Catholics and Immigration


Hatred or disdain of any person or group, no matter what they have done, is not a Catholic attitude. The immigration issue is a difficult one and we need to approach it as our bishops have approached it: with open hearts and open minds, not anger or hatred.

How often do we actually know why a person has immigrated here illegally? Have we lived in that person’s shoes? Do we really care about that person’s life, other than how it impacts on ours?

I know a Mexican woman who walked through the desert with a baby on her hip and her 3 year old daughter at her side, to escape from her abusive husband, who beat her severely on a regular basis, sometimes to within an inch of her life.

Her parents are not living. She had nowhere to turn. So she walked through the desert and crossed the border into our country, illegally. Do we punish her and send her back? Or do we accept her and try to help her re-order her life?

While I do not support illegal immigration, neither do I support viewing human beings as inferior or criminal because they crossed our border without a visa. We have to put ourselves in their shoes. We have to follow the example of our bishops, who are following the will of Jesus.

As a matter of fact, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is very pro-immigrant, and has set up a special campaign with the title “National Justice for Immigrants,” headed by Bishop Gerald R. Barnes of California. His recommendation for the U.S.? Broad legalization.

Let’s look to our bishops for guidance on this issue, as we do on all issues. Dare we say our opinions are more correct than those of Holy Mother Church??

Please open your hearts, open your minds, and help the poor and disenfranchised among us to retain the dignity they deserve, rather than casting them away as if they are less worthy of God’s love than we Americans.

As I mentioned in my last post, which has been deleted, we are only Americans because those who came before us took the land away from the original inhabitants. Borders, ownership of land, and material posessions are things of this world to which we need not be too closely attached.

Praying for a compassionate nation,




An illegal alien raped and kidnapped a little girl whose parents
immigrated legally from Mexico, they are against illegal immigrants and so am I.
Criminals are not hard working Church goers, they are simply criminals.
The corrupt Mexican gov’t is now legalizing abortion and your example also illustrates how they feel about women.
Breaking the laws of the United States will do nothing to improve the lives of women and children in either Mexico or the United States.
Mexicans need to fix their own country which is very wealthy in natural resources, when immigrants are treated fairly when sneaking over the border into Mexico from other Latin countries perhaps they themselves will get a fair deal elsewhere.
Mexico is harsh to illegal immigrants in their own country, they need to fix Mexico not ruin America.


What does anything you posted have to do with the topic. Okay, so an illegal alien do a horrible thing. That has nothing to so with illegal immigration or the Church’s position. So you don’t think criminals are hard-working. That has nothing to do with illegal aliens, most of which are hard-working. My parish is loaded with great Catholic immigrants, some legal some not. They are the hardest-working people I know.

None have raped and kidnapped. :rolleyes:


The important word here is not “why” but “illegal.”

While I do not support illegal immigration

You don’t? You are either supporting illegal immigration or immigration without restrictions. There is no other way for everyone who wants to come here to get in.

… neither do I support viewing human beings as inferior or criminal because they crossed our border without a visa.

The definition of a criminal is someone who breaks the law. By definition, *everyone *who sneaks into the US is a criminal, whether you choose to call them that or not.

Dare we say our opinions are more correct than those of Holy Mother Church??

Don’t confuse the personal opinion of a single bishop with the moral teaching of the Church. In this case I have no problem rejecting his suggestion.



Every nation has the right to monitor who comes through its borders. It is reasonable to expect people who wish to come here to do so legally.

I do not believe that most immigrants – legal or not – are criminals, other than in breaking immigration laws. My own mother is an immigrant, and she’s a law-abiding citizen, as are her family. But the risk of terrorists or other criminal elements (drug dealers, gang members, etc.) crossing the border undetected is real, and it’s imperative that the government addresses that problem effectively.

That does not mean bar all immigration, or deport all illegal immigrants, or tatoo a bar code on them. Any immigration reform should take into account the human dignity of immigrants while providing protection from dangerous elements.

In addition to the security problem, illegal immigrants do not pay taxes, possess health insurance, or have driving priveleges, yet many of them use public schools, roads and hospitals and drive illegally. If an illegal immigrant is involved in an auto accident, the financial burden is placed on the other driver, even if he/she is not at fault. If the illegal immigrant is hurt, he or she is taken to a hospital with no insurance coverage. It is not reasonable to force this extra burden on the economy or on individuals who are personally involved.

