May 18, 2007

Letters to the Editor

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Reader: Nothing immoral about a country protecting its borders

I read the first two paragraphs of the article on the May 1 march for immigration reform with great interest, and Franciscan Father Tom Fox reflecting on the reality of Jesus being an undocumented immigrant.

I believe at that time Judea and Egypt were both part of the Roman Empire, much closer to our concept of states within the U.S. as opposed to separate autonomous countries. If that indeed were the case, documentation as we know it today would not have been necessary.

However, for the sake of argument, let us assume it was necessary. In that case, Joseph, “being a just man” (Mt 1:19), would most certainly have complied with all Egyptian laws of the day.

This “argument” smacks of the one we’ve heard before that the first settlers here were also undocumented immigrants. If there is no law in place, documentation is a non-issue, such as in Jesus’ and the first settlers’ times.

If laws are in place, as today in the U.S., it is the only issue. “Render, therefore, to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s” (Mt 22:21).

There is nothing immoral about a country protecting its borders and the people living therein, restricting immigration and expecting those wanting to live here to follow these rules.

But, is there not an immorality to providing “sanctuary churches” to those breaking these laws, such as some clergymen in the U.S. are doing today? And is this not, indeed, an interference with the laws of our land?

- Barbara Maness, Vevay

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