I had the opportunity recently to visit Nogales, Mexico, just over the border from Nogales, Arizona. One of the places I visited was a bus station not far from the border. It was a place of waiting. Several people, mostly men, sat in detached bus seats in a large square shelter. Most had been deported through the port of Nogales in the past few days.
There was nothing to do but wait. They had been dropped off at the border with little more than the clothes on their backs. Some had spent years in the U.S. and had left families behind. Others had left family in Mexico or Central America and were apprehended trying to cross the border heading north into the U.S.
As I listened to their stories, I was struck with an overwhelming urge to apologize for the sins of my country, for the terrible injustices they had experienced in their journeys. In the words of Isaiah, I saw the U.S. as a “sinful nation, people laden with iniquity, offspring who do evil, children who deal corruptly, who have forsaken the Lord…” (Isaiah 1:4, NRSV).
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