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Dear Editor:
You may have opened a Pandora's Box by publishing a Letter to the Editor in the October 23, 2002 issue of Immigration Daily that contained a reference to religion. It is a shame that the writer did not reveal his or her identity, because it was a very well written opinion and credit should be given where credit is due. The unnamed contributor states that "Christianity and the Bible teaches that we should have respect for governments and/or their righteous and Constitutional laws and in being subject to them. [Matt. 22:25, Titus 3:1, 1 Peter 2:13, and Romans 13:1]" But other books of the Bible have me confused and I wonder, as an immigration lawyer and as a member of my snug, prosperous Southern California community, replete with Mexican gardeners, domestic helpers, child monitors, dish washers, construction workers, office cleaners and field hands, how best to follow them, so as to please God.

Now that Pandora's box has been unlidded (there's one for the vocabularistic nit-pickers to debunk - note that below I have eliminated the "u" in the words neighbor" and in "odor", lest I be accused of being British - see letter on this topic), please consider the following points. (Oh, ye of little faith, please consult the Book(s) before stoning me.)

Leviticus 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Why can't I own Canadians? Or Scots, now there's a hearty lot, and I among them - but I guess Scotland is not a "neighboring nation" anyway. Applied to our present immigration situation, however, it seems unnecessary to purchase slaves, when they willfully cross the border by foot, motor vehicle and airplane, of their own free will, expressly intent upon finding employment where ever and what ever, for what ever wage is offered (in the case of some H-1B,s, for less than is "offered"), just to remain on our hallowed shores, to partake in the economic and political freedom (not to mention the free medical clinics and SSI for U.S. citizen children), gratuitously offered by the most hospitable country on earth. And, should these slaves be allowed to earn credits for their years of toil in sweatshops, gardens, kitchens and poultry factories? Credits that would allow them to purchase their bondage from their masters? Yes 'um, yes 'um. Sure do, says the liberal left, pinko commies as they take us one step closer to Lenin's tomb. No way, Jose, says the righteous right, and its mighty leaders, Tancredo and Robertson, as they slice and dice their way through humanity without care or concern, like O.J. on a Saturday night in Brentwood.

I would like to sell my youngest daughter into slavery, as sanctioned by Exodus 21:7, but in this day and age, I wonder what would be a fair price to ask for her? We know parents sell their daughters into slavery (they call it "marriage", but a 10 year old, come now) in Afghanistan, as a means of supporting their war-torn and destitute families, but I doubt the price they get over there for their offspring would be attractive to an American immigration lawyer as his road to retirement, so I guess I'll keep practicing law and my daughter can marry her tattooed biker boyfriend.

I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself? Perhaps that would depend upon whether he were Christian, Jew or Muslim, but on this point I am unclear. Perhaps I should cross reference the Bible with Koran and the Torah. But a more important question is should we allow those who have broken, and prospectively intend on arrival in the United States to break the Sabbath, enter the United States as either non immigrants or immigrants? - for they have broken the law of God and therefore cannot be of good moral character. Worse, they have demonstrated "preconceived intent", thus, in certain circumstances, barring them from admissibility to, or adjustability in, the United States. That's the law of the land (245 INA, etcetera and 8 CFR, read'em and weep). Perhaps it would make a difference if the Sabbath work were performed by an alien while he or she is in status on a nonimmigrant, work authorized visa, such as an J, L, H or E, or whether the work was performed by an illegal or an overstay, or whether or not they subsequently married an American citizen after breaking the Sabbath, thus making them 245(c) exempt, if they made an inspected entry, but not if they made an uninspected entry because there is no longer a 245(i). There could be a Regulation drafted that would address this. I'll propose it to my Senator when he sobers up and returns from Chappaquidik.

Leviticus 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that before I had lasic surgery, my vision was 20/20. Now, it's 20/20 at a distance but since I am over 50, I need to wear reading glasses. My 20/20 hindsight vision has always been good. Does my vision need to be 20/20 all around, or is there some wiggle room here? We know that rich men (it is unclear if this applies to women) have as much chance of getting into heaven as does a camel passing through the eye of a needle, therefore I guess immigration lawyers will never get into heaven (Lord knows we're all rich, with the fees we charge), but I can't even thread a needle with my poor close-up eyesight, so I guess 21:20 applies to me, because I am not 20/20 up close. In fact, up close, I'm not sure what I am.

I, and most of my male friends, get our hair trimmed (in my case not often enough - a throwback to the '60s, I guess), including the hair around our graying temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by the word of God in Leviticus 19:22. How should we die? In Palestine, young boys would gladly stone them to death if they were Jewish, but what to do with a Christian poses a real problem, unless, of course, he were viewed as a nonbeliever (Koran 4.89 4.91;17.33; 27.21). Of course, those immigrants who either escaped or survived a stoning could apply for Political Asylum, so long as they had "dry feet", and upon the showing of a well founded fear, would skate right on to a Green Card on the basis of religious persecution. In America, they could let their hair grow to any length they want, a'la 1969, or shave it all off, a'la 2002, Leviticus 19:22 notwithstanding. In America, we have rights, guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, unlike in biblical days, before the Tea Party. I've often thought that in addition to BC and AD, there should be TP. But all we have is TPS for some lucky Hondurans and a few other select groups whose countries have suffered the wrath of God. Somehow it all seems so ironic.

I understand from Leviticus 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves? Perhaps soccer is the ultimate solution, since only a shoed foot touches the ball, and this Bible verse most likely accounts for this sport's invention. Upon inquiry, I have been assured that Soccer shoes are not made of pigskin, in fact no shoes are made of pig skin, except Hush Puppies, and anyone who would wear them should be shot, and that would in fact be sanctioned by Leviticus 11:6.8. Just who should do the shooting is unclear. Perhaps that is the motive of the present sniper in the Washington, D.C. area. Has anyone checked the victims' shoes? How this relates to immigration, I do not know, except that many of the best soccer players, and fans, are aliens, and some are even immigration lawyers, and some of the witnesses to the sniper's murders are thought to be illegal aliens.

And finally, my uncle Mort (yes, the one who is sawed off and short and brews up a gallon or two - Mountain Dew, that is) has a farm in Indiana. He routinely violates Leviticus 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend) - her dresses also have buttons instead of hooks, but I won't pursue that subject until I find myself around Goshen. He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot, as farmers are prone to do . . . I think it's because they spend a lot of time out in the fields alone, wishing some of those Mexican, Canadian and Scottish slaves wanted to toil the cold and icy fields of Indiana, rather than the sunny valleys of California or the citrus groves of Florida. And, I wonder if it is really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone these perpetrators (Leviticus 24:10-16), uncle Mort included? Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, as we are supposed to do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Leviticus 20:14) Well, to be safe, I'll just not eat anything that is planted, I'll go naked, keep my mouth shut and sleep alone. Life will be spare, cold, boring and lonely, but I am sure to be sainted, and in my next life I will assuredly return in a form higher than my present caste as an immigration lawyer.

I would like to thank the un-named Immigration Daily Letters to the Editor contributor for again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging, and, as he or she most aptly points out, is often directly applicable to immigration and the issues immigration lawyers face on a daily basis, both practically and philosophically. Peace be with you.

David D. Murray, Esq.
Newport Beach, CA