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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

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Jesus tells us that when we welcome the stranger, we welcome him

Jesus tells us that when we welcome the stranger, we welcome him

We have avoided another government shutdown. We are the only democracy that has government shutdowns. When the government shuts down, the people who feel the pain are government and contract workers going without paychecks or those who depend on federal programs like food stamps for survival.

This is unjust and goes against all Christian values. (We should outlaw all Government shutdowns.)

President Trump, in his State of the Union speech, tried to vilify the immigrants by using El Paso as an example. He stated that before they built the fence, El Paso had a horrible crime rate and after the fence was built, it became one of the safest cities in the U.S.

The truth is, El Paso was one of the safest cities in American before the fence. After they built the fence, the crime rate actually went up for a while. It went down again and is one of the safest cities in the U.S.

Stacey Abrams, giving the Democratic response to the President’s State of the Union address, said, “Compassionate treatment at the border is not the same as open borders.”

Recently we have witnessed inconceivable human cruelty, a kind that has lasting repercussions for the vulnerable individuals involved. Who would believe that in the land of the free and the home of the brave, we would be threatened by penniless, shoeless migrants who have traveled hundreds of miles to escape gangs, violence and brutal poverty?

Most Rev. John Stowe is the Bishop of the Diocese of Lexington, KY. For the first 15 years of his priesthood, he worked on the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso, TX as pastor of a church.

He asks, “What kind of national security requires the separation of children from their parents? We have seen the great outcry that Americans do not want to be identified with cruelty, do not want to be identified as a nation that allows children to be warehoused and penned like livestock behind chain-link fences.”

He goes on to say, “We must insist that family incarceration is still the incarceration of children. We cannot allow the public to become accustomed to tent cities on military bases, asylum seekers turned away at the border, and families with or without children held in detention. Nor do we want to see the families who are escaping violence being sent back to the very places they risked everything to escape.

“We do not have the political will to protect immigrants’ human rights, to provide protection in the workplace, to provide a pathway to legal residency. These are people who are picking our produce, building our businesses and homes, caring for our children, tending our yards, processing our poultry, and doing the difficult work that many Americans will not do and do not envision their children doing, yet we do not allow these decent and hardworking people to participate in society.

“They live in fear of deportation, in fear of raids, in the fear that in going to work on any given day they might be rounded up and their kids may come home to any empty house with no knowledge of where the officers took their parents.”

The President loves to blame illegal immigrants for their high crime rates. The truth is: the crime rate for illegal aliens is actually lower than the general population. A Texas study found, “The arrest rate for illegal immigrants was 40 percent below that of native-born Americans.”

In the parable of the Last Judgment the just ask, “‘When was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you?’ The king (Jesus) will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’” (Matt. 25:38 & 40)