One Week Post Easter, No Mercy for Immigrants

Maribel Trujillo Diaz with her family. Trujillo Diaz was detained on her way to work and deported last Wednesday.
Maribel Trujillo Diaz with her family. Trujillo Diaz was detained on her way to work and deported last Wednesday.

I don’t usually post about my spiritual beliefs, but a local-cum-national issue at the intersection of parenting, politics, and religion is haunting me.

It’s been a week since Easter Sunday. In that week, among other immigrants, America deported Maribel Trujillo Diaz, mother of four with no criminal record.

President Trump promised to deport criminals, but, again, Trujillo Diaz isn’t one. She came to the U.S. without documents in 2002, pregnant and afraid for her kids. She applied for asylum. She lived in Hamilton, Ohio, for fifteen years, where she was a leader in her community. America’s new immigration policies have left motherless her children: a fourteen-year-old, a twelve-year-old, a ten-year-old, and a three-year-old with special needs.

I wonder how white Evangelicals—81% of whom voted for Donald Trump—can reconcile this disposal of mercy with Christianity’s most central tenet: grace, celebrated last Sunday.

Last week, as I attended Good Friday Service with my young daughters, I was struck anew by how killing Jesus was an attempt to kill mercy and inclusion itself. He welcomed outsiders, and this was much of why he was crucified.

America has stopped welcoming outsiders. Under the leadership of our attorney general, we penalize those who, like Jesus, offer sanctuary.

How pharisaic, this American moment. As we deport mothers who’ve come pleading for safety, we treat God’s grace with spite.

We kill mercy itself. 

Trujillo Diaz’s oldest son, Oswaldo, speaks of his family’s quest for American citizenship here.

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