National Geographic News
A photo of migrant women and children resting on the floor at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen, Tx.

Migrant families rest on the floor at an emergency shelter at the Sacred Heart Church, which has aided 5,400 migrants since June.

Photograph by Jennifer Whitney, The New York Times/ Redux

Scott Johnson

for National Geographic

Published August 5, 2014

McALLEN, Texas—They come in pairs, worn-out migrants carrying—or, in some cases being led by—children who range in age from infants to teenagers. Many of the adults weep openly when the doors to the parish hall of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen swing open and nuns, Jesuit priests and a host of local volunteers rise to their feet in a raucous standing ovation.

"Bienvenidos!" shouts volunteer Hermi Forshage, clapping. "Bienvenidos! Welcome!"

The migrants are too tired and disoriented to notice Forshage; they're eager for an opportunity to wash, eat, and rest. Each is an undocumented family from Central America—Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, mostly—that is helping fuel what U.S. President Barack Obama has called a "humanitarian crisis" along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Most of the children who passed through the church one day last week were young, part of the recent surge in children under 12 caught at the border. There has been a 117 percent increase in the number of unaccompanied children caught at the border this year, compared with last year, according to the Pew Research Center. The number of children accompanied by an adult, meanwhile, has tripled, to more than 20,000.

Thousands of unaccompanied minors are housed in detention centers, but the families coming to the Sacred Heart Church represent that latter group—they are among the more than 55,000 migrants who have been provisionally cleared by U.S. Customs and Border Protection since the beginning of the year. They've been given temporary papers and can live with family members while awaiting a court date.

Sacred Heart sits in the center of McAllen, which has become ground zero for the immigration debate. The city is just five miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border, and Spanish is the lingua franca here. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has a detention center in town and opened another in nearby Harlingen.

A photo of a mother and her son resting at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen, Tx.
Ana Garcia, 36, and her son, Josè, 13, from Guatemala rest at Sacred Heart after showering and eating.
Photograph by Jennifer Whitney, The New York Times/ Redux

Previous waves of migrants were sent to other states, including California, where they were met with hostility and demonstrations. The reception in some other places, from Maine to Virginia, has also been frosty, helping fan the flames of the immigration debate in Washington.

House Republicans passed a bill before leaving for summer recess that would allocate $694 million to address the border crisis, far short of the $3.7 billion had Obama requested, but enough to appease the right wing of the party. Obama lashed out at Republican leaders, calling the bill "extreme and unworkable." There are reports that the president may be preparing use his executive power to put off deportation for millions.

The migrants passing through Sacred Heart will tell you that those fleeing violence and chaos in Central America aren't likely to stop unless their home countries offer their citizens reasonable levels of safety and opportunity.

For many, the first glimmer of those ideals in the United States come at Sacred Heart Church.

The program here is run by Catholic Charities USA. Sister Norma Pimentel, executive director of Catholic Charities for the Rio Grande Valley, began routing families to Sacred Heart last June, when she learned that Border Patrol officers were dropping them off at a nearby bus station.

Since then, about 5,400 migrants have passed through the church on their way to all four corners of the United States. Some will keep their appointments with the American judicial system and apply for asylum in the weeks to come. The success of their petitions to stay will depend on many things, including how threatened they were, whether they were directly affected by violence, and how much of their decision to leave was based on choice.

Many will decide to skip the legalities and simply slip into the mass of undocumented migrants.

A photo of donated water at an emergency shelter run by the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen, Tx.
Piles of donated water and other survival necessities are stored at Sacred Heart's emergency shelter. Volunteers give the migrants supplies as they head out to their next destinations.
Photograph by Jennifer Whitney, The New York Times/ Redux

"Don't Worry, You're Here Now"

For Sacred Heart's nuns and volunteers, the church is a refuge from the politics and rage of the national immigration debate.

"We always say, leave politics at the door," says Brenda Rioja, the editor of a local church newspaper and the mission's spokesperson. "It's about helping those who are right there in front of you. Imagine if we did that all around the world, how different it would be."

