by Thomas Reese, S.J., NCR
The caricature that the bishops are only concerned about sex has been fed by their focus on abortion, gay marriage, and birth control, but when it comes to immigration, the bishops show not only their concern for the poor but their clear attention to the root causes of the crisis. This has been especially true of the thousands of children who are showing up at the U.S.-Mexico border unaccompanied by an adult.
Immigration has become a political football in Washington, where the focus is not on fixing the problem but on how to maximize the political benefits of partisan posturing.
Republican candidates play to their right-wing base, especially in primary elections. If they had their way, they would build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico that would match the wall between Israel and Palestine. Plus, they would not be happy until guards were shoulder-to-shoulder along the entire border.
As for children crossing the border, Republicans blame President Barack Obama, who is encouraging child immigrants by stopping the deportation of “dreamers,” children whose parents brought them into this country. Republicans’ solution is to put the children on the first plane back to their home countries, no matter what they face on arrival.
Meanwhile, Democrats woo Hispanics with unfulfilled promises of immigration reform. Although the president has used his executive authority to help some immigrants, he has also deported more immigrants than any previous president, earning him the title “deporter in chief.” In addition, shootings and abuse of immigrants by some border control personnel is a scandal that needs to controlled…