“A Response to an Article in America: the Jesuit Review,” by Andrew J. Schatkin
I would like to talk about an article in “America: the Jesuit Review,” August 19, 2019. The article is by J. D. Long-Garcia, a senior editor of this journal and is entitled “Trump’s Anti-Immigration Rhetoric Meant to Instill Fear, Advocates Say.” First, let me begin by saying I have utmost respect for the Catholic Church and am not only a regular reader of America but attend events in NYC sponsored by America media and derive much intellectual stimulation and benefit from attending these wonderful lectures. I am a Christian, a Lutheran, committed to the historical Christian faith and to the full authority of Holy Scripture and am in full agreement and support the church’s mission to the poor and disadvantaged in our society and in the world and seek as the church does, to follow the words and actions of Christ in this respect and his strong identification with the poor and the underclass.
I part ways, however, with the positions taken by Mr. Garcia. Mr. Garcia refers to extending the wall and says the Trump administration has made reducing legal and undocumented immigration a primary goal and that the administration’s enforcement actions targeting undocumented immigrants and the announcement has caused widespread anxiety. Mr. Garcia says immigrants have been living in fear since The Trump administration announced the Department of Justice and Homeland Security would adopt a third country rule requiring immigrants seeking asylum at the border to apply for refugee status first in another country. Mr. Garcia says these are anti-immigrant measures, hoping undocumented immigrants will leave. I see Mr. Garcia as not possibly choosing to see the facts, the truth and, if you will, the point.
A person who is undocumented is illegally here and has no right to be here and to take advantage of our medical, educational, employment, and social services such as Medicaid and food stamps. A person here illegally is manipulating our system and making effective fools of us all and taking jobs and employment away from poor Americans throughout the country whether in Missouri, Harlem, Louisiana, or Brooklyn. I suggest Mr. Garcia direct his love and compassion not to violators and manipulators but to our poor and poverty-stricken citizens who suffer greatly in poverty and economic deprivation. I would remind Mr. Garcia that there are 45 million of our poor and deprived citizens on food stamps and perhaps losing their lives in Afghanistan in their desperation and inability to find employment. If an asylum claim is real then it is quite appropriate that it first be directed and sifted and examined in another country. Finally, I must remind Mr. Garcia that legal avenues to citizenship are fully and completely available and have been for the past 150 years and in fact for decades immigrants had to pass through Ellis Island after a strict test.