Last month The Heritage Foundation published a report entitled, “The Human Tragedy of Illegal Immigration: Greater Efforts Needed to Combat Smuggling and Violence.” The report describes a disconcerting reality: immigration is littered with gut-wrenching corruption and heart-breaking violence. It is interesting to note that recent studies have detailed a decease in immigration from Mexico due to a variety of internal factors, and The Heritage Foundation draws attention to the fact that “the dangers of illicit movement are not confined to Mexico. Thousands of illegal immigrants attempt to reach the United States annually by sea from the Caribbean islands of Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. They all put themselves at risk of abandonment, exposure, capsizing, and drowning.”
In the midst of the political debate surrounding security cost and economic cost, we must continually remember the human cost of immigration. g92.org previously ran a blog regarding the connection between immigration and human trafficking. Author Sarah Eisele-Dyrli remarks, “immigrants, especially undocumented immigrants, are the most vulnerable people to becoming enslaved in our society… Unfortunately, through our policies, laws, and attitudes about immigration, we have created these conditions here in the US, which are ideal for the enslavement of immigrants in these industries.” As Monday’s blog illustrated, our current immigration laws tragically break apart families. For some, it may be tempting to dismiss such examples as mere antidotes. But these antidotes are, indeed, real people. They are our co-workers, our neighbors, our congregations. This reminder may seem obvious, but unfortunately it can be forgotten if we distance ourselves from the political debate. As a result, immigration can easily be diluted down to an abstract policy initiative, something to be dismissed or ignored. But as Christians, we cannot dismiss or ignore the pains of others, the humans being affected.
The Boston Globe recently depicted the immigration news story in a series of photographs. Each of the 47 pictures illuminates a story. Allow yourself a few minutes to look through these pictures. For a brief moment, we glimpse a snap-shot of the human cost of immigration. As legislation is debated and bills are passed, we must keep in mind the humans behind all this abstract political policy. We must remember the people who are willing to risk their life to provide for their family, who are vulnerable to human trafficking, who are deeply affected by the employment and educational systems.
We have a story to tell. 11 million stories, in fact. These are the stories of our brothers and sisters in Christ who are the real humans behind the broken immigration system.
Please note that the views expressed do not necessarily represent those of everyone associated with G92 or any institutions with which the blogger may be affiliated.
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