Monday, August 12, 2013

How soon we forget?

Moses in first reading tells the people that

So you too must befriend the alien, for you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt.

Moses understands how easily the people of Israel may stake out their turf, and allow defending their turf to become a primary focus of their life.

This year we are extremely focused on the issue of immigration as a political issue and we forget that it is first of all a human issue, and therefore a moral issue.

The US-Canada border is 3,987 miles. The border with Mexico 1,954 miles. Net immigration from Mexico in the last two-years, zero. If it were really about terrorism where would e be focused?

Every one of the estimated 11 million undocumented aliens in the U.S. today are created in the image and likeness of God and loved by God.

Archbishop Chaput recently wrote

Americans have a right to secure borders, especially in an era of anti-American violence. We have a right to reasonably regulate our immigration policies. We have a right to exclude criminals from our country and to protect the financial health of our public institutions and services. We have a right to verify foreign visitors and guest workers, and to expect their compliance with the law.

But most undocumented immigrants in the United States – the vast majority — never commit a violent act, have no desire to undermine the common good and contribute productively to American prosperity. Thousands of farmers and businessmen rely on their services. The life many of us enjoy depends, in part, on the labor of “illegals.” Taking advantage of their work, and then blaming them for being here, is a uniquely unworthy form of doublethink.

We can and should debate policy, but rather than listening to the polemics or being driven by our fears and prejudices, as Christians our positions must first of all be driven by our principles: the equal dignity of every human life, the centrality of the family to a society.