There has been a tragic rise in the number of migrants seeking to flee from the
growing poverty caused by environmental degradation. They are not recognized by international conventions as refugees; they bear the loss of the lives they have left behind, without enjoying any legal protection whatsoever. Sadly, there is widespread indifference to such suffering, which is even now taking place throughout our world. Our lack of response to these tragedies involving our brothers and sisters points to the loss of that sense of responsibility for our fellow men and women upon which all civil society is founded.
Pope Francis, Laudato Si, 25
May I develop a compassionate heart.
How do the Pope’s words resound with you? Consider the rhetoric issuing from the political arena. Where do your feelings resonate?
I was a stranger and you welcomed me.
Migrants trust that they will encounter acceptance, solidarity, and help, that they will meet people who will sympathize with the distress and tragedy experienced by others, recognize the values and resources the latter have to offer, and are open to sharing humanly and materially with the needy and disadvantaged.
Immigrants, new to our shores, call us out of our unawareness to a conversion of mind and heart through which we are able to offer a genuine and suitable welcome, to share together as brothers and sisters at the same table, and to work side by side to improve the quality of life for society’s marginalized members.
Welcoming the Stranger Among Us: Unity in Diversity, A Statement of the U.S. Catholic Bishops
When migration policies are developed without attention to vulnerability, marginalization and discrimination, millions of migrants become cheap, disposable labor, the scapegoats for failed economic and social policies, and even casualties in an ill-defined war against “illegal migration”.
My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers once, too.
We’re a migrant nation made up of people who’ve been torn out of other worlds, and you’d think we would have some compassion.
Whenever people talk in the abstract about the pros and cons of immigration, one should not forget that immigrants are individual human beings whose lives happen not to fit neatly within national borders – and that like all human beings, they are all different.
He doesn’t like my name … Of course we couldn’t all come over on the Mayflower … But I got here as soon as I could, and I never wanted to go back, because to me it is a great privilege to be an American citizen.
The land flourished because it was fed from so many sources–because it was nourished by so many cultures and traditions and peoples.
Lyndon B. Johnson
God’s love for others does not stop at the border; neither should ours.
Every single immigrant we have, undocumented or documented, is a future American. That’s just the truth of it.