1 It’s not our problem that other countries are difficult places to live and have corrupt leaders. Shouldn’t we be more concerned with taking care of our own citizens? We are a “both-and” people, not “either-or” — everyone who is suffering is worthy of care and welcome. More practically speaking, the United States has a particular obligation to welcome migrants because some of our domestic and international policies have exacerbated social, political and economic crises in the countries people are fleeing from.
2. Don’t undocumented immigrants unfairly jump the line ahead of those people who are following the rules and waiting their turn? Many of the individuals and families from Central America presenting themselves at the border these days are seeking asylum, which is a legal right recognized by the United States. They are afraid of being returned to their home countries, often due to rising violence in Central America.
3. Aren’t immigrants taking jobs that citizens would otherwise have? Immigrants often work physically demanding jobs Americans don’t want, and immigration is consistently tied to economic growth and innovation here.
4. Undocumented immigrants get paid under the table and don’t pay taxes, then they take advantage of our schools and social services. Isn’t that unfair? About half of undocumented immigrants do pay income taxes, totaling $23.6 billion in 2015, for services they can’t even use, like Medicare or Social Security benefits.
5. My ancestors are immigrants, but they followed the rules and came here legally. Why don’t people who want to migrate to the United States follow the rules? When did your family come to the United States? Because the rules used to be extremely different. For example, before the Immigration Act of 1924, immigrants did not have to obtain visas at U.S. consulates before entering the country.
6. Isn’t it true that Hispanic immigrants don’t learn English and don’t assimilate into American culture? In truth, since people have been coming to America, they have been learning English —the most successful single language in the history of the world. English is going to be fine. Even though some adults who immigrate to the United States might not learn English right away, their children become bilingual at a faster rate than previous waves of immigrants here.
7. Don’t undocumented immigrants bring drugs and violence to our communities? This just isn’t backed up by the facts. Crime rates among immigrants are consistently lower than the rate among native-born populations. From 2009 to February 2017, almost half of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s removals were of people who had never committed any crime at all. 8. Wouldn’t a border wall help keep us safe?
8. Wouldn’t a border wall help keep us safe? A border wall is a terrible idea. For one thing, we are experiencing a net negative flow of undocumented Mexican immigrants — more people are leaving than are coming. There is no better way to break down stereotypes about the threat of migration than by getting to know a migrant personally, learning their name and their story.
9. Shouldn’t the Catholic Church stay out of politics and just stick to faith and morals? “A good Catholic meddles in politics,” Pope Francis said during a 2013 homily. “Politics, according to the Social Doctrine of the Church, is one of the highest forms of charity, because it serves the common good. I cannot wash my hands, eh? We all have to give something!”http://jesuits.org/news-detail?TN=NEWS-20181217084158