Cardinal Tobin’s Statement on Immigration Speeches


Statement from Cardinal Tobin on Tuesday’s Immigration Speeches

I listened with deep disappointment to the dehumanizing words used to describe our immigrant sisters and brothers(*). These men, women and children are neither numbers, nor criminal statistics, but flesh and blood people with their own stories and histories. Most are fleeing human misery and brutal violence that threatens their lives. False and fear-filled caricatures seek to provoke a sort of amnesia that would have this great nation deny our roots in immigrants and refugees.

Last June, Pope Francis said in an address at a conference on international migration: “We must move from considering others as threats to our comfort to valuing them as persons whose life experience and values can contribute greatly to the enrichment of our society.” Those coming to our borders seeking asylum or escaping crushing poverty are not pawns in a political debate, but rather the strangers and aliens our Scriptures constantly instruct us to welcome. As a Shepherd to God’s people in Northern New Jersey, I beg all our legislative leaders to come together for the common good. Work through your differences for the good of all. Lives literally depend upon it.

(from the Archdiocese of Newark web site: published on 9th January 2019)

(*) Donald Trump, the President of the United States, issued a national message on January 8 about migrants on the border. In his message, the US president attacked the Central American migrants seeking to enter the country. He said that “the southern border is a path through which illegal drugs enter, which would cause more deaths than throughout the Vietnam War.”

He said that the proposal to create a wall on the border with Mexico would help stop drug trafficking. The White House presented Congress with a proposal to face the humanitarian and national security crisis that exists on the border.