9 foreigners found in shipping container detained. CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ARTICLE
I'm not suggesting not to talk about it. We need to talk about it if we are going to deal with it in a just, compassionate, Christ-like manner. To not talk about it will bring more division, hostility and malice. I'm just forewarning you: immigration issues have everyone on edge.
I've blogged before about the difference between human trafficking and human smuggling. Sometimes the two can become blurred. Basically, human smuggling allows those human being transported to walk away after they come ashore/land in a particular country. Trafficking victims are trapped. Smuggling means to take a person across a border. Trafficking — slavery — does not need a person to be transported anywhere in order to be considered a victim.
"Well it must be stopped! Send those people back to their own culture! Make them apply legally!"
Well placed statements.
Some notes of caution, however, to bear in mind:
– human smuggling is a lucrative business and can put people's lives at risk. A simple "bag'n'tag" approach of perpetrators will not stop a vicious cycle. A more comprehensive approach is needed.
– people choosing to be smuggled out of their country may NOT being choosing to be smuggled out of their own culture. We lash our tongues at them saying they should go back to where they came from. I find this view both naive and ignorant, not to mention devoid of compassion. People fleeing a country may be fleeing a totally different culture than theirs. Not all countries have the freedoms that North Americans do. We tend to look through our own lens, make an over-generalized judgement, and refuse to look beneath the surface. Perhaps some people being smuggled are criminals. Perhaps some are fleeing genocide of their own tribes — their country is no longer theirs. Please don't ignore the vast continuum of people and their motivations who wash up on our shores.
– smuggled people may believe they truly are entering the country legally. With false papers, credible-sounding middle men, and a complicated structure of deceit, smugglers prey on people who do not speak English (or the smugglers' language). People get duped. Once they figure out something's really wrong, it's too late and they're out at sea. They can't do a single thing and are at the mercy of the smugglers' whims. Until the come ashore, there's no stopping what's been started.
– people may start out as smuggled (choosing to flee illegally and enter Canada illegally), but wind up trafficked along the way. They are now victims. To detain and deport would be a crime on our part. Situations like this are tricky and must be handled with due wisdom and care.
Reasons to Deport Smuggled People…
– protecting the land our forefathers built… do you really want to get into that one? Our forefathers built Canada in a race between Britain and France, killed hundreds of thousands of people along the way, and stole land from people already here claiming they were nothing but savages. If you're going to use this argument, I would respectfully ask that you think this one through before speaking it. All of our forefathers were immigrants at some point, many illegal — sent to our shores as criminals, conscripted men, or people fleeing religions and political persecution. Smuggling is nothing new.
– don't we have enough problems without more people coming in to make it worse?… that's fear talking, not common sense and nothing Christ-like. There are more people coming to Canada both legally and illegally so it's time to face facts: our whole world is changing. Canada is not immune. We WILL see more people come to our shores, but not to eat up our resources. Last time I checked, most had the desire to work honestly just as we do. Most want to raise families just as we do.
If we're that afraid that we're going to run out of resources… then I cannot make it plainer: your faith is resting on the god of the almighty dollar and not the Almighty. If you're offended that you did take steps to be legal in your process of immigration and illegal immigrants mock that, perhaps ask yourself: is the governing political structure the ONLY way God brings people to where they are? If He puts into place all power of authority, does He not then also put into place those that are not recognized?
Just food for thought…
Should smugglers be prosecuted? Yes. Absolutely. Preying on vulnerable people groups for cash is not acceptable. Should all people caught trying to enter Canada illegally be detained and deported? No. If I might point to the situation the US is in, the stringent policy is creating more racism and hatred than it's worth. I'm not suggesting to ignore the illegal migrant issue. I'm simply calling for a more just and merciful approach, especially from Christians.