Archbishop O'Brien on A Hard Hearted Approach to Immigration

The fact that those opposed to *all *immigration are also opposed to illegal immigration does not in any way imply that those opposed to *illegal *immigration are opposed to all immigration.

While up to last week I vigorously opposed any “path to legality” for those here illegally, I always was fine with legal immigration and fine with the idea of increasing the numbers of people we permit to enter legally; however, I seem to have become an oddity as while I continue to believe that our government should be vigorously against people being here in the future illegally and prosecuting those who hire illegal immigrants, I am no longer against a plan for making legal those who are already here illegally.

Here is what happened: a person much holier and more theologically educated than I explained the situation to me:

First, how can we expect others to respect our laws if we ourselves do not? The federal government has repeatedly promised to protect our borders and has repeatedly failed in this promise. That has led to a lot of difficulties and heartbreak for people. However, the fact is that our government pretty much ignored the situation and that our business people took advantage of the situation. Why should the only people held accountable for this be those who accepted what was in effect an open invitation on our part?

Secondly, those who have applied to immigrate legally will not be treated in an unjust manner according to Catholic thinking, as shown by the parable of the workers hired first in the morning, then at noon, then later in the day. When the employer started paying the late-comers the daily rate, those who had started working in the morning were dismayed, but he said that since he would be paying them the amount that they had agreed to, they were not being ripped off.

I could see that.

So now what I would like to see from the government is some form of legalization process for those already here, which would include a *rigorous *background check (so none of the bad guys could sneak into legality) and other stipulations, and a ***thorough ***and well-thought-out re-vamping of our immigration policies, and, by golly, a fine for our government for every day they delay on actually protecting our borders. (OK, I realize the fine for the government wouldn’t work, but that really makes me crazy).

Amen to that! :thumbsup: And I’m the daughter of a mother who immigrated from Germany in the 1920s!

That is the one sticking point for me. Had the Federal government been serious about enforcing their laws, I would be 100% against illegal immigration and illegal immigrants. But they weren’t ever really serious about it (except in election years). And they still aren’t.

But my point is that if we are going to allow any type of amnesty (even allowing them to stay with some HUGE strings), the border has GOT to be secured tight as a drum. We reformed immigration and allowed a “sort of” amnesty in 1986. Look how it worked.

If this country has a “reform” in 2010 without the 100% border sealing so it can NEVER, EVER, EVER happen again, my attitude will change and change massively for the worse.

(Besides, it would be relatively easy. We have all of those troops coming back from Iraq over the next year or year and a half. We could easily deploy them along the borders and use some already-existing federal lands to build some new bases for them in the area (thus minimizing family separations))

I so agree with you on this. Either enforce the laws we have or take them off the books, but be honest with us about what’s going on. In addition to the 1986 amnesty, we have also had 5.5 others… and they are *still *dragging their feet about guarding the border.

One of the major problems that I see with illegal immigration which is not affected by my new understanding is that the non-criminals provide a smokescreen for the drug dealers and other icky people, and that a whole new criminal organization has developed in ferrying people across. The whole thing is a lousy mess.

And I do support the AZ law–they have one *reported *kidnapping a day in Phoenix, which takes up a lot of police manpower (if nothing else), and is destructive of an orderly society.

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