Does the Gospel Speak to Immigration?

Over at the American Spectator, writer Mark Tooley takes to task the Episcopal bishops of the United States for promoting the notion Bishops carrying white crossesthat impenetrable national borders may immorally block access to basic human rights such as employment, health care, food, education, and other necessities, and that the criminalization of those who seek to cross the border is wrong. Under the leadership of Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, the bishops met in Arizona last month to bring attention to the risks, often fatal, that Mexican migrants face when trying to cross the desert into the United States. Tooley, incensed at photos of some bishops carrying white crosses that symbolize migrants who perished on their way to the America, says that the Episcopalian bishops are “caricatures” of themselves, “Like many Mainline Protestant elites who blithely have not yet realized their own cultural marginalization.” What pushes Tooley over the edge is this passage from the Episcopal pastoral letter:

Ours is a migratory world in which many people move across borders to escape poverty, hunger, injustice and violence. We categorically reject efforts to criminalize undocumented migrants and immigrants, and deplore the separation of families and the unnecessary incarceration of undocumented workers. Since, as we are convinced, it is natural to seek gainful employment to sustain oneself and one's family, we cannot agree that the efforts of undocumented workers to feed and shelter their households through honest labor are criminal.

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The letter affirms the right of the United States to defend itself against drug traffickers, terrorists, and other criminals, but asks: does the United States have a moral right to deny human beings the chance to seek basic human rights here?

This thesis is hardly exclusive to a dwindling Protestant elite, as Tooley would have his readers believe. Take a look at Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope, the jointly released document by the Roman Catholic bishops of the United States and Mexico in 2003. The document speaks to the themes echoed by the Episcopalian bishops last month. Strangers No Longer states that nations have a right “to control their territories,” yet, “More powerful economic nations, which have the ability to protect and feed their residents, have a stronger obligation to accommodate migration flows.” Further, the right to control borders is contingent upon the understanding that borders must promote the “common good” for all. Human beings, the bishops state, have a fundamental right “to migrate so that they can realize their God-given rights.” The document goes on to offer appropriate pastoral responses to migration as well as policy options that, if enacted, would begin to alleviate the symptoms that cause mass migration in the first place.

Tooley makes the startling and baseless claim that, “Like most on the Religious Left, the Episcopal Bishops seem uncomfortable with national sovereignty in the political sphere, just as the Religious Left is often theologically uncomfortable with Christianity's exclusivist truth claims, or the expectation of monogamy in traditional marriage, and the loyalties inherent to traditional families.” As a bloc, Roman Catholic bishops in the US can hardly be considered part of the “religious left,” or uncomfortable with traditional marriage (Catholic bishops offer some of the strongest voices against same-sex marriage in the US) and strong truth claims (the driving mission of Pope Benedict is exhorting the acceptance of Truth). Yet they share a similar view on immigration with their Episcopal brothers and sisters. How can this be? Tooley writes, “The Gospel commands the Church to offer its message ministry to all persons, from sanctified saints to incarcerated murderers. But the Gospel does not command the U.S. government, or any earthly civil regime, to offer universal hospitality.” The bishops of the Episcopal and Roman Catholic churches seemingly disagree with Tooley. This suggests that a wide range of Christian interpretation views divinely granted, universal human rights as superior to man’s creation of border enforcement and resource ownership.

Perhaps Tooley is simply wrong. Perhaps the Gospel message that tells Christians that to love God is to love neighbor speaks directly to the US government and other civil regimes that, despite their often-good intentions, fail to recognize the universal human rights of all. Perhaps the Gospel speaks to all earthly regimes--past, present, and future--offering a path radically different from the ways of man, hoping we instead embrace the way of love. 

 

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Tom Maher
7 years 10 months ago
Migration of people can have very severe destabilizing impacts on a country.  But the religious sentimentalist fails to take into account any impact on a society.  They are in effect creating unrecongnized "universal priniples" which no function society has agreed to or could agree to.  Thank goodness someone has spoken out against organized religion creating their very own irrational alternate universe,  
Michael Cremin
7 years 10 months ago
"does the United States have a moral right to deny human beings the chance to seek basic human rights here?"

