We are hurting. The public charge regulation being finalizedthis week is just the latest attack against immigrant families by this administration. Despite overwhelming opposition, the Trump administration has chosen to advance a regulation that directly harms families and communities and threatens a core principle of the American immigration system: family unity. 

The public charge regulation reinforces a preferential option for the wealthy — rather than for the poor, as we find in the Catholic faith — and exacerbates fears already felt by immigrant communities. It cuts to the heart of the most basic realities for immigrant families and calls into question a more than 100-year-old recognition that health care and food are basic to the ways families provide for loved ones, remain productive and help communities thrive. 

The current administration seems to find it increasingly difficult to identify and respect basic rights. 

This announcement comes just after a punishing week for immigrants and for our Latino brothers and sisters in particular. Recently, in an act of domestic terrorism, a gunman stormed into a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, armed with an assault rifle and multiple magazines to, by his own admission, target “Mexicans.” He killed 22 people and injured a dozen more. The majority of the victims had Hispanic last names, and eight were in fact nationals of Mexico. 

A manifesto apparently written by the assailant promoted white supremacist views, such as fearing “replacement” and blaming a “Hispanic invasion of Texas” for his actions. Immediately, troubled readers were able to draw parallels with some of President Donald Trump’s own verbal attacks on immigrants, including talk of an “invasion” and scaremongering about “open borders” and “fake news.” When a leader demeans and diminishes the humanity of a group of people, and paints entire populations as threats, those with hate in their hearts and guns in their hands are emboldened. 

I call upon Catholics, other Christians and all people of faith and goodwill to pray for peace and to stand up against these attacks on working families and migrants, all our dear sisters and brothers. Be sure to contact your elected officials and protest this mistreatment of human persons. Justice demands truth-telling when dehumanizing, nativist and, frankly, racist rhetoric continues to characterize the president’s approach to immigrants in general, and our Latino brothers and Latina sisters in particular. 

Full story at OC Catholic.