Cardinal calls for end to immigration raids
With concerns over the economy taking precedence in Washington, efforts to re-ignite the contentious debate over immigration reform in Congress have been met with resistance.
George sought to cast the issue in moral terms, calling it "a matter of conscience" and an important step toward creating a more peaceful society by strengthening families.
"We cannot strengthen families when people live in fear from day to day," he said.
Elizabeth Rodriguez, 18, said she recently graduated high school and was accepted with a full scholarship to Stanford University, but cannot attend because she does not have a Social Security number. She and her family have been waiting 11 years since arriving from Mexico to become legal residents, she said.
"The university won't wait for me because there are other students in line," said Rodriguez, who attends a local community college. "This is going on with millions of students."
This article struck me because it highlighted the crossroads of immigration, education, and faith in a powerful way. An immigrant from Mexico was accepted to Stanford University with a full scholarship, and a prayer meeting was held in Chicago where the Cardinal spoke urgently about immigration reform: two events related to one another because they chip away at a historic layer of opposition toward immigrants in the United States.
I thought it was brilliant for the Cardinal to frame the issue as one relevant to all of society; to consider the building blocks of society is to consider the family unit, no matter how it is structured. Strength at the base means greater strength higher up, and fear can only weaken and destroy a foundation. This is at the heart of the Cardinal’s proposal to eliminate conductors of fear so that freedom can overcome, and ultimately, revise the law.
Miss Elizabeth Rodriguez, as all students do, deserves the highest-quality education she can get; however, her lack of an imperative nine-digit number disqualifies her from receiving it. She is certainly not alone—all children in the U.S. are guaranteed access to a free and appropriate education, no matter their legal status. But the inconsistencies that exist in our laws rise up to the surface during the transition from high school to college.
People need a hope to cling to, so an interfaith prayer meeting seemed all-too appropriate for the commissioning of ordinary people, to seek peace at the expense of fear, immigrants and natives alike. My hope is that the Obama administration with honor its promise to make immigration reform a priority in the coming months.