Yes. The United States is a soverign nation that can order its borders in any way it deems prudent. People born in Mexico, China, or Poland have no inherent 'right' to enter the United States. As Christians, we are all called to help those who are in need, but our nation is not a church humanitarian organization: it is a country, and countries can set up their bordes as they see fit.

If we, in our democratic processes, decide to change our immigration laws, that's one thing. But no one has a 'right' to enter our nation. That is insane.

Yet anther reason the Episcoplal church is collapsing.
Brian Volck
7 years 10 months ago
The ongoing demographic collapse of the Episcopal Church is more complex and multifaceted than I can understand, so I leave its analysis to others.

Whether the US has "...a moral right to deny human beings the chance to seek basic human rights here," depends on which morality you employ (see Alisdair MacIntyre). As a sovereign nation-state, the US claims the moral right to do all sorts of things. The question is whether Christians should be complicit in them.

The story Christians inhabit is rather clear about hospitality to strangers and aliens. The thread of hospitality surfaces repeatedly in the old Testament: Genesis, Deuteronomy (esp. Ch. 26), Ruth, Isaiah, Micah, Jonah (albeit ironically in this last example). It's everywhere in the New Testament. It requires rather twisted hermeneutics to read Luke/Acts (as the church is doing this year) and miss the underlying theme of hospitality to and solidarity with the Other, as in the gospel reading this coming Sunday. It's worth noting that these texts don't use the language of individual rights but rather the language of communal responsibility. That's going to take some getting used to - not just the language, but the cost. 

I realize none of this meets the needs of governments, nation-states, or border police. It is, however, precisely the way in which the Christian community is called to live. 

If living this way means, as it must, surrendering control, then Lord, increase my faith. Jesus, after all, apparently failed to take into account the effects of the Kingdom He preached on an already edgy provincial backwater. That's why we killed him.           
 
7 years 10 months ago
Finally someone at America has the intellectual integrity to make the open borders argument.  It is a losing argument, nonetheless, but at least someone finally makes it.

Neither the "Gospel" nor "God's law" requires open borders.  Lip service to "reasonable regulations" aside, the United States simply, essentially, unalterably cannot afford to accomodate on its public rolls large numbers of migrants.  In a world of, yes, migratory patterns it is a matter of justice that the United States secure its own borders and THEN make reasonable accomodations for migrants.

I wish to get the response of some on here to this statement: "A healthy, functioning economy IS pro-life."  If you agree with that statement, you cannot be for open borders.  The math won't work. We don't need God to tell us that.
David Cruz-Uribe
7 years 10 months ago
No, the United Sates cannot organize its borders in "any way it deems prudent."   A just nation must craft its laws in accord with God's law, and must respect the fundamental dignity of the human person and the rights of each person to work and the basic necessities to support a family.  (See, for instance, Caritas in Veritae, which firmly makes this point.)   We, as a nation, can manage our borders so as to have reasonable control over the immigration process; given our great wealth we cannot simply decide that immigrants are not welcome, or subject those who are here (legally or not) to harrassment. 

As a practical matter, we must also manage immigration in the light of two realities: we simply could not manage to deport the estimated 8-10 million illegal immigrants without resorting to tactics which would constitute crimes against humanity, and even if we were willing to go that route, our economy would collapse (or at least suffer a heavy blow) without the labor provided by these people.  (This point is made humorously by the movie A Day Without A Mexican.)
7 years 10 months ago
It should also be added that the Episcopalian bishops have a curious notion of "hospitality".  It seems to be that you're "welcome" so long as to you speak against ordaining openly homosexual bishops; then you're welcome to return to the African bush from whence you came.
Michael Cremin
7 years 10 months ago
No, the United Sates cannot organize its borders in "any way it deems prudent."   A just nation must craft its laws in accord with God's law, and must respect the fundamental dignity of the human person and the rights of each person to work and the basic necessities to support a family.  (See, for instance, Caritas in Veritae, which firmly makes this point.)  


The United States is not responsible for the well-being of the six billion people inhabiting this planet. You may wish to believe otherwise, but you are wrong.

When the nation outlaws abortion, I'll have more interest in the just-nation-in-accord-with-God's-law argument.
David Cruz-Uribe
7 years 10 months ago
The United States is not responsible for the well-being of the six billion people inhabiting this planet. You may wish to believe otherwise, but you are wrong.

