Thursday, September 15, 2022

A new affront to migrants in the US

I am appalled and a bit angry.

The governors of Texas and Florida, both of whom were raised Catholic, are sending migrants to cities in the north of the US as a kind of public theater. They are using these people for political purposes and are, in a sense, trafficking with human lives.

The "wall" between Juarez and El Paso.

The latest stunt of the Texas governor was sending two busloads of migrants to the home of the Vice-President.

But it is a stunt that shows, in my mind, a disregard for human life, a manipulation of people. 

I say this because every week, in our Sunday Masses, we pray for people who have migrated. Sometimes people ask us to thank God for the safe arrival of their family members to the US, mostly people ask for prayers for those who are on the road.

I openly try to discourage people from migrating, but I will not stop praying for them. They are my brothers and sisters; they are people I know and whose families I know.

They migrate for many reasons. Those in the big cities and in the areas controlled by gangs or drug traffickers often leave to save their lives and the lives of their families. Some flee the violence which affects them and their families. Over 60% of those who experience violent crime do not report the crime; such is the fear of retribution by criminals as well as lack of trust in the police and the judicial system. Others flee in search of work to sustain their families. Crop failures, torrential rains that sweep away fields and roads, and other effects of climate change push some to leave. Others find themselves unable to afford the steep rises in costs of living, transport, and inputs for their crops. Vulnerable populations, such as women in situations of domestic violence, feel they have no other recourse than to flee. The list of reasons goes on.

Migrants should not be used as pawns by politicians. What the governors of Texas and Florida are doing cries to heaven for justice.

The prophet Ezekiel castigates Sodom for not aiding the poor and needy (Ezekiel 16:49-50).

In the judgement parable of Matthew 25:31-46, the nations are judged on how they treat the stranger. 

How do I feel? I am close to tears, lamenting the hardness of heart of my fellow Catholics, crying for the migrants who face uncertain future and who are placed in even worse situations than those on the border. 

Jesus wept over Jerusalem for not knowing the ways of peace (Luke 19: 41-42).

I weep.
Jerusalem from the church "Dominus flevit" - "The Lord wept."

1 comment:

Unknown said...

You have expressed how I feel. I was an immigrant as a child. How scary, the trauma, for the kids after such exhausting weeks of traveling and not knowing what is happening. And their parents are confused and scared as well. It is heart breaking to see how powerful Catholics treat the poorest of the poor in such a inhumane manner just to score political points; presenting these poor families as unwanted and disposable. God bless and protect those families. God help change those hearts of stone.