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In late August last year, two months after the U.S. Senate had passed a bipartisan immigration reform bill, I attended a Town Hall meeting called by Congressman Steve Scalise.
Migration theologian Fr. Daniel Groody suggests that the U.S.-Mexico border is more than an imaginary dividing line between two countries. Rather, a complex history and conflicting prerogatives have resulted in a border between “national security and human insecurity, sovereign rights and human rights, civil law and natural law, and citizenship and discipleship.”
A major criticism leveled against recent newcomers to the United States is that they are “takers” creating an economic drain on the nation. Not only are they takers, critics lament, but also categorically “illegal,” echoing past racist associations of criminality with African-Americans and many other people of color.
Es interesante observar las distintas reacciones que recibo dependiendo de si le digo a la gente que practico derechos humanos o si les digo que practico derechos de inmigración. La gente generalmente asocia positivamente el concepto de los derechos humanos. Sin embargo, la palabra o el tema de la inmigración no parece obtener la misma reacción.
The prospect for comprehensive immigration reform appears hopeful in 2013. Not only does 2013 mark the 10th anniversary of the landmark pastoral letter by the Catholic Bishops of Mexico and the United States, Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope, but when asked about the focus for his second term, President Obama responded, “Fixing our broken immigration system is a top priority.”