"But the man wanted to justify himself, so he said to Jesus, 'Who is my neighbor?'"

We are not solely responsible for the well being of six billion, but we are responsible to the extent of our (fairly vast) means.  I think Jesus has my back on this one.  How much do we have to give?  I think Mother Theresa said it best, "It doesn't matter how much you give:  what matters is how much you have left."

As for the canard that immigrants end up on welfare ("the public rolls"): this is simply not the case.  Immigrants do not come here to go on welfare or live as parasites off of "hard working" Americans.  They come here for jobs: usually, crappy jobs that pay low wages and demand hours of back breaking toil.  They pay taxes and want their little slice of the American dream. 

Finally, to be for "open borders" does not mean to be in favor of uncontrolled borders, with vast hordes pouring in to destroy our way of life.  It means recognizing that a) millions of people are already here and we need to accept that fact, and b) millions more want to come in and have legitimate claims to do so. 
Vince Killoran
7 years 10 months ago
The title of the post reads "Does the Gospel Speak to Immigration?" but no one who responded with criticism of the Episcopalian position actually answered the question.
Michael Cremin
7 years 10 months ago
And I ask you, Mr. Cruz-Uribe: where does this 'legitmate claim' come from? Do I have a 'legitmate claim' to enter China at will? Does someone in Germany have a 'legitmate claim' to enter into Brazil? Your have an amazing naivete with regard to national sovereignty.

Jesus certainly speaks to our individual responsibility to the strangers in our midsts. He has nothing to say, sir-NOTHING-about how our democratic society organizes its borders. You are free to read into the Gospels whatever you like. Understand that you are placing your own wishes and politics in the mouth of Jesus.

You are far from alone in this exercise, as I'm sure you know.

I disagree with you, but I wish you well. I'd much rather have a disucssion like this face to face instead of on the internet. Take care, and God bless you.
ed gleason
7 years 10 months ago
How can a porous border be the highest good as some posters here suggest. Did not Joseph flee with his family to Egypt without a visa?  How can the Lou Dobbs and Meg Whitmans rail against immigration and yet hire them for their low paid jobs.???. The answer is hypocrisy ..And it is hypocrisy that Christ condemns not immigration. .Get with the Gospel message!! These posters want us libs to obey the bishops on social issues and have the nerve to call us to leave the Church and yet they ignore the bishops about war, immigration and the preferential option for the poor. Yet, I will not call them cafeteria catholics ... they are fast food catholics..
Michael Cremin
7 years 10 months ago
Mr. Cruz-Uribe, I see that you are a Franciscan. That explains a great deal to me about your world view. I apologize if my tone was uncivil. I know you mean well.
Vince Killoran
7 years 10 months ago
That is insane"; "amazing naivete"; and, "I'd much rather have a disucssion like this face to face instead of on the internet""

Two insults and a threat-and then a hamhanded apology when he realized that David Cruz-Uribe is a Franciscan!  C'mon AMERICA, what's happening to this website?!
7 years 10 months ago
You could make the case that the bible addressed anything one wants to address.  It is not hard to make a chain from one thing to another with some kind of reasoning.  But as far as I know the new Testament did not address immigration.  People moved about during that time as the Roman Empire allowed free movement for all citizens and for others as well.  Joseph, Mary and Jesus going to Egypt was not immigration.  They were just moving about in a political entity.  So in a sense there was no real immigration in the modern sense of the word.  Were people moving into the Roman Empire from outside it.  My guess is that there were some but no one guaranteed any of them anything and each had to deal with the local population.  Trade was rampant so contact with different cultures was common.


There were also vast movement of people all over the globe during the time of Christ but little within the Roman Empire itself. Prior to the Romans there was extensive movements of people all over the Mediterranean and probably in Asia as well.  The Greeks, Phoenicians/Carthaginians settled all over the Med and were the most migrant of peoples and as I said others besides these showed up due to trading or for other reasons.  The Greeks and Phoenicians mainly moved into unoccupied areas but some times they fought their way in to stay.


Later mass movements of people were usually accompanied by lots of blood shed. Witness the Mongols.


