Something about immigration reform

Catholics (and all people of truly good will) cannot disagree about the evil of abortion, but we can disagree about immigration.  The former is intrinsically evil, the latter is dealt with through contingent moral choices.  We can disagree about the best way to handle the questions surrounding immigration.

Meanwhile I direct the readers attention to the document Apostolos suos, which says that the conferences of bishops – as conferences – much less committees of the conferences do NOT have a mandatum docendi.

23. The very nature of the teaching office of Bishops requires that, when they exercise it jointly through the Episcopal Conference, this be done in the plenary assembly. Smaller bodies —the permanent council, a commission or other offices—do not have the authority to carry out acts of authentic magisterium either in their own name or in the name of the Conference, and not even as a task assigned to them by the Conference.

Here is a piece from the Washington Times:

The Catholic Church [HUH? Or the Catholic bishops in these USA, perhaps?] has put the word out to the faithful: Come September, the papacy [okay… the writer doesn’t have a clue…] will be pushing for a widespread and comprehensive immigration reform package on Capitol Hill that will open the doors to citizenship to roughly 11 million illegals.

The church [again] announced the plans last week. Starting Sept. 8, services at participating churches around the nation will include a pulpit-generated push for amnesty, including a call for pew members to get involved, the New York Timesreported.

“We want to try to pull out all the stops,” Kevin Appleby, the director of immigration policy at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, told the Times. [Finally some clarity… it’s the administration of the USCCB, it isn’t even all the US bishops.] “They have to hear the message that we want this done, and if you’re not successful during the summer, you’re not going to win by the end of the year.”

Among the church’s [ugh] plans are scheduled marches and telephone blitzes to the offices of 60 Catholic House Republicans, demanding immigration reform. Speaker of the House John Boehner, along with nearly 130 other members of the legislative body, are Catholic.

At the community level, bishops and priests across the nation are planning to coordinate their Sunday services to include immigration reform throughout September, the Times reported.  [Some priests and bishops, maybe.]

At least a dozen [a dozen which? priests? bishops? priests and bishops?  This is muddy.] already have agreed to hold special Sunday masses in September dedicated to pushing immigration reform as Congress returns to session.

But one Catholic said the church [again] may be wasting its time.

“There are some issues that the church [again] speaks authoritatively on, such as abortion, in protecting life,” said Rep. Dan Lipinski, Illinois Democrat. “And then there are prudential judgments that are made, informed by Catholic theology, but it’s not something that Catholics are required to follow.”

What a mess.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. HyacinthClare says:

    Thank you, Father. Thank you. The news reports make me crazy. This really helps.

  2. EXCHIEF says:

    If this happens on Sept 8th in my Diocese (and it probably will) it will take all of the self control I can muster not to give Father an earful after Mass…..but then again I suppose I should recall “he is only following orders”. When, if ever, will the U S Bishops get off their feel good, social justice high horse and deal with the serious issues facing the Church? I guess if there is a plus side to only 23% of U S Catholics attending Sunday Mass it is that 77% won’t listen to this drivel.

  3. So now The Wun, Harry Reed, and the rest of the Party of Death are dictating the position papers for the USCCB?

    One more reason the whole conference edifice should be done away with. They are nothing but shills for their cafe society friends inside the beltway.

    (And before anyone gets all twisted around the axle, it’s the organization, which has no canonical authority absent approval from the Holy See, that is off the rails, not individual members…and based on their past transgressions, foolish positions, and pandering to their Demoncrat overlords versus teaching the faith…they have, to intelligent laity, NO moral authority to speak on anything)

  4. “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God, the things that are God’s” — Our Lord.
    I doubt that Jesus would support people who are breaking the law. I am against illegal immigration. America was built on legal immigrants that came to this country to build it into what it is today. It did not involve sneaking across borders, avoiding taxes, committing crimes without being punished, evading the law, ect. The liberal cool-aid drinkers in our Church have been cooing for this man made disaster for quite some time and I hope that our Church will stand strong and not support illegal immigration. Just my two cents.

  5. Supertradmum says:

    Another area where the USCCB administrative gurus are showing their socialist and false notions of social justice spots. IMO, this entire amnesty program is happening merely to get the Dems more votes in the future. Obama’s polls among young people, after the whistle-blower episodes, is at an all time low, and the Dems need to get votes from somewhere. Bread and circuses.

