Immigration, Religion and US Congress

Baba Times Digest© | 27 June 2013 17:45 EST | New York Edition

RELATED TOPICS >>> Paul Ryan, CongressmanManusmriti | USCIS Rights

Washington DC: The United States Senate moved forward with a comprehensive immigration measure with sufficient votes to advance in that chamber and its supporters hope to acheive a final vote before the July 4th recess. Religious leaders across the country are sharing their views on both ways of the immigration policy.

Religious scriptures both Christian and Jewish among others contain description on immigration indirectly saying that “The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens.” In this sense both the Bishops and the White House are in agreement. But there are other sides to look into the definition of 'strangers' and 'citizens' from the point of view of the Bible and other scriptures.

Manusmriti is a textual work under Dharmasastra of ancient Vedic Sanatana Dharma, generally known in English as the Laws of Manu on 'how to lead the life' or 'way of life' by various sects and classes of society. In Verse 134 we find a description of a 'citizen' as "Fellow-citizens are called friends (and equals though one be) ten years (older than the other), men practising (the same) fine art (though one be) five years (older than the other), Srotriyas (though) three years (intervene between their ages), but blood-relations only (if the) difference of age be very small".

The text is supposed to be a discourse given by sage Manu, to his seers, fellow rishis after the great floods between the banks of the rivers Saraswathi and Drishadvati some 10,000 years ago. The text guided them to face such calamities and help them organize harmonious social life with "guidelines for all the social classes"

One of the four varnas state that "Knowledge is more important than birth in a clan" which directly relates to immigration issues today. It makes sense to understand that anyone from either lower class or higher class to the other easily, if those charcteristics and functions are performed. manu also goes in depth on Taxation and fiscal policies ! The Manusmriti defines the Tax codes clearly by stating that it has to be imposed such that it should not result in any disincentive for productivity and at the same time inadequate collection of revenue to cover the State expenses and social welfare and tax should be collected in small installments and compared to an act of a leech that sucks blood ! Very apt example in ancient times ! It is interesting that the views of ancient scriptures and the modern politics align and hopefully the illegal immigrants will appreciate these facts and become main stream citizens and share the tax burden.

READ MORE >>> Economic Impact | IRS View | Latest from CBS News

Picture Source: "Matsya pulls a boat carrying Saint Manu and Saptrishi during floods or Pralaya"

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