Letters to the Editor

Dare We Strand Refugees?

Dear Editor: As I began to comment on reader Tom Hackert’s letter regarding immigration (July 16), I hesitated for two reasons: I was sure your office would already be inundated with protests to those thoughts and sentiments. And, I honestly could not decide on one single point to debate among Mr. Hackert’s obviously heartfelt but possibly misplaced concerns.

Confusion makes clear thinking more than challenging in these times but with respect for the writer’s opinions, I would insist that the story we heard in a recent Gospel reading calls forth a greater truth: Everyone passing by the injured stranger can justify crossing to the other side of the road. But it’s the generosity of the despised Samaritan that qualifies him as the epitome of the neighbor Jesus wants us to love as much as ourselves.

How can we possibly continue to avert our eyes from 60 million refugees clinging to life? How can their desperation to escape exile be “just because they feel like it.” Are not our collective resources up to the task of assuring both national security and love of neighbor?


Middle Village


Dear Editor: In response to Tom Hackert’s letter “Controls on Immigration” (July 16), which itself was a response to James Schwarzwalder’s letter (June 4), “Empathy for the Immigrants”:

When discussing immigration in a Catholic paper such as The Tablet, perhaps you should consult Catholic teaching rather than rely on the talking points provided by cable news and your concern that the “survival of the country” is at stake. The ugliness of nativism is not the Christian way to address people less fortunate. Catholic concern for immigrants, on the other hand, is rooted in Holy Writ, Christian tradition, and of course, charity.

The Catholic bishops’ website provides plenty of information on the topic: