Founded in 1978 by five Catholic lay people called by their faith to "welcome the stranger," organizers believe Annunciation House is the only center on the U.S.-Mexico border devoted specifically to housing undocumented immigrants shortly after their arrival in the United States. Many guests show up dazed, dehydrated, hungry and sick after walking for days in the desert. Others are still wet from crossing the Rio Grande.....and....
"It's a huge help for those who come here with nothing," said Silvia, 44, who did not want her last name used because she is in the country illegally. "I never imagined it existed."
Though some community members praise Annunciation House's work and see its founder and executive director Ruben Garcia as something of a local saint, their work is not without controversy.
It is taking place amid heated debate throughout the country about illegal immigration, including legislation aimed at making presence in the United States without proper documentation and aiding undocumented immigrants crimes. Congressional leaders are holding hearings nationwide this summer about proposed reform legislation, while President George W. Bush is dispatching 6,000 National Guardsmen to the U.S.-Mexico perimeter to beef up enforcement efforts with the U.S. Border
In contrast, the Vatican and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops have backed church workers' assistance to impoverished undocumented immigrants as part of their Christian duty. In March, Cardinal Roger Mahoney of Los Angeles declared he would instruct his priests to defy any law that would make such work illegal.
PHOENIX -- The youngest son of Sen. John McCain has joined the Marine Corps and could be deployed to a war zone in a matter of months, according to a magazine report.Putting your money where your mouth is.
Jimmy McCain, 18, will begin basic training in September. He'll spend three months in boot camp and undergo a month of specialized training before being assigned to a unit.
Let's ponder these for a moment.
In thirty years, when Jimmy McCain is running for Congress from Arizona, how likely is it that the son of Karl Rove (assuming he's a breeder....*whistling*) will run campaign ads smearing the younger McCain's service in Iraq or Afghanistan as "front running grandstanding" and finding the equivalent of a Swift Boat veteran to testify that instead of incredible bravery, Jimmy McCain was an abject coward?
By the way, I realize this enlistment also burnishes McCain's portfolio for the 2008 election, but even I have a hard time believing that he'd sacrifice a son in the pursuit of higer office.
Speaking of sacrificing sons, that a Christian group is willing to peacefully defy not only the law but the anger of the vigilante groups attempting to enforce the law is how a godly church should behave, and kudos to Annunciation House for their efforts.
Shared sacrifice is what made this nation great, that and the "rugged individualism" (in quotes, because truly, there is no rugged individualism without a strong society that supports it, therefore rugged individualism is a misnomer.) inherent in exploration and expansion of this nation.
We've seen very little of these values lately: to stand up for what's right in the face of even the most overwhelming odds against you.
What's that you say? Bush has displayed those characteristics? "Stay the course", doing what he believes is right?
HA! W has acted like a wimp from his first day in office to the last day he takes a dump and scratches around the litterbox in January 2009 (should he last that long)! He has lied, cheated, and stolen to get his "agenda" such as it is manuevered into place over our heads like the Sword of Damocles, and now that the string has frayed prematurely-- Reagan at least had the decency to be out of office before the ghastly rapes of his administration had become apparent-- he's dancing to any tune and incantation to try to keep that sword from falling.
Fortunately, it seems we as a people have come a long way to clearing the cobwebs from our heads and the crust from our eyes, waking up to find that things are not hunkydory, that shopping didn't help us after 9/11, and that Iraq was the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time.
So to see individuals and institutions that should be putting up rather than shutting up does my heart some good.
In the name of the father...