Finally, illegal immigrants are forced to work illegally. Employers who hire them have no incentive to pay them a just wage, and many do not. The result is that, while an illegal immigrant may be earning significantly more than he earned in his own country, he is likely not earning enough to creep above the poverty line in our country – at least, not without taking more than one job and/or working more than it is reasonable to ask of him.

For the sake of our nation’s security and the financial well-being of our economy and our individual citizens, as well as the efficiency of our public schools and hospitals, the integrity of employers who might be tempted to underpay, and for the personal dignity of illegal immigrants themselves, we must reform our immigration system and tighten security on our borders, and do so in a way that protects our nation while enabling those who wish to come in (and those who are already here) to become citizens or legal residents.



I’m a criminal, too. I have broken at least one law. I wonder if anyone here has never broken one law, even a traffic law.

This is the problem with labeling. One may be technically correct, but if carried to the logical conclusion, it becomes meaningless.


We live in a society of law and order. By virtue of the fact that one is an illegal alien means that they have entered the country illegally. That makes them crimminal no matter the reason. Not all people in desperate situations find it necessary to break laws. Not all who break laws are bad people, but they are lawbreakers. I have no problem with immigrants that file the paperwork, wait their turn and do things the right way. Neither do I have problems with people filing for emergency asylum when their lives are endanger. But to enter this country because your spouse is beating you is not up to the US to fix. Why do people assume that the US is responsible for the domestic problems in other countries? I am sorry if I sound harsh, but there has to be limits somewhere. I really resent the drain on our society and social services that illegals cause. Do you know in my state it is automatic that if you are an illegal alien and your child graduates from hs here they can go to college for free? Tell my 20 yo son how it is fair that he can’t get financial aid… I mean both his parents are veterans, dad doesn’t pay child support but I make just enough to deny him college tuition grants. In our local community, they encourage illegals to get food stamps and medical cards… yet I don’t have medical insurance and I just broke my leg and I am expecting…how fair is that?


Both my parents were immigrants to our nation and my perspective on this is that there must be a solution on why people choose to immigrate here. I understand the main reason is to better their living conditions and to seek opportunity, but there must be a solution in their own country. For example, in Mexico corruption is wide spread and is impossible for a country to progress with such rampant scandal. To begin with politians should be held accountable for their countrymen and not allow the burden on others. Now to those that are here now we should show them charity and compasion because they are part of our future in our country. By showing charity and compasion hey are now able to assimilate to our culture which is why they are here to begin with, because they are attracted to our lifestyle. On the other hand to show them hatred will only cause them to remain with their own and cause more problems than not.



The USCCB has one official position on the immigration issue: That our nation must fix the broken system and do it fast, so as to maintain the dignity of ALL immigrants coming here, whether illegal or not.

For anyone who still thinks this is the opinion of only one bishop, please go to the official website of the USCCB’s immigration project, entitled Justice for Immigrants: A Journey of Hope–The Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform.

Here is the web address:

After you have visited the website, hopefully you will come away with the sense that we are bound to stand behind the decision of our bishops and do what we can to help them achieve their goal.

If you disagree with their position, as I said before, you are disagreeing with Holy Mother Church. Sorry, but there is no way around this one, folks.

Thank God for our bishops. Thank God for the Catholic Church. And thank God for those who are willing to stand up for changes which will only bring good to our country and to the lives of those less fortunate than ourselves.

Still praying for a compassionate nation,


Also of interest:

“Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope,” a Pastoral Letter Concerning Migration, from the Catholic Bishops of Mexico and the United States.

Read the letter here:



The only point I made in my post that is called into question by the USCCB is the idea that illegal immigrant don’t pay taxes.

I stand by my post in general as being consistent with the spirit of a just and moral treatment of immigrants. As I said, I in no way support the mistreatment of immigrants or the sealing of our borders. Rather, we must enact more effective means of tracking those who do come in, make it possible for immigrants to get and maintain legal status, and prevent people from just hopping a fence.

