The global economy's effect on Latin America and how it results in immigration problems was the topic presented by Rev. Dr. Miguel A. De La Torre, professor of Social Ethics and Latino/a Studies at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colo. It was the 2012 Signum Fidei Lecture, “Why They Come: Economic Causes of the Present Immigration Problem,” on March 22 on Lewis University’s main campus in Romeoville.
De La Torre explored Latin America’s motivations for immigration, the United States’ efforts to prevent immigration flow, and the economics of detention. He also shared reasons for his own “illegal” immigration to this country. He discussed the current immigration issue, and suggested why it is profitable for some corporations not to fix the nation’s broken immigration system.
During his lecture, De La Torre referred to the Biblical passage Matthew 25:35-36. "For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me."
The Cuban native said, "If you want to see the face of Jesus today in this country, look at those who are crossing the borders of this country as the hungry."
He encouraged those present to advocate for Latin America through prayer and action.
The Signum Fidei Lecture is organized by Lewis University’s Center for Ministry and Spirituality to celebrate the university’s Catholic and Lasallian heritage, bringing to the campus men and women of vision and faith to illuminate issues affecting the Church and its people, to reflect on spirituality in the Catholic tradition, and to provide a forum for topics based on Church teaching.
Lewis University is a Catholic university offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to nearly 6,500 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally aware, and socially responsible graduates. The ninth largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report.
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