In the last six weeks, nearly 2,000 children have been separated from their parents at the Texas border. Separating children from their parents often leads to long-term emotional scarring. Particularly for these families who are already in a state of anxiety and fear, the impact on both the children and the parents, will no doubt be long-lasting. As a people of faith, we must speak out for these children.
The teaching of the Catholic Church is that if a person is experiencing injustice, persecution or danger, they have a human right to find a place of security in which to begin a new life. We believe in the dignity of the human person and the preservation of the family. Nations are encouraged to create laws that will allow legal immigration in a just way. As a church we have never suggested, “Open our borders – all are welcome,” yet countries must regulate their borders with justice and mercy. We believe immigration should be guided by laws that show charity while providing safety and security. Our current immigration laws are not guided by these principles and are not fair or just.
Let us recall the principle in Jewish law and the teaching of Jesus, “Do to others what you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31). We are called to pray for those unjustly treated and to be a voice for them. I invite all people of good will to join me in prayer for our sisters and brothers and to act on their behalf by contacting our government officials and urging them to stop these dehumanizing practices and make a sincere effort towards comprehensive immigration.