Rev. Arthur 's Story

Thomasville, GA
“Of the theory of relativity and immigration reform” Luke 6:31 of the Holy Bible admonishes us to “do to others as you would have them do to you.” Those who oppose meaningful immigration reform within this great nation – led by some of our most powerful and vocal Republican leaders – may be well served by taking the time to contemplate the theory of relativity. Albert Einstein, the hyper-brilliant physicist famously theorized that measurements of abstract quantities – specifically space and time – are relative to the velocities of their observers. Since Einstein was not a politician, how might his theory be applied to immigration reform; or the utter lack thereof? In terms of time, immigration reform is long overdue. In terms of space, why are people who sincerely want to pursue the American dream being relegated to standing in a line to infinity and beyond? I’m not talking about terrorists or criminals or troublemakers. I’m referring to the eleven million people who are already here, who pledge allegiance to our flag, and who want to take the necessary steps to become legal citizens of this country. I fully expect to witness the inauguration of a Hispanic President of the United States during the next twenty years. Who might this eventual pioneer be? Could it be Julian Castro – the current mayor of San Antonio? Like President Obama, Mayor Castro is a graduate of Harvard Law School. Mayor Castro rose to national prominence by delivering an epic, visionary speech at the Democratic National Convention last year; just like then-Senator Barack Obama did at the DNC back in 2004. I find it inconceivable that any human being could watch the new Davis Guggenheim documentary “The Dream Is Now” and not be deeply disappointed at the lack of courage our representatives have displayed on this issue. I was genuinely moved by the real-life stories of Ola, Jose, Erika, and Alejandro: people who are being denied the opportunity to serve in our armed forces or pursue a college education or even to secure a well-paying job simply because of this country’s absence of common-sense immigration policies. The Boston Marathon bombing incident underscores what we can achieve through comprehensive immigration legislation: enhanced national security through the securing of our border with Mexico, a legitimate pathway to legal citizenship, and the paying down of our national debt by way of the taxes and penalty fees incurred by those applying for citizenship. These are objectives the Left and the Right should be able to readily agree on. Reliable statistical data tells us that by roughly 2040, Hispanic Americans will be the majority here in the United States. Woe be to the political party – or parties – on the wrong side of immigration policy by then. Simply put: the Democrats and Republicans can pay now or pay later. Both parties can pay attention now and legislate accordingly; or both parties can pay a most devastating political price later for not doing the right thing now. Regardless of the ideology, it is politically fatal for either political party to ostracize the fastest growing demographic in the United States. President Obama wants immigration reform and is using some of his political capital to achieve it. And it needs to happen because it’s the right thing to do; not because of any expectation of political quid pro quo. Many young Americans agree with President Obama on this issue. They see him on television, and they follow him on Facebook and on Twitter. Some of “the dreamers” may think to themselves, if Barack Obama aspired to be President, I can, too. Who can say that the teenaged Hispanic honor roll student who lives next door won’t someday revolutionize space travel? Who can say that the third grader who just moved here from Mexico can’t someday cure cancer? Every day which passes in the US without sensible immigration policy means even more families are separated, more lives are destroyed, and more dreams are extinguished. The talents of undocumented immigrants could and should be utilized towards both America's greater good and their own sense of dignity. Sadly, these people continue to be dismissed. Albert Einstein may not have been a politician, but the man certainly had vision. The golden rule of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is as self-explanatory as it is necessary. Democrats and Republicans have repeatedly deferred addressing the issue of immigration; and helped to create a permanent underclass legally and economically for Hispanic people in the process. The time to act is now. Place yourself in their shoes. It’s all relative. Column word count: 761. Reverend Arthur L. Jones, III is a Minister, syndicated Op-Ed columnist, non-profit advisor, and proud Democrat. Thank you for reading “Blue Notes From a Red State”. Rev. Jones welcomes your comments on this column. Please email him directly at: