“When the man walked in with fang marks on his leg, the volunteers knew the protocol: In the case of a rattlesnake bite, you call 911. But like all of the patients who end up here, his very presence in this desert clinic meant he had broken American law.”
This is an excerpt of an article written about a clinic in Arizona. Many of the clinic’s patients have entered America illegally. These medical professionals try to save lives without breaking the law.
In reading this article, the story of the Good Samaritan in the Gospel of Luke (Lk 10:25-37) came to me. I was moved to tears and, at the same time, full of gratitude for the Good Samaritans serving in the desert at the American border.
I was also reminded of my recent visit to one of the shelters run by Daughters of Charity from Mexico at the Mexican-American border. There, I witnessed the hardships each migrant fleeing the Northern Triangle faces before reaching the United States border. During my time there, numerous adult men arrived after being deported and taken away from their families. It was just a heartbreaking experience!
Indeed, the lessons of the Good Samaritan are still of value today.
Instead of building a new wall–a larger wall to keep people out at the expense of billions of dollars–instead of allowing people to die of thirst and hunger in the desert; instead of letting people be exploited by those who charge them such high amounts to try to bring them across our border; instead of pushing them away…if we listen to the law of God in our hearts, would we not give up that indifference? Sometimes it’s even more than indifference. It’s xenophobia. We begin to hate these people and push them back when we should be accepting them.