  6. Ganganelli says:

    I’ve been saying it since the election of Pope Francis. Within a year, you will be more likely to hear calls for canon 915 to be imposed on the likes of Boehner than on Biden. Mark my words.

  7. Geoffrey says:

    Careful. Your GOP is showing.

  8. Phil_NL says:

    The Illinois Democrat is the one who provides the paragraph that is most relevant and truthful. That alone must be a miracle (or an error).

    As I said before, the bishops should stay clear of these issues. They undermine their own authority by calling for policies one is free to disagree with (and for excellent reasons too); if you hear a bishop pandering to Democratic party hobbyhorses 9 times, will you still pay attention the 10th time when he actually is teaching about the faith?

    Moreover, if the bishops claim any moral argument for allowing more (or continued) immigration, would they want to make the same argument for allowing more muslims into Europe? Moral arguments don’t stop at the US border, so if they believe they have a case on their side of the atlantic, the church should make the same case on the European side. (although, we have our fair share of lefty bishops over here as well, perhaps I shouldn’t be giving them ideas… we have problems enough already to get our broders closed) Fact of the matter is that immigration can be artrocious in its consequences, as Europe shows. That the US usually has catholics immigrating is relevant and does mitigate some of the problems, but hardly all of them. Bishops would do best to consider these matters before they even touch the subject.

  9. JMody says:

    Writing from the Abandoned Zone (regio relicta?):
    Well, the Church stopped calling Marxism evil, and created these “conference” organizations with nice titles but no actual teaching authority — what other reason could there have been than to allow Marxists to create confusion within the Church?
    When is a bishop going to expound on the second half of paragraph 2241 (why it is two paragraphs but one number is very interesting in itself). When you call it up on their website, only the first of these two paragraphs comes up, unless you “read more” — but who would read more if he was hoping to find only what was in the first paragraph? My emphasis:

    2241 The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.

    Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.

    That’s so full of problems, I don’t know where to begin. “The more prosperous nations are obliged …?” Are we not all obliged? Or was the Good Samaritan obliged only because he had financial means? I don’t remember the story quite that way. This seems to say my moral obligations are directly related to my resources, or, if I’m poor enough, I don’t have to be good.

    Obligations on the immigrants? Our bishop, his predecessor, and their cross-border counterparts have STUDIOUSLY AVOIDED this part of the Church’s teaching. So drug runners, drunk drivers, aggravated assailants, rapists and the rest are encouraged to come here to “do the jobs Americans won’t do” — unless those jobs are honestly advertised, then Americans line up for them. Some folks back East like to think that they bring a strong moral culture with them — it is strong, but it glorifies illegitemacy and looks down on education, so respect for material and spiritual heritage could be called into question.

    And at the same time, we have unions now making a push for astronomic minimum wages — what will be the unintended (?) consequence here, other than to drive more jobs into part time and eventually off the books.
    Oh, and photo ID to prove citizenship in order to vote is RACIST …

  10. maryh says:

    @Phil_NL As I said before, the bishops should stay clear of these issues. They undermine their own authority by calling for policies one is free to disagree with (and for excellent reasons too); if you hear a bishop pandering to Democratic party hobbyhorses 9 times, will you still pay attention the 10th time when he actually is teaching about the faith?

    Which is why I’m going to unsubscribe from the USCCB alerts now. If I want to know the USCCB prudential opinion on something, I’ll go over there. I don’t need to get a text on my phone or an email.

  11. Cathy says:

    Makes you wonder about priorities – stop the culture of death or simply open the door for more people to enter in and enjoy it?

  12. MarkG says:

    Immigration is a tough issue for most US Catholics, as a good percentage of immigrants are from Catholic countries or Eastern Orthodox countries (Mexico, Central America, Eastern Europe, etc.)
    If the current immigration laws were strictly enforced, then there could possibly be a shift towards larger numbers of Islamic immigration which would be a worse alternative for most Catholics. A lot of the oil rich Islamic nations send people to university here on student visas and they end up getting engineering and IT jobs on H1B visas that are trivial to get. This gives a lot of high paying jobs to the support of Islam, which is certainly not good for Christians in general in the US.
    On another note, we also have to consider that a lot of those included in the new law would be people who came as children and didn’t have a say in the decision to enter the country illegally. It was their parents’ decision.
    Maybe they need to try to get more visas for STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) jobs from graduates of Eastern European universities as part of any reform package in addition to amnesty, so we would get more Christians here. Right now the law favors people who get US degrees and most are from Islam as they can afford to come here and study.

