Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Locking up the Good Samaritan

I ran across the following in Sojourners: Two members of the group No More Deaths were arrested last July because they took three migrants to a hospital (they were vomiting and bleeding and needed medical help). The charge? “transporting illegal aliens and conspiracy”.

So, this is how insane our immigration policy has become. Take 3 injured migrants to the hospital and get arrested.

I had briefly heard about the criminalization of Good Samaritans, but just thought it was immigration debate hyperbole. Sadly, it appears to be all too true.

In looking up the story to verify its details (my librarian brother Tim would be so proud!), I also found a terribly ugly website (one of many I’m sure) that describes various stories of “aiding and abetting invaders”, of which this is one. They also bemoan how peaceful and organized the recent marches have been, likening it to an army that does exactly what it is commanded to do (under the heading of “discipline of invaders reason for alarm”).

I guess these folks are just trying to improve on Jesus’ message of who your neighbor is. However, they would tweak the lesson to be: If you encounter someone on the side of the road who is bleeding and sick, first make sure they are part of your tribe. If they are not, put them in jail. If someone from your tribe helps them, put them in jail too. Remember that only those who think, look, and act like you are your neighbors. You must treat everyone else as alien invaders.

Maybe it wasn't so bad that I failed the Good Samaritan test after all.

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