Jose Matias Garcia, a 33-year-old shop owner from El Salvador, walked through Sacred Heart's doors with his 11-year-old daughter Daniella one recent early afternoon. Garcia hated to break up his family but says he had to when ongoing extortion by the local MS13 (Mara Salvatrucha) gang got too expensive.

Since April, he had been paying them $50 a week. Then gang members increased their take to $100. Extortions of small businesses and families have become commonplace, even routine, in many parts of El Salvador and Honduras.

For Garcia, the message was clear: Pay up or be killed. He sent his wife and two older children to live with his parents in another town with fewer problems.

Jose and Daniella fled north. They hired a Mexican human smuggler, known as a "coyote," and traveled by bus to Reynosa, along the border. Garcia said he paid about $500 to Mexican police and army officials along the way, but made it.

"Don't worry, you're here now," Forshage tells them.

She votes reliably Republican and is "not a fan" of President Obama but insists that the migrants who have already arrived, like the Garcias, deserve a chance to make it work here. This half of a broken family is headed to Georgia, where they'll be met by Garcia's mother-in-law, who arrived seven years ago and obtained her green card.

"I can't imagine having to sell everything and leave my country with just my children," says Forshage, who has come to the center every day since June 12. "You know you're doing the right thing here."

Forshage lives on a ranch north of McAllen, where she and her husband receive regular visits from migrants passing through their land asking for food, water, a ride to Houston. She helps with food and water but usually calls the Border Patrol to come and pick the travelers up.

At Sacred Heart, she talks the migrants through the next steps in their journeys: From the church they'll board buses that will take them north to Houston. They'll pass through another Border Patrol checkpoint, but now they're carrying papers given to them by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

One Honduran mother-son pair was headed to North Carolina. A Honduran family was bound for Chicago. A young man from El Salvador wanted to reach Los Angeles before August 2, so he could celebrate his 30th birthday with his son.

A photo of a little boy at an emergency shelter at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen, Tx.
Yorfrin Daniel Cruz, 7, arrived from Honduras with his mother and brother, who are also staying at the shelter.
Photograph by Jennifer Whitney, The New York Times/ Redux

New Country, New Challenges

Most of those passing through the church don't speak English. A few Guatemalans have come through who don't even speak Spanish, but rather one of several indigenous languages related to ancient Mayan. Forshage makes sure to tell the migrants that the journey isn't over yet: "There are good people and bad people out there."

Nearby, a Guatemalan woman named Dilma and her 7-year-old daughter Lucky had just showered and eaten. The next day they'd board a bus for Oakland, California, where Dilma's brother lives.

When the crisis began, the church fed migrants heaping plates of chicken, rice, and beans.

But many were so starved that they couldn't stomach the hearty portions, so the staff switched to lighter fare, like brothy soups. Everyone is allowed to shower, sleep on cots erected in the parking lot, and browse through used clothes donated by a local shelter.

Volunteers scurry around helping the migrants find clothes, shoes, hair pins, stuffed animals, plastic jugs, backpacks—anything that will make the trip a little bit easier.

Elsewhere in the room, lawyers for a local civil rights organization strategize about what legal aid to offer the recent arrivals. They schedule talks with some migrants and dish out ad hoc advice to others.

"They come in here dirty, exhausted, hungry, they look gray," says Forshage, "but a three-minute shower, a little food, a quick nap, and they're like different people."

She squeals at the sight of 11-year-old Daniella Garcia. "Look at you, beautiful," she says in Spanish. "Are you feeling better?"

The little girl nods shyly, wraps a finger around a long, dark braid. She says she's looking forward to learning English, going to school. She misses her friends back in San Salvador already, she says, and of course her family.

Forshage tells Jose that Georgia is four bus rides and several days of travel away. He hopes to bring his family there someday, he says.

"And hopefully you will," says Forshage. "This is the first step."

She hands him the envelope with his court date, bus tickets, and a map of the United States.

"Don't lose these papers," she says. "Get to Georgia."

58 comments
David Black
David Black

the bible also says to be obedient to the laws. it appears the catholic church hasn't read that part of the scriptures. 

Beth H.
Beth H.

