Christians who take the Gospel seriously appreciate the parable of the Good Samaritan, who gives all needed assistance to a fellow human in distress, illustrating the Golden Rule: Love your neighbor as yourself.

Today there are over 70 million refugees worldwide. All need Good Samaritans – now. As the richest and naturally most blessed nation, we should lead in welcoming “the strangers in our midst.”

Instead, our government would deny admittance to African and Hispanic refugees, falsely claiming that many are criminals when virtually all are fleeing from wars, repression, corrupt and violent governments we helped install and support, drug-trafficking gangs’ threats or as a consequence of powerful corporations stealing their land.

Our laws provide for entry, asylum and a hearing. Instead, refugees legally here are needlessly detained, imprisoned in unhealthy conditions, treated with cruelty to discourage pursuit of asylum. Children have been separated from parents, placed in cages and denied necessities and proper medical care. Some will never overcome the trauma. Children will now be jailed indefinitely with parents. Most refugees are now denied entry, obliged to wait months in Mexico without safety, care or means. Over 3,000 who crossed illegally have died in the hostile desert.

These inhuman outrages are intolerable. They must end – now.

We call on church leaders, academics, nongovernment organizations, unions, business heads, media, all in power, to act, to set partisanship aside where there should be none, to use their influence to restore our humanity.

Elizabeth Manning

Bill Slavick

Social Justice and Peace Commission, Our Lady of Hope Parish

Portland


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