  13. CrimsonCatholic says:

    Remember, Bishop Lynch made immagration reform equal to abortion and life issues.

    Many priests grow weary of continual calls to action for legislative support for abortion and contraception related issues but nothing for immigration reform, food aid, and capital punishment. And, this is a big one, priests don’t like unfair attacks on things they highly value and esteem, like the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and Catholic Charities and Catholic Relief Services.

  14. John of Chicago says:

    With old age I’ve come to admit that I want to put myself at the center of a problem and then choose from among the options that orbit around me–sometimes choosing the better, sometimes the worse. Not really the way Christ advised us to make choices. Here’s a really simple example from Matthew 25:35, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat…” It’s the one who is hungry that is at the center of concern, not me. The bottom-line, irreducible problem is his hunger. The “contingent moral choice” of a soup kitchen, or bag of groceries, or cash, or whatever is a matter of prudence/practical wisdom. All are good options even if some may be better because, with any of them, the one who’s hungry gets to eat. What’s not an option in this “contingent moral choice” is for me to leave him hungry for another day or two while I try to figure something out that works best for both of us. The guy is hungry and needs to eat right now–not someday soon.

    This is so easy to say, soooo very tough for me to accept in practice.

    For the sake of accuracy, the complete Matthew 25:35 says, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,”

  15. robtbrown says:

    I wonder whether this project will be as successful as the project that has opposed abortion.

  16. kimberley jean says:

    If this happens at my parish on September 8, I am getting up and going out until the homily is over. There is no point in fussing at the priest. He’s only acting under obedience.

  17. poohbear says:

    Funny how if a priest or bishop dared to discuss abortion the media would be all over him screaming ‘separation of church and state’ and calling for the taxation of the Catholic Church, but discuss immigration reform and the MSM is all giddy.

  18. acardnal says:

    The former archbishop of Los Angeles, Cardinal Roger Mahony, is constantly Tweeting about immigration reform and the pending legislation. And that’s about all he seems interested in Tweeting about….sadly.

  19. yatzer says:

    I noticed that the usual squawks about “separation of church and state” didn’t seem to come up on this report.

  20. Bob B. says:

    Amnesty II is all it is. In the 80’s, Amnesty was 3-4m illegal immigrants, 30 years later it’s triple that amount. Does this mean in 30 more years we’ll do this again?
    Immigration is all you hear from Archbishop Gomez, too.

  21. The Masked Chicken says:

    “At least a dozen [a dozen which? priests? bishops? priests and bishops? This is muddy.] already have agreed to hold special Sunday masses in September dedicated to pushing immigration reform as Congress returns to session.”

    There is a special section in the scaramentary for “Masses dedicated to pushing immigration reform through Congress?” I seem to be missing a few pages in my missal.

    The Chicken

  22. Jean Marie says:

    This is so very confusing. Why do the bishops want to reward those who have criminally invaded a sovereign country and continue to commit numerous crimes like fraud, theft, rape, murder, etc… and at the same time know full well that these “citizens” will overwhelmingly vote for the Party of Death and torpedo the pro-life and defense of marriage movements? I’m becoming more and more convinced that the American church was indeed infiltrated by Marxists – what else explains this? They are either incredibly naïve and so cut off from reality or they are complicit in the destruction of our country.

  23. Dienekes says:

    As a retired INS special agent (“investigator”) from 1972-94 I have seen it all. The old saw about sausage and legislation is a gross understatement when it comes to the topic of immigration, legal and illegal. On my first day of work my mentor took me aside and said, “It ain’t for real, son”.

    From the beginning immigration law was about cheap labor. The WWII Bracero Law was kept in place until the late 1950s, and when it expired agribusiness decided to use any and all the illegal aliens it could get. It still does, and continues to agitate for special considerations. Never mind that the working conditions and lifestyle are essentially serf like. The truth is that “cheap labor” is a better deal for the unprincipled employer than slavery was. As capitalized property and an investment the slave had to be given at least some consideration. The illegal alien (or “guest worker”) is expendable.