Have any of you people read the article? The travelers have been released by Immigration to go live with family members. These people have papers. The church is just helping people who have already been processed by the government!  They are not breaking the law. You've missed a very basic part of the article!


And, @Robert Baker   if you think that Jesus never advocated breaking the law, I suggest some historical research! When Jesus told his followers "Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two." Was a direct contradiction of Roman law, which allowed a Roman to compel a non-Roman to carry his belongings for a mile and no more. In essence he advocated violating the law in a non-violent way. 

Marie Browning
Marie Browning

I am Catholic but will not longer contribute a dime to the church.

John C.
John C.

"Biden veers off-script — again: Violence not reason for influx of illegals, VP says"

August 6, 2014 Washington Times

"The vice president also refuted the administration’s earlier claim that worsening violence in Central America is one of the chief reasons why the children are fleeing their native countries.

“It’s bad, but nothing’s changed,” he said. “Nothing’s changed in six months or a year. The neighborhoods are no more violent or no less violent.”

He blamed the surge of illegal immigrants on criminals who are paid to smuggle the children across the border."

---------------

And why are families paying criminals all of a sudden to smuggle children across the border? Because they believe Obama promised them amnesty. Which he did. 


Bright Lights
Bright Lights

The biggest issue is what the H E L L is going on about all the SECRETS with the illegals? "We The People" DEMAND they cancel recess and start holding public hearings to uncover all the SECRETS. This problem did not just suddenly arise overnight, it has all the marks of a planned, "attack"!

Secret holding centers being created all over the country, secret numbers being detained, secret benefits being provided, secret outreach going to supposed family members, secret movements of detainees going on all over the country, secret deals with the Catholic Churches, secret meetings going on within different Cabinet organization within the O Admin to provide secret social services, secret deals with Dem politicians, etc etc etc .........!!

.
Weepy Bohner and all the cronies are just running for political cover which indicates they are part of the problem and not the solution!

Rusty Mullin
Rusty Mullin

America is partly responsible for this mess. We have been fiddling with the governments and their opponents in all of these countries for decades. Our insistence on military intervention in their countries have destabilized different portions of Central and South America mostly in the name of our War On Drugs. Our government has repeatedly broken our own laws to take sides in their internal struggles. And to cause those struggles on occasion.  Anyone remember Iran-Contra? That is just one time they got caught. Selling drugs in America to pay for illegal guns we exported to these people's homes. Death resulted for great scores of civilians because our government acted criminally and sold guns that caused instability in the region. (They also sold guns legally down there that had the same effect.) Now that the instability has gotten to the level it has these decades later. So many that cry personal responsibility, fail to see where America has a duty to herself to help these children. We cannot be a shining light on the hill if we kick kids to the bottom of it. Especially if our excuse is a lie, like we cannot afford it. What a crock. The American dollar is still the standard for money on this planet. And if we do right by these kids (and adults) the rest of the world might keep on trusting our dollar. It is based on the full faith and credit of the American people. What faith have we if we will turn our backs on these people? What credit do we deserve for sending children off to surely die? And how anyone can call themselves Christian or use Jesus's name to justify sending children off to be raped or killed is disgusting. Face facts folks, the chickens are coming home to roost. And they are human beings that need our help. So lets help them, and ourselves regain an identity of helping the world. We've just about blown up every kind of people there are. We have proven our bullets can kill anyone. It is time to enjoy the peace dividend and share it with our new neighbors. Because like it or not, they aren't going anywhere until they get a day in court. And if they show up for that, they will be obeying our laws. Entering the United States without documentation in order to save your life is not punishable under our laws. Suggesting that volunteers that are passing out food and water to strangers (and children) are somehow committing a crime, is a joke. It is against the law almost everywhere to watch anyone die when you can easily help. Children with no water, shelter, and food in the desert, they die. There are not enough government officials to take care of these people so the volunteers in their path must help. Which "crime" would you choose to be guilty of? The "crime" of giving water and saving someone, or of watching them die of thirst? The flat out evil that was posted in response to this article is just that, evil. What we think, becomes what we say, what we say, becomes what we do. Do try to think, say, and do good. Because this lie that our country is falling apart is old and nonsense. We are strong and we can handle this and a hundred other problems of global proportion. We are America and we can do anything. We can go to the moon, we can defeat Hitler, we can carry guns around and not shoot each other, we can go to Mars, we can feed the whole world, and we can welcome these people without it meaning the end of our country.

