Running Deep: Arriving at Deportation Airport in Germany

Of the many signs indicating that this was Frankfurt Flughafen (airport), the one that caught my attention had been vandalized.  Instead of Frankfurt, the graffiti announced (in English) that it was Deportation Airport.

Two things came to mind.  First: there must be a healthy movement opposed to state policy and practice regarding immigration and the presence of  “foreigners.”  Second: it felt like home.

Home, because I count myself among the healthy opposition to my government’s misguided treatment of undocumented immigrants.

And home, because when I lived in West Germany 28 years ago as a high school exchange student, I was first introduced to faith-based advocacy of the needs of immigrants by my Lutheran host family.  My German family, who saved my life and that of many others by their lived radical hospitality, acted in that year as advocates for, and friends of, at least two immigrant families, both from different parts of Africa.  My family had them to dinner, loaned them money, accompanied them to school meetings for their children, got outraged at the indecent treatment at the hands of local authorities.

I have sometimes wondered why it is I joined the Standing on the Side of Love campaign so enthusiastically and whole-heartedlz, finding myself so particularly drawn to the issues of immigration.  Was I just a patsy of the UUA’s latest social justice infatuation, a shill for its current president as one retired Universalist minister suggested

Seeing that defaced sign and the hope it lighted in me brought me squarely back to the knowledge that this particular concern runs deep.

(I wish I had thought at the time to take a photo, but alas, I did not.)

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