America Is Cursing Itself By Mistreating Our Latino Brothers & Sisters
Again the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, say to the land, ‘You are a land that has not been cleansed or rained on in the day of wrath.’ There is a conspiracy of her princes[a] within her like a roaring lion tearing its prey; they devour people, take treasures and precious things and make many widows within her. Her priests do violence to my law and profane my holy things; they do not distinguish between the holy and the common; they teach that there is no difference between the unclean and the clean; and they shut their eyes to the keeping of my Sabbaths so that I am profaned among them. Her officials within her are like wolves tearing their prey; they shed blood and kill people to make unjust gain. Her prophets whitewash these deeds for them by false visions and lying divinations. They say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says’ — when the Lord has not spoken. The people of the land practice extortion and commit robbery; they oppress the poor and needy and mistreat the foreigner, denying them justice. —Ezekiel 22:23–29
Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” — Matthew 25:41–46
It’s a sad time for our country. We are seeing our Latino brothers and sisters experience the violation of fundamental human rights, fundamental moral rights, fundamental constitutional rights, and fundamental truth-telling.
Dr. King once said, “We must challenge those things that damn men and people’s souls. We must have an eternal discontent with injustice.”
We live in America in the 21st century, and there is still a woman who stands in the harbor of New York and says give me your tired, your poor, and huddled masses. Yet there is a president who sits in the White House who wants to turn these people away. The immigration policies of the Trump administration are unjust and immoral. The president’s blatant disrespect for migrants and immigrants has fueled the hateful rhetoric of anti-immigrant groups. We recently witnessed the arrest of a militia group leader who had been harassing illegal immigrants near the U.S.-Mexico border. Not only is this behavior unlawful but it is immoral. The rise of the border wall agenda has enabled groups like these to take matters into their own hands.
An ICE field office director has said that ICE raids are the new norm. But this new norm puts a target on the immigrant community. We are witnessing ICE officers raid places of business on a hunt for immigrants. They are taking people away who are here simply trying to work and provide for themselves and their families. This follows the opening line of the Trump campaign when he sought to criminalize all Mexicans. And whenever people are seen as a suspect before they’ve ever done anything wrong, particularly if they are brown, black, or red, that is a form of systemic racism. We cannot allow the Latino community to stand alone.
Not only is this a violation of fundamental human rights and moral rights, but it’s a violation of constitutional rights. Even a person who is undocumented, according to the U.S. Constitution and the Fourteenth Amendment that was passed in 1868, has constitutional rights in America. It says that “all persons must be provided equal protection under the law.”
This includes due process. It is not due process to barge into someone’s home in the middle of the night and take them from their children. It is not due process to snatch people from their churches or their community centers. That’s not what our Constitution says. And all of us must stand up for adherence to the Constitution because they might be doing it to one group of people today, but it will be another group of people tomorrow.
The Bible says that the top sins are self-worship, mistreatment of the poor, mistreatment of women, mistreatment of children, and mistreatment of immigrants. The politicians who were sworn into office and put their hands on the Bible are now watching this happen and remaining silent.
After all the Latino community has done for this country, how can we bar them from our shores? How can we bar our Latino brothers and sisters, especially those from Mexico, from parts of the country that were stolen from them in the first place? They are simply returning to their home. They didn’t cross the border, the border crossed them.
The days of not standing up for our Latino brothers and sisters are over.
Today we speak up not for the Latino community, but with them. They are the voices we must listen to. We must follow their lead. We must listen to the voices of the impacted people who are so scared of this nation’s policies that they cannot speak about the truth of what’s happening to them while every day the president is never afraid to tell a lie.
Repairers of the Breach and the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival commits to standing with our Latino brothers and sisters while following their lead as servants in this fight.
Repairers of the Breach is building a moral movement and is a cosponsor of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. To learn more about both, visit www.breachrepairers.org.