Friday, May 30, 2008

A Quaker perspective on immigration

I'm thrilled that my article "Seeing that of God in our immigrant Neighbors" was published in the May issue of the national Quaker magazine Friends Journal. I wrote this after several years of thinking and talking about how Quaker "testimonies," or social principles, would apply to the issue of immigration. Here's an excerpt from the article:

Friends have been concerned about the exploitation and dehumanization of workers for many years, most notably in our opposition to slavery. I see these injustices in the context of immigration today, but as Friends, we have not reached clarity on a common, Spirit-led response. My experiences working with immigrants confirm my belief that the Quaker testimonies call us to pursue humane policies towards immigrants. My faith calls me to work for a society where we celebrate the dignity and gifts of everyone, regardless of immigration status.

The suffering I see caused by our broken immigration system touches me deeply. It pains me to see immigrants dying in the process of crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. As a parent, I weep when I think of the immigrant parents who live with the possibility of deportation separating them from their children. I feel angry watching the stricken looks on immigrant teenagers' faces when they see a sign saying, "Illegal Immigrants Not Welcome." Surely, there is a better solution. I believe we can create an immigration system that will work for all of us; we do not have to play the rights and benefits of one group against another's. We have more to gain by coming together and addressing the real causes of inequality and injustice. Our testimonies can help guide us towards an alternative vision of society, where we honor that of God in everyone.

To read the whole article:

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