Every election cycle I find myself shocked at some of the core beliefs and suggested policies that are pushed forward by candidates who claim to be “pro-life.” At this point I probably shouldn’t be, but it is hard for me to let go of the hope that pro-life might actually mean “pro-life” one day.
Perhaps one of the more heinous anti-life ideologies being floated this cycle is the blanket, mass deportation of undocumented immigrants. It’s not enough to build a giant wall to keep them out; what many want is to get rid of all the ones who are here– without exception.
Such is the position of Ted Cruz. Cruz’s anti-life views were recently demonstrated in full force when an undocumented immigrant tried to dialogue with him regarding his anti-immigrant views.
30-year-old Ofelia Valdez was brought to the United States as a child, and has grown up here. The United States is her home– the only home she knows. She’s now a young woman and works for a non-profit that helps children with disabilities.
Valdez, and many just like her, have been allowed to remain in the United States under the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which recognizes that children who were brought here illegally should not be torn from the only country they know. DACA is both an act of mercy and an act of common sense– to tear someone from their family and community and deport them to a country they may not even remember is the hight of cruelty. Nothing about that makes America great.
Yet, this is the position Cruz holds. On one hand, it’s somewhat easy to hold to positions that unnecessarily harm divine image bearers of the Living God. However, when we look those we’re harming in the face, many soften with the realization that these are real people we’re hurting.
Sadly, this isn’t the case for Cruz. During a visit to her workplace Valdez asked Cruz about people like herself– hard working Americans who were brought here illegally as children:
“I’m worried about whoever comes next to the presidency and what’s going to happen to people like us. I think of myself as a part of this community and you know, first day of presidency, you decide to deport, you know, people like myself, you know, it’s just very difficult.”
You can see a video of the exchange, here:
Cruz’s response? “There are consequences for breaking the law. And that is part of what makes America the nation that we are.”
It’s as if Cruz said, “Tough luck, kid. I don’t care that you came here as a child, that this is the only home you know, or that you’re making the world a better place by serving children with disabilities. On day one of my presidency, you’re headed back to wherever you came from. Sure, it’s a tragedy, but that’s what happens when your parents break the law.”
For one such as Cruz who runs on what seems to be a staunch pro-life platform, claiming to believe in the “sanctity of all life,” these anti-immigrant views fly in the face of what it means to actually and truly believe that all life has sacred worth.
Such views are inconsistent with charity, mercy, and all the virtues which make the world a little less broken and a little more right.
When we deport people like Valdez, we tear someone from their friends, their families, and their communities, creating an unnecessary wake of destruction that does nothing to make the world or the country a better place.
To truly call one’s self pro-life, one cannot support heartless policies that destroy innocent lives and rip families apart. Deporting DACA recipients does not affirm that all life has infinite worth and value; on the contrary, it says that some lives are worth being destroyed simply to assuage the general fear of immigrants so prevalent in the hearts of many Americans.
At the core of what it should mean to be pro-life is the conviction that all life is sacred. But for those like Cruz who support the mass deportation of our undocumented brothers and sisters?
Life isn’t sacred at all.
If one wants to support the mass-deportation of all undocumented immigrants regardless of whether or not they came here as children, and regardless of whether or not they are productive, law-abiding members of society, fine– one is free to believe and think whatever they want to believe or think.
But let’s not pretend that such views are consistent with a pro-life ethic. They’re not.