    The 1965 changes to the law served to quietly revamp all preferences to Third World countries; a substantial change from the previous 75 plus years which encouraged European immigration. Doing so has had profound effects. Teddy Kennedy’s efforts to “fundamentally transform” immigration had their effect, but without any substantial public input. One of the effects of this–which continues to this day– was to import a lot of poverty from Latin America.

    One factor of immense influence has been the utter failure of Mexico (and the PRI) to offer its citizens a decent livelihood over the decades. In essence the US has been a safety valve for a country which might otherwise have had to deal with this issue. In all the discussion about immigration the Bishops never seem to recognize that these people already have a country–one which also treats them as bothersome pawns.

    Criminal aliens? There are lots of them and they keep coming and coming back. This Administration could care less. As a matter of fact, the rule of law means nothing in the enforcement of immigration law anymore. I could tell stories…

    As is now freely admitted, the 1986 immigration reforms were a joke, a politicians’ way serving to kick the can down the road. Even as astute a politician as Alan Simpson claims (with a straight face) that he was fooled by promises. Hard to believe but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt…

    So now “the problem” is manifest to everyone. Democrats envision an reliable voting bloc to electoral dominance, businesses see a tidal wave of cheap, docile labor, and Republicans hope to pander their way into some Hispanic votes and get past all this.

    For what it’s worth, there are definite positives to immigration.I have met many thoroughly decent immigrants, legal and illegal. As a matter of fact, I have vastly more respect for them than I do for past or present Administrations or Congresses. Make that VASTLY more!

    For these and other reasons, I regard any advice the bishops have to give on the topic as naive at best and complicit with evil at worst. For my pains I will probably be excommunicated long before Ms. Pelosi is.

  24. John of Chicago says:

    Okay, I’m confused. If what is being said above is truly orthodox, what am I to make of this “The Lord God said to Moses… ‘The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.’ ” (Leviticus 19: 34-35 et al.) or this, “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ ” (Matthew 25: 41-43) I mean, seriously, Christ seemed a whole lot more gentle with the woman about to be stoned for her serial indiscretions than He is here in this parable. Aren’t we in some danger of using “contingent moral choice” as a waffle–a way to weasel out of a rather blunt and forceful commandment regardless of what the USCCB may or may not say? [You are right. You are confused. The FACT that dealing with immigration reform involves contingent moral choices doesn’t mean that we don’t have to do something about immigration reform. We can argue about the BEST way to deal with immigration reform. There are many approaches.]

  25. ckdexterhaven says:

    Would it kill the USCCB to even acknowledge the crimes that are committed by illegal immigrants ?Robert Krentz was an Southern Arizona rancher gunned down by an illegal immigrant in 2010. Ranchers along the southern AZ border have their fences cut, livestock stolen and property destroyed by illegal border crossers.

    Are there any US bishops traveling to Mexico and asking the Mexican government to fight the lawless drug cartels that run that country?

  26. HyacinthClare says:

    Maybe you’re putting your finger on something, John of Chicago, although of course I defer to Fr. Z. Those scriptures haunt me. But Moses and Jesus were talking about my welcoming and caring for a specific stranger, someone at my door with a need that I have the means to meet. Amnesty is talking about inviting people by the millions in to apply for welfare, demand liver transplants paid for by the government, refuse to speak the language, be fed and housed and their children educated by people who never see them, who work and pay taxes on the other side of the country. Invading armies of Babylonians and invading armies of Romans are NOT what Moses and Jesus was talking about, are they?

  27. HyacinthClare says:

    “were” talking about… sigh… old age

  28. tcreek says:

    Do the bishops consider that —
    – Latinos voted for President Barack Obama over Republican Mitt Romney by 71% to 27%, according to an analysis of exit polls by the Pew Hispanic Center, a Project of the Pew Research Center.

    – Black unemployment in at 13% and black youth at 40%.

  29. rodin says:

    Should the priest at your mass follow the directions of the USCCB in discussing immigration perhaps a polite letter to the Bishop explaining your views would be in order. And one might also consider writing to the head of the USCCB. That would be Cardinal Dolan, yes?

  30. John of Chicago says:

    Hi HyacinthClare,
    I completely agree that the needs and problems raised by so many immigrants is way beyond the ability of an individual to meet and solve. I think that’s exactly where the Catholic “Principle of Subsidiarity” steps in to say that action should be taken by the smallest and least complex organization that can solve the problem. My guess is that this problem is so massive that it will challenge the ability of any and every organization or government, regardless of size, that takes it on. Nevertheless, we have been charged with the responsibility to do it.

