In light of the current situation in America, (border wall funding issue), how do Baha'is see this?

Aug 2018
7
Chicago
#1
I know we're not really supposed to discuss politics but it's a valid and sincere question. I have heard that the Baha'i faith is against borders but it's a fact that something has to be done about the crime that often comes w illegal immigration. Thoughts?
 
#2
I'm struggling with this very issue. I'm an ex-Bahai largely but kind of absolutely enamored by the kind of ethical Anarchism based on Universal Natural Law in speeches by Mark Passio.

Here's where Shoghi Effendi quotes Baha'u'llah in a way that might give some insight in what you suggest:

"
A World Super-State

Over sixty years ago, in His Tablet to Queen Victoria, Bahá'u'lláh, addressing "the concourse of the rulers of the earth," revealed the following:

"Take ye counsel together, and let your concern be only for that which profiteth mankind and bettereth the condition thereof.... Regard the world as the human body which, though created whole 40 and perfect, has been afflicted, through divers causes, with grave ills and maladies. Not for one day did it rest, nay its sicknesses waxed more severe, as it fell under the treatment of unskilled physicians who have spurred on the steed of their worldly desires and have erred grievously. And if at one time, through the care of an able physician, a member of that body was healed, the rest remained afflicted as before. Thus informeth you the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.... That which the Lord hath ordained as the sovereign remedy and mightiest instrument for the healing of all the world is the union of all its peoples in one universal Cause, one common Faith. This can in no wise be achieved except through the power of a skilled, an all-powerful and inspired Physician. This verily is the truth, and all else naught but error."

In a further passage Bahá'u'lláh adds these words:

"We see you adding every year unto your expenditures and laying the burden thereof on the people whom ye rule; this verily is naught but grievous injustice. Fear the sighs and tears of this Wronged One, and burden not your peoples beyond that which they can endure.... Be reconciled among yourselves, that ye may need armaments no more save in a measure to safeguard your territories and dominions. Be united, O concourse of the sovereigns of the world, for thereby will the tempest of discord be stilled amongst you and your peoples find rest. Should any one among you take up arms against another, rise ye all against him, for this is naught but manifest justice."

What else could these weighty words signify if they did not point to the inevitable curtailment of unfettered national sovereignty as an indispensable preliminary to the formation of the future Commonwealth of all the nations of the world? Some form of a world super-state must needs be evolved, in whose favor all the nations of the world will have willingly ceded every claim to make war, certain rights to impose taxation and all rights to maintain armaments, except for purposes of maintaining internal order within their respective dominions. Such a state will have to include within its orbit an international executive adequate to enforce supreme and unchallengeable authority on every recalcitrant member of the commonwealth; a world parliament whose members shall be elected by the people in their respective countries and whose election shall be 41 confirmed by their respective governments; and a supreme tribunal whose judgment will have a binding effect even in such cases where the parties concerned did not voluntarily agree to submit their case to its consideration. A world community in which all economic barriers will have been permanently demolished and the interdependence of Capital and Labor definitely recognized; in which the clamor of religious fanaticism and strife will have been forever stilled; in which the flame of racial animosity will have been finally extinguished; in which a single code of international law -- the product of the considered judgment of the world's federated representatives -- shall have as its sanction the instant and coercive intervention of the combined forces of the federated units; and finally a world community in which the fury of a capricious and militant nationalism will have been transmuted into an abiding consciousness of world citizenship -- such indeed, appears, in its broadest outline, the Order anticipated by Bahá'u'lláh, an Order that shall come to be regarded as the fairest fruit of a slowly maturing age.

(Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha'u'llah, p. 39)
 
May 2018
111
New Zealand
#3
Do you honestly believe that only foreigners commit crimes ?

Do you think that that whole families walk for days to steal from you ??

The vast majority of people crossing into the USA from Mexico are looking for a better life. A chance for a job, to provide for their loved ones. If you want to stop people coming into the USA in search of a better life, you need to look for a way to make their home countries better places to live.

It is not easy ..
Building a wall and trying to ingnore the poverty and corruption in central America is easier...
But that doesn't make it right !


-T
 
#4
God help to refrain from going into politics into this forum which I've so far absolutely refrained from doing the entire time I'm here by sticking to quoting what the Authoritive Bahai Writings and respectable Bahai people said on these matters.
 
#5
As to the patriotic prejudice, this is also due to absolute ignorance, for the surface of the earth is one native land. Every one can live in any spot on the terrestrial globe. Therefore all the world is man's birthplace. These boundaries and outlets have been devised by man. In the creation, such boundaries and outlets were not assigned. Europe is one continent, Asia is one continent, Africa is one continent, Australia is one continent, but some of the souls, from personal motives and selfish interests, have divided each one of these continents and considered a certain part as their own country. God has set up no frontier between France and Germany; they are continuous. Yea, in the first centuries, selfish souls, for the promotion of their own interests, have assigned boundaries and outlets and have, day by day, attached more importance to these, until this led to intense enmity, bloodshed and rapacity in subsequent centuries. In the same way this will continue indefinitely, and if this conception of patriotism remains limited within a certain circle, it will be the primary cause of the world's destruction. No wise and just person will acknowledge these imaginary distinctions. Every limited area which we call our native country we regard as our motherland, whereas the terrestrial globe is the motherland of all, and not any restricted area. In short, for a few days we live on this earth and 301 eventually we are buried in it, it is our eternal tomb. Is it worth while that we should engage in bloodshed and tear one another to pieces for this eternal tomb? Nay, far from it, neither is God pleased with such conduct nor would any sane man approve of it.

(Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 300)
 
Likes: becky
May 2013
1,786
forest falls california
#7
When the vast proportion of people in the world are obedient to governments, as Baha'u'llah says we must be, and when a Universal Auxilliary Language has been adopted and taught in all the schools, we won't need any walls between countries.
The Old World Order mechanisms are a great waste of energy and money as outmoded paradigms are followed to their foolish and inefficient ends.
We could discuss "Defense budgets" here, and what a waste $600 billion is every year, compared to the cost of implementing a program of literacy world wide, just the US portion of costs...
The world's leaders are 150 years behind in their duty to select a universal language, and this is a major contributor to wars of paranoia and misunderstanding among people..
We are, after all, one species!!
 
Likes: tonyfish58
Jun 2014
1,080
Wisconsin
#8
I think if you build a wall and simultaneously make legal immigration easier, you might satisfy the concerns of both sides.

Pro-wall side fears crime moving across the border and unfair competition in the job market. A wall solves crime. Legal immigrants must be paid the same as other citizens, and therefore can't be taken advantage of or paid below minimum wage, therefore the pro-wall side doesn't have to fear unfair job competition. As a bonus for the anti-wall side, this also ensures fair pay, good working conditions, and legal protections for immigrant communities.

Anti-wall side largely theoretically doesn't care about the wall itself, but the welfare of immigrants. Immigrant communities are served better with legal residence and all the legal protections that affords. So many illegal immigrants are abused by virtue of illegal status, both by coyotes and shady employers. Making these people legal should be a top priority if immigrant welfare is a concern. And if legal immigration is easier, a wall existing is irrelevant for immigrant well-being.

Some on the anti-wall side are concerned about the cost, and some pro-wall side want to crowdfund the wall, but that is illegal. Legalizing crowdfunding for government projects would theoretically solve the cost issue.

If I was trying to reconcile both sides, this would be my starting point, and negotiating would go forward from there.

But, alas, given American political climate, people aren't generally interested in negotiating. Ultimately this isn't about immigration policy at all, it's about whether or not a proposal is Republican or Democrat. That's all that matters to most people, the tribalism, and negotiation thus seems unlikely.
 
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May 2018
111
New Zealand
#9
A wall solves crime.
I can find no evidence to support that statement. A wall may make it harder for people to enter the USA through the southern border , but that does not mean that there will be decrease in crime rates in the USA.

Criminology studies find no correlation between documented or undocumented immigrants and crime rates:

"Researchers in the United States have pointed out that the urban crime problem is not generated by immigrants, legal or undocumented, and that immigrants are not increasing crime rates. Socially disadvantaged neighborhoods may, however, make immigrant groups more susceptible to crime victimization when social support networks do not exist or are lacking. Despite the research findings on crime and immigration, the U.S. public mistakenly believes foreign-born immigrants to be dangerous criminals. To respond to undocumented immigration and the public fear of crime, anti-immigration laws enacted in the early 21st century attempt to hasten the deportation processes for undocumented immigrants. Such laws have increased the workload in the U.S. courts and consequently deportation is likely when the undocumented immigrant has committed a serious violent crime or agrees to removal. Immigration laws and policies should consider the unintended consequences of crime victimization on undocumented immigrants and the global conditions that cause mass migrations of people across dangerous borders. " -Immigration and Crime - Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Criminology

I fear that building a border wall will fuel prejudices against people of Mexican/central/south-american heritage. I physical barrier is a strong re-enforcer of an "us vs. them" mindset.

By the righteousness of the Lord! Ye were created to show love one to another and not perversity and rancour. Take pride not in love for yourselves but in love for your fellow-creatures. Glory not in love for your country, but in love for all mankind.Baha’u’llah, Tablets of Baha’u’llah, p. 138.


-T
 
Jun 2014
1,080
Wisconsin
#10
I can find no evidence to support that statement. A wall may make it harder for people to enter the USA through the southern border , but that does not mean that there will be decrease in crime rates in the USA.

Criminology studies find no correlation between documented or undocumented immigrants and crime rates:

"Researchers in the United States have pointed out that the urban crime problem is not generated by immigrants, legal or undocumented, and that immigrants are not increasing crime rates. Socially disadvantaged neighborhoods may, however, make immigrant groups more susceptible to crime victimization when social support networks do not exist or are lacking. Despite the research findings on crime and immigration, the U.S. public mistakenly believes foreign-born immigrants to be dangerous criminals. To respond to undocumented immigration and the public fear of crime, anti-immigration laws enacted in the early 21st century attempt to hasten the deportation processes for undocumented immigrants. Such laws have increased the workload in the U.S. courts and consequently deportation is likely when the undocumented immigrant has committed a serious violent crime or agrees to removal. Immigration laws and policies should consider the unintended consequences of crime victimization on undocumented immigrants and the global conditions that cause mass migrations of people across dangerous borders. " -Immigration and Crime - Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Criminology
You're misunderstanding what I have said.

The pro-wall side fears criminals crossing the border unchecked. It has nothing to do with "immigrants causing crime" or the like, but criminals, including criminals who are American citizens, having the ability to cross national lines without customs inspection. This is the fear that the pro-wall side has, and it is something addressed by making it so that the only way in or out is through controlled areas where customs officers can prevent smuggling. If this wasn't a potential issue, there wouldn't be customs officers at airports.

I fear that building a border wall will fuel prejudices against people of Mexican/central/south-american heritage. I physical barrier is a strong re-enforcer of an "us vs. them" mindset.
Your fears are why my proposed compromise would include making the path to legal citizenship easier, as currently it is a bureaucracy-choked and difficult path. Allowing people who want to move to the country to live freely as equals with others, unlike now where they must live as illegal, second-class residents without the same rights and protections, would do far more to erase people's prejudices then the existence of a wall would create.

It is necessary to address and acknowledge the fears and wants of both sides in order to come to an agreement. Otherwise all you have is tribal gridlock.
 

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