Cardinal Seán: Doing What is Just for Immigrants

Cardinal Seán O’Malley has a new article at the Boston Globe:

President Trump’s recent executive order on immigration has produced astonishment and confusion in our country and in the international community. The primary cause of these reactions was the tone, style, and frenzied pace of the announced policy changes. They conveyed an image of the United States different than our proud heritage of strength and stature and, for many, invoked a sense of rejection and fear. Two particular directives stand out in this regard: the policy of a virtual blanket prohibition of immigrants from a defined set of countries, exclusively majority Islamic countries, and the policy of deciding access to the United States by prioritizing some religious communities over others. Both of these choices depart from standing US policy and are contrary to international norms designed to facilitate cooperation in protecting refugees and immigrants.

In September 2015, Pope Francis addressed Congress, saying: “Let us treat others with the same passion and impassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. In a word, if we want security, let us give security; if we want life; let us give life.” With these words, the Holy Father reflected the teachings of Jesus Christ concerning our response to our brothers and sisters who are in need, in distress, who are seeking relief from persecution. These words speak a powerful truth to us today as men, women, children, and families reach out for our help….

Every nation has a right to its domestic security and protection, but this right should be exercised within the standards of social justice, compassion, and respect for the human dignity of vulnerable individuals and families. Complex problems are not resolved with simplistic solutions, nor do they cancel the basic human duties that bind all nations, even in the midst of a threatening international climate.