I do not advocate throwing illegals into jail or deporting them – that would be a pointless strain on our legal system, and it is unncecessarily uncharitable.

And I don’t especially enjoy the implication that I’m not compassionate.



I suppose one could be sensitive or infer any sort of implication from any post in this forum.

However, praying for a compassionate nation is like praying for world peace. It doesn’t imply that the one praying is the only one with compassion or with peace.


Relevance? Are you implying that all “illegal aliens” are rapists?

Criminals are not hard working Church goers, they are simply criminals.

Relevance? Being an illegal immigrant is an unlawful activity but it is not a crime in and of itself just like an employer violating OSHA laws aren’t criminals but are subject to sanctions under the law.

The corrupt Mexican gov’t is now legalizing abortion and your example also illustrates how they feel about women.
Breaking the laws of the United States will do nothing to improve the lives of women and children in either Mexico or the United States.

Mexicans need to fix their own country which is very wealthy in natural resources, when immigrants are treated fairly when sneaking over the border into Mexico from other Latin countries perhaps they themselves will get a fair deal elsewhere.
Mexico is harsh to illegal immigrants in their own country, they need to fix Mexico not ruin America.

Mexico doesn’t claim to be the beacon of liberty, the Land of the Free, etc. like the United States does. The United States (Mexico is part of America, as is Canada, Bolivia, Venezuela, Honduras, etc) claims moral superiority and should be held to that standard, not what other countries do.

And I firmly believe that the dethroning of the corrupt PRI after 70 years of absolute rule is a direct result of people immigrating here from Mexico and returning with the concepts of republican democracy that we have here.


I agree. My apologies.



We are not required to agree with the bishops when they are expressing an opinion, so please do not try to make out people who have a different position from your own as being disobedient Catholics. When the Holy Father wants to give us dogma or even official doctrine about our national immigration situation, then I will feel bound to agree and to obey. I know that I am compassionate to all humans, but that does not mean that I have to throw open my country to anyone who decides that they deserve to be here and to take what they want regardless of the laws and procedures. There is a difference between being compassionate to real human suffering and being an advocate of open borders.

What many people seem to overlook in their rush to grant amnesty to all who are here and to open borders with Mexico is that all of the people here illegally jumped the line ahead of other people who desperately want to come here (some for far more urgent reasons than merely earning more money.) I would rather take every child and non-violent adult who is in real danger of death in Darfur and other places than allow millions of folks to stay who are only in danger of having a poorer lifestyle in their home countries.

We turn aways many boatloads of Haitians every year who have a far more urgent reason for needing to get out of their violent home country than Mexicans or Canadians or others who can sneak into the US by land. However, these poor Haitians have the misfortune to have to avoid the US Coast Guard which actually gets the job done on enforcing our borders. Where is the compassion and advocacy for these type of people who are turned back home to die in the streets while the US refuses to raise immigration quotas because we are “full up” with illegal immigrants already!

What about the 1000’s of people who came here legally (many college educated) who cannot get their permanent green card after many years of following every law and spending their hard earned money because ICE is backed up for years from dealing with people who cheated the system to get here? I know someone who came here properly and has been waiting on his permanent status for about 10 years because of the backlog even though he is married to a US citizen. He has been unable to see his family in all of that time for fear of not being allowed back into the US and he is here legally.


I pray for both legal and illegal immigrants and I pray for a compassionate immigration system. I dream of a day when the world is so peaceful, they won’t need borders. I worry hatred is part of why borders and citizenship exists.

Citizenship seems a silly concept when you consider people, in the past, would just travel to another country and live there for a better life. No big deal.

In passages of the Bible, God tells us not to prevent someone from entering the country and to be kind to them and help them get to their feet so they can support themselves.

Not all illegal immigrants are bad, and to imply that they are is just insulting and unChristianly. Don’t forget that America was Native American before immigrants started moving in.

How’d you like it if, hypothetically, Jesus and the apostles couldn’t preach and create communities and live among people…just because they are immigrants? Jesus wants us to treat -everybody- like we would treat -Him-. So please, treat immigrants like you would treat Him. Would you honestly get all hotheaded and hateful to Him?

