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Illegal Worker Wants Money

A man came to the U.S. illegally, worked as a dishwasher 11 years & saved $59,000. When headed home for Guatemala, Customs officials took the money (he hadn't filled out the proper form to take it out of the country), deported him & won't give it back. What is a Christian opinion on this?

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 ---AlwaysOn on 10/5/07
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Note--the worker came "illegally" and should have known there could be repercussions.
---Pernice on 11/4/07

I would be suspicious of the customs officials who took the money. Whether it's individuals or our government who took the money, it's stealing. Our government was only owed back taxes ("render unto Caesar...)unless there's some law somewhere that states all monies made by illegal aliens has to be permanently surrendered to our govt.
---Ginette on 10/7/07

Jen, there is Scripture for both sides actually. The Word tells us not to keep a man's wages from him. That same Word also says to obey the laws of the land. The law of faith would trust that the man is honest. The law of liberty wouldn't cause him to stumble. The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus would set him free from the law of sin and death.
---Linda on 10/7/07

The law of Christ would bear his burden. And the law of love would selflessly care for him and his family unconditionally. The problem is that the world does not function in those laws because the world is not the new creation in Christ, therefore, the law of the land is in full force. As a Christian, I wouldn't work a job that would conflict the laws of the new creation because my conviction is that it would compromise my faith. Scripture supports both sides, however, it is Christ we are to look for.
---Linda on 10/7/07

Any advice from Scripture itself regarding this??
---Jen on 10/6/07

They can check that money and that man's story - there is no reason to be carrying that kind of money in cash. A cashiers check would work.
This is good advertising for other illegals. If it were up to me - I'd give him his money but as a law enforcement issue - leave it to them
---Andrea on 10/6/07

Immigrants who come to this country are also required to pay taxes just like the rest of us. Those with green cards do this usually. Thos who are illegal work for cash and the employers in this country are breaking the law by doing this.
---Susie on 10/5/07

While I do not think it was right, this man knew better. He can come to the U.S. and work for awhile but he would need to get his green card if he wanted to stay. In Mexico men and woman are being paid like $2-5.00 a day. When they come to the US they do not need to pay taxes until they become a citizen of the US. the bible says you'll reap what you sow. Meaning this man knew he was doing this illegally. He may have worked hard for that money, but he should have became a citizen.
---Rebecca_D on 10/5/07

I didn't know we had to declare any amount of money when we leave this country. Why would I expect this illegal immigrant to know that? This whole things sounds like nothing more than a political ploy to draw attention to the immigrant situation.
---Susie on 10/5/07

There's something about the punishment being proportionate to the crime. IF they check if he could have worked and lived so he earned and saved all that (and therefore likely did not receive the cash in order to test to see where criminal elements might run a money mule train), taking all he did work for does not seem proportionate to the crime, which helped people to have dishes to eat from, paying less because of having him work for them > no one was complaining about THAT "crime", then.
---Bill_bila5659 on 10/5/07

You are a customs official in a country which is a target for terrorists and drug dealing multi-millionaires who would "possibly" like to be able to move cash on commercial planes, using illegals for cheap labor. And you open a guy's bag--voila, $59,000 in bills...bills you don't have to pay (o:

Now, are you a security official first going to think this guy's just taking home some money in time for Christmas? Meanwhile . . . what is the liberal media's agenda going to want us to ASSUME?
---Bill_bila5659 on 10/5/07

Why they take the money, why they deported with nothing, that is greed, this country is Multicultural, if that is not a reason this is a country made for inmigrants, to the inmigrants, who`s responsible to put those lines of Boundaries, everyone wants to trespass, By faith they want to have abetter life and coming to the country of honey and milk.....
---Candido on 10/5/07

I'd have to question his knowing that he was illegally in the states and did he know that laws concerning the proper way to leave the country with the money. It is my understanding that we are to obey the laws whether we agree with them or not.
---Annie on 10/5/07

Since he was here illegally for 11 years they should charge him for the deportation costs and any back taxes that he owes and give him back what ever is left over.
---Daniel on 10/5/07

My opinion (not based on scripture, but just off the cuff), while it is a shame this happened because I don't doubt that he worked hard for that money, he didn't follow the rules. If you don't go by the rules, and you get burned, you've only yourself to blame. While we can feel compassion for his loss, his consequences are of his own doing. Even if he was unaware of the proper form to fill out, he had to know he entered illegally, and for that he would face hardships.
---kady on 10/5/07

Our man's name is Pedro Zapeta (((o:

I'm thinking about a man hand carrying(?) a bag filled with $59,000 in cash...getting off his plane and then in a Guatemalan security third world police are known for robbing people...and how banditos and revolutionaries might welcome him > he could have been killed for his money if he tried to carry it home. Even if he banked it and moved his family, militia elements threatening his family might extort him to make a big "withdrawal".
---Bill_bila5659 on 10/5/07

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Law is law and he broke it by earning this money illegally. It's not his despite the fact that he saved it. He also hasn't paid income tax like we all do so all he is doing is leaching from us all. We all have to play by the rules when going into and out of a country.His employer is also responsible for this and probably hasn't sent in taxes and such.
---john on 10/5/07

We are subject to the laws of the land as long as they are not contrary to the law of God. The law of the land requires those of other countries who are seeking to come into the US to become a citizen of the US. That requires paperwork and a test, I believe. The bottom line is that the man was here illegally (according to the laws of the land) and therefore the money was made illegally. If he had taken the time to go about things legally, I am supposing he would still have his money.
---Linda on 10/5/07

The man has a name...Pedro Zapeta. This is not just a theoretical issue, but involves a unique person named Pedro...a family man from Guatemala who was able to work 11 years, in the United States, and save enough money to bring home $59,OOO AND to pay for an international plane journey to Guatemala, after paying his rent . . . on $5.50 an hour wages. If this story is true, maybe we need to export the President's and Congress's budget balancing jobs to Pedro.
---Bill_bila5659 on 10/5/07

That is a difficult question since he did break the law of the land by earning the money unlawfully. As a human and Christian with compasion, however, if I was in control and possession of the money with noone controlling me, I would probably have compassion upon the man and give him the money. What are they going to do with the money and how many people are going to learn from his punishment?
---splaa6685 on 10/5/07

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I can only assume that the reason he didn't fill out the proper forms to take it out of the country had a lot to do with the fact that he had not gone through the proper channels to be in the US to begin with. I don't necessarily agree with keeping the money but instead allowing this man the opportunity to go through the proper channels to retrieve it.
---Linda on 10/5/07

At some point, there was a major breakdown in the system. The man DID get hired, after all, and DID work and DID earn the money. Nevertheless, he came into the US illegally and is responsible for the consequences of that from start to finish and cannot use the fact that he earned the money as a reason to be able to keep it.
---Linda on 10/5/07

There is something wrong with this story, people don't go through US Customs when leaving the US only when entering it.

It is either a fabrication or a lot of erroneous information and wrong agencies involved.
---notlaw99 on 10/5/07

Disclaimer: my response is not intended in any way to lend support either for or against the legalities of immigration. I am only answering according to the only working knowledge I have of the law regarding immigrants.
---Linda on 10/5/07

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