Friday, June 29, 2018

How we treat the stranger and the migrant.

This rosary was cut from the wrist of a migrant 
and discarded by the Border Patrol. (Courtesy of Tom Kiefer)

We separate families, and can't reunite them or match the kids with the parents when we send them back.  We strip them of their very meager, very poor possessions, and throw it out.  We dehumanize them, strip them of any dignity, and throw them back like unwanted fish.

A former janitor collected the discarded possessions of migrants, the ever so poor personal property 
"deemed by border patrol agents to be 'non-essential' or 'potentially lethal.'"

When he began rummaging through the bags of trash, Mr. Kiefer was horrified to discover that it contained more than uneaten food and other garbage. He found shoes, wallets, and even rosary beads and bibles. 
“I could not in good conscience let those items remain in the trash,” Mr. Kiefer, 59, said in a recent interview with America. - America
I make retablos and relicarios.  Americans collect such things.  Museums exhibit these devotional items.  They are precious even to non-religious people.  Yet we confiscate and deem as worthless these devotional items carried by the poorest of the poor.  The humble, devout migrant, have their meager possessions taken away and thrown out as so much trash.  We treat their person in the same way, we have deemed them as non-essential and potentially lethal.

“Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy” - Ezekiel 16:49


  1. Well stated, Terry. And good for Mr. Kiefer - he is right, these things should not have been removed from those who were detained.

    While I agree that the Government needs to diligent about who comes into our borders, I am distressed by the way these people have been treated in our name. Granted they should not have tried to get in illegally and put their children in danger, but we should be better than this. God bless you Terry - keep praying.

    1. Well said! Prudence is the mother of all virtues, and border safety is a prudential issue - but there's no need to take Arzstotzka as a role model. =)

  2. Last week I posted on my Facebook page a picture of the rosaries taken and discarded by immigration officials. It disturbed me for reasons everyone here I am sure understand. I support control of our borders. I think there needs to be real vetting. That said, I do not see the reason for separating mothers and children, people from their rosaries. I am conflicted with this issue. I was sad, outraged and now disgusted. This is complicated. It is also racist and dangerous in the implementation. From what I read, and it may not always be accurate, these are people fleeing violence and seeking aslymn. We need to handle this better, but we will not in the current environment.


Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. If you use your real name there is a better chance your comment will stay put.