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

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

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

Postby 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...."

:rolleye:
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.
User avatar
Jechbi
 
Posts: 1268
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:38 am

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

Postby 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)

ajahnchah.org - Teachings of Ajahn Chah in many languages
Dhammatube - Videos on Buddhist practice
Ancient Buddhist Texts - Translations and history of Pali texts
User avatar
gavesako
 
Posts: 1415
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 5:16 pm
Location: England

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

Postby 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.
User avatar
kc2dpt
 
Posts: 956
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:48 pm

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

Postby 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.
uniformsquare
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:34 am

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

Postby 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.
Abraham Lincoln
rosuto
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:35 am

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

Postby kc2dpt » Sun Jul 05, 2009 3:10 pm

Well, those Mexicans are probably Christian so... :spy:
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.
User avatar
kc2dpt
 
Posts: 956
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:48 pm

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

Postby 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.
User avatar
Jechbi
 
Posts: 1268
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:38 am

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

Postby 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
rosuto
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:35 am

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

Postby 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.
User avatar
adeh
 
Posts: 215
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:42 pm
Location: Mexico City

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

Postby 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.

:roll:
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.
User avatar
Jechbi
 
Posts: 1268
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:38 am

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

Postby 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.
User avatar
Jechbi
 
Posts: 1268
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:38 am

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

Postby adeh » Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:43 pm

I just corrected that
User avatar
adeh
 
Posts: 215
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:42 pm
Location: Mexico City

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

Postby 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.
Abraham Lincoln
rosuto
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:35 am

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

Postby 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...
User avatar
appicchato
 
Posts: 1603
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:47 am
Location: Bridge on the River Kwae

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

Postby adeh » Sun Jul 05, 2009 11:03 pm

No human being is illegal.
User avatar
adeh
 
Posts: 215
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:42 pm
Location: Mexico City

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

Postby Individual » Mon Jul 06, 2009 12:21 am

It's a pretty stupid situation. For instance, it's peculiar that immigration law would actually discourage visitors from getting jobs. Having a job contributes to the overall well-being of the economy and society, so even if this monk actually had a real job, would that be a bad thing? Immigration laws are really such outdated racist policies, which today are supported by xenophobia and ignorance of economics.

I hope the monk gets to stay in America, but if he doesn't, nobody, especially the monk, should be bitter or disappointed, because -- what else should you expect? If there are lots of silly laws and regulators, things like this will happen.

Also, what's special about America? Aren't there countless human beings that are unhappy, countless places to spread peace and harmony? Why America?
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
Individual
 
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

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

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Jul 06, 2009 12:35 am

It's the immigrants coming to America and taking those jobs away that American born citizens love to do, such as:

Waiting at the side of the freeways to sell pottery
Waiting at the side of the freeways to sell fruit
Picking the fruit from the fields in extreme heat for sub-minimum wage pay
Working in restaurants as dishwashers and bus boys for sub-minimum wage pay
Working in monasteries, required to be celibate, no entertainment, and doing community service for no pay

(in case you can't tell, I'm being sarcastic.)

The immigrants do the work that the 'native' populations can't do or don't want to do. They also provide skills that are in short supply, such as doctors, nurses, etc. But even if they didn't, there should still be compassion for all.
User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8205
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

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

Postby Individual » Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:21 am

TheDhamma wrote:It's the immigrants coming to America and taking those jobs away that American born citizens love to do, such as:

Waiting at the side of the freeways to sell pottery
Waiting at the side of the freeways to sell fruit
Picking the fruit from the fields in extreme heat for sub-minimum wage pay
Working in restaurants as dishwashers and bus boys for sub-minimum wage pay
Working in monasteries, required to be celibate, no entertainment, and doing community service for no pay

(in case you can't tell, I'm being sarcastic.)

The immigrants do the work that the 'native' populations can't do or don't want to do. They also provide skills that are in short supply, such as doctors, nurses, etc. But even if they didn't, there should still be compassion for all.

I don't think that's totally fair, because there are a small minority of Americans that would do those jobs, being in the same boat as the immigrants. Americans are generally wealthier than immigrants, but not always. For people that already do such jobs, in the short-run immigration would depress their wages.
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
Individual
 
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

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

Postby rosuto » Mon Jul 06, 2009 5:18 pm

adeh wrote:No human being is illegal.


But it is illegal for people to be in certain places govern they should not be.

TheDhamma wrote:It's the immigrants coming to America and taking those jobs away that American born citizens love to do, such as:

Waiting at the side of the freeways to sell pottery
Waiting at the side of the freeways to sell fruit
Picking the fruit from the fields in extreme heat for sub-minimum wage pay
Working in restaurants as dishwashers and bus boys for sub-minimum wage pay
Working in monasteries, required to be celibate, no entertainment, and doing community service for no pay

(in case you can't tell, I'm being sarcastic.)

The immigrants do the work that the 'native' populations can't do or don't want to do. They also provide skills that are in short supply, such as doctors, nurses, etc. But even if they didn't, there should still be compassion for all.


See, but you actually prove my point more. Selling stuff on the side of the road, illegal. Working for less than minimum wage, illegal for employer to do. Those sub minimum wage jobs wouldn't exist if there wasn't the people here illegally to work them. Employers would have to actually pay the right wage, and provide the right services and such to their employees. There is always so much talk about the exploitation, but it is self created and imposed. I, personally, would love for some of those jobs to be open in my area. Then I could get back to work, instead of being shot down at job after job.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt.
Abraham Lincoln
rosuto
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:35 am

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

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Jul 06, 2009 7:00 pm

rosuto wrote:Working for less than minimum wage, illegal for employer to do.


Actually, it is not illegal in most instances. The U.S. government allows migrant farm workers to be paid less than minimum wage, thus, it is legal to pay them those low wages.

The government also allows certain jobs which rely heavily on tips, such as waiters and bus boys, to be paid less than minimum wage, with the thinking that the tips will push the pay to the minimum or higher.

Everything is either legal or illegal, but that in itself, does not necessarily make it right or wrong. For example, slavery was legal at one time, but that didn't make it "right."

Sorry to hear of your unemployment. Good luck with your job search. :smile:
User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8205
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Next

Return to Theravāda for the modern world

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests