Immigration reform requires compromise and compassion


This week, President Trump tries once again to pass an emergency immigration policy through the hearts of a nation and inevitably the courts. In a stated effort to protect and defend the nation from terrorist threats, an executive order will limit travel and immigration from countries of suspect. At the same time, here at home, there is a continuing concerted effort to address those who are already among us, strangers and friends from foreign lands.

Although similar regulatory actions as those proposed have been in place many times in the history of our nation, outcries of discrimination and unwarranted persecution echo across the land today. In addition, there are cries from many for a need to be more compassionate to those seeking refuge in this country, escaping real persecution, unimaginable trials and threats in their homelands.

Catholic social teaching has addressed these issues for many years. Governments have two obligations and duties with regards to citizens and those seeking refuge. First, they have an obligation to protect and defend borders, but there is also the moral obligation to assist humanity and those in need. This is the special responsibility of First World nations, for those who have received much, much will be expected of them.

Rational heads must prevail. Compromise and common ground must be realized whenever both security of the nation and compassion to individuals and families meet. If this is going to happen, egos and political parties must be set aside. Perhaps that is the greatest challenge and also the greatest threat to humanity.