Greg Abbott, of course, has no plan to stop his anti-immigrant shenanigans, even if Pope Francis himself led the signatures on the letter. In fact, Abbott’s continued anti-immigrant actions following his solid reelection win indicates he’s likely looking at higher office. So he has to out-hate potential competitors like Ron DeSantis and the insurrectionist former president in order to win the 2024 primary.
But that doesn’t mean this letter from people of faith who actually follow their faith doesn’t matter or isn’t important, and it’s actually particularly powerful to see so many faith leaders calling him out. It’s doubtful that Abbott has ever spoken in depth with a migrant he’s targeted through his busing. But these faith leaders have.
“They told us how they fled places like Venezuela, Haiti, or Honduras, where their choices were to die there or chase the promise of a better life in America,” leaders wrote in text received by Daily Kos. “Because while the immigrants of today are crossing up to nine borders to the United States, they carry that same spirit of the people who arrived here two hundred years ago on European ships. They face the same issue of death there or struggle here. We ask: which would you choose?”
Abbott won reelection in a decisive victory, so he can only assume he was oh-so-smart for using vulnerable, sick children as a campaign strategy. But faith leaders write that “history and a higher power will judge us based on whether we fed a hungry immigrant today or left them to fend for themselves because they crossed the border yesterday.”
“Communities have confronted this situation with kindness and compassion,” the letter continues. “In places like New York, where temperatures are dropping fast, organizations have focused on the fact that people need coats and a place to stay. They need food and a means to employment. Their children need to be in school. These organizations are focusing on the things they can control, instead of what they cannot. They are embodying values we all share: showing empathy, delivering charity, creating hope where there is despair, and bringing light to the darkness.” (A really wonderful series from independent outlets Block Club Chicago and Borderless Magazine focuses on what’s happened next to some of the migrants bused out of Texas.)
”We pray you will end this inhumane practice and find a better path forward,” the faith leaders wrote. “You can call upon us for guidance on what solutions we have implemented in our own communities, and we hope you do. Our hope is to bring more people together, and to heal the wounds of this country so we may form a better union.” They said he still has a chance to atone for “the pain, confusion, and trauma” his actions have inflicted on others.
But for the moment, Abbott has chosen to continue fomenting pain, confusion, and trauma by ordering his very corrupt attorney general to probe whether humanitarian organizations aiding migrants who’ve been processed and released by federal immigration officials have broken laws. Catholic Charities is likely among them, and has also been targeted by other Texas Republicans. In a statement, the organization said it was “incredibly disturbing” to be accused of breaking federal law.
”The ministry of care provided to migrants by Catholic Charities has been ongoing, across multiple administrations, since our founding in 1910,” the statement continued. “To care for people who are at-risk, including vulnerable people on the move, is a part of the fabric of the global Catholic Church and is mandated by the gospel.”
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