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Archbishop Gomez Addresses Immigration with Prophetic Insight and Clarity Comments

'We are called to live our faith in our businesses, homes and communities, and in our participation in public life.That means we have to bring a Catholic faith perspective to this debate about immigration. We cannot just think about this issue as Democrats or Republicans or as liberals or conservatives.' Continue Reading

1 - 10 of 52 Comments

  1. Rob
    3 years ago

    I guess time will tell vance. They say a lot of things during the campaign that never seem to happen. Heck, building a wall of that magnitude would be a great jobs program.

  2. Theresa
    3 years ago

    I read the article by Archbishop Gomez and his longer Address where he speaks of the Mexican Settlers in CA before the Pilgrims came to this land that is now the United States of America. It seems to me those people and their childrens' children should be recognized as Americans--if they are still here and want to be so identified (has this not already happened--like the American Indians?). But since the USA was recognized as an independent nation, does it not have the right and the obligation, like any other nation, to provide for the security of its citizens by monitoring entrance at its borders and tracking the coming and going of both citizens and non-citizens. Has not the USCCB recognized this?... (The CCC addresses all this in 2234ff.) Immigrants, like legal citizens, are supposed to enter and leave countries legally into any country.... If they are fleeing persecution, poverty, etc., the receiving country has, or should have a legal way to address such needs....Yes, "welcome the stranger," but it is appropriate to also require them to follow the Path to Citizenship (or be given a "Green Card....")....These days, we need to educate people better re. the principles of solidarity and subsidiarity-- or we will end up a socialist state in which both citizens and non-citizens all become wards of the state that takes care of all our needs. That is a scary prospect, to say the least!

  3. vance
    3 years ago

    Rob, If Romney or Ron Paul wins, you might be right but if any of the other candidates win, you can take it to the bank. I heard strong commitment from them to shut down the border.

  4. Rob
    3 years ago

    vance, I'm sorry, but I would be absolutely shocked if the GOP did anything about the border if they gained control. If 9/11 couldn't do it, what makes you think that it will happen now? Never mind the fact that it's our incessant demand for drugs that is creating this chaos. Sort of like our incessant demand for all the cheap crap coming out of China. The root of all these problems is us.

  5. vance
    3 years ago

    The problem is not Mexicans. The problem is a lawless southern border with tons of drugs flowing across the border unchallenged. The problem is foreign nationals depleting our Nation's Medicaid Funds via Anchor Babies costs and the costs for Emergency Room visits. The problem is that foreign nationals are getting on Social Security via loop holes. A great example for all this is California which is broke. We need a new President and Senate Majority to correct this problem.

  6. Jeffrey Caperton
    3 years ago

    On a final and more personal note, before I put this issue to bed, the immigration issue is personal for me as my wife is an immigrant from Mexico, so I tend to view an attack on immigrants, legal or otherwise, as an attack upon my wife, particularly when people like Dottie make their comments regarding the language issue, as if what language a person speaks is really any of their business. I have traveled in Mexico as far south as Mexico City. In those travels, I have gotten to know something of the conditions with which they live and have come to know more about the people. I have particularly come to appreciate how most (I say "most: as to say "all" would be to stereotype) have maintained a kind, gentle demeanor while demonstrating remarkable resilience under the conditions with which they live. Noting those conditions, I have come to believe that if I were in the same situation, I would probably find the potential rewards of crossing the border illegally worth the risk, particularly if I have a family to feed. Consequently, I cannot, with a Christian conscience, remain silent when people advocate treating them like criminals. They are simply people trying to survive in a world that has become increasingly hostile in the last thirty years in America and in Mexico. They deserve our compassion, not our fist being shaken in their face.

