Immigration reform has the potential to help the economy, create jobs, bring undocumented residents out of the shadows, and clarify the status of residents who aren’t recognized by the state. While these are reasons enough to endorse humane immigration policies, we are reminded during the Lenten season that any reform should ultimately begin end with the human person.
As lawmakers discuss comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) this session, the conversation often turns to how much money immigrants bring into the pot and how many jobs may result from changes to legislation. During these 40 days of Lent, as we are reminded of Christ’s ultimate purpose on earth, we should also be reminded of our responsibilities as Christians. Christ did not die and rise again on Easter Sunday for a select few, but for all humanity.
We are called not to love only our “legal” neighbors, but every person we encounter, since every person is a living reason for Christ’s sacrifice.
Yes, tangible legislation, which has taken front stage in Congress and the Oval Office, is a necessary focus of CIR but, a reform of the hearts and minds of the American people is just as crucial. Christ’s sacrifice sparked the most powerful reform in history and we, all of God's children, were the central reason. I can think of no better time to ignite just reforms within society, separate from party politics, than during the Lenten season in which we are called to prepare ourselves for Christ's coming and support our fellow man.
Every contribution counts. Spiritual support through prayer, a donation, community service, a simple conversation or even the seemingly smallest efforts to protect the newcomer may transform someone's understanding of the plight of the immigrant There is no time like the present to engage an immigration reform of the human heart.
*Tomás Bethencourt is an intern with CLINIC's Advancement, Marketing and Communications Section