Am I a bad Catholic if I support laws on immigration?

It’s well known that American has been the goal of illegal immigrants from Mexico, Central American and other countries as well for years. Now we are seeing war refugees from the Middle-East flood into Europe.

If we are told to accept immigrants regardless, many of whom are unskilled or unable to speak the local language, would it not harm the existing infrastructure and economy of the host country?


In response to your “re.” line, it depends on the laws.

Laws that are inherently unjust because they are based on ethnic, religious, gender, or race quotas? Or laws that merely attempt to prevent the influx of criminals or people with communicable diseases?

"2241 The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.

Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens."
Catechism of the Catholic Church

I think we need to ask ourselves, when you weigh the benefits and burdens, to both our “infrastructure” and “economy” against those of the individuals who seek entry, what is the Christian thing to do?

"Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me."

Are we still this country or have become something else, something . . . less?

Well stated Deacon.
God bless.

"Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me."

Are we still this country or have become something else, something . . . less?

Those people came in legally, including my dad and his parents and sister. And they DID learn English and became hard working citizens legally. BIG difference!! God Bless, Memaw

Actually, if our present immigration laws were in effect at the time, NONE of them would have been allowed in. It is also revisionism to believe that they all learned English. Every major city in the United States had ethnic neighborhoods, Italian, Polish, German etc, where most of the residents spoke their native tongue and only gradually their children (my parents) learned English. Actually, “no big difference”. Actually, no difference.

A little history.

From 1900 to 1914–the peak years of Ellis Island’s operation–some 5,000 to 10,000 people passed through the immigration station every day. Approximately 80 percent successfully passed through in a matter of hours, but others could be detained for days or weeks. Many immigrants remained in New York, while others traveled by barge to railroad stations in Hoboken or Jersey City, New Jersey, on their way to destinations across the country. At the time, the only restriction on immigration was a criminal record or carrying a communicable disease.
Passage of the Immigrant Quota Act ("IQA) of 1921 and the National Origins Act (NOA) of 1924, which limited the number and nationality of immigrants allowed into the United States, effectively ended the era of mass immigration into New York. From 1925 to its closing in 1954, almost 30 years, only a total of 2.3 million immigrants passed through Ellis Island.

Now, why were the IQA and the NOA passed? I urge you to research the American Protective Association.

What Deacon said!

The non-Catholic right often twists what the bishops say about immigration and the liberal (heretical) Catholic left often twists what the bishops say too.

We have an obligation to have a system that allows people (who are honest, hard working, moral people looking for a better life) to legally immigrate to the United States. That is what America is.

However, we also have a right to protect our borders against criminals and other people who illegally come to the United States.

The problem is “what to do with the children?” When an illegal comes into the United States and has a child on US soil, that child is an American citizen. What do you do when you catch the illegal immigrant?

If they are violent criminals, I believe you can deport the parent(s), keeping the child here because it would be no different than sending the parent to jail. But what do you do with the peaceful illegal parent?
– if you deport the family, you wind up deporting an American citizen too (not good)
– if you deport just the parent(s), you break up a loving family (not good)
– if you do nothing, then there are no consequences for breaking the law (not good)
– so what do you do?
---- My opinion is that for peaceful illegals with American children (you “fine” the parents with giving them a sentence of community service, matching their skills.
-------- planting trees, picking up trash, cutting grass/landscaping on public lands, being a janitor, etc. In addition to their regular job, they have to do X hours of community service. That time could be spread out over years, if they could only commit to a few hours a week.

The point is, we can’t just cast a blanket and say “we don’t want Mexicans here.” That’s racist. AND it’s discriminatory against Catholics.

Throughout American history, the immigrants the people were always against the most were Catholic. The Irish, Italians, Polish, and now Mexicans. This is a recurring theme in America. Food for thought.

God Bless!

Agreed, my great grandfather never spoke English. My grandfather and his siblings spoke Italian with him. And this wasn’t in a big city, but in the Pocono Mountains in PA.

It’s my firm belief (based only by things in my neck of the woods) that people who are angry about immigrants don’t actually know any. :blush:
The immigrants at our parish work HARD. Really hard. They take the jobs that no one else wants. They never miss Mass. Their children fill the Religious Ed classes. Twice as many in fact.
They identify proudly as Catholic. They likely will be the ones supporting and continuing the ministry of the church very soon, as the American parents and children find Mass and Catholicism fairly “optional”. Sad, but very true. *Many of our Diocesan seminarians are Hispanic. The Archbishop is delighted to have them. *Maybe it’s because the immigrants can’t afford the fancy lessons, teams, team uniforms, equipment. Maybe because they don’t have rides to all the extracurriculars that take the place of church. Who knows? I do know that they love the Catholic Church. I’m saddened when I see other denominations do far more to help them settle, get their papers in order, and yes, teach them English while we sit back and just complain.
However, our parish and the one south of us try hard to help them to get legal and get affordable housing.
We have a class at my parish where the English speakers teach English, and they in turn learn Spanish from the immigrants. It’s a cooperative effort, and many good friendships have been built in the process, as well as a mutual respect for each other’s situation.

The IQA was sponsored by Rep. Albert Johnson (R-Washington), and was passed without a recorded vote in the U.S. House of Representatives and by a vote of 90-2-4 in the U.S. Senate.