AJ  Monte
AJ Monte

Let's be perfectly honest here….If you had 15 illegal immigrants knock on your door would you…1) Open the door?  2) let them have full access to your refrigerator? 3) Share a bedroom with a family member? 4) Would you support them financially?  Come on…you know you wouldn't do that because even if you wanted to help them you couldn't afford it.  So….what makes this any different on a larger scale?  It's the same scenario I just gave you except on a larger scale…it's much worse…I didn't ask you what you would do if 30% of those people were criminals, gang members and drug dealers or….if they were people carrying life threatening diseases. For once….I want so see people being honest with themselves and call this what it is….It's an invasion but the press wants you to think otherwise as they play on your heart strings.

Timothy Anderson
Timothy Anderson

And I bet a million that no felony charges for aiding and abetting these illegals will be brought on the church by Eric Holder. This is the insane, America-destroying leftist agenda being propagated so the DOJ will look the other way. But dare to enforce any laws that left doesn't agree with, and Holder comes knocking with his warrants and lawsuits.

Herman Mudgett
Herman Mudgett

The church is complicit in breaking the law.  As Americans we should demand that their tax exempt status be revoked.

Sojourner Truth
Sojourner Truth

Can't wait until the orphans in India learn about this....

Edward Bartholemew
Edward Bartholemew

It just highlights the ignorance of most religious folks who think they are doing God's work by helping these poor illegals. Well, didn't Jesus say 'In so much as you have done it to one of these the least of my brethren...'?  But Jesus was mythology. The massive influx of illegals is part of an agenda to destroy America. The new world order psychopaths have set their sights on establishing a North American Territory, subservient to a central world government. To accomplish this, the present national borders must be weakened and eventually eliminated. Sovereign nations must become a thing of the past. The American middle class must be decimated. There can only be two classes of people in the world. The super-wealthy ruling elites and the poor working slaves (until they are no longer needed).

AJ  Monte
AJ Monte

 Be very careful not to be fooled by the "smoke screen" that the press is using to bait you with the story of the migrant "Children"…..The gang members, drug dealers, human traffickers, and terrorists are slipping right into your backyard. Homeland security has abandoned most of the screening process which is also going to open up our schools to a multitude of diseases that could ultimately infect your own children. My question to you is….Is this worth risking your child's health and wellness…..along with the safety of your family?  I am all about helping the less fortunate….but I'm very concerned for this country as they lay asleep believing everything they read in the press. Where is your filter???

Robert Baker
Robert Baker

Apparently, the Reformation did little to dissuade the Roman Church from believing that it is above the laws of nations.


Where in the Gospels did Jesus ever say, "Do not render unto Caesar"? Where did he say, "Disobey Herod"? Where did He even say, to those with whom He disagreed the most (the religious leaders of the day), "Do not go and show yourself to the priest?"


No, He never advocated anything like what these folks are doing. I'm not talking about taking care of people; He certainly commanded His followers to do that!


What I am talking about, however, is providing assistance to people who are willingly breaking the law.


That's right, folks, the Roman Church is above the law. Thanks, Francis!

Paul Kersey
Paul Kersey

It states they're a "religious" organization, but they're clearly a criminal organization that's aiding and abetting criminal trespassers. Their con is that they're doing this for charity, but the reality is they're numbers and coffers are dwindling and these are just the people to fill those pews and $$$ baskets. This is subversive treason and it will not stand.

Moe Jones
Moe Jones

Consider two families: "John Legal" and "Juan Illegal". Both families have two parents, two children, and live in Arizona ...

John Legal works in construction, has a Social Security Number and makes $25.00 per hour with taxes deducted.

Juan Illegal also works in construction, has NO Social Security Number, and gets paid $15.00 in cash "under the table".

Now the math:

John Legal: $25.00 per hour x 40 hours = $1000.00 per week, or $52,000.00 per year. Now take 30% away for state and federal tax; John Legal now has $31,231.00.

