U.S. to deport Thai monk for being "remunerated"

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Jechbi
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U.S. to deport Thai monk for being "remunerated"

Post by Jechbi » Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:25 am

Buddhist Monk Faces Worldly Green-Card Matters
Monk Phra Bunphithak Jomthong entered the U.S. four years ago on a religious visa and has since devoted himself to serving a burgeoning Buddhist community in Southern California. Barefoot and clad in a saffron robe, Mr. Jomthong recently gave what amounts to the most accurate job description he has: "to share Buddhist practices and to promote peace and harmony among people."

But the U.S. government wants to deport the 47-year-old monk, after denying him permanent U.S. residency, or a green card, on the grounds that he was employed without authorization after his temporary religious visa lapsed. Now, Mr. Jomthong, a citizen of Thailand, is fighting in federal district court and immigration court for the right to remain in the country.

At issue is the meaning of "employment." Mr. Jomthong's fate may depend on whether his attorney can convince a judge that the monk's unpaid religious services don't constitute employment. "The monk may work at his religious labors but he is not employed by the temple. He took an oath of poverty and doesn't receive wages," says Angelo Paparelli an immigration attorney with Seyfarth Shaw LLP who is representing Mr. Jomthong free of charge.

The monk's saga illustrates how an increasingly backlogged and cautious immigration system can trip up some applicants striving to obey the law.

-snip-

In late March, the government denied Mr. Jomthong a green card again, maintaining in the decision that he had been "remunerated since your admission, albeit on a modest, non-salaried basis...."
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gavesako
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Re: U.S. to deport Thai monk for being "remunerated"

Post by gavesako » Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:04 pm

If you know how typical Thai temples operate, you would not be surprised by the Government's decision: most monks -- far from taking an oath of poverty -- can accumulate a substantial amount of funds over a few years in the West, all of it untaxed donations slipped to them in envelopes by the devotees (for doing chanting, etc.). This could just be called personal gift, but really it is like a salary.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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kc2dpt
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Re: U.S. to deport Thai monk for being "remunerated"

Post by kc2dpt » Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:31 pm

Except that it IS a gift. There is no contract stating a fixed salary or hourly wage, either on paper or verbal. When asked how much he charges for his services, he can honestly reply "nothing".
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.

uniformsquare
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Re: U.S. to deport Thai monk for being "remunerated"

Post by uniformsquare » Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:42 am

That is too bad. It is the sad to see my government prevent one from doing that which is of the highest calling, teaching the dhamma and living the holy life.

rosuto
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Re: U.S. to deport Thai monk for being "remunerated"

Post by rosuto » Sun Jul 05, 2009 2:09 pm

What's really sad is that they want to deport this guy, but millions of illegals here from Mexico are being given a free pass to citizenship. I really wish our government would figure out just what it does want to do.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt.
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kc2dpt
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Re: U.S. to deport Thai monk for being "remunerated"

Post by kc2dpt » Sun Jul 05, 2009 3:10 pm

Well, those Mexicans are probably Christian so... :spy:
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Re: U.S. to deport Thai monk for being "remunerated"

Post by Jechbi » Sun Jul 05, 2009 4:23 pm

rosuto wrote:What's really sad is that they want to deport this guy, but millions of illegals here from Mexico are being given a free pass to citizenship. I really wish our government would figure out just what it does want to do.
I object to this statement because it is not true. There is no free pass to U.S. citizenship for millions of people from Mexico.

Having had close contact with caring individuals who had trouble with their U.S. residency status (and who were technically deportable), and having seen firsthand the way many U.S. citizens dehumanize "illegals" by making all kinds of cartoonish assumptions about them, and having witnessed the breakup of families when "illegal" family members were deported despite the needs of immediate family members with U.S. citizenship, I'm sensitive when it comes to discussions about immigration issues. Please, let's try not to oversimplify.

And no, Peter, the immigration policy in the U.S. toward Mexicans has nothing to do with Christianity.

Metta
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.

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Re: U.S. to deport Thai monk for being "remunerated"

Post by rosuto » Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:27 pm

Jechbi wrote:
rosuto wrote:What's really sad is that they want to deport this guy, but millions of illegals here from Mexico are being given a free pass to citizenship. I really wish our government would figure out just what it does want to do.
I object to this statement because it is not true. There is no free pass to U.S. citizenship for millions of people from Mexico.

Having had close contact with caring individuals who had trouble with their U.S. residency status (and who were technically deportable), and having seen firsthand the way many U.S. citizens dehumanize "illegals" by making all kinds of cartoonish assumptions about them, and having witnessed the breakup of families when "illegal" family members were deported despite the needs of immediate family members with U.S. citizenship, I'm sensitive when it comes to discussions about immigration issues. Please, let's try not to oversimplify.

And no, Peter, the immigration policy in the U.S. toward Mexicans has nothing to do with Christianity.

Metta
I guess you don't follow your history very much.
Immigration Amnesty in the United States: In 1986, Congress passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act, or IRCA, which granted approximately 2.8 million undocumented immigrants legal status in the United States.
Source

Now, I am sorry, but the fault for people that have immigration issues and their families get broken up, need to take responsibility for their illegal status. If the needs of their immediate family members meant enough, they wouldn't be here illegally. We should show compassion, but only to a degree. Living in an area that has quite a large share of immigrants, legal and illegal both; the placating of those whose very act of breathing breaks the law is beyond me. My father is an immigrant, my grandmother is an immigrant, my mother in law is an immigrant. Legally. And it is a long arduous process. But that doesn't excuse anyone from deciding to not follow the laws of this country. The simple facts of the matter are, that they chose to come here illegally. They chose to have a child here illegally. Why does the blame for those decisions fall on anyone but the one that made them?
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt.
Abraham Lincoln

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adeh
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Re: U.S. to deport Thai monk for being "remunerated"

Post by adeh » Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:33 pm

Mexican immigrants don't receive any special or favorable treatment from the "migra" quite the opposite in fact...and they go to the US to do the crappy underpaid jobs most Americans won't do...
Last edited by adeh on Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Jechbi
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Re: U.S. to deport Thai monk for being "remunerated"

Post by Jechbi » Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:39 pm

rosuto wrote:I guess you don't follow your history very much.
You're mistaken in your assessment of how closely I follow history. In your post, you erroneously repeated a falsehood we often hear from right-wingers, namely, that amnesty is at hand again now. You said, "are being given." That's just plain misleading rhetoric.
Now, I am sorry, but the fault for people that have immigration issues and their families get broken up, need to take responsibility for their illegal status. If the needs of their immediate family members meant enough, they wouldn't be here illegally. We should show compassion, but only to a degree. Living in an area that has quite a large share of immigrants, legal and illegal both; the placating of those whose very act of breathing breaks the law is beyond me. My father is an immigrant, my grandmother is an immigrant, my mother in law is an immigrant. Legally. And it is a long arduous process. But that doesn't excuse anyone from deciding to not follow the laws of this country. The simple facts of the matter are, that they chose to come here illegally. They chose to have a child here illegally. Why does the blame for those decisions fall on anyone but the one that made them?
Well, it's obvious what your position is: a black-and-white, us versus them oversimplification. You have no idea what you're talking about.

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Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.

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Jechbi
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Re: U.S. to deport Thai monk for being "remunerated"

Post by Jechbi » Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:41 pm

adeh wrote:I have to agree with rosuto....Mexican immigrants don't receive any special or favorable treatment from the "migra" quite the opposite in fact...and they go to the US to do the crappy underpaid jobs most Americans won't do...
That's not what rosuto said. Rosuto seems to believe it's illegal to have children in the U.S. if you're not a citizen, for example. That's just silly.
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.

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adeh
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Re: U.S. to deport Thai monk for being "remunerated"

Post by adeh » Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:43 pm

I just corrected that

rosuto
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Re: U.S. to deport Thai monk for being "remunerated"

Post by rosuto » Sun Jul 05, 2009 7:27 pm

Jechbi wrote:
rosuto wrote:I guess you don't follow your history very much.
You're mistaken in your assessment of how closely I follow history. In your post, you erroneously repeated a falsehood we often hear from right-wingers, namely, that amnesty is at hand again now. You said, "are being given." That's just plain misleading rhetoric.
Actually, it was a huge talking point during the most recent election, and is being worked on by the current administration:
President Obama supports a system that allows undocumented immigrants who are in good standing to pay a fine, learn English, and go to the back of the line for the opportunity to become citizens.
Source
Jechbi wrote:
adeh wrote:I have to agree with rosuto....Mexican immigrants don't receive any special or favorable treatment from the "migra" quite the opposite in fact...and they go to the US to do the crappy underpaid jobs most Americans won't do...
That's not what rosuto said. Rosuto seems to believe it's illegal to have children in the U.S. if you're not a citizen, for example. That's just silly.
How exactly, is it "just silly"? When every breath you take somewhere is illegal, any other actions you take are breaking the law as well. This is the same as generating negative karma, then complaining its not fair when a negative effect results. Isn't it the basic concept?

Oh, and for your information, there are plenty of americans that would love to take the crap jobs that have been snatched up by illegal immigrants. I am not trying to sound nationalistic, it is just plain logic. One does not pick and choose the rules that one wants to follow. I see no real reason as to why anyone should get preferential treatment over any other kind of lawbreaker. Do we start handing out lighter sentences to rapists and murderers and thieves now?
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt.
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Re: U.S. to deport Thai monk for being "remunerated"

Post by appicchato » Sun Jul 05, 2009 8:45 pm

rosuto wrote:We should show compassion, but only to a degree.
Not according to (so we're told) the Buddha...'boundless', I believe, is the term most often used...

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Re: U.S. to deport Thai monk for being "remunerated"

Post by adeh » Sun Jul 05, 2009 11:03 pm

No human being is illegal.

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