Cardinal Mahony: churches may offer sanctuary to 'DREAMers' who face deportation [CWN]


Writing in L’Osservatore Romano, Cardinal Roger Mahony, who served as archbishop of Los Angeles from 1985 to 2011, discussed the plight of “DREAMers”: persons who were brought illegally to the United States by their parents when they were children.



I guess I understand why he is saying this, though I think he’s factually wrong in asserting that Trump proposes the mass deportation of 11 million people.

But no matter what, he’s saying churches should actively break the law if, indeed, Trump rescinds Obama’s executive order. If in this then in what else?


Right, his statements contain inaccuracies. As Christians we have a responsibility to practice social justice in the face of the facts, regardless of who is in office. I include Catholics in that. Immigration law is not ‘unChristian’ in America right now; it is just neglected, ignored.


What about in the Middle Ages when Churches would offer sanctuary to criminals. How is that different than this?


At least they were honest about it.


If mexico is such a horrible country then why doesn’t the cardinal call on us to replace their corrupt regime, which would thus help all mexicans and not just the illegal immigrants


Don’t be such a DREAMer. Besides overthrowing the government of Mexico is a bit much even for Trump…;):smiley:




Because that was the secular law too at that time. As a general proposition, the Church teaches us to obey the secular authorities; the exception being when the state commands us to do a clearly immoral act.

Cdl Mahoney might think deportation of illegal aliens is a clearly immoral act. But it seems to me that in many, if not most, cases, it isn’t. Take Mexico, for example. Wages there are about 1/3 what they are here. But so is the cost of living. The big advantages to being here are that there is a lot more in the way of state benefits and there is a very favorable exchange rate. Most Mexican immigrants of recent times still have family in Mexico or investments they want to make in Mexico. Dollars are a lot more valuable in Mexico than is Mexican money, and the ability to save dollars is massively greater here than there.

It’s actually a comparative advantage, not a matter of life and death. If you are Mexican and want to get ahead of your neighbors in Mexico, coming to the U.S. and spending as little as possible is the way to do it.

I have known some illegals who were doing just that. They were living in awful conditions here because they were sending most of their earnings to Mexico or Central America to buy land or businesses there.

It’s like the American oil worker who goes to work in Kuwait for a few years so he can come back and live larger than he would have if he had been working the whole time in Texas doing the same thing.

None of that would matter very much unless the alien gets benefits on the taxpayer’s dime or depresses wages for citizens here. It doesn’t matter much in Kuwait because there are nowhere near enough Kuwaitis to do the work and they’re all heavily subsidized by the government and don’t want to do that work anyway because it’s hard, dirty and dangerous.
Kuwaitis do “supervise” though, from air conditioned offices. And they do pretty well at it as long as they have American or Brit “advisors” to tell them what to do.

I realize that last statement is snide, but people who have been there will tell you that.


Morally, America should be offering these children residency if they’re from Central America. These children would have continued to live in extreme violence and the poverty that came with the violence. Some of them would have been dead if they didn’t go to America illegally. One of those countries is considered the murder capital of the world (Honduras?). No offence (and I’m sincere) but let’s not forget the drug use by some Americans and weapons smuggled from America fuelled this violence. If I remember correctly there aren’t enough resources for rehab in the US and there are complaints of governments weren’t and still aren’t doing enough to help in a meaningful way. Couple that with the downright selfishness of some individuals, many people’s lives in these countries were ruined and others denied their futures.


So what you really want is for us to overthrow the Governments in Central America, so we can save all the children?

Have you ever been to Central America? They’ve got issues but it’s not as bad as you portray. The kids arriving in the USA are being sent by their middle class parents as anchor tweens, they are not from poor families. Poor families can’t afford to send their kids.

Personally, I think kids should be raised by their parents. I would also like to help these countries self govern, but that’s something very hard to do well.


Those immigrants that are in most need are not the ones who were earning that 1/3 of what they have here. In Mexico, as in the US, there is income disparity. What is true for the aggregate may not be true for all individuals. For some it may actually be a matter of life and death. That is why cases should be decided based on individual circumstances.


We have a refugee program for cases where it’s life and death.

But for economic migrants, they are not the responsibility of the US Govt. The US Govt needs to focus on the welfare of US Citizens, and illegal immigrants hurt wages and opportunity for our lower class most.




Definitely not. Libya is a great example of this. So was Iraq.

That should include more support for rehab from all level of governments. This would not only benefit Americans but it would also help drive down the demand of addictive drugs, which is a main contributor for the violence. Unfortunately, the fiscally conservative lawmakers don’t seem to care. Then again, they are only conservative fiscally and not socially.


My understanding is that the affected young people were brought here by their parents when they were very small, and had no choice. They were infants or toddlers. They’ve grown up in this country, in some cases don’t speak Spanish, and know nothing except this country. Now they want to attend college.

Ideally, we should have a program in place to allow them to, especially those who have done well in school. The DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival) program—implemented by President Barack Obama in 2012—has protected 770,000 “DREAMers” from deportation and has allowed them to work.

This is probably the only action of President Obama’s that I agree with. I hope it stays in place.



Children travel to foreign countries to live with their parents all the time, it’s hardly a death sentence. It’s actually quite rare for the children of immigrants not to have picked up at least some of the language of their parents. I expect they will be near fluent within 12 months of returning to their original home, and thus be bilingual.

By all means you should donate to scholarship funds that mean something to you, but don’t insist that we use tax dollars to pay for their college education. We have plenty of citizens who also can use aid for their educations. Universities in foreign countries are also quite capable, and usually of much lower cost than here.


It is unjust to forcefully deport persons that have lived in a country from childhood and know no other home than that country to an alien land just because it wasn’t alien to their parent. Talk about punishing the child for the crime of the parent!

Even worse is seeing Christians support this. And criticizing prelates who see how gravely unjust it is.

Do you think Jesus would be campaigning for the deportation of these young people to lands that are totally alien to them? I guess Christian charity means a different thing among American Catholics than it does to the rest of us.

And please don’t bother with the “it’s the law” argument. That’s no more an excuse for your own personal support of an injustice than it is for abortion supporters. You are a Christ follower first. At least that’s what we claim.

Anyway, I continue to have hope that Trump is more compassionate than that. He spoke of deporting actual criminals and not otherwise law-abiding immigrants. I bet the case of immigrants who didn’t even become so by choice and have been raised American would elicit even more compassion from him than the regular non-criminal immigrant.

If he acts as he seems to have indicated in that first interview, he would prove much more Christian than some people. His focus seemed more on stopping further immigration than on causing unnecessary suffering to millions of people already living peacefully in the U.S. for years.


Do you honestly believe that it would be OK with Christ to deport people who have been raised American and know America only as their home and did not choose their irregular status to begin with to an alien land with worse conditions? If the law says this should be done, how can you say it is not unchristian? It is a very uncharitable policy and therefore unchristian. Christians are not called to be hard-hearted towards the very real plight of others.

It is one thing to talk about deporting adults who made adult decisions. It is quite another to support the same treatment for their children.


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