Kathryn Lopez

We live during a time when our senses are overloaded and our attention spans for other people's problems can be short. But the situation at our borders is about people we have a responsibility to as fellow human beings in a country that has much, even as we aren't always good stewards of the gifts.

We're talking about people who see -- or were told -- their recourse for hope in their lives was coming here. At the very least, we can show them love, which is not a government program or political platform. It is the people of Sacred Heart parish and the Archdiocese of Chicago and Americans opening their homes to help give a brother or sister a place to feel safe.

We fear, among other things, of course, that our country can't sustain this. That's certainly true, and this crisis is a wake-up call and a scandal, exposing layers of incompetence, lawlessness and indifference in our government and culture when it comes to immigration. It's an issue that's used as a political battering ram, as pastors who see the human fallout daily have long pled for civic responsibility and human decency.

"Solidarity means taking responsibility for those in trouble," St. John Paul II wrote in 1996. "For Christians, the migrant is not merely an individual to be respected in accordance with the norms established by law, but a person whose presence challenges them and whose needs become an obligation for their responsibility. 'What have you done to your brother?' The answer should not be limited to what is imposed by law, but should be made in the manner of solidarity."

Oh, Brother, help us, if we cannot see we cannot see through to the heart and the urgency. Our laws, our rhetoric, our indifference -- and our Twitter reflexes -- are not worthy of who we say we are as Americans.


Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.