Paul W. expressed some confusion about my last post. It's not that I don't understand the usage "illegal alien," it's just that where I am from it is a slur that no one should really use, any more than the English equivalent of "mojado." I fully understand the technical and colloquial use of the term. I would suggest that in Channing's terms that calling anyone an "illegal alien" is contrary to understanding the likeness of God in them. Furthermore, I would suggest that the theological calling of our tradition compells us to help all develop their faculties of the soul regardless of which side of which line they were born on.
I grew up in San Marcos, California. Thats 49 miles from the border. People would often visit (usually for underage drinking or cheap pharmaceuticals) Baja California without any thought to Alta California.
My first teaching work was 12 miles from the border. Some were born on one side, some were born on the other. The whole thing seems so much more arbitrary when you live there.
And the machinery of injustice is so much more real, when you have to drive by security checkpoints to get to Riverside or to visit family further north along Interstate 5. From the age of 6 on, visiting my grandparents or anyone else in my extended family meant having men in uniform with guns looking into our car to see our skin color. When we played youth soccer, one of the highlights of the year was the American Youth Soccer Organization day at Disneyland. La Migra would always look at us differently if a teammate named Sanchez or Lopez was going with us to Orange County.
Wake now compassion, give heed to the cry, voices of suffering fill the wide sky; take as your neighbor both stranger and friend, praying and striving their hardship to end.