Skip to content

Mary Ann Glendon on U.S. Immigration Policy

Pontifical Academy President Suggests a Principle to Guide Debate

NEW YORK, MAY 25, 2006 (Zenit) - Part of the solution to the United States' immigration problems will require a renewed commitment to solidarity, says Mary Ann Glendon.

Glendon, the president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences and a Harvard law professor, writing in the June/July issue of First Things, argues that such a commitment to solidarity is necessary to maximize the advantages and minimize the disadvantages of immigration for all involved.

Her comments come amid a national debate, dominated by alarmists on one hand and those who ignore problems associated with liberal immigration policies on the other.

For her part, Glendon observes that the world is experiencing an age of great movement of people. Worldwide, there are some 200 million migrants and refugees.

She states that, despite an ongoing conversation, especially in the United States, about what to do with the great influx of migrants, the debate has been largely silent regarding the relation of this phenomenon to the "demographic winter" occurring in Europe and North America.

Glendon notes that because of social experimentation, as well as what she calls the "culture of self-fulfillment" in these regions, people are having fewer children and the basic social structure of the family is being altered gradually.

Advantages

The point often overlooked is that societies that accept fewer children will have to accept more immigrants. "The issue is not who will fill the jobs Americans don't want," writes Glendon. "The issue is who will fill the ranks of a labor force that the retiring generation failed to replenish."

Nevertheless, America has distinct advantages in solving its demographic problem that Europe does not share.

The United States has a history of pluralism as well as experience absorbing and assimilating millions of immigrants from all over the world. Furthermore, most of America's immigrants come from largely Christian countries, and thus share a similar cultural heritage with the United States.

However, for any assimilation process to be successful, Americans will have to avoid lumping immigrants into multiculturalist subgroups such as "Latino," insists Glendon.

As well, she continues, Americans will have to address the "rule of law" and economic problems associated with the prospects of granting citizenship or amnesty to large numbers of immigrants -- problems that are very different from those faced in the great waves of immigration in the early 20th century.

The call to solidarity

Glendon closes by asking all participants in the debate to re-examine the five principles of the joint statement of the American and Mexican bishops entitled, "Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope."

Those principles are:

1) persons have the right to find opportunities in their homeland;

2) when opportunities are not available at home, persons have the right to migrate to find work;

(3) sovereign nations have the right to control their borders, but economically prosperous nations have the obligation to accommodate migration flows;

(4) refugees and asylum seekers should be protected; and

(5) human dignity and rights of undocumented migrants should be respected.

To these five principles, Glendon advocates a sixth: "the need for a highly diverse, rule-of-law society to be careful about the messages it sends to persons who wish to become part of that society."

Citing Pope John Paul II, Glendon argues that solidarity imposes obligations on the disadvantaged as well as the advantaged. While the advantaged should care for the needs of the disadvantaged, the latter cannot be passive recipients of aid or undermine the social fabric, but must instead contribute all they can to the common good.

While these principles might be somewhat in tension, Glendon argues they are the basis of sound solutions to a heavily charged policy battle.

Contact

Catholic Online
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000

Email

info@yourcatholicvoice.org

Keywords

Immigration, Policy, Glendon

More Catholic PRWire

Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718

A Recession Antidote
Randy Hain

Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

The Why of Jesus' Death: A Pauline Perspective
Jerom Paul

A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell

My Dad
JoMarie Grinkiewicz

Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell

Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Catholic Online

Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Catholic Online

Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
Catholic Online

State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Catholic Online

Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
Catholic Online

2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Catholic Online

Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Catholic Online

Franchising to Evangelize
Catholic Online

Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Catholic Online

Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Catholic Online

Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Catholic Online

Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Catholic Online

Full Circle
Robert Gieb

Three words to a deeper faith
Paul Sposite

Relections for Lent 2009
chris anthony

Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell

World Food Program Director on Lent
Catholic Online

Moral Clarity
DAN SHEA

Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Catholic Online

A Prayer for Monaco: Remembering the Faith Legacy of Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace and Contemplating the Moral Challenges of Prince Albert II
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe

Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Sally Connolly

Glimpse of Me
Sarah Reinhard

The 3 stages of life
Michele Szekely

Sex and the Married Woman
Cheryl Dickow

A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Cheryl Dickow

Modernity & Morality
Dan Shea

Just a Minute
Sarah Reinhard

Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Hugh McNichol

Edging God Out
Paul Sposite

Burying a St. Joseph Statue
Cheryl Dickow

George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Catholic Online

Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell

Action Changes Things: Teaching our Kids about Community Service
Lisa Hendey

Easter... A Way of Life
Paul Spoisite

Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Hugh McNichol

Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Hugh McNichol

Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Catholic Online

Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Catholic Online

Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Catholic Online

Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Catholic Online

Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Catholic Online

Holy Saturday...anticipation!
Hugh McNichol

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.