Rachel continues to weep for her children. (Mt.2:18b) She hears the cries of her child snatched from her arms. She agonizes in fear over what will happen to her separated child. What trauma will be caused for this little one? The father dressed in a prison suit and locked behind bars cries out to God for mercy upon his family.

As complex as immigration issues are, it would be quite reasonable to return to the practice of handling illegal immigration administratively. It is incomprehensible to me as a Christian and an American citizen to see our government treat as criminals families who have fled from poverty and violence. A dignified and respectful process for those who have entered illegally can keep the family intact and arrange properly for the adjudication of the family’s situation.

There is enough blame to go around for the broken immigration system we find ourselves in, but to hurl epithets of blame at this time is totally irresponsible. Both the Executive Branch and Congress can act and must act to insure a just resolution to immigration issues. We are talking about people, about mothers and fathers and children. Immigration issues are humanitarian matters that cannot be resolved by a rigorous, legalistic approach. We are not talking about a criminal felony but about a federal misdemeanor when people enter the country illegally. Treating suffering people without papers harshly suggests a possible deep seated prejudice against immigrants and a development of conscience locked into the level of law which does not see higher values which are at stake. Have we not learned from experience the harm that is done to society by hiding cruelty under the guise of law. Great evils in the world have been given the cover of law. A nation of laws requires laws that are moral and serve the common good.

Thank God so many voices for compassion are being raised.

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