If the Church can help make it easier for immigrants, I’m all for that. Its DIFFICULT to become a Canadian citizen compared to becoming an American citizen, thus I would not recommend anybody immigrate to Canada. They’d have so much more hardship. So naturally, I recommend they immigrate to the US. Otherwise, if possible, they could try doing some kind of peaceful revolution to make life better in their country.

Meeshy, I want to join you for those prayers. We could even do rosaries.


While I am most certainly all for helping others and have deep compassion for those in any sorrow or difficulty, I cannot help but wonder, if this were any other situation where a law was being broken, would we be petitioning so hard for ‘tolerance’ and be so ‘dismissive’ of the wrong actions, so inclined to blame not the ones who come without proper actions, but the ‘evil’ or ‘venal’ or merely ‘uncaring and stupid’ who had made the laws to begin with?

If every person who came to this country did so by assaulting a guard, for example, would we say ‘they had to do it’ and blame the guard for ‘standing in their way?’

If a person walked in and immediately stole $100 from another, would we not only allow him to keep the money but turn around and tell the victim that he should be delighted to ‘share’, shut his mouth because he, being here, was already in far better shape than the poor person who stole from him?

Think about it.

Think also that for every person who comes illegally, there is a lesser to no chance for another person, who has perhaps stronger need, has waited a longer time, and who has done so with respect for the law, to be able to enter the country.

I have no idea how many have ‘broken a traffic law’, for example. But even if I broke a traffic law every single day of my life, does that action somehow make the law ‘wrong’-- or does my wrong action somehow make it ‘right’ for others to do wrong?

I think not.


*“I was having a bad day,” illegal immigrant Diego Pillco, 19, allegedly told cops. “I didn’t mean to kill her. But I did kill her.” *

Raping the children and killing the cops regular Americans are to lazy too
It has never been easy to be a cop, but the presence today of millions of illegal aliens makes the job enormously more difficult and dangerous. That hazard is multiplied for police who work in a sanctuary city or state (see map), where they are prevented from asking about immigration status, knowledge which should be part of every officer’s toolbox. In such places, the criminal is given an edge and law enforcement suffers.
We don’t know whether Houston’s sanctuary policy had a direct connection with the murder of Officer Rodney Johnson on Sept. 21, for example by making the city a more attractive place for the accused killer, illegal alien Juan Leonardo Quintero, to settle. We do know that the accused was previously deported in 1999 for sexual indecency with a child, so he may have wanted all the advantage he could get.
Officer Johnson had stopped Quintero for speeding, found he didn’t have a license, then cuffed him and put him in the back of the squad car. Quintero somehow was able to draw a weapon which Johnson had missed, and then shot and killed the officer as he sat in the driver’s seat.

Just here to work?
It is hard to fathom how anyone could bury an axe in the head of an innocent nine-year-old boy, but that was the unimaginable fate of Jordin Paulder of Fulton County, Georgia, on June 5. The killer was “Honduran native” Santos Benigno Cabrera Borjas.

  Three children were playing in the parking lot of the Chastain Apartments in Sandy Springs early Monday evening when a red car with a wobbly wheel drove through.
      Jordin Paulder, a 9-year-old boy with chubby cheeks, called out to the car's passengers to tell them of the bad tire.
      Jordin didn't mean to insult anybody, he just thought they should know, witnesses told police.
      But the car stopped. A man got out and slammed an ax into Jordin's face. Emergency workers were afraid to remove the ax during the helicopter flight to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite hospital, where Jordin died. [Boy, 9, hacked to death, 6/7/06, Atlanta Journal-Constitution]


I am an American, I do not feel guilty about calling myself an American.
Folks south of the border may feel as if they are from "The Americas"
that is their right.
When some smug liberal tells me that Mexico and Honduras are in North America too that in no way changes my opinion at all.
Maybe Mexico should treat illegal aliens with some compassion instead of raping them and extorting money?
Even the UN has tried to tell Mexico to stop their human rights violations.
I am born , baptized and confirmed a Catholic and I could care less about what drivel hypnotized bleeding heart liberal has to say about illegal immigration being OK.
When the illegal criminals stop killing children and raping and robbing
I will feel a bit more compassinate.
Sinking the life boat with illegals will kill everyone

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