Juan Illegal: $15.00 per hour x 40 hours = $600.00 per week, or $31,200 per year.Juan Illegal pays no taxes. Juan Illegal now has $31,200.00.

John Legal pays medical and dental insurance with limited coverage for his family at $600.00 per month, or $7,200.00 per year. John Legal now has $24,031.00.

Juan Illegal has full medical and dental coverage through the state and local clinics and emergency hospitals at a cost of $0.00 per year. Juan Illegal still has $31,200.00.

John Legal makes too much money and is not eligible for food stamps or welfare. John Legal pays $500.00 per month for food, or $6,000..00 per year. John Legal now has $18,031.00.

Juan Illegal has no documented income and is eligible for food stamps, WIC and welfare. Juan Illegal still has $31,200.00.

John Legal pays rent of $1,200.00 per month, or $14,400.00 per year. John Legal now has 9,631.00.

Juan Illegal receives a $500.00 per month Federal Rent Subsidy. Juan Illegal pays out that $500.00 per month, or $6,000.00 per year. Juan Illegal still has $ 31,200.00.

John Legal pays $200.00 per month, or $2,400.00 for car insurance. Some of that is uninsured motorist insurance. John Legal now has $7,231.00.

Juan Illegal says, "We don't need no stinkin' insurance!" and still has $31,200.00.

John Legal has to make his $7,231.00 stretch to pay utilities, gasoline, etc..

Juan Illegal has to make his $31,200.00 stretch to pay utilities, gasoline, and what he sends out of the country every month..

John Legal now works overtime on Saturdays or gets a part time job after work.

Juan Illegal has nights and weekends off to enjoy with his family.

John Legal's and Juan Illegal's children both attend the same elementary school. John Legal pays for his children's lunches, while Juan Illegal's children get a government sponsored lunch.

Now, when they reach college age, John Legal's kids may not get into a State School and may not qualify for scholarships, grants or other tuition help, even though John has been paying for state schools through his taxes, while Juan Illegal's kids "go to the head of the class" because they are a minority. Although John Legal's children have better grades, it is Juan Illegal's children who get into a law school on the basis of the "hardships and life-experiences" they have overcome.

John Legal and Juan Illegal both enjoy the same police and fire services, but John paid for them and Juan did not pay.

If you support politicians who support illegal immigration - you're part of the problem.

Todd Williamson
Todd Williamson

The "humanitarians" described in the article are actually making things worse for both the U.S. and Central America.


They're in effect encouraging kids to cross the border, and some of those kids will end up dying in the desert. It's highly unlikely Jesus would lure kids across the border, knowing some would die along the way.


In addition to blood on their hands, they're also reducing the chances of reform in Central America. They're giving a safety valve to CentAm's elites: instead of reforming, those elites can just send people to the U.S.


Among other things the "humanitarians" are doing to the U.S., they're helping Big Business lower wages of struggling American workers. More labor means lower wages, and those described in the article are working to give USChamber and WalMart as much labor as they want.


Want to do something about this? Make those points to the people on Twitter that @scott_c_johnson chats with, and also make those points to NatGeo editors.

Kim Eggert
Kim Eggert

Feed them and treat their medical needs, then send them home. Our country is unable to take in all these people. Has anyone ever thought about sanctions & embargoes on the Central and South American countries to force them to correct their human rights violations instead of bringing these people here? Sadly, these people are illiterate and unskilled, unable to contribute to our society. The US has more than 92,000,000 unemployed people in our country and nearly 50,000,000 on some sort of welfare assistance. Our country simply is unable to take on more people dependent on the taxpayers. There is a difference between immigration and an invasion, which is what is occurring due to this administration's dereliction of duty to enforce the law.

Charlene Carney
Charlene Carney

Remember back in the 1800's when our wild west was the wild west? roaming bands of outlaws would attack or extort settlers and whole towns. How did we overcome that period of our development? We shot the b******* dead, that's how. Arm the citizens of these countries and turn them loose to defend home and hearth and put a stop to the gangs driving them out.

John C.
John C.