Johnson has been described as "an unusually energetic and vehement racist and nativist."He was the head of ‘The Eugenics Research Association’, a group which opposed interracial marriage and supported forced sterilization of the mentally disabled. In support of his 1919 proposal to suspend immigration he included this quote from a State Department Official referring to Jewish people as “filthy, un-American, and often dangerous in their habits.”

"The Klan was public and effusive in its support of Albert Johnson. Time Magazine noted in 1924 that Johnson’s immigration restriction law was “generally supported by the West and South, admittedly with the backing of the Ku Klux Klan.” It reported in 1926 that one of the national KKK’s top four political priorities was the “Renomination and re-election of Representative Albert Johnson of Washington, so he can continue to be Chairman of the House Committee on Immigration and fight for restricted immigration laws.”

This is why we have our present immigration laws.

Nothing wrong with our current immigration laws. We have programs for Guest Workers, Family Reunification, and for people seeking asylum. If our laws are not perfect, the focus should be on changing what’s legal, not support ignoring our laws (very destructive)

We have always supported countries/people in distress, but inviting everyone there into our home doesn’t fix the problems they are having with their Govt.

Very well said. I would add that it isn’t even just the big cities where you see this. My husband and I are frequent cross country travelers having driven coast to coast ten times in as many years. We travel mostly off interstates and through small towns. We are constantly coming across small towns that show obvious signs of the immigrants who settled there. This isn’t just an item or two on a menu, it’s pervasive throughout the town-the architecture, the religion, the food, the names of streets and stores-really every aspect.

Many of the people in these towns can speak the language of their immigrant ancestors although usually not fluently. I have had many a small town diner waitress tell me about growing up with a German or Polish or Italian grandmother who spoke no English as I eat a wonderful strudel or kolasche or cannoli. I love this about America!

Except we’re not talking about “individuals seeking entry.” We’re dealing with millions who have already poured across an unenforced border in violation of reasonable immigration laws, and who demand services unimagined in the days of Ellis Island. Nothing in the Emma Lazarus poem or the Catechism requires a nation to suspend its security concerns or to raise valid questions as to the financial or social impact of 14 million or more people descending on an area.

"What about the immense strain on social services and money spent on welfare for these law breakers? The Congressional Budget Office in 2007 answered this question in the following manner: “Over the past two decades, most efforts to estimate the fiscal impact of immigration in the United States have concluded that, in aggregate and over the long term, tax revenues of all types generated by immigrants—both legal and unauthorized—exceed the cost of the services they use.” According to the New York Times, the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration claims that undocumented workers have contributed close to 10% ($300 billion) of the Social Security Trust Fund.

Finally, the aggregate economic impact of illegal immigration is debatable, but any claim that they’ve ruined the country doesn’t correlate to the views of any notable economist. An open letter to President George W. Bush in 2006, signed by around five hundred economists (including five Nobel laureates) stated the following: “While a small percentage of native-born Americans may be harmed by immigration, vastly more Americans benefit from the contributions that immigrants make to our economy, including lower consumer prices.”



What of the parable of the 10 virgins in the Gospel according to St. Matthew? Christ spoke of 10 virgins, 5 of whom were wise and 5 were foolish. When the 5 foolish virgins realized they lacked enough oil they implored the 5 wise virgins for some of theirs. The 5 wise virgins refused saying that if they gave some of theirs away they may not have enough for themselves.

I certainly understand charity but if we as Christians are always required to give then what is the lesson of this parable?


And then what about giving the beggar not just your cloak but your shirt as well?

I agree.

The news (reputable ones) from many countries is breathtaking when you see that there are hundreds of thousands fleeing. Hiding amongst the truly scared people who are fleeing are some who are truly dangerous.

It would be nice to see all of the affected countries, including the USA, work together to help these people fight for their country(ies) so they may feel safe again. The evil in these country(ies) must be addressed. Steering the focus away from addressing that issue seems to be a driving force for some. What has and is occurring in some of the countries that is driving its people away is pure evil and changing the name around from one thing to the other for political correctness doesn’t change that.

I am really having trouble comprehending this. You think the thing to do is address the evil regime in the country that people are fleeing, but that we have no obligation to those who are fleeing, who have no food, no shelter, literally the clothes on their backs? I guess they should be comforted in our saying, "never fear, we won’t let this stand, we will defeat the evil that has forced you from your homes (which may or may not be prudent from our own national interest), so try not to starve to death or die from exposure in the mean time, and good luck with that.

"If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day,
and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it?
So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead. "

James 2:15 -17

I’m saying there is more than 1 issue here. From your reaction, I’m assuming that wasn’t suppose to be addressed. I thought we were allowed to express our thoughts, but perhaps I am confused. But thanks for the attack and trying to re-phrase what I said.

Sourcing the NYT? Good gravy, I thought all on this earth new exactly which agendas it backed. The author of referenced Hill article has been pushing immigration reform for many years. Hardly unbiased in this situation. His social media accounts have this, “I’m a Liberal Democrat. I’m voting for Rand Paul in 2016…I’m for immigration reform…Paul is a self-described moderate on immigration…”

Yes, facts do indeed matter.

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