Thursday, December 20, 2007

Bishop Wester on immigration

On the front page of this morning's Salt Lake Tribune appears an article about a speech Bishop Wester gave Monday to the St. George, Utah Chamber of Commerce. The city of St. George is located in Utah's extreme southwest corner and is routinely identified as one of the United States' fastest growing cities. One of the factors in that growth is immigration. The immigrants come from south of the U.S. border, primarily Mexico. As one can easily imagine, as in many cities and towns across the U.S., the subject of immigration is the source of a lot of division within the community of St. George.

I am proud that Bishop Wester spoke out forcefully against the outlandish idea of building a wall to keep people out and that he spoke to the inevitable tensions created by such a large influx of immigrants. It is without doubt a case of world's colliding. It is an opportunity to make our world not only bigger and more inclusive, but more just and peaceful. Most importantly, the article, even apart from Bishop Wester's remarks, does a good job of taking on misconceptions regarding recent immigrants, especially exaggerations about how much involvement they have in criminal activity, which is actually quite low and not even proportionate their percentage of the population.

Bishop Wester, who heads the USCCB's Committee on Migration, said "What we have now isn't working". Nonetheless, "[p]utting up a fence along the border would not solve the problem. We need something to allow an orderly influx of people so we know who is coming in."

I also address matters of religion and politics today over on Cahiers.

2 comments:

  1. Great Tribune article. I should have gone without reading the comment section though. Depressing as hell.

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  2. Most people are completely irrational when it comes to immigration. Sadly, this is true on both sides of the issue. It is one more indication of how polarized we are as a nation. This is why I appreciate so much what Bp. Wester has to say on the issue whenever he speaks.

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