“Most of us were once foreigners”
Few places embrace diversity like New Jersey. One in five New Jersey residents was born outside the U.S. All of our ancestors came from somewhere else. Our most densely populated state in the Union continues to welcome immigrants from every corner of the globe, and our communities are stronger because of this. Pope Francis’ words yesterday, spoken clearly in his fourth-best language, ring true to these Italian-American Jersey ears.
“We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us were once foreigners. I say this to you as the son of immigrants, knowing that so many of you are also descended from immigrants.
. . .
On this continent, . . . thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities. Is this not what we want for our own children? We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation.
Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves. In a word, if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities. The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us.”
— Pope Francis, Washington, DC, September 24, 2015