Catholic Teaching and Immigration

Heather Arkwright
August 31, 2011

Heather Arkwright

Living and growing up in Arizona brought me face to face with the issue of immigration almost every single day.  I did not know a whole lot about the issue until the summer before my freshman year of college, when I went on a mission trip with my church youth group down to the border in Nogales, Arizona, that is a few short miles from Mexico.  We learned all about the issue of immigration, and why the system currently in place by the federal government, is broken and detrimental to not only Americans but also the undocumented migrants.

Catholic teaching, and most any faith teaching for that matter, places an emphasis on the importance of all human life and the need for each to be treated equally.  What I experienced on my trip to the border was a clear disregard for that teaching in how immigrants are treated and viewed.  In that moment I knew that I wanted to work to create a better system that would uphold the values that were aligned with my faith.

I would love a system in which it is possible for immigrants to be looked at as an essential part and function of the American economic system, and more importantly as equals in American society.  Faith teachings hold true that we are not to judge each other, but rather gather in community, especially around those who are less fortunate.  In this internship and hopefully my career after that, I hope to correct a system that is grossly failing important members of our society and placing a hierarchy onto people when we are all children of God.