Friday, May 7, 2010

Bishop Slattery on Immigration

I agree with the bishop completely:

Illegal immigration is an issue which concerns every American; but the issues are complex and unless we are willing to recognize the fundamental human rights with which the Creator endows each individual - and enact laws which respect those human rights - our legislative response to the problem of uncontrolled illegal immigration will be the creation of an underclass of hunted, marginalized families, whose children belong neither to this country nor to the land of their parents.

It is the clear teaching of the Catholic Church that sovereign nations have the right to control their borders; but the corollary of this teaching must also be upheld: when our nation’s demand for labor attracts a massive number of potential immigrants, the United States must do what it can to establish an orderly process whereby needed workers can enter the country in a legal, safe and dignified manner to obtain jobs or to reunite themselves with family members.

However in recent years, the federal government has neither protected the sovereignty of our borders, nor has it provided a realistic means for workers to enter the country legally. Instead it has allowed millions of immigrants to enter the country illegally for the sake of our economy; while leaving it to state and local governments to deal with the resultant chaos of millions of valuable workers who have no legal identity, no automobile insurance (and are unable to obtain it), no health coverage (with no funds to pay for it) and no means of acquiring legal residency.

These workers are not unknown to us. They live in our neighborhoods and pray with us at Mass. We benefit every day from their labor in framing and painting our houses, roofing our office buildings, finishing new cement for us, harvesting and processing our food, and serving us in our restaurants. These men and women broke the law by entering the country illegally; but they did this with the tacit permission of the federal government and most have since become part of the fabric of everyday life in America.
Read the whole thing.

2 comments:

  1. I do think those are the best thoughts I've seen on this issue....Thank-you so much for sharing the link!

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  2. The comments are good. I think this is the first time I've heard a bishop acknowledge Church teaching that a state has a rights in regards to immigration. A nice balance though I might disagree with the premise that illegal immigration is allowed only for the purpose of having a cheaper workforce.
    Here just a bit on the problems in Arizona:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYvTva6TM1g&feature=related

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