Let’s treat immigrants with compassion, respect Print
Written by Mary C. Uhler   
Thursday, Jun. 28, 2018 -- 12:00 AM
Norma’s story

Norma said she and her family fled the state of Tamaulipas in Mexico, where it had become common for women to be kidnapped and never heard from again.

According to the U.S. Department of State, “violent crime, such as murder, armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, extortion, and sexual assault, is common” in Tamaulipas.

Norma said, “I tell myself, ‘Thank God we came here.’” Her six children are U.S. citizens, although she and her husband are not. She said that the Trump Administration’s zero tolerance prosecution policy that once included separating families is disturbing.

“It's really hard for us to look at how they are separating these families,” Norma said.

Anti-immigrant mentality

It’s difficult and even heart-breaking for all of us to see what’s been happening to immigrants trying to enter the United States.

This anti-immigrant mentality seems to be espoused by a minority of Americans, but the Trump Administration keeps insisting on pursuing policies that discourage immigrants from entering our country.

The president’s own ancestry includes immigrants from Scotland and Germany. All of us, except Native Americans, have immigrant ancestors.

Myth of the criminal immigrant

President Trump has claimed that many immigrants are criminals, but statistics show that is not the case.

An article by Anna Flagg in the March 30, 2018, New York Times points to research indicating that either immigration has the effect of reducing crime, or that there is no relationship between the two. “Immigrant communities bring economic and cultural revitalization to the neighborhoods they join,” says the article.

Those of us who are upset about anti-immigrant policies should contact the president and members of Congress urging them to treat immigrants and refugees with compassion and respect by passing humane laws.

In addition, we could help support efforts such as Catholic Extension’s Family Reunification Fund, which will provide outreach and advocacy for immigrant families. Find more information at

Let’s stand with the U.S. Catholic bishops, who said in a statement in June, “Families are the foundational element of our society, and they must be able to stay together. While protecting our borders is important, we can and must do better as a government, and as a society, to find other ways to ensure that safety.”