Polk County (Florida) Sheriff Grady Judd wants undocumented immigrants to know that he’s not coming after them if they’re decent people. He wants to give everyone the time and space they need to receive their citizenship. The rules are fairly simple in his mind.
He’s not going to get in your way if you’re hard-working, and you take care of your children, and you’re obeying the law.
… and if you believe in God.
“If you’re here illegally, you’re hard-working, you’re God fearing, you’re taking care of your children and you’re not violating the law, Congress needs to act and give them a path to legal status that they’ve earned, and then a path to citizenship,” Judd said.
Judd went on to explain that it’s not those people he’s concerned about.
That raises a whole bunch of questions.
Will Judd go after immigrants who obey the law but happen to be atheists?
How does he decide who is properly god-fearing and who is not? Are undocumented immigrants who are merely cultural Christians in danger of being deported? Does this only apply to certain denominations?
And what about other religions? Are Muslim immigrants safe or not?
I left a message with Judd’s office this morning to get answers; I haven’t heard back yet.
Perhaps you’re thinking I’m taking this too seriously. It was just a figure of speech. He didn’t mean it literally. And I might believe that… if Judd didn’t have a history of pushing his religion in his position. In 2010, he removed basketball hoops from the county jail and gave them to churches. In 2015, while dressed in his uniform, he gave a sermon at a church titled, “Wouldn’t the World be Better if Everyone Behaved Like a Christian?” In that talk, he mentioned how he created “faith-based dorms” in prison to help convert inmates to Christianity.
It’s pretty clear that people who aren’t Christians aren’t going to get the benefit of the doubt from him. The question now is whether he’s applying a religious test when it comes to deporting people and breaking up families.
(Thanks to David for the link)