Journal of Catholic Social Thought
Borders and fences limit the opportunity to engage the Other. Society’s ability to engage the unknown is essential to comprehend personal identity, and an unfunded, incomplete fence on one border questions America’s ability to know itself. A fence establishes a boundary distinguishing the safety of the known from fear of the unknown, but the exchange between the two is essential to genuine self-discovery. The lives of Mexican immigrants, marginalized Palestinian mothers, and Australian aborigines reveal a common motive to support their families and culture. Understanding their stories, struggles, and desires transforms them from immigration statistics to human beings worthy of compassion. God’s grace and revelation require interaction with the immigrant, the poor, and the stranger. Catholic teachings encourage open discussion of complicated and controversial issues facing the modern world.
Emily Albrink Hartigan, When Borders Cross People: Whose [Who’s] Poor, or The Spirit of Immigration, 5 J. Cath. Soc. Thought 161 (2008).