Many religions and many sets of ethical behavior hold up the value of being welcoming to the stranger.  For those who pursue kindness in life, turning back immigrants without regard for their human dignity and needs is at odds with this pursuit. To ignore the tensions immigration places on a government overlooks realities, but as people we are called to deal with those tensions in a humane manner.  To boil down immigration policy to a this or that choice between people who are qualified for high-skill jobs versus service jobs or to people who are from one area of the world versus another or to a restriction built around keeping out extended family overlooks who we are as people.  We need help from people up and down the skill ladder.  We all do better when we are in community with people we love and who love us.  Yet, we need diversity, too, not just known people of our particular “tribe,” so that we are learning to open our minds and hearts to new expressions of experience. Public safety is one matter: it involves vetting and security measures, so that dangerous criminals aren’t invited in, putting their new neighbors at risk.  Immigration standards and invitations to live here or stay here for those who already are living here successfully are another matter.  I continue to hope for a United States that welcomes people from around the world. We will be a better place for it.

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