Sisters and brothers:
If you’ve tuned into the news lately, no doubt you have heard reports about the action President Trump has taken – eliminating the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) Program. We need to be very clear: those who fit into this category are not the same as illegal aliens. This action will have wide-ranging repercussions. Political pundits are hopeful that this will force Congress to act swiftly to create some sort of official legal status for these children and young adults. Frankly, I’m concerned that this Congress is more dysfunctional than “normal” and will be unable to reach any kind of agreement in time.
I realize that when it comes to illegal immigrants and immigration in general, some of our folks may not be be on the same page. But I think it is important to remind everyone that folks come here for a variety of reasons, and each one of those reasons is urgently important. (Perhaps even a matter of life or death!) Otherwise, why take the risk? Why suffer the indecency of having to live in fear. Many are just one police stop away from deportation. There are many legal hoops that folks must jump through even when they are trying to follow all the regulations. It is both daunting and mind-boggling. (Not to mention expensive!)
Whether one realizes it or not, our parish has quite a few immigrants: KD, Victor, Theo, Alexis, Pedro, Sam, and Jose, just to name a few. They are not all in the same category. But they are each struggling to work through the slow and tedious system. We also need to be aware that we have parishes within our denomination that are predominantly Hispanic. In fact, their numbers now outweigh Caucasians. So this is an issue that affects many in our denomination.
Immigration is complex. It is one of those issues with no clear-cut answers. I urge each of us to consider various factors that come into play. Safety is of course a concern, but consider what scripture has to say about the alien in our land and our “Christian” response to those in need. Consider also our own “family” and their struggles in this uncertain time.
To read more: Around the Parish, September 7, 2017