Like many, I was shocked and saddened to see President’s Trump executive order on immigration and to see immigrants and refugees detained at our airports. I imagined a gate, a tall and foreboding iron gate, with tired and scared women, children and men locked on the other side. Others are drawing the comparison between the US decision in 1939 to not admit Jews fleeing from Nazi Germany. People are protesting, and they should. But lest Catholics feel conflicted about how we should feel, I think it important to draw our attention to the principle of solidarity. From the website of the USCCB:
We are one human family whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences. We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, wherever they may be. Loving our neighbor has global dimensions in a shrinking world.
“We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers.” To repeat the words of Sean Callahan, President of Catholic Relief Services, this is not a partisan issue but a direct attack on one of the principles of our Catholic faith. Those people outside the gate are our brothers and sisters. In some cases, their lives are at stake. Solidarity demands that we stand with these brothers and sisters until that gate is opened again.