“There must be no wall”: the Reverend Dan González Ortega speaks on migration and U.S. policy
For some people, the idea of building a wall between Mexico and the United States can be new. Not for the Reverend Dan González-Ortega, President of the Theological Community in Mexico. In an interview with Global Ministries, Reverend González-Ortega expressed his concerns and the challenges of rhetoric and executive actions regarding immigration.
Is the building of a border wall a new issue for Mexicans?
“We already have a fence of 1000km that has marked the border between the two countries for a long time. Likewise, the threat of a large number of deportations of Mexicans is not new, there were more than 3,000,000 deportations realized during the administration of President Obama. All this, not to mention that today information was leaked that possibly Trump would sign a decree that would affect the interests of the so-called ‘Dreamers’ to which the White House already had well identified and located.”
So, what is the real problem here?
“The most worrying situation, in my opinion, is the symbolic exercise of abuse. We are facing a kind of “Bullying” state. This symbolic exercise consists of denouncing the Mexican people by announcing a wall and rubbing it in the face of the Mexican Foreign Minister, being present in the White House, but also stating that the payment would be charged to Mexico through a tweet. Undoubtedly, it is a clear offense to dignity and the good neighborliness between countries.”
How do you define the issue of migration at this historical moment?
“Definitely, this is a human rights issue. We, as the Theological Community of Mexico, are encouraging churches and civil society organizations to demand that Mexican authorities, particularly the President and/or Senate, bring a lawsuit in front of international bodies against these attitudes that harm the dignity of a whole country. Whether it is before the OAS or some other means, Mexico must make its voice heard. No president of any country can boast of its place of power the way Mr. Trump is doing it with the people of Mexico. It´s unbearable for us. We are ready to bring pastoral accompaniment to anyone who is a victim of these actions. In addition, we are ready to raise a prophetic voice that denounces this sin of fratricidal risks. The people of the United States of America are our brothers and sisters too! We are family, beyond differences, races, history and ‘walls.’”
So, in terms of who will pay the wall….
“We affirm the important thing is not ‘Who will pay for the wall?’ Simply, there must be no wall! Goods can no longer be more important than people. The immigration situation is not a matter of national security, but of human rights. My prayers are now with the people and the churches of both countries, for mutual understanding and solidarity.”