I recently got in a heated argument/discussion about the recent influx of young immigrants coming in from Central America and Mexico. The person I argued/discussed these issue out is someone I respect, and more to the point, love, but unfortunately I was headstrong and quick to point out the holes in her argument. I should have been the more mature one and just drop it, or at the very least not drag it out as long as I did on my end. All I could think was that even though there’s a large mass of individuals coming into the U.S. they’re human beings first, and to treat them poorly or with contempt is dehumanizing them. I also thought about Christ the immigrant.
Christ coming to Earth in human form, incarnate…Emmanuel God-with-us, but while he knew of the world he helped to create it was probably still pretty foreign in a lot of ways. An immigrant, himself connected to God but certainly connected to humanity around him. An observer of the roles people thought he came to fulfill, primarily being the one who drives the dominant conquering foreigners from Israel’s lands. God incarnate but an immigrant nonetheless.
As much as I personify Christ in the form of an immigrant, I choose to make it more personable because I, both on my father’s side and my mother’s side, am a descendant of immigrants. They came to the United States from Poland, Czechoslovakia, Lithuania, to start new lives on their own and their families, they came for employment and to do better. This is the United States’ legacy, not a melting pot, but a smelting pot of people from all walks of life trying to do better than they had before. This diversity is what makes the United States so great in my opinion, so when I hear about people deeming other people “illegal” it mars the image I know of America, it mars their image because it dehumanizes them.
Yes there needs to be reform and we as a nation need to sort things out and make it better, but these things take time, and as they come we need to treat them with dignity and respect and love. How can we call someone illegal if we love them and want the best for them? How can we who are not native to United States to begin with say there isn’t a place for those who are coming to make a better life for themselves?