Mixed Messages to Immigrants

In a presentation on March 24 at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, in Anaheim, Calif., Cardinal Roger M. Mahony pointed to Matthew 25 to find this sacred mandate—“For I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” Cardinal Mahony discussed the major historical waves of immigration into the United States and spoke about the different backlash movements against immigrants. “The so-called ‘flood of immigrants’ has always alarmed some native-born Americans,” he said. “Some feared job competition from foreigners. Others disliked the religion or politics of the newcomers. Has anyone heard that recently? We’re still hearing the same thing today.” Cardinal Mahony said the United States as a nation has been sending “two clear messages at the same time: ‘no trespassing’ and ‘help wanted’; ‘no, we don’t want you here’ and ‘yes, we need you.’ So that’s created a big, big problem now and especially for the future.”

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

A boy presents a hat to Pope Francis upon his arrival at the international airport in Trujillo, Peru, Jan. 20. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
“Just as the apostles faced the storm on the sea, you had to face the brunt of ‘El Niño costero.’”
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 20, 2018
Pope Francis greets the crowd before celebrating Mass at the Maquehue Airport near Temuco, Chile, Jan. 17. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
“Pope Francis’ statements...were a source of great pain for survivors of sexual abuse,” Cardinal O’Malley said in a statement released Jan. 20.
Michael J. O’LoughlinJanuary 20, 2018
 Pope Francis and Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski stand outside the presidential palace in Lima, Peru, Jan.19.(CNS photo//Mariana Bazo, Reuters)
“The degradation of the environment...cannot be separated from the moral degradation of our communities.”
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 20, 2018
The U.S. bishops had an unusually busy year issuing positive and negative statements about the new president, but some hoped for more decisive action against his policies.
Michael J. O’LoughlinJanuary 19, 2018