From Words to Actions

One of the issues that has kept listeners in suspense is the scandal of children being separated from their immigrant parents and caged in detention centers. These revelations provoked so much public outrage the White House reacted by issuing an executive order to stop the embarrassing spectacle. Presumably, these and other actions were taken by immigration authorities in response to the “zero tolerance” policy promulgated by the U.S. attorney general. However, by proceeding with the most recent executive order, parents will be taken along with their children to immigration detention centers. The White House has urged lawmakers once and for all to definitely resolve this uncertainty by approving immigration reform.

So the ball is back in the court of the United States Senate and House of Representatives. Except that it’s easier said than done. The question is, can representatives and senators agree on something that is acceptable to the White House? That is what has long prevented any law from being passed that not only repairs a dysfunctional immigration system, but also resolves, in a human and just way, the situation of the hundreds of thousands of immigrants who are living in or entering the United States without legal permission.

The other issue that keeps the decent public in suspense, not only because of how close it is, but because of how quickly the situation has degenerated, is the Nicaraguan conflict. After the Episcopal Conference twisted the Nicaraguan regime’s arm, it officially invited international human rights organizations to send delegations to the country. This reopens the possibility of resuming the dialogue suspended by the bishops after a previous wave of violence that resulted in another dozen deaths. However, the rebellious city of Masaya, self-proclaimed as a territory detached from the Sandinista authority, remains in fierce opposition to the anti-riot forces and the “mobs” linked to the government. That is the scenario that captures everyone’s attention at this moment. The beastly assaults by government forces trying to regain control of the city have not managed to subdue the opposition. But the Catholic bishops there not only act as mediators, but also act as quite the protagonists. A caravan of bishops moved to Masaya to avoid another massacre. On the streets along the road that leads to the town, the convoy was cheered by crowds leaving their homes and offices to show their support.

(Here during the post-election conflict, although the Episcopal Conference opportunely urged politicians to negotiate, it took on the expected conciliatory role of spiritual leaders, favoring international mediation). “Let the world know!” Bishop Báez wrote on social networks, that the Nicaraguan government is preparing riot and paramilitary forces to perpetrate another massacre in the defenseless indigenous neighborhood of Monimbó, Masaya. “No doubt that denunciation motivated the Cardinal of Nicaragua, the auxiliary bishop of Managua, and the apostolic nuncio to abandon a celebration in Managua, a “Day of Prayer” for the country, in order to move to Masaya. There they were received by the residents who came out, elated, to thank them for their presence. They met with the police commissioner to make a commitment to stop the repression and release the detainees. Now it is expected that the dialogue will begin again.

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