So to answer the question, does the Gospel deal with immigration.  The answer is no.  Today, if immigration is allowed by any country and Mexico is one of the strictest countries on the planet about immigration, then it must be closely controlled.  There has been large movements in Africa in the last 30 years but few pay attention to Africa where millions have been killed in recent wars there. Mass movements are not feasible in the modern world without violence and essentially leads to obvious problems.  The US has a plan to allow certain individuals to immigrate here and it should be followed.  Anything else would be chaos.
Vince Killoran
7 years 10 months ago
Picking up on Cosgrove's points, some early Christians left the Roman Empire due to persecution but faced considerable challenges as unwelcomed in many places. They seemed not to consider Roman borders as stopping the spread of the Faith.
we vnornm
7 years 10 months ago
is this relevant:

You will be kind to widows, orphans, and aliens, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt?

It must have been difficult for Joseph, Mary, and Jesus to leave everything behind and move to Egypt to escape Herod. They were, in a sense, three displaced persons....

bill
7 years 10 months ago
Funny liberals always warn & rant against proof-texting or simplistic appeals to the Scriptures when it comes to abortion or homosexuality, but not on issues they agree with.
Tom Maher
7 years 10 months ago
Mass migration of populations can be very destablizing and dangerous to a host country straining or overhwheming the resources of the host country and also causing political stresses up to and including bloody civil war.

A recent example of this extreme problems was the bloody Palestinians uprisng in Jordan in 1970.  Palestinian had been helpful in allowing displaced Palestinians to settel in Jordan.  Very soon however the Palestinian became a very violent insrugency against within Jordan.  After a intensem bloody confrontation with the Jordanian Army the Palestinians were forceably expelled from Jordan. 

The same Palestinians then went to Lebanon were they again agitated for political control of their host country with th ehelp of fellow Moslem minority already living in Lebanon.  A long, bloody and bitter civil war began almost immeadiately and lasted for more tha 15 years.  It ended with after all Christian leaders were assasinated.  Beruit the capital of Lebanon was destroyed by years of bitter urgan warfare.  Lebanon's Christians that had been a ruling majority for hunderds of years became a political minority with relatively little influence and a very uncertain future. The Noslem power shift allowed Lebanon to become a home to radical Moslem fundementalist groups financed by Iran that have repeatedly attacked Israel from Lebanon.  In recent attacks hundreds of rockets were fired into the civilian populated areas of Israel.  Lebanon's  destabilization is ongoing horrot due to  mass migration decades before.    

THe Gospel does not require national suicide by open boarders with free access to anyone for mass migration.    
7 years 10 months ago
''t must have been difficult for Joseph, Mary, and Jesus to leave everything behind and move to Egypt to escape Herod. They were, in a sense, three displaced persons....''


There has been no nation in the history of mankind that has been more receptive to others than the United States.  In a world where probably billions would want to come here, open doors or borders would be irresponsible because it would destroy what it is about this country that is desirable.  It would be better to make their countries more like the US rather than turn the US into something completely different. 
Michael Cremin
7 years 10 months ago
It's not the idea of immigration reform, or being welcoming to the stranger, that I find remarkable in this conversation (I happen to be in favor of both things). It's the idea that people have some sort of inherent right to enter into the United States. The idea-and I do believe it is well-intentioned on the part of the original poster and several others who have given him an 'amen'-is...nuts. No modern nation on earth just lets people come in at will, and if there is some sort of legal prescedent for a global citizenship that allows for citizenship on demand, I am unaware of it.  

David Cruz-Uribe
7 years 10 months ago
Mr. Reilly, apology accepted.  No blood, no foul as my kids say. 

I will disagree about being amazingly naive about national sovreignity:  I simply do not hold it to be a principle that trumps all others.  Like all earthly, political constructs, it is contingent and subordinate, and must give way to the demands placed on us by God.  As for the legitimate claims I spoke about:  it is nearly impossible for a legal immigrant to bring his family to join him in the U.S. without long delays (years!), thus dividing families.  It is nearly impossible for someone brought to the US illegally as a child to rectify his/her legal status as a young adult (which may be the first time they learn they are not "Americans").  And finally, if there are jobs here that need workers, and a man or woman in another country has no means to support a family, then yes, I believe he or she has a legitimate claim to come here to take that job.  Is this at odds with current legal theories of national sovreignity?  Probably.  But so much the worse for current legal theories. 