So if you want our borders secured and immigration law enforced - like every other country on Earth - you must hate children. The latest disingenuous liberal non sequitur, used to justify the future democrat voter drive, which is all this is.


If children make it here they should be treated humanely and returned to their families in their home countries as quickly as possible. Not shipped all over the country and lost track of, so they are given a de facto amnesty and permanent residence, with all the social welfare benefits that ensue.  The message would be loud and clear in Central America - no hay amnistía.


There have always been poverty, crime and a difficult life in 3rd world countries. Not just in Central America but also in Mexico, Africa, Afghanistan and dozens of other countries. Is the solution to just erase our borders completely and become the world's orphanage?


The situation in Guatemala and Honduras didn't change since 2009, although illegal immigration has drastically increased. What changed was Obama's message of amnesty. The current crisis can be traced to exactly that.


Which makes him directly responsible for the deaths, rapes and abuse suffered by those who heard his message and try illegally enter the U.S. But, if in the end it flips a few red states blue, that's all that matters. right democrat pols?


The children and adults who have entered illegally need to be processed humanely and returned to their countries of origin as quickly as possible. And the heinous policy of attracting them here in order to enhance democrats current and future political fortunes need to stop.


A full 2 in 3 Americans disapprove of Obama's handling of immigration, including a large percentage of democrats. I guess they're all evil too.


http://www.politico.com/story/2014/06/poll-obama-immigration-approval-low-108106.html

Ian Dutton
Ian Dutton

"And the King shall answer and say unto them, 'Verily I say unto you, since you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.'" Matt 25:40.

 

Kira Lemke
Kira Lemke

Thank you for sharing this beautiful story!

walter gillis
walter gillis

Are there arrests pending for aiding illegals?  These so called Christians should read the bible where you are to follow the law of the land...........

David Jones
David Jones

People, especially children should be treated with the kind of consideration demonstrated in this article. However, people entering the country illegally should be returned to their point of origin. If there is a genuine compassionate ground for US immigration, the individuals or families can apply at US embassies or consulates in their home countries without undertaking arduous, expensive and often dangerous journeys. The only viable reason for undertaking such journeys is to circumvent our laws.


If Central American countries require aid in establishing security in their countries, the US has the ability to train, mentor and equip indigenous police and security forces in those countries. it seems to me it would be much less expensive and humane to provide secure conditions in those countries than to harbor generally impoverished, usually ill educated and often diseased refugees whose first choice is to disrespect our laws. Our first loyalty must be to our own citizens.


It is most unfortunate that the current administration has sought to encourage illegal immigration with ill conceived populist gestures. Every child that has perished trekking to the US filled with false hope is a condemnation of those who manipulate immigration policy to obtain or increase their political influence. Every child that has illegally entered in this country and encountered poverty, privation, criminal violence, abusive homes, slavery or prostitution is an indictment of a policy that does not return illegal immigrants to their points of origin. 

John C.
John C.

Other than bolstering the future democrat voter drive, how is this any good for our country?

Darline Bading
Darline Bading

Read the article. "Thousands of unaccompanied minors are housed in detention centers, but the families coming to the Sacred Heart Church represent that latter group—they are among the more than 55,000 migrants who have been provisionally cleared by U.S. Customs and Border Protection since the beginning of the year. They've been given temporary papers and can live with family members while awaiting a court date"

By the way the violence that is taking place in those countries, is due to the drugs war, that involves not only the producers (Latinoamericans), but the consumers (Americans).

Tammy Cline
Tammy Cline

@Timothy Anderson and I quote:  Beth H.

21 hours ago

Have any of you people read the article? The travelers have been released by Immigration to go live with family members. These people have papers. The church is just helping people who have already been processed by the government!  They are not breaking the law. You've missed a very basic part of the article!

Tammy Cline
Tammy Cline

@Herman Mudgett and again I quote:  Beth H.

21 hours ago

Have any of you people read the article? The travelers have been released by Immigration to go live with family members. These people have papers. The church is just helping people who have already been processed by the government!  They are not breaking the law. You've missed a very basic part of the article!

