Having read this very good article … about MUCH more a spiritually encouraging document – than a political one … (however it might be spun later) … I almost feel bad about my previous post. Almost - because though I made some good points about some false issues … those issues were not part of this story.
It’s about the Church (and not, once I read it, a vague slap at those who favor enforcement of existing U.S. immigration laws).
Pope Francis recounts why some legitimately migrate
The Pope spoke of migrants fleeing poverty, political oppression, or merely seeking a better place in which to simply live. I’ve been rooting for such when they fled across the Iron Curtain, crossed borders to flee enemy armies, fled for asylum, or merely got on a boat bound for Ellis Island (first) and “America” following the screenings. My Irish ancestors may have been driven by a famine or religious persecution - but some came just for a better opportunity.
The Church is very right to encourage us to “love our neighbors” particularly this week when NOT doing so is (according to Jesus in Sunday’s Gospel) what gets the goats sent away to eternal punishment!
***If this message actually IS a veiled counsel warning *** those wishing to strengthen the US borders, curb immigration, or enact more stringent laws (than those that are in place but currently unenforced) – it is a gentle one, and not a direct political callout. Its timing is a bit curious coming when it does – but its message is on a much higher plane than my humorous post.
"Other reasons" people illegally cross borders
Nowhere in it do I see the slightest justification for immigrants to cross borders to in any way “covet another’s goods” or, say, justify anything like a “reconquista” movement that also errs in forgetting to love one’s neighbor (first). IMO some will try to spin this anyway, allying the Pope with some political advocacy or other.
And “migrants” as defined in the Pope’s message are also nowhere depicted as drug or gun running criminals. He generally depicts them as workers and contributors, not such as would cross a border illegally and attempt to live a life of crime or retire on as many government benefits as one could acquire and get away with.
The issue in the US is complicated, but even the opponents agree on some things
I was surprised to find (in my research) that one high churchman I was irked with for involving himself so directly with politics … said so much that I actually agreed with. And was further surprised that his positions were much closer to the Minutemen group that it looked like he was so adamantly opposed to when it came right down to it.
Cardinal MAHONY (2006) : Well, of all the things we’ve seen so far, what was passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday has most of the elements in it that we are looking for. The provisions of this judiciary committee bill, this Specter Bill, does allow for people who are, who came here before 2004, a whole series of steps–
six years, they have to pay a $1,000 fine,
they have to learn English, a number of things they have to do.
They earn their citizenship, and I think that’s really key for us,
because that’s what we’re looking for, too.
… Our whole immigration system is completely out of control. And the church is not for open borders, everybody come. No, we are for a system that has elements that are just, fair, and that give people the opportunity to earn citizenship in this country.
and Minuteman organizer Jim Gilchrist’s personal experience with an illegal alien when he (as part of his volunteer border monitoring group) actually met one …
By April 10, 2005, only 10 days into the scheduled month-long operation, the multi-ethnic Minuteman Project completely shut down the illegal alien invasion and drug smuggling activities along the entire 23-mile stretch of the U.S./Mexico border in Arizona’s San Pedro River Valley.
By maintaining a 24-hour physical presence at three dozen outposts along the border, the Project effectively deterred illegal entry into the United States. Under no circumstances, except in the interest of health and safety, were the minutemen volunteers permitted to confront or converse with anyone entering the country illegally.
Only in one instance did I make physical contact with an illegal alien.
Minutemen Nurse Ailing Guatemalan Back To Health - Before Turning Him Over
A 25-year-old Guatemalan hobbled into our camp suffering from hypothermia, dehydration, and starvation. He had gotten separated from the group that escorted him over the border and had wandered aimlessly through the desert for four days. I aided another minuteman in providing nourishing power bars and water to the ailing immigrant, as well as wrapping him with two blankets to raise his body heat. A border patrol medical evacuation was requested via HAM radio, and minutes later the young man was picked up by a U.S. Border Patrol van.
Re: Actual Legislation (and “Church involvement”) on immigration (or illegal immigration), Mahony weighed in on Arizona’s (SB 1070, subsequently moderated by Arizona HB 2162)
a move praised by some
and criticized by others
eastvalleytribune.com/news/article_acf9f20d-a58d-5376-9244-e262d48750ed.html < Gov. Brewer: Clergy Don’t Understand the Bill