Now, in saying that these legitimate claims exist, I am not denying that there are other legitimate claims held by people who already live in a particular country.  Those of you whom I am arguing against seem to see it as a binary:  either we close our borders or we open them, which means allowing "the masses" to overwhelm us and destroy our way of life.   The United States can and should be much more open and welcoming while still looking out for the legitimate interests of the people already living here.  And we can begin by welcoming the 10 million or so Mexicans and Central Americans who are living among us, and making provisions for their families to come here if they want to.  We can create a system whereby workers can come here to take available jobs without having to enter illegally or pay thousands of dollars (or more) to labor contractors who provide visas and exploit workers in conditions little better than indentured servitude.  (See, for instance, the recent SPLC report on foreign school teachers in Louisiana.)  Our Christian obligation to welcome the alien and stranger as our neighbor is not simply a personal one:  the Church has always taught that the demands of justice have a corporate, communal dimension.

And pace Mr. Cosgrove and Mr. Maher: mass migration is not equal to national suicide or violence and destruction.  The Irish in the 19th century, the Italians in the early 20th century and Mexicans and Central Americans in the late 20th century brought discomfort and some social dislocation, but they have in the end enriched American society.  The French complain about immigrants from North Africa and the Germans about Turkish immigrants, but in both cases these groups have become part of the backbone of the economies of these countries.   Indeed the largest mass migration in the U.S.  passed without most people noticing:  the relocation of millions of people from farms to cities. 

And with regards to Mr. Landry and charges of "liberal proof-texting":  this whole debate has caused me to go back and reread Church teaching on immigration and the rights of the worker.  Oddly, the Popes seem to do the same thing:  they quote these passages because they are the bedrock moral principles which must be analyzed and applied in our own times. The Gospel speaks to all times and places, and we need to understand what they have to say on, yes, immigration.
Ashley Green
7 years 10 months ago
Not many people on either side of the immigration debate are advocating for open borders; at least I have not heard many people making a case for that.  The relevant question at this point is whether or not their should be a path to legal residence (not necessarily citizenship) for the millions undocumented/illegal immigrants who have been living and working in this country for years, many of whom have married with American citizens and have children who are citizens.  It also needs to be borne in mind that many of these people immigrated to the US at a time when illegal immigration was tacitly encouraged.  Is it morally responsible at this point to separate children from one or both of their parents and to break up families by way of deportation?  I think not.  Imagine asking Jesus how He would handle this situation and Our Lord answering something to the effect of, "Yes, deport them all.  Broken families and suffering innocent children is not your problem."  Of course that is inconceivable.  We are either on the side of justice or we are not, whether it comes to the right to life for an unborn child growing it its mother's womb, or the right of poor familes of undocumented immigrants to stay together and live and work in dignity.
Michael Cremin
7 years 10 months ago
Mr. Cruz-Urbie,

First, thank you for your graciousness.

Second, you write: "And finally, if there are jobs here that need workers, and a man or woman in another country has no means to support a family, then yes, I believe he or she has a legitimate claim to come here to take that job."

Here is where you and I part company. If there is work, and the government of the United states decides that an immigrant from another country is needed to fill that position, then yes, of course, we should allow them to come here. That person, though, has no inherent claim on the work, anymore than-were I to lose my job-I would suddenly have a right to a position in England, or Ethopia, or Japan. This is a recipe for utter chaos. 

Like you, I think that those who have entered the US illegally are due a great deal of compassion and justice. Likewise, like you, I agree that family reunification for legal immigrants is an act simple human kindness.  I must say, though, that based on many of the estimates I am reading, we have a population that is roughly 20% non-native born right now. This is the highest percentage in our history. We need time for these people to adjust to the United States: to learn our language (which is to their benefit), to learn our culture, and to adapt to the social norms of their new nation. I am a firm supporter of both legal immigration, and legal immigrants. With that said...we have to be realistic about how many people are here, and what impact they are having on our nation's ability to function (i.e. schools, hospitals, social service agencies, etc.) You mentioned the great waves of immigration from Italy and Ireland (when my own family came!) As a percentage of the whole, those numbers are much lower than what we have today.