  31. Kathleen10 says:

    Have to mention that last week I heard the homily I have waited 20 years for. (that may be bad grammar)
    The priest mentioned, in the homily, BOTH abortion and homosexuality/same-sex marriage. He was against both. I thanked Father after the Mass.
    I very much hope we do NOT get the immigration reform homily. I don’t wish to feel irked at Holy Mass. Tongues have largely been tied (this last weekend being the exception) on the topics of abortion and homosexuality/same-sex “marriage”, and we may not have suffered so much cultural deterioration if that had not been the case, so to hear about immigration reform would be, well, annoying. It is unpleasant to feel one is looking askance at the USCCB from across a fence.

  32. RobW says:

    I attend a liberal parish (unfortunately) and immigration makes it into the Mass intentions often (which is fine), but do unborn babies ever make it into the intentions?…nooooooo.

  33. EXCHIEF says:

    As a veteran of writing to my Bishop, the USCCB and even Rome on more than one occasion always respectful and always citing Canon Law—and getting nothing more than a patronizing response (if that) I’ve given up on letter writing as an effective course of action. Prayer is, in reality, the only thing I can do for the Church particularly since current Church “leaders” ( at ALL levels ) seem to have a false agenda and in actuality provide no leadership at all. Far too many of them in this country are nothing more than spokespersons for the party of death. Harsh? Yep, but show me what I have said is not true.

  34. rodin says:

    Yes, EXCHIEF, what you say is quite true in my experience as well. A single letter gets a silly answer, but many letters just might rock them a bit. I’m thinking that a deluge could prompt a sensible response.

  35. John of Chicago says:

    Merely an anecdote:
    One of the immigrants we are discussing dusts the pews and irons the linens at my parish church. I think her little daughter made her First Communion last spring and her son graduated from the parish grade school a couple of years back. The story I heard is that they live with her sister and her family in a small apartment because the brother-in-law is legal and has a job.
    It just seems to me that if the Church does not speak up for them, whom we all know a little bit and see every Sunday, who will listen to us when we speak up for the unborn children whose families we do not know and whom we cannot see.

  36. Maria says:

    Dear John of Chicago says:
    24 August 2013 at 12:28 pm

    “For the sake of accuracy, the complete Matthew 25:35 says, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,”” — Have you considered this: Matthew 4:2-4 – He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry. The temper approached and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread. He said in reply, “It is written: One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God”.

    As you can see, immigration is providential. On the other hand, abortion, contraception, sodomy and euthanasia are intrinsic evils as these annihilates the “image and likeness of God” (Gen 1:26) and His dwelling place (Eph 2:22) and His temple (1Cor 6:19).

    John of Chicago says:
    24 August 2013 at 3:33 pm

    ““The Lord God said to Moses… ‘The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.’ ” (Leviticus 19: 34-35 et al.)” — Maybe we can do a comparison. The second greatest command is “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” but the greatest is the first which is “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matt 22:37-39).

    The problem with intrinsic evil is we offend God. On providential matters, we offend our fellow man. Offending God means the question of our salvation.

    I THINK:
    As an immigrant, I think the problem of immigration, are the countries were these immigrants are coming. Most of these countries are Catholics and run by Catholic leaders where greed and corruption is rampant, thus, material poverty. I believe that the bishops of these countries must confront greed and corruption. Bishops of wealthier country must support them in their efforts through international campaign. Otherwise the cycle never stops.

    Corruption Index Rank % of Catholic Head of State/President
    Population Catholic?
    Argentina 35 102 92% Yes
    Colombia 36 94 90% Yes
    Cuba 48 58 85% Baptized Catholic
    Dominican Republic 32 118 95% Yes
    Ecuador 32 118 95% Yes
    El Salvador38 83 57.1% Yes
    Haiti 19 165 80% No
    Mexico 34 105 82.7% Yes
    Nicaragua 29 130 58.5% Yes
    Peru 38 83 81.3% Yes
    Philippines34 105 82.9% Yes
    Venezuela 34 105 96% Just died – was Yes

    Corruption Index
    President google each
    1.) that immigration becomes rich countries problem due to poor nations greed & corruption
    2.) that immigration should be a dialogue between two countries how to solve migration problem

    As an immigrant too, I know of immigrants who abuse the system already without this immigration law.

