For many of us, the temptation exists to allow our political views to shape our Catholicism. This temptation is understandable since one’s personal politics are generally infused with deeply held convictions. As Catholics, however, we must always do our best to allow our Catholicism to inform our political views.
Case in point is the intense ongoing debate regarding immigration and refugees. The debate intensified last week when some media reports indicated that there has been an increase in raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). ICE spokesperson Rachael Yong Yow countered these media reports by stating that, “The focus of these operations [are] no different than the routine, targeted arrests carried out by ICE’s Fugitive Operations Teams on a daily basis.”
ICE needs to be commended for working to keep our country safe, especially when it comes to detaining violent criminals. But at the same time, it is also hard to argue against the fact that there is an undercurrent of fear within the immigrant community, the overwhelming majority of whom are good people simply seeking a way to be integrated into our great country.
The U.S. Bishops have made it clear that we have the right to defend our borders from those who want to harm us. However, basing their teaching upon the words of Jesus who said, “I was a stranger and you welcomed me,” they have also proposed a way forward for undocumented immigrants of good moral character. We must, then, allow Jesus’ words and our Catholic Faith to help us to see the plight of immigrants and refugees who are simply seeking a safer and better way of life for themselves and their families.