In the inner city of El Paso, Texas, we visited the Annunciation House — a shelter for illegal immigrants. I interveiwed Director Rubin Garcia, who has been with the Annunciation House the past 28 years. He said he is particularly concerned about the growing sentiment in this country against Hispanic immigrants. And he said he’d like to see a lot more dialogue between the cultures, especially because there is so much interdependence of late. He explained after NAFTA, many multi-national companies have gone up on the northern border of Mexico to take advantage of the cheap labor. In turn, the U.S. has become major purchasers of the products from these companies… As an example, Garcia explained there is a huge television manufacturing plant in Mexico (with 70 semi-truck bays). Workers here make 50 cents an hour, $4 for an eight-hour shift. Because of this cheap labor, people in the U.S. are able to purchase a television(s) at, say, “Best Buys” for a mere $200. For someone making $20 an hour in the U.S., it would take them 10 hours to afford the TV. For one of the factory workers in Mexico, it would take them 400 hours to afford the TV. (However, many of their homes (shacks) don’t even have electricity and they are just scrambling to afford the basics in food for their families.) Translated: We are building our lifestyles in the U.S. on the backs of the poor in Mexico (India, China…) The answer (spiritually speaking): Dramatically reduce our lifestyles in the U.S. and just as dramatically fund Third World humanitarian projects — and places like El Paso’s Annunciation House as well — to help those in Mexico (India, China…) become as sustainable as possible. Social justice would demand no less.