Sunday, August 11, 2013

Five Reasons to Resist the U.S. Bishops on Immigration Reform

Most U.S. Catholic bishops stand "in solidarity with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and its many statements of the past decade in support of comprehensive immigration reform." 

Perhaps the bishops hope that whatever influence they have among Catholics, they can use it to further another law that runs more than 1,200 pages.  Evidently, the bishops did not have enough betrayal with health care reform.

Here are five reasons why the U.S. bishops ought to change their mind about support for immigration reform.

ONE: The bishops have misled Catholics scripturally about immigration. There are many passages in the Bible that encourage us to welcome the stranger (Deuteronomy 10: 19, or Hebrews 13:1, among others).  None of these passages encourage us to welcome an invading army of poor people intent on bankrupting our health care system, debasing our schools, stealing our legal identities and our territory, diminishing our sovereignty, refusing to speak our language, using their children as human shields to stay in the United States, and destroying our neighborhoods.

Illegal immigration from Mexico, encouraged by the corrupt Mexican government, does all the above.  To hide these sinful activities by using quotations from the Bible about not welcoming strangers is misleading.  The illegal aliens coming to the United States are not strangers to be welcomed; they are an invading foreign army that has to be turned back.

There is much evidence that those who are in the United States illegally from Mexico and other countries are not assimilating or interested in becoming U.S. citizens.  The position of the U.S. bishops on immigration will end by dividing the United States into a Spanish-speaking and an English-speaking nation, creating more social unrest.

The late Professor Huntington of Yale University claims, "Mexican immigration poses challenges to our policies and to our identity in a way nothing else has in the past."  There is a world of difference between welcoming a stranger and welcoming an invading army of foreigners.

TWO: The U.S. bishops have misled Catholics morally in regard to illegal immigration.  The Catholic moral principle of subsidiarity requires us to recognize that solutions to the problems caused by illegal immigration are not always to be found on the national level, but rather on the level of the local community.

To solve Mexico's social problems, illegal immigrants must accept their moral responsibility of working to change conditions in their own countries (and not just Mexico).  U.S. Catholics, and especially the bishops, have the moral responsibility to encourage that return, and to administer charitable programs in Mexico that change conditions there.  To do otherwise is to encourage greed both in U.S. employers and in illegal aliens.  To do otherwise is to have the Church encourage sin.

Amnesty is not mercy.  Amnesty is to illegal immigration what enablers are to alcoholics.  Amnesty only gets more of the sin of illegal immigration.  Undocumented immigrants are citizenship thieves.  When someone steals your car, you do not dismiss his theft by calling it undocumented ownership.

Unfortunately, many bishops believe in "social justice" and what can be called the Babylonian Heresy*.  They have lost the traditional teachings of the Church in favor of contemporary meanings.  The consequence of their actions will be the creation of social upheaval instead of peace among nations.

THREE: Immigration in 2013 is not like immigration in 1895.  The U.S. immigration experience we read about in books like Upton Sinclair's The Jungle or Willa Cather's My √Āntonia no longer apply.

The twenty-first century must not repeat the mistakes of the nineteenth century when it comes to immigration.  Mexico cannot solve its twenty-first-century social problems by exporting poverty to Chicago or Los Angeles.

FOUR: There are cultural differences between the United States and Mexico that are not dissolved by moving people across borders the way money is moved between banks.  In this regard, the Catholic Church has effected an incomplete cultural and religious conversion in Mexico.  The Church cannot resolve that incomplete conversion by preaching immigration reform to parishioners in the United States.

Because of cultural differences, many Mexican Catholics involved in the immigrant rights movement are Mexican Marxists.  They are not peace-loving and pious.

Look at the Mexican Revolution of 1910 or the drug cartels today as example of the incomplete conversion of Mexico to the teachings of Christ.  Do the U.S. bishops want to bring these bloody problems to U.S. cities?

The Catholic Church would do better if it had policies that completed the conversion of Mexico, and then went on to evangelize in the urban ghettos of Detroit or Chicago, among the most segregated cities in the United States.

FIVE: What is preventing U.S. bishops from realizing Catholic policies and social teaching when it comes to welfare and immigration?  The real answers to immigration and welfare have been in scripture and Catholic morality for centuries.

The fact of the matter is that U.S. bishops are in the thralls of the Democratic Party.  This enthrallment is the obstacle to true Catholic charity.  If  the U.S. bishops want Catholic immigration reform, then they must first have Catholic political reform.

The U.S. bishops must come to see that the Democratic Party stands for many things that Catholics know as sinful and damnable.  The bishops must be made to see how the traditional Catholics Democrats of their youth have become the same-sex-marriage Marxists of their old age.

Is this conversion away from the Democratic Party possible?  The political reality is that many Catholics bishops are liberals and progressives first, then Catholics second.

