As a binational and Catholic organization that works directly with migrants, we at the Kino Border Initiative strongly oppose President Trump’s decision to bar access to asylum for people apprehended between ports of entry.
Through our binationality, we witness every day the potential of the US/Mexico border as a place of encounter and welcome. We work together across cultures and nations united in a single purpose: to promote the dignity of each human being. We believe such collaboration is a sign of great hope for the world that we could become. President Trump’s action to reject vulnerable individuals in need of protection ignores that rich tradition and potential and is out of touch with attitudes of border residents.
Our Catholic identity also informs our desire to welcome each individual and recognize Christ’s image in each person. This doctrine of our faith is especially relevant as we approach Christmas and remember that Mary and Joseph were turned away at many inns before Jesus could lay at rest in a barn. Men, women, and children who are fleeing violence and poverty in Central America are also eager to find a place to rest. We are saddened by today’s announcement by the Administration, which embodies the spirit of the innkeepers instead of the welcome of the shepherds.
In our aid center in Nogales, Sonora, we welcome these men, women and children every day. Parents journey because of the responsibility that they feel to provide a better future for their children, an attitude with which many of us in the United States can identify. Rather than further restricting an already challenging legal immigration process, which today’s announcement does, we as a nation ought to find ways for these families to contribute to US society and embrace the American Dream.
The Kino Border Initiative (KBI) is a binational organization located in Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. The KBI’s vision is to help make humane, just, workable migration between the U.S. and Mexico a reality.