US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Global migration: Do borders matter?

Father Tom Joyce CMF | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
It would be a mistake to see our "broken borders" as a domestic problem--or at best, between the United States and Mexico. Migration is a global phenomenon. In ways, it's even more pressing in Europe than here.

The United Nations estimates there are 214 million migrants globally, and this number is growing quickly and exotically: Poles and Estonians in Dublin, Filipinos in Dubai, Mongolians in Prague, Nepalis in South Korea. The Persian Gulf states have become a veritable United Nations--though with restriction on the human rights of the foreigners.

Some have speculated that as the trade and financial globalizations have transcended borders, this new globalization of people might mean the concept of the nation-state, with its secure borders and definable citizenship, may be obsolete. Ironically, the United States with its history of diversity may fare better in any transition than the rest of the world. We have taken waves of immigrants in stride--though not without a little friction--and seem to be moving clumsily toward a resolution of our current crisis. (See New York Times.)