One Jose Torres has sought sanctuary in First Grace United Methodist Church. First illegally travelling through Mexico to get here, the citizen of El Salvador has lived in this country illegally for about a dozen years, a crime. Most of that time he has lived around New Orleans and started a family with his wife, also apparently illegally in the country, which produced two anchor babies. He says that his two American citizen daughters are unfortunate enough to have medical problems.
Despite having been here since 2005, Torres apparently never sought out American citizenship. He did, however, find enough time to get convicted on drunk driving charges in 2015, a crime, as well as to assist fellow criminals in organizing a method to flout their illegal status while selling their labor to another set of criminals, businesses who knowingly employ undocumented workers.
Now, judging his deportment as imminent, he has taken up residence at the church, crying to the world not only is none of this his fault, but that the government is to blame. “They’re destroying me totally as the father of a family. I feel terrible – they're removing me from my daughters’ lives. That is why I am fighting against these injustices.”
No; Torres is to blame for his refusal to follow the laws of the land that has given him so much. He’s the one who failed as a father by not doing what he could to make his daughters’ lives more secure. Unlike immigrants who go through the process to earn their citizenship and who in doing so give back to this country, America doesn’t need crybabies like this who don’t do what they must and then fault others for their own failings.
The church authorities involved also bear opprobrium over their decision to harbor a fugitive, who by their action seem more interested in witnessing a particular social gospel than in following the actual Bible. They particularly ignore Romans 13 that discusses the obligation of the faithful to adhere to just laws of a just state. The more genuinely Christian act from their perspective would be to have loving and willing church members become foster parents to the daughters until, if ever, the parents can secure legal residence in the U.S. or take them back to El Salvador.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement typically does not go to the doors of churches and makes arrests of illegal aliens within, so Torres could stay quite awhile. If the church wishes to foot his bill as long as he can hang out there, let it. But’s we should recognize the lack of both nobility and righteousness attendant to his act, and understand it illustrates only selfishness and tawdriness.