  7. Jeffrey Caperton
    3 years ago

    Kim, For the first time in over thirty years, I see from a lay person a balanced, fair and comprehensive analysis of the immigration issue. For instance, for over thirty years I have seen only Spanish speakers targeted when, as you said, illegal immigrants are coming from all over the world. And you are quite right; before we "reform" the immigration laws, we do need to ask fundamental questions such as what does America represent today. But I do not think the alternatives are as simple as "are we still a nation that opens its arms to the poor and repressed and persecuted" or a nation of "I got mine. Go get yours, but don't bother me while you do it". I do believe it possible to navigate between the extremes. Under normal circumstances, I would favor opening the borders, but we are not living under normal circumstances. Given the current fiscal situation in the U.S., we simply cannot afford to be the "guardian of democracy" (That is such a sanctimonious statement, but I use if for lack of something better at the moment) for the world. For example, at a time when school budgets are being cut to the bone across the United States, we cannot have more children adding to the strain. On the other hand, I demand that America, and our government, reflect Christian principles such as charity and mercy. Therefore, I do favor that we extend a helping hand to those in need. Obviously, we cannot afford my approach, but, on the other hand, Christianity demands that we cannot go to the other extreme as advocated by those such as Vance. However, I do believe that if everybody were to take your approach, intelligent, calm, comprehensive, and fair, those who choose the visceral approach aimed at appealing to the darker side of our nature would have no place at the discussion table and, consequently, we would find that solutions do exist and we may actually effect a fair compromise. Well done!

  8. vance
    3 years ago

    Kim, you have a point that the US-Mexican Border is an international Free-for-all. This is not 1876. It's 2011. There is no wide open wild frontier to be settled by pioneers in covered wagons. We do need a new immagration policy. We need to shut down the border and student visas. What needs to change is the "Anchor Baby" law. We need to change the marriage laws to foreigners to cut out the "Mail Order" brides. No foreign national should have any access to welfare services. Our Welfare system is maxed out.

  9. vance
    3 years ago

    Jeff, Yeahh maybe I might be crrazy. I don't know.

  10. Kim
    3 years ago

    Certainly a divisive issue, and I'm not really going to weigh in on right or wrong, one way or the other. I simply note that there are some erroneous assumptions in many of the comments.

    First, not all of the illegal immigrants are Mexicans, yet that is always the impression one gets from reading comments such as these and from the media's use of photographs and video. I have a friend whose son married a young woman here from Russia on a student visa, whose mother is here illegally, living in a community of many illegal Russian "immigrants." Right here in Kansas City, we have immigrants from every continent of the world, and from my former profession (law), I can tell you not all of them arrived legally, but preference for citizenship will be given to those from the Middle East, Asia, and some countries of Africa.

    Secondly, our current immigration laws are in desperate need of reform, because they favor people who speak the languages of the Middle East (yes, so we can get more people here who can translate for the government's quest for finding terrorists), and discourage immigration from Mexico and Central American countries.

    I often here the refrain, "my ancestors came here legally, why can't these people." Well, it used to be much easier to immigrate to the USA. My great-grandparents arrived in 1876 and were given a homestead on the prairie, raised their right hands and, in German, 'cause they didn't yet speak English, swore allegiance to the USA. They didn't have to spend thousands of dollars and wait a decade for permission to become citizens.

    Thirdly, much of the vitriol expressed towards illegal immigrants always overlooks and ignores the vital question about the people who were brought here as infants and toddlers by their parents, who never obtained citizenship for themselves and their children. Now those infants and toddlers are grown, this is the only country they've ever known, yet they remain illegal because of circumstances that were beyond their control.

    The entire national argument always glosses over the fact that we have a population of people who legally belong no where. Where would you have them go?

    This is a complex issue, with many facets never addressed, leaving the general population with the flawed belief that the solution is simply to stop the flow of illegal immigrants crossing into our country from Mexico. The solution is much more complex and will not be reached as long as our representatives and senators remain as bitterly divided by politics as they are today.

    In my opinion, the entire immigration code should be repealed, and rewritten from scratch, starting with first figuring out what this country really stands for these days. Are we still a nation that opens its arms to the poor and repressed and persecuted? Or have we become a nation that says, "I got mine. Go get yours, but don't bother me while you do it." Once we figure out what we stand for, then the immigration code should be written in such a way that coming to America is fair, equitable, and just for all and not just for those that will benefit one political party or the other.


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