Are like oil and water. They don’t mix. A fearful community is not a healthy community. A healthy individual is not a fearful individual. Our mission is to foster healthy people and communities in Arizona, so it saddens us when we hear first-hand stories of people who are afraid to visit a doctor for a checkup, take a sick child in for treatment, or transport a friend to the emergency room for fear of being stopped and asked for documentation.
We have a problem with drug trafficking, human exploitation and violence. These issues should be addressed – and soon. But fostering a climate of fear and intimidation in our communities – especially among people who have been quietly living and working here for years and endangering the safety of no one – is not in our state’s best long-term interests.
The issue of illegal immigration is complex and contentious. We understand this. But for the goals we pursue and the community partnerships we support, the greater good is always to provide care, comfort and support to those who need it, especially those who are less fortunate than ourselves. All of the world’s major religions teach this. It is the great moral lesson – and we ignore it at our collective peril.