June 3, 2016

Letters to the Editor

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Immigration issues must be addressed with compassion while promoting security

In his May 27 editorial in The Criterion, Editor Emeritus John F. Fink takes a decidedly partisan political approach to a human problem—immigration to the United States. He mixes three different issues into one editorial and attacks Republicans, whom he portrays as uncaring. This is neither true nor fair, and is beneath the journalistic integrity of a Catholic newspaper.

The three issues of illegal immigration, legal immigration and acceptance of refugees are in the forefront this election season. Christians of all political persuasions are compelled to approach this compassionately, objectively and fairly. It is not a simple problem to solve. Partisan name-calling only further polarizes people, and lowers the chances of consensus.

One of the reasons that legal and illegal immigration has become such a divisive topic is because immigration laws that were passed by bipartisan Congressional votes have not been enforced by presidents of either party. There wouldn’t be the talk of a wall or deportations had the government done its job over the last several decades.

With the increase in radical Islamic terrorism in the Middle East and Africa, there is also the additional crisis of how to humanely deal with the needs of displaced people, while at the same time assuring the security of our country.

No one would argue that it is wrong for Mr. Fink to lock the door to his house at night, the president to have a fence around the White House or the Vatican to have 40-feet high walls. Why then, do some suggest it is wrong for our country to act in the best interests of our own security, while at the same time continuing to welcome more immigrants than any other country in the world?

If we are collectively to address all the issues of immigration that face us, we need to do so in a way that promotes compassion, assures security, respects those holding different opinions and sets an example of what it truly means to be Christ-like. These are all values that draw people here and what our fallen veterans gave their lives for.

- Dr. Stephen O’Neil | Indianapolis

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