Many U.S. bishops have given their belief in immigration reform first to the Democratic Party and Babylonian Heresy, the heresy of our age, equal to the Arian Heresy of ages past.  They have become blind shepherds, who may lead their flock into the jaws of the wolf and not even know it.

*Those who hold to the Babylonian Heresy mistakenly teach that Christianity ends with the abolition of nations and the imposition of a New World Order.  This view is both theologically and scripturally wrong.  St. Thomas argues correctly that the nation is part of the natural social order and is necessary for a fully human life.  The Bible teaches us that nations will be with us until the end of time


Gesture politics won’t solve Britain's immigration troubles

While the scale of Britain's immigration problem remains untackled, ministers' tinkering around the edges is doing damage to innocent people

Those Home Office vans telling illegal immigrants to “go home” are only a tiny part of the story. The root cause of our immigration crisis is, as we know, quite simple. The chief reason why, in 2010 alone, as was calculated by Migration Watch, more migrants came to Britain than in all the years between 1066 and 1950 put together – and why it is officially projected that, within 14 years, our population will have risen to 70 million – is that we have lost almost all control of our borders. Not only must we open our doors to any of the 500 million citizens of the EU (even many from outside the EU who have first got into another EU country), but also our immigration rules are subject to a mass of other international obligations to bodies ranging from the UN to the European Court of Human Rights.

One consequence of this is that, as frustration over immigration mounts, our politicians thrash about trying to find peripheral gestures to show that they are trying to keep the numbers down – using the powers of the UK Border Agency (UKBA), a body so laughably incompetent that in March it was reported that the Home Secretary, Theresa May, was threatening to scrap it. The result of this tinkering around the edges is yet another example of how regulation so often these days takes “a sledgehammer to miss the nut”. The real problem remains unaffected, while absurd damage is done to people who are not part of the problem at all.

A little instance of this comes from a reader, Eugene Connolly, a retired lecturer at Edinburgh University, who six years ago met and befriended a Russian interpreter, Anastasia Pugacheva. Year after year, sponsored by Mr Connolly, she has been given visas to visit him in Britain —11 times in all — each time complying with all requirements before returning to her home and job in Moscow.

Last year, however, when she applied for a visa to visit Britain for 72 hours to attend a family wedding, the UKBA officials in Moscow refused it, saying she had not shown that she had “sufficient funds for her stay”. Mr Connolly was so startled by this that he approached his MP, who was merely told by the UKBA that her application was “against immigration rules”.

This year, having completed a law degree and bought a flat, she applied again for a visa, before starting a new job with a Moscow law firm. Again she was refused, this time because she had “failed to address the grounds for refusal of her previous application”. When I asked UKBA to clarify this, I was asked for her full personal details. The response was that they were unable to discuss individual cases, but that “all applications are considered on their individual merits” and that individuals must “provide the necessary information to support their application”. It seemed no one had bothered to look at the evidence she supplied as to why she would be financially supported in the UK and would return home when stated. Denying her entry was merely a jobsworth response to help Mrs May show how splendidly she is keeping immigration under control.

There are more general instances of how playing gesture politics with our immigration policy is not just harming individuals, but also actively damaging our national interest. One of the most glaring is the storm that has blown up in India, from which our universities were, until recently, drawing nearly 40,000 students a year, paying hefty fees and providing them and the UK economy with hundreds of millions of pounds a year. Many of these students are very bright, looking to use their qualifications from top British universities to get good jobs when they return to India, and not a few at postgraduate level take part in cutting-edge research in fields such as computer sciences and biotechnology.

So valued has their contribution been that David Cameron again visited India this year to recruit even more of them — just when, thanks to changes in our immigration rules, their numbers had already fallen by 25 per cent, with this year’s recruits down by nearly a third. First the old rule was abolished that allowed Indian students to work in the UK for two more years to defray their university expenses; they can now only stay on if they land a job paying £20,000 or more a year. They are also now told that they will have to hand over £3,000 before arriving, repayable only when they leave Britain.

This and other restrictions have inspired a wave of hostile publicity in India, with many students who wanted to come to Britain now applying to universities in other countries (applications to US universities have risen by 50 per cent). As one leading Indian newspaper angrily made clear, this puts an end to any idea that India and Britain still enjoy “a special relationship”.

There seems no doubt that Britain is here shooting itself badly in the foot, not just financially and in terms of its reputation, but also in losing a pool of talent that is already heading elsewhere. Mrs May may in general be able to boast that she has reduced net immigration from 240,000 a year to 163,000. But in other respects, she recalls Mrs Partington, that legendary Devon housewife who, when a freak storm was flooding her home with seawater, attempted to push it back out of her door with a broom.


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