Religious leaders face a dilemma when it comes to illegal aliens and the Ten Commandments. Churches have traditionally exhorted their American citizen members not to steal or to covet that which belongs to their neighbor. However, if religious leaders were to teach and hold their illegal alien members to the same standard that they set for their American members, they would put those illegally in the country in an untenable position because in order to get by, illegal aliens have to steal and covet every day of their lives.
It is widely known that up to 75 percent of illegal aliens use stolen Social Security numbers to steal jobs and other benefits reserved for American citizens. In addition, illegal aliens use stolen driver's licenses and birth certificates. And they routinely steal and use the identities of Americans including the identities of millions of innocent children. At the same time, illegal aliens covet a wide range of things that belong to their neighbors, including their identities, their jobs, and their citizenship.
Given the above, religious leaders do not even pretend to hold illegal aliens to the same standard that they apply to American citizens who are members of their congregations. They can't tell illegal aliens to stop stealing and coveting because illegal aliens cannot get by without stolen documents, stolen jobs, and stolen identities. Therefore, religious leaders literally give illegal aliens immunity from the 8th and 10th commandments. This in turn results in the religious leaders turning their backs on American citizens who are victims of illegal alien crimes.
To see how this works, look at two cases from Elkhart, Ind., where a family and a college student have been devastated by illegal alien-driven identity theft only to see the religious leaders side with the illegal alien criminals.
In the case of the family:
It was three years ago that he learned his identity had been taken ... throwing a monkey wrench into his life.
The Internal Revenue Service came after him for back taxes the agency says he owed, some $10,000 dating to 2006. Creditors came after him seeking payment for medical treatment he didn't get, for apartments he didn't rent, for things he didn't buy, like cars and cell phones.
"It pretty much almost ruined my life," said [Joshua] Buelna, an assembler for MORryde, an Elkhart County manufacturer that supplies the recreational vehicle industry. His credit was shot and he couldn't rent a place, let alone buy a home. Ultimately he filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last July in U.S. Bankrupcty Court in South Bend to free him of the debt accrued by others fraudulently using his name.
In his bankruptcy filing, the most valuable asset Buelna lists is his 2004 Hyundai car with about 150,000 miles on it, worth $3,000. Next on the list is his mattress and box springs set, valued at $100. The unsecured debt he faces brought on by illicit use of his identity, by contrast, totals $30,035, according to the case.
In the meantime, he, his wife and their son, Brendan, are living with friends from church, who opened up their home to the family given their tight financial situation and Buelna's poor credit rating. The rating, which stems from the unpaid debt brought on by illegal use of his identity, makes him a pariah to renters.
In the other case, a college student lost a grant because an illegal alien had stolen his identity and the IRS was derelict in providing him the proof he needed to get the grant processed.
I lost out on about $3,000 in grant money," says Scott. Scott was trying to apply for financial aid for some classes he is taking at Indiana University South Bend.
When law enforcement took steps to protect this family and college student who are victims of illegal alien identity theft, religious leaders immediately turned their backs on the victims and on the 8th and 10th commandments. Instead, they rushed to the aid of the criminal illegal aliens, going so far as to call on law enforcement to ignore serious crimes that victimize members of their community — as long as they are committed by illegal aliens:
Several religious leaders in the area are calling on the Elkhart County Sheriff's Department to stop seeking tips from the public on the whereabouts of undocumented immigrants using false identity papers.
Seventeen church leaders, many from Mennonite churches, issued a statement Friday saying "recent actions by the sheriff's department have targeted immigrants and heightened a culture of fear."
The sheriff's department put three posts on its Facebook page earlier this month noting the arrests of suspects on identity fraud and other related charges, also asking the public for tips in such cases. In all, the department arrested 10 suspects on identity deception and related charges between Aug. 31 and Sept. 13, all with Hispanic surnames.
In their letter, the religious leaders alluded to Latinos in Elkhart County "who suffer under our country's broken immigration system" and went on to cite scripture that calls for treating "the foreigner residing among you as your native-born."
The religious leaders' appeal brought the following response from a person identifying him/herself simply as an identity theft victim: "When a religious leader in the Mennonite Church states that they will just help these people regardless [that] they are aiding and abetting a crime; when the advocates ignore this crime and won't call it what it is because of their agenda, this is unacceptable. To top it all off, they want the Sheriff to ignore this particular law in regards to certain segments only of the population."
The religious leaders' actions raise the following questions:
- If American citizens were involved in criminal activities that victimized illegal aliens, would these same religious leaders call for law enforcement to turn a blind eye to these crimes?
- When religious leaders openly support violations of the law and turn their collective backs on the American citizens who are victims of crimes committed by illegal aliens, is it any wonder that Americans are leaving their churches in ever-increasing numbers?
- Are these religious leaders willing to sacrifice themselves for "the foreigner residing among you" by sharing their Social Security numbers, dates of birth, driver's licenses, and birth certificates with illegal aliens rather than shifting the burden to others?
In response to the religious leaders' position, an American citizen wrote, "I suggest that the 'religious leaders' allow our law enforcement officials to do their job. Perhaps the 'religious leaders' should begin preaching and teaching about sin and dishonesty."