Comments 15

  1. Thanks for your story Pastor. It would be interesting to know how your parents became citizens of Canada. My father, an immigrant from the Netherlands, had a sponsor, which was a requirement in the early 1900’s. National security (also security for individual citizens) is the issue today that they did not have to deal with in the earlier days of the nation. May God provide some wise leadership for our nation to help develop immigration laws that are just (and use common sense).

    1. Yes my grandparents would have had sponsors as well. It seems that back in the 1950’s the whole system was much simpler!

  2. Thanks Mark. I never realized the extent to which the word “Services” in U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services was Orwellian (I’m thinking in particular of your line, “The whole system seems designed to frustrate you to the point that you quit and leave. I wonder how many do leave or quit.”)
    Maybe it’s xenophobia that’s being served.

    1. Politicians on the far right or left pander to the fears that their supporters carry in their day to day life. Xenophobia works because it sets up a straw man which can be blamed for things in their own life that are not going well. In this case “immigrants”.

      1. I’ve experienced some of the hassles you have had in my dealings with immigration over the years, so I agree with your comment. What’s so curious is that this situation exists in a country that describes itself as a nation of immigrants and has engraved on one of its most iconic national symbols the lines “Give me your tired, your poor,/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,/The wretched refuse of your teeming shore./Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me”. It seems the system is designed to keep these very people out.

        1. Thanks for all the comments.

          Something I did not mention in the article (but I will now!) is this: at what point should Christians dare to become more of a prophetic voice speaking out against a politician who clearly does not want to fix the immigration issue? I have no problem with people being loyal to one political party but when the congressman representing that party does not have any desire to work for justice and fairness on this issue (and perhaps others), when should the christian community be challenged to consider voting for someone else? This might mean voting for a party one does not like and has never supported, but maybe that is what we should consider doing. Many Christians in Sioux county never think beyond party politics.

          Ideally, it would be great for a person to come forward who is not so tied to the “tea party” base. Let him or her run against him. Polls show that most Americans are not happy with congress and their work, yet ridings continue to send their personal dysfunctional member back to Washington election after election.

          1. Mark, I think that you are a little too harsh on judging the motives of Rep. King. He may have a different philosophy on “justice and fairness” that you refer to, but I don’t think that you are correct to intimate that he does not want immigration reform. I am also displeased with some of Rep. King’s actions but I would allow Christians to decide which party platform meets the values that they adhere to. That is why some voters vote straight party tickets and others like myself will vote per individual. Each of us needs to evaluate that according to our own conscience and the biblical norms than we believe in. May God’s Spirit lead us on all issues that we deal with in His world.

  3. Such good food for thought, and hearing a first-hand account of the frustrations of trying to do things right–even while illegal–helps to humanize an issue that is all too often only heard about through soundbites and 30-second news clips. Thanks so much, Mark, for sharing your story with us! I am struck by the thought of how many times Israel is commanded to care for the foreigners, the sojourners, the aliens throughout scripture. How are we loving our neighbors–whether immigrant or native born–as ourselves?

  4. A former student of mine sent this my way; I am a Canadian who has been working in MPLS for the last 6 years. I am currently going through very similar immigration struggles and resonated all too well with your article. Additionally, I understand the frustration of the responses people provide to my plight and what it reveals about the lack of understanding about immigration in the first place. I am waiting to hear back from my third appeal to try to obtain a permanent visa but am being denied because as a Christian school teacher, I do not make enough money to be considered valuable to this country. It’s quite the process – thanks for sharing your journey!

  5. This is a great story. Thanks for sharing. It takes patience and lot of prayers too. Especially now that the immigration policy is extremely strict in terms of applying a visa especially citizenship. An immigration lawyer is also a big factor. It is costly at times, but they can be a big help. TL Brown Law is a firm that I consider consulting with. I hope I can get mine too.

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