A girl smiles during a gathering of reunited refugee immigrant families who attended a December 2015 Posada at the Catholic Center in Baltimore. (CR File)
1) People have always moved. Through all of human history, people have moved from place to place seeking food, security, better living conditions, and more freedom. Time and time again, they have fled famine, war, and persecution. They always will.
A young man holds a crucifix as he and other immigrants attend Mass on the U.S. side of the border in El Paso, Texas, Feb. 17. The pope celebrated the final Mass of his Mexico visit in Ciudad Juarez. About 550 guests situated on a levee north of the Rio Grande in Texas took part in the Mass. (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec)
5) Families matter. It is right that people can sponsor close family members to immigrate into the United States. But the system should be better at ensuring that sponsorship actually results in a successful and timely family reunification. As it is, the immigration system is so backlogged that reunification can take years. It can take five years** for a legal permanent resident to bring his or her spouse or minor child into the country. It can take twenty years for a U.S. citizen to bring his or her adult sibling here. (Here is an interesting story about efforts to bring over the adult children of Filipino veterans who fought for the U.S. Armed Services in World War II.)