How do we treat the immigrants among us – the immigrants who plant, tend, harvest and process our food? Do we love them as we love ourselves? Do we treat them as we would want them to treat us, if our roles were reversed? If we were landless, jobless, without hope or opportunity in our country, would we want them to turn us away?
So often it seems we react toward immigrants out of fear, creating walls to keep them out and police to take away whatever they have gained here. We so quickly forget that our families, too, were mainly immigrants not long ago. Do we withhold our love behind laws – laws that we have made specifically to keep immigrants out – laws that we ignore when we want the benefit of cheap labor, and enforce when our own standard of living is threatened?
Are we at peace with those who, like it or not, are our neighbors, with the people who grow, harvest and process our food, who tend our nurseries, clean our restaurants and hotels? Do we acknowledge that they are created by the same God who created us, that they deserve the same rights and the same dignity as we do?
John Munson – adapted from the 2010 Daily Reader