupona, a professor at the University of California, Davis, has found hundreds of examples in cities large and small.

''Anyone who writes about Christianity in America in the 21st century,'' Olupona said, ``will have to write about African churches.''

At the core of the shift are pastors from Nigeria. Over the last century, Christians there have swelled from a tiny minority to nearly half the population, and its pastors have shown an exceptional talent for winning believers abroad.

In the United States, the Redeemed Church is ahead of them all.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 27, 2006 8:21 AM

"The Church knows where its growth is coming from, even if the GOP doesn't."

And that in a nutshell is what it's all about, power for the Roman Catholic church and those others who can manipulate the peon the Liberal.

Posted by: NC3 at March 27, 2006 12:22 PM

"The Church knows where its growth is coming from, even if the GOP doesn't"

Of course the Catholic Church exists in Mexico also, therefore there is no net increase in Global Catholicism. The republican party will not benefit from this immigration because 65% of the total hispanic vote consistently goes to Democrats. (Amongst Mexican immigrants the percentage is even greater)

Posted by: h-man at March 27, 2006 12:44 PM

h-man is correct about the politics, but there is also an issue of fairness at work here.

People who want and deserve to be Americans just as much as the wetbacks are meekly waiting their turn in East Europe, South Asia and elsewhere, and the illegals are jumping the line.

It's crooked. It's not fair and it's not right. It is robbing Peter so as to feel good about donating to Paul.

I would never say that feeding the hungry or sheltering the homeless is a felony. Lying to the authorities about harboring fugutives should be.

Posted by: Lou Gots at March 27, 2006 1:38 PM

No they aren't. Plenty of them are here illegally too.

Posted by: oj at March 27, 2006 1:45 PM

Employers know that the feds don't enforce checks on the immmigration status.

Today every employer must fill out an INS I-9 form with SSN. But the INS refuses to accept I-9 and says to just file it "for inspection" (which almost never happens).

The trick is to simply require that the I-9 be mailed. Then check SSN for multiple-names/unissued/dead-people/babies.

Won't happen though. Too many politicians are beholden to big employers who like the current broken system.

Posted by: Gideon at March 27, 2006 1:49 PM

The economy is beholden.

Posted by: oj at March 27, 2006 2:01 PM

On the one hand, I'm generally in favor of open borders.

On the other hand, I also favor deporting anybody who blocks traffic.

Posted by: Joseph Hertzlinger at March 27, 2006 2:22 PM

Just studied the bill passed by the House and sent to the Senate and it has many provisions in it that have little or nothing to do with immigration - illegal or otherwise. Items like increased security at the border, more agents, better training, and many other systems and programs.

There is no argument that can be considered legitimate for continuing the support for illegal immigrants. They broke the law to get here. They must face the consequences.

Many of these immigrants say they want to come here because American is great. It is great because we are a nation of laws. Enforce them. Like Tancredo says, we don't need any new laws to fix the problem - and it is a problem - with illegals. Just enforce the ones we have.

Of course, the darling of this web site, John "The Snake" McCain is in the pander crowd. Makes sense the authors here would likewise want to legalize the illegals. But answer this, if you forged some sort of law similar to what Specter supports, how do you enforce that? You already claim you can't enforce the ones we have.

Posted by: Michael at March 27, 2006 8:50 PM


That's just silly. They have a moral argument, a political one, and an economic one--all are compelling.

You're right though, we're not going to enforce the new laws either.

Posted by: oj at March 27, 2006 8:56 PM