Christopher Murray
Christopher Murray

@John C. Firstly, if you think that all countries borders in the world except for those belonging to the USA are secured and free from immigration problems you are delusional at best. Take a look at the problems occurring in Syria, and Iraq and Gaza and countless other areas. Secondly, your message that we "must hate children" to solve the immigration problem is possibly the most appalling thing I have read in a long time.

K Chambers
K Chambers

@Ian Dutton  To those who break the US immigration laws:  Romans13:1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.

Seamus Cameron
Seamus Cameron

@Ian Dutton

Matthew 22:20-22

20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?

21 They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.

So, should illegals respect our Laws? Isn't that their Christian duty?

Matthew  Reynolds
Matthew Reynolds

@David Jones The crises in Central American countries, especially El Salvador, is more heinous than anything you or I will ever see on the worst streets in America.  I doubt if even National Geographic is brave enough to send photographers into the alleyways of San Salvador where the Maras openly and brazenly drag teenager girls out of schoolbuses and kill them in nearby alley ways.  It is very easy for us to say blithely "send them back to their point of origin" as though they are a package to which we choose to refuse delivery.  This is a humanitarian crises, regardless of how we would wish to ignore that fact.

Lisa See
Lisa See

@John C. Demographics.  Our country is getting older and sicker, especially older and there simply aren't enough children coming along to replace retiring workers.  That means less and less money for Social Security and Medicare.  We need these children and we need to take care of them and educate them and eventually make them citizens.  We're going to need more workers in the future, strange as that may seem now.

Edward Bartholemew
Edward Bartholemew

@K Chambers @Ian Dutton Oh my God. This is the very ignorance that Rome tried to impose upon its' populace. It's godly to submit to your overlords. Even if they do wrong, God put them there to rule over you. I wonder who put those words in meek and mild Jesus' mouth. The fact is that the illegals are unwitting pawns in a globalist game of king of the hill, and in this case, the king is not Jesus.

John C.
John C.

@Lisa See @John C. 


So wouldn't it make sense to attract the best and brightest in the world who will contribute the most, rather than people who will absorb much more from other taxpayers than they contribute? Canada makes an effort to limit uneducated, low skilled workers in favor of highly educated, skilled ones. I would think a Pakistani surgeon or Ukranian computer expert would be of more benefit to our society than kids with scabies being reunited with purported relatives who are only capable of doing the most menial labor.

Kim Eggert
Kim Eggert

Lisa, you've drunk the Koolaid. That's exactly what the liberals want you to think. Sadly, this is only about ensuring that democrats will be voted into office into perpetuity. Nothing more.

Charlene Carney
Charlene Carney

@Lisa See @John C. are you serious?? do you know how many babies are aborted each and every year. america doesn't want it's own children much less central americas.

walter gillis
walter gillis

@Lisa See @John C.  Are you aware that there is a 35% unemployment rate in the U.S.?  Or are you one of the Dems that call welfare and SSI a job?

Paul Angstrom
Paul Angstrom

@Matthew Reynolds @John C. So encouraging all these people to die in an attempt by Obama to destroy the nation is "humanity?"  Anyone that supports these deaths should be charged and imprisoned.

John C.
John C.

@Charlene Carney @Lisa See @John C. 


Then why are immigration activists fighting not to deport these children, and Obama flipped from supporting a change in the 2007 law to now opposed to it?

Mark Aimerito
Mark Aimerito

@walter gillis @Lisa See @John C. Our country was started as a safe place to live. We're all immigrants. So Walter, I challenge you to work any of the jobs these poor people would love to have. You wouldn't last a day. These people just want a better life...just like your ancestors.

John Lewis
John Lewis

It is sad to read some of the most hard-hearted and ignorant statements on immigration that I've seen a long time. Obviously, some of the commenters are not a students of history. The following statements are not rhetorical: When exactly were laws concerning immigration enacted in the United States? These laws have changed and did not always exist. Which ancestors is John C. referring to? Americans are not a monolithic group. How about the early American settlers and colonist -were they illegal immigrants also? How about the African slaves -were they brought here illegally also? Are we afraid that these illegal immigrants will do what we did to the early Native Americans? We too, Europeans and others, brought crime, disease, and violence to this country.

