A few words from Pope Francis:
“The Church is Mother, and her motherly attention is expressed with special tenderness and closeness to those who are obliged to flee their own country and exist between rootlessness and integration. This tension destroys people. Christian compassion – this ‘suffering with’ compassion – is expressed first of all in the commitment to obtain knowledge of the events that force people to leave their homeland, and where necessary, to give voice to those who cannot manage to make their cry of distress and oppression heard. They are all elements that dehumanize and must push every Christian and the whole community to concrete attention.” (Address to the participants in the Plenary and Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, May 24, 3013)
“Often, however, such migration gives rise to suspicion and hostility, even in ecclesiastical communities, prior to any knowledge of the migrants’ lives of their stories of persecution and destitution. In such cases, suspicion and prejudice conflict the Biblical commandment of welcoming with respect and solidarity the stranger in need.” (Message for the 2015 World Day of Migrants and Refugees, September 3, 2014).
On this celebration of our independence, let’s remember what the Statue of Liberty says: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”