Also, at risk of opening a can of worms, those immigrants also entered into an economy where there were opportunites for a successful life without very high levels of education. That is no longer the case.

So while I share your compassion for the 'strangers' in our midst, I would simply ask that you temperate it with reason.

God bless you,

Michael
7 years 10 months ago
One of the main problems I have with liberals and the left in general is that they think they have a better solution than others and then look down on those who disagree as somehow inferior intellectually or morally.  The immigration issue is a very complex problem and to pass it off some how as amenable to a simple solution is disingenuous at best.  

The moralizing that goes along with these superior judgments is sometimes nauseous to take especially when the positions are backed by shallow ill thought out one sided opinions often accompanied by ad hominems against those they do not like.  A real discussion on this site is not possible as long as the supercilious attitude that accompanies many of the posts here continues.
Thomas Farrelly
7 years 10 months ago
One comment includes this statement: "Not many people on either side of the immigration debate are advocating for open borders; at least I have not heard many people making a case for that."

But the article we are discussing quotes our Bishops as follows: "“More powerful economic nations, which have the ability to protect and feed their residents, have a stronger obligation to accommodate migration flows.” Further, the right to control borders is contingent upon the understanding that borders must promote the “common good” for all. Human beings, the bishops state, have a fundamental right “to migrate so that they can realize their God-given rights.”

What in the world is this if it is not "open borders"?  If people have a fundamental right to migrate, does it not follow that a nation has no right to prevent them?

And if you read the Episcopal document you will find the same claim.

So, there certainly are people, including the American Bishops, advocating for open borders. 

There is not just one aspect to the illegal immigration discussion.  There are multiple questions, for example:

Does the US have the right, and the obligation, to control its borders?  If so, how
should we do this more effectively than we have in the past?

How shall we deal with those who have violated US laws by entering our country illegally?

What are the pros and cons of the Dream Act?  While humanitarian in intent, will it just provide another incentive for illegal immigration? 

Should US immigration policy aim at strengthening our country by admitting those with excellent technical skills and/or the financial resources to create jobs, or should it function as a charitable means of absorbing the impoverished people of other countries?
Todd Scribner
7 years 10 months ago
Michael,

I am not sure where you are getting your numbers, but the foreign born percentage of the US is closer to 12%, not 20%.  Census Bureau numbers peg the foreign born % at about 11.1 (2000).  This estimate includes the undocumented population.

http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html

Granted this number has likely creeped upward since then, hence the Pew Hispanic Forum's estimate in 2008 that the foreign born account for about 12.5% of the population. 

http://pewhispanic.org/factsheets/factsheet.php?FactsheetID=59

Given the economic downturn, it is estimated that some 1 - 1.5 million undocumented have left the country for home, so the percentage may have dropped over the past year and a half.  Whether or not that is true, 12.5% is still lower than the peak percentage of foreign born living in the US, which is estimated to be 14.8% in 1890.

http://www.census.gov/population/www/documentation/twps0029/twps0029.html
Todd Scribner
7 years 10 months ago
Tom,

The bishops' document Strangers No Longer, clearly proclaims that the state has a right to control its borders.  The statement, “More powerful economic nations, which have the ability to protect and feed their residents, have a stronger obligation to accommodate migration flows,” qualifies the preceding claim: 

"Sovereign nations have the right to control their borders.
36. The Church recognizes the right of sovereign nations to control their territories but rejects such control when it is exerted merely for the purpose of acquiring additional wealth..."

So, the bishops are either lying when they include this statement (and are really open borders) or they are trying, as I think they are, to elucidate principles that may require at times a careful balancing act.  In this regard, the role of prudence plays an important role when trying to balance out which principle takes precedent in a given situation.  There is no clear one size fits all response that a given country can appeal to when making the determination how many migrants should be allowed into the country.

That said, it is becoming increasingly difficult to discuss national sovereignty as though we are still in the early nineteenth century.  As the pope pointed out in his most recent encyclical, there are a number of problems, immigration included, that are inherently international in scope and cannot be effectively addressed on a national level alone.  The bigger question at stake is not whether the bishops are open borders, which they are not, but what place will the 'state' as such play in Catholic political thought in the coming decades. 
Thomas Farrelly
7 years 10 months ago
Todd, I don't think the Bishops are lying, but I think their statements show an ability to believe two contradictory propositions at the same time.  While they admit the right, in general,  of the US to control its borders, their positions on just about anything having to do with illegal immigration contradict that.  Cardinal Mahony for example has compared Arizona with Nazi Germany.