    God’s blessings of peace and joy!

  37. Maria says:

    Dear John of Chicago says:
    24 August 2013 at 10:08 pm

    “It just seems to me that if the Church does not speak up for them, whom we all know a little bit and see every Sunday, who will listen to us when we speak up for the unborn children whose families we do not know and whom we cannot see.” — have you considered this: the brother-in-law is legal, he HAS a voice. The unborn DOES NOT have a voice. Even their documented mothers took their voices out. Don’t you know that a child born here is legal and the mother who is not legal can stay here in US as long as she can take care of the child. This is the reason why we have a lot of undocumented single mothers here. They found a way to stay here legally. I have sympathy for these women but they have to go through the process, wait until their child/children to grow-up and petition them or earn skills while their children are growing-up so that their employer can petition her (then she can petition the husband). Patience is a virtue.

    Also, have you considered this: John 22:29 – Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed”. — it is easy to make decisions on policies and regulations when we see, when we feel or when we hear. This is the reason the battle for the unborn is very hard becasue we don’t see that it is the image and likeness of God, we don’t feel and we don’t hear. Isn’t it that abortion laws is getting better because we HEAR the beating of the heart?

    The current laws are working. It is tough but you can always work on it just like I did.

    God’s blessings of peace and joy!

  38. John of Chicago says:

    Hi Maria,
    Thank you for your kind, thoughtful and detailed help. It’s my fault and I blame the late hour and my own ignorance but there are parts of your comments that I do not understand, especially those regarding your distinctions regarding the providential and the non-providential. My only thought is that Christ’s parable about the final judgement concerns the hungry, thirsty, naked, sick, imprisoned and foreigner and He says, ” ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ ” (Matthew 25:45) If Christ truly intended for us to understand the King in the parable as God then this instruction regarding the hungry et al. seems to be pretty much identical with “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matt 22:37-39).

    I completely agree with you that corrupt leaders such as those you enumerate are a huge factor in creating the immigration tragedy. My only additional thought is that just as corrupt leaders can cause poverty, we must not require the hungry to wait until those in power decide to repent before the hungry get something to eat, we cannot ask generations of immigrants to live in desperation until those in power back “home” have a change of heart or, at least, a change of national policy and

    Again, thanks for your thoughts.

  39. Ben Kenobi says:

    Couple things…

    The system as it is – is broken. We’re seeing right now – that the ‘solution’ seems to be to let them come but ‘do not let them be citizens’. This is no different from the Jim Crow laws of before – separate but unequal. It’s ok for them to come over and work, but not that they get to have a say in the laws of the country. If that is how the ‘reform’ works out, it will be a disaster.

    The problem – is welfare and the distribution of public benefits through the government, federal, state and local. Immigration is only an issue insofar as the people who do come choose not to work and get on the gravy train. The way it used to work – was that you could come to America from all around the world, if you were willing to work hard and make a life for yourself. The current quota system dates to the time of Wilson, and yes, it was because Wilson wanted the cheap labor. What it means, is that many who are willing to contribute to America cannot come (because they don’t make the quota), and that many who aren’t willing to contribute just cross the border anyways. So we get the worst of both worlds. Then we see folks like Teddy Kennedy, changing the quota so that it specifically excludes those who are contributing, and folks like Holder trying to deport German homeschoolers, while protecting those with multiple felonies.

    Reform is going to be irrelevent unless it:
    1, has actual border security and ingoing and outgoing controls.
    2, has actual consequences for those who overstay their visas and do not leave, and those in the country illegally.
    3, has a means for the officers to enforce the law without retribution from higher officials.
    4, immediate deportation of all those committing a felony.
    5, elimination of quota based system. Strict controls on entry will solve most of the problems, if backed up by enforcement. Break the law – you never come back to America again.
    6, green card, based on length of time in country *IF* accompanied with work history and no felonies. If you have shown you can work and survive in America without resorting to public benefits, then you should be encouraged to become a citizen.
    7. elimination of all public benefits for immigrants of all stripes.

  40. Papabile says:

    The reason that the Senate bill will not be put on the floor?