Let's be honest, these anti-immigration comments have very little to do with legality. We were just as xenophobic and hateful with legal immigrants from other nations throughout our history. Take for example the Irish immigration of the 1800s. While many these individuals came over "legally" to escape famine and poverty, they were mistreated, unwanted and maligned very similarly to our immigrants south of the border today. This hypocritical behavior can be seen with various ethnic groups throughout American history whether they were "illegal" or not.

Remember, what is legal is not necessarily moral and what is moral is not necessarily legal.

Let us strive not to do what is in one man's best interest but what is in the best interest of mankind. Let us not seek only to make our home safe but the world a safe home for all.

Let us remember that at one time in our lives we were weak and depended on others' help and mercy. Later on in life, we will once again depend on the same. Let us not be amnestic to our past nor blind to our future but clear in thought and action in our present in order to help those who need us today.

John C.
John C.

@John Lewis 


Why is upholding current immigration law suddenly "ignorant and hateful"? Believe me, if these folks were likely to grow up and vote Republican the democrats would build a wall 500 feet high across the border.

Kim Eggert
Kim Eggert

John, when our grandparents & great grandparents came here, they did it LEGALLY. They also brought skills that were transferred here to build up our society. These people coming across our southern border are unskilled & illiterate. They will further burden our already overburdened welfare system that has nearly 50,000,000 people on it already. With 92,000,000 million of our own citizens out of work and most new jobs being part time, where is the money going to come from? I'm friends with legal immigrants from Honduras, who intend to move back when they retire in a few years. They refute the reports of tremendously high crime & poverty. If we stop sending money to these countries and implement sanctions & embargoes, we can force these countries to take care if their own people. That's the truly responsible thing to do, rather than risk the destruction of our society.

John Lewis
John Lewis

Your Honor, I present to you exhibit A: Herman Mudgett (comments above). You now have proof of the "ignorant and hateful." No further questions. Your witness. The prosecution rests.

John Lewis
John Lewis

You have have ignored the lessons of history that I have tried to point out to you. You are fixated on political parties. Once again, please read about similar occurrences of the past. I offered the story of the SS St. Louis. History offers many others. Jon while well intentioned, I believe that you like the similar arguments made by you will end up on the wrong side of history. Past is prologue.

I am with you on some things. Send them back if it's safe. Let them stand in line if they desire citizenship while providing safe haven if none exists at home. "Send them back" is not an option when there is no safe place to return them. Children do risk danger and death to escape a safe home.

Famined Ireland

Nazi Occupied Germany and Europe

The Eastern Block

Darfur

Rwanda

Cuba

Haiti

The Sudan

People wanted to send them back too...

John Lewis
John Lewis

Kim , you make claims that you cannot support. While you might be accurate about the immigration of your ancestors, there is no possible way that you could speak for all. In fact, your statement ignores the fact that many arrived to these shores before immigration laws even existed -before the US was even recognized as a sovereign nation. However, I am certain that your ancestors received written permission from the original inhabitants to enter the boarders. I am certain that you pass this written document down generation to generation should someone question the authenticity of your ancestral citizenship. I am even more convinced that your Honduran friends speak for all who travel to this land legally and illegally especially for all nations south of the boarder. I am persuaded by you that the Nicaraguan orphans I've witnessed feeding from trash heaps were putting on a show for my American eyes only. And, only your ancestors were skilled and educated -in such a way that they imparted upon you the gift to determine with great accuracy the abilities of large numbers of people you do not know. Or, maybe you do know them all since you speak with such certainty. If your skilled, literate ancestors had only taught you compassion...

Whether you realize it or not. Your statements and rationalizations have been used by many people across many nations, for many years. Legality is only the thin veil to hide selfishness, ignorance, and fear.

Just ask the Jews of the 1930's and 40's or the Irish immigrants of the 1800's. They had the same things said about them even when they came legally. Now please tell me how they were a scourge to this great nation of ours.

Please read about the SS St. Louis.

John Morgan Morgan
John Morgan Morgan

@Kim Eggert Many "developed" countries such as Israel depend heavily on money sent from the US by legal residents and even citizens.

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