Immigration Policy and Human Decency, Part 10 million

Whoever will not receive you…it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. (Matthew 10:14-15)

Mark Greenbery border crisis Senate hearing
Nor exactly Mr. Charisma. But more reasonable than anyone else sitting there.

Sometimes the priest simply has to state the obvious. Like at a wedding I did when I was fresh out of seminary. The bride had starred on her college volleyball team. Her maid of honor had, too. The young volleyball star had found a groom of appropriate height, whose best friend, the best man, stood eye-to-eye with him.

So, as the wedding began, five people stood in front of the altar, all of them over 6’ 1”. So I had to say, ‘Yes, this is a wedding. It is not a practice for some kind of co-ed Olympic basketball team.’

US Mexico border wallComcast finally carried out its threat. They took away all the channels that we don’t actually pay for at the rectory, so all I have left to watch is CSPAN. Which is fine. I watched with great interest the night-time re-broadcast of yesterday’s Senate border-crisis hearing.

Here’s the obvious thing that the priest needs to say. When a child comes into our custody, into the custody of the federal government of the United States of America, we are bound by the most fundamental laws of human decency. We must seek out the child’s parents or closest relatives, and, by any practicable means, get the child into the care of his or her parents, as soon as possible.

This moral obligation cannot be qualified in any way by our immigration policies and laws. There is no human authority with the competence to alter the fundamental demands of human decency. If a child comes into my care, and I can find the parents, I must get the child home to his or her parents, wherever the parents are, whether they are ‘legal’ or ‘illegal.’ To do anything other than this would involve offending the most basic standards of human decency, which are an international law that guides everyone.

How could anyone fail to see this? How could a room full of technocrats sit around at a hearing about unaccompanied minors and not begin by accepting as a clear and evident fact that this is the moral duty of the US government? Then we can have a discussion about immigration policy, but only after we recognize that getting the children into the custody of their parents is our primary duty before God. Right?

Of course, all other questions are secondary. Aren’t they? After all, we are a decent, civilized people. We recognize immediately the obligations that adults have towards children.

Oh, wait. I forgot. We are actually a barbarian nation, in which thousands of innocent and defenseless unborn children get killed right under our noses every day.

No wonder we have Senate committee hearings in which technocrats dispute secondary and tertiary political matters ad nauseam while innocent children remain separated from their parents and in our custody.

2 thoughts on “Immigration Policy and Human Decency, Part 10 million

  1. Basically, there is no true freedom for any individual except in what he considerers good and just. Political authorities, for the common good must establish policy regarding the immigrants duties towards their newly adopted country. All immigrants are obligated to respect, with gratitude, the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them and to obey the laws and to assist in carrying civil burdens. Of course, if an undocumented individual enters a country illegally he has chosen to disobey and willingly accept evil as an abuse of their new found freedom. Which leads to the question of who is being victimized here, the naturalized American citizen or the illegal undocumented individuals? But, as Christians we are obligated to assist the children in being reunited with their families in the countries of origin.

  2. Father Mark,

    Your first commenter’s closing sentence coincides with my view, rapid reunion with of the children with their parents is the most humane disposition of this conundrum. How could it be more rapid then turning the children back at the border, and remanding them to the care of the ambassador of their country of origin? Then, we need to focus on the systems, political, economic, social, criminal, religious, and others, and the methodologies, invective, conflict, propaganda, and others, which led to the vexing situation in the first place.

    Simply put, politicians playing political games in the United States of America, trying to appear to be humanitarian by winking at the laws of the United States while militating to change them with the self-interested aim of political advantage, is inhumane in the extreme.

    In God we trust.



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