    Before even getting to a vote, there would be a Republican letter with 50 signatures calling for the election of a new Speaker, thus forcing the Republican Conference to act.

    That’s the political reality. Do not expect the Speaker to forfeit his job for a Durbin Senate bill.

  41. jhayes says:

    Here is the USCCB immigration website:

  42. Salvelinus says:

    Well, I’ve cancelled my text updates from USCCB. Their alliance with the party of death is all too obvious now. My pastor was “spoken to” about his homilies against abortion and same sex marriage.But he’s ordered to speak for lawbreaking and disrespect of sovereign borders? My letter will likely just get dismissed again as being “uncharitable” – oh yeah, Im a LEGAL immigrant so I guess I dont matter because my family didnt arrive as Democrats??? The Vatican is hopefully backfilling the ranks of Cardinal Bernadine and Mahoney (bad) with the likes of Bishop Paprocki

  43. annmarie says:

    I have spent most of my life on the border from and in a family who also lives there. I know the practical issues pretty well and have studied most of the Church’s teaching on the issue.

    I would like to make just a couple of points.

    Most of the Church’s teachings are expositions on the recommended behaviors of the Church and individuals in the Church toward immigrants. It seems to me that legality is presumed in most of the historical teachings. To apply those teachings to the phenomenon of illegal immigration is not Catholic and, in my opinion, destructive of the people and countries involved. But that is what the Bishop’s political directives seem to do.

    What there is on illegal immigration is quite different from the rhetoric of most American Bishops and the USSCB.

    For instance. and I paraphrase, JPII said in his 1996 (if I remember correctly) address on Annual Migration Day that if an illegal immigrant is unable to be made legal reasonably, they should be sent back home or to another country willing to accept them. Both of the two most recent and previous Popes said on their respective planes when visiting American that the first and most long lasting solution to illegal immigration is to fix the social and economic structures in the sending countries which encourage the same.

    Practically speaking, illegal immigration under current circumstances is destroying American families with illegal immigrants who steal identity, jobs, education and social services from those legal American residents who earned them and deserve them.

    It is also, in the case of Mexico, destroying the Mexican families and denying Mexicans the right which the Church has articulated, not to have to emigrate to find a decent way of life. But don’t be misled about Mexico. It is a rich country with lots of resources, a booming economy and a low unemployment rate.

    If America were to enforce E-Verify most Mexican illegal aliens would leave back to Mexico and that would usually be their preference. Believe me, they are Mexicans first, heart and soul and understandably so. It is a wonderful culture. Mexican nationals really do not care about American citizenship. In addition, most Mexicans in the U.S. have a home in Mexico to go back to, unlike the legal American residents who lose their home because of the falling wages, caused in part by the very illegal work force in this country.

    There is much more to be said, but I truly believe that Bishop’s position is profoundly unjust.
    We can be more Christian and just by refusing to accept the status quo and to push hard for policies that empower all peoples.

  44. Gail F says:

    My bulletin today had what is apparently a nationwide bulletin insert. It seems to me to be pretty reasonable and based on Catholic teaching, except for one of the points, which is a “pathway to citizenship.” I don’t see that that is anything but a prudential decision. Of course you don’t want to create a permanent class of non-citizens (some countries do, but that’s a pretty awful thing after a generation or so), but I don’t see why adults allowed to stay here (vs. their children brought here or born here) can’t be permanent resident aliens. Different solutions are possible, right?

    I appreciate that this is a difficult problem, practically speaking. There is NO WAY to deport 11 million people, for one thing.

  45. Bea says:

    kimberley jean:
    “If this happens at my parish on September 8, I am getting up and going out until the homily is over.”
    Me too.

    They came in as illegals.
    Now they will be citizens?
    With a right to vote, along with the “legals” Doesn’t sound right.

    I wonder when the bishops will do a “Push” on Modesty, Chastity and all the other virtues that are supposed to lead us to sanctity.

    September 8: The birthday of Our Lady, model of purity, obedience and all perfection in a human soul. This would be a perfect day to “Push” for modesty, chastity and obedience (yes, obedience to man’s laws, too. Even our Lord said to render to Ceasar what is Ceasar’s and He paid taxes by getting the gold coin out of the fish’s mouth. He, too was obedient to man-made laws)

    This is what the bishops should be teaching.
    All other paths lead to anarchy.

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