This week Newsweek published an editorial I wrote about my recent trip to the US/Mexico border and some of my encounters in El Paso and Ciudad Juárez. Below is a link to the full article as well as some excerpts.
Read the full article here: https://www.newsweek.com/there-no-solitary-narrative-border-crisis-opinion-1599927
As I went from place to place, I had a growing sense that the crisis is far more multi-faceted than any single narrative—political or otherwise—says it is. In other words, “the story” of the border that almost everyone wants doesn’t actually exist. There is no single, solitary narrative to capture its complexity. Nonetheless, minimized, myopic and solitary narratives are what we hear most, whether in the form of hate against immigrants, demeaning words about our law enforcement, or other forms of clickbait controversy.
Several examples of such people stand out from my time at the border.
There was the small group of volunteers I joined who stand outside the port of entry doors in El Paso daily, welcoming newly-processed asylum seekers with a smile and a “bienvenidos.”
There was the exemplary United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officer who knew all of the volunteers by name and treated each migrant family with extraordinary kindness and respect. Officer “S” seemed neither discouraged nor jaded by his job. Rather, he embraced the opportunity to give his best to each person.
And then there was a migrant father I met in Ciudad Juárez traveling with his severely autistic son. He was so patient and caring toward his son, whose illness worsened during their hard journey from Guatemala and because of continual sensory overload of living in a migrant shelter surrounded by lots of people at all times.
Much like the many other crises around the globe, the border crisis is rich with human experiences and felt needs, all of which matter greatly to Christ and should matter greatly to his people, the Church.