As for immigration being a matter that is "international in scope and cannot be effectively addressed on a national level alone",  I doubt that many Americans, including Catholics, will agree with this.  I certainly do not believe that anyone else has the right to determine American immigration policy.
Richard Briggs
7 years 10 months ago
I suppose American Indians  are fond of unrestricted immigration.

Peoples have been displacing each other since the Fall.  In part it is how many are coming to stay.  It is one thing to welcome sojourners and strangers who have come to visit.  It is another to welcome immigrants who have come to stay and demand to share our space.  We are likely to welcome many more sojourners than immigrants.  When the Hebrews came to claim the land the LORD promised to them,  the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, Jebisutes, and Canaanites neither welcomed them nor survived. Except of course the crafty Gibeonites who survived as wood cutters and water carriers. 

What we are witnessing is a non-military invasion of our southwest reclaiming lands Mexico lost and sold after our war with Mexico. There are similar conflicts over land  in many places in the world,  few are settled without bloodshed 

The God Given Right of an Immigrant to seek a better life for self and family is a right to "seek" not a right to "succeed".  Neither does the Immigrant's right to "seek" entail an obligation on anyone else or any other government to "provide".  In a country where Progressives demand an impenetrable wall between Church and State, it is odd that the same people demand that the separated government should follow God's law.
 
Having said that, the wealthy are told by the LORD to choose to give freely and U. S. citizens, businesses, governments, labor, rich and poor are already very  generous.  But God does not force anyone to give.  He does not force us to love Him. In contrast, it is the business of Government to force people to do things they do not want to do and to refrain from doing what they desire; which is why Church and State ought to be separate and the former greater than the latter.

Neither does God allow anyone to escape the consequences of his  or her actions at the Day of Judgement.

Therefore, I disagree with both the Episcopal and Catholic Bishops' recommendations to government.  The Bishops should, instead, focus on what God asks you and me to do, personally and face to face, to improve the life of the sojourner and immigrant.  Charitas does not flow through government channels.  
Mary Ingram
7 years 10 months ago
Ed Gleason wrote on October 7, 2010 that Meg Whitman who is a candidate for govenor in California employed an hispanic immigrant so she could pay low wages.  That person Meg hired was a lady and she was paying that lady $23.00 an hour Mr. Gleason.  I would not consider that low wages.  That was announced on the news on cable television by her attorney Gloria Allred who is going to sue Meg Whitman for overtime pay for the times that lady worked an extra 15-30 minutes here and there or didn't take a full 30 minute lunch break. 

When the nice Hispanic gentleman came to do my mothers yard he was making $20.00-30.00 an hour depending on what he was doing.  Ceaser Chavez worked very hard for many years to get his brothers and sisters better pay and better working conditions and he succeeded.  They are being paid well in the agricultural industry of Califorina. The Mexican people are part of my family.  I have hispanic relatives that work for the city, for the university educational system, etc. 

Those that are here that were not born here can become citizens.  We need to make it easy for them not difficult.  In the mean time we need to stop the violence and killings on our borders.  We need to stop the terror of the drug trafficers and the drugs they bring in.  We need to stop the illegal immigration by properly patroling our borders north and south with out National Guard.  We need to get this taken care of once and for all before we lose any more lives.  All we have to do ''Is do the right thing in the sight of the Lord.''  It is so simple... We cannot save the world by letting everyone come to this country.  We are suppose to go out into the outer most parts and take the gospel to them.  We are to assist others to establish what they need in their own lands.  We cannot do for everyone here.  We have a great deal to fix right here at home for ourselves.  One of the individuals that wrote a comment stated we were a weathly nation were has this person been.  We are in debt, debt, debt, debt. our nation owes other nations.  We have no money to give anyone.  We have no money to give ourselves.  Wake up America!  The Lord has been trying to walk us up for years now.  He wants us on our faces in prayer and reading His Word! ''If My people who are called by My name will humble themslves and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins and heal their land.'' 2 Chronicles 7:14

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