All posts tagged: immigration

What Does It Really Mean to Speak of the Right to Life?

Despite a court order to return them, hundreds of undocumented immigrant children still find themselves separated from their parents and living in US detention facilities. The psychological and even physical effects of such traumatic and unexpected separation are not difficult to imagine. Some children have been victims of sexual abuse—and at least one has died shortly after being in US custody. These children clearly find themselves in this terrible situation through no fault of their own. The Trump administration specifically choose to inflict this harm on them as a means of deterring both illegal immigration and asylum claims. They were used as pawns in a political war over immigration policy. This deterrence was designed to impact both the choices of possible future immigrants, but also the parents who were already here—many of whom were claiming asylum from extremely violent situations back home. Indeed, sometimes the children leave because they themselves have been marked for death. It is also worth nothing that this violence has deep ties to US American consumer practices and foreign policies—particularly our current lust for drugs and our neo-colonial practices during …

The Sword of Division

The stark reality of Jesus’ words in the Gospels should often shake us to our inner core. Jesus didn’t come into the world to preach the Gospel of niceness. Rather, Jesus proclaims today, “‘I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!’” (Lk 12:49). The imagery of fire in the Gospel is connected to the final judgment that Jesus has come to enact upon the world. It is the fire of Pentecost and the final threshing alike. This moment of divine judgment requires an ultimate decision on our parts. Has Jesus come to enact the Kingdom of God in our midst, or is he just another wordsmith assembling pretty prose for us to savor? The answer is decidedly the former: “From now on a household of five with divided, three against two and two against three . . . ” (Lk 12:52). Jesus does not come to enact a kingdom of quaint domestic peace. If you say yes to Jesus, then there could be enmity between father …

“Tearing Down the Dividing Wall”: Improvising Reconciliation on the U.S.-Mexico Border

It all began with a couple of nuns serving meals out of the trunk of their car. The food was for hungry people who arrived in Nogales, Sonora, deported from the United States to Mexico. Every day the sisters would prepare as much food as they could carry and drive to the border’s port of entry, where daily busses would leave bewildered immigrants in an unfamiliar city. Today, this operation has evolved into a bi-national organization that provides food, clothing, shelter, and medical attention to thousands of migrants annually. It has also expanded its efforts to include not only direct service, but also educational programming and advocacy work. As it straddles the first and third worlds, the Catholic community at the Kino Border Initiative has developed creative practices that challenge the politics of the U.S.-Mexico border. The creativity of the Kino Border Initiative reflects a mode of ethical action that contemporary theologian Samuel Wells labels improvisation, or a Christian community’s performing the drama of the Gospel according to the unique demands of a given time …