The United States, for better or worse and with no moral judgment, requires the services of many many many more immigrants than our officials will document. In other words, many sectors of our economy require undocumented individuals to successfully provide the rest of our society with the benefits of being part of this society- everything from migrant farming to construction. How many individuals should the United States grant legal immigration status every year? That’s not up to the Church. The Church, however, is obligated to help the other sectors of society realize that as it stands now, we depend on undocumented workers and to shun them with the lack of respect and dignity that many people give, is a moral issue that cries out for a solution.
In other places in the U.S., people are calling for limits on services to American citizens born to undocumented individuals. American citizens trying to limit services to other American citizens who only “crime” is being born to the wrong person? Where does this stop?
Why does this immigration exist? Does the US have a blame in it? Without writing my own white paper, we are members of a global economy and if the economic conditions in one’s home country is dire enough where they risk a journey with a failure rate of 90%, we probably had some impact in creating the situation. A vocal amount of our fellow citizens are outraged at this idea, and if society fails to understand the proper responsibility of its economic policies, it again falls to a moral leader to attempt to make the situation known.
As we just finished our Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Day celebrations (or at least for those of us who didn’t have them postponed due to weather), we should remember that the civil rights struggle became a movement after a Christian minister stood up as a moral leader and said something needed to change.