The April 25 issue of The Valley Catholic included a letter on immigration which I believe fails to adequately represent Catholic thinking on this subject. The Gospel and Catholic Social Teaching are two places where we should begin. We are all made in the “image and likeness” of God.” People are not legal or illegal. We are all brothers and sisters made by the same Creator.
The U.S. Bishops tell us “people have a right to migrate to support themselves, and refugees and asylum seekers should be afforded protection.” We also know that nations have borders and laws to protect their sovereign interests. Just as Jesus did, however, we must distinguish which guidelines to follow, especially in these days of erratic and changing immigration rules.
While we render to Cesar what is his, we are called to make prudent, personal judgments about what is right and just. Pope John Paul II tells us, “In the Church, no one is a stranger, and the Church is not foreign to anyone, anywhere.”
The native people of our nation greeted each other, “The God in me, greets the God in you.” Oh, that we could witness that spirit now! Let us all “Welcome and accompany the stranger!”