Illegal Immigrant

Let’s say hypothetically that I had a recently-made friend who is a great person but whom I had reason to believe was in this country (USA) illegally. Would I be obligated under pain of mortal sin to report him according to the teachings of the Church? I really wouldn’t want to…

No you wouldn’t.


Nope. There’s no teaching that we have to turn anyone in or do anything at all about another person’s citizenship status. It is up to the government to know who is and who isn’t in the country with a proper visa or other permission not you. :slight_smile:

You have a civic duty to report him. Unless of course your government was seeking to harm this person unjustly and unlawfully (think gulags, and death camp stuff) but your government isn’t they are simply seeking to return him back to his country of origin.

However reporting him probably will not have an affect on your friend. ICE probably receives thousands of calls a day and probably will no waste resources trying to deport one guy. However you should try and find out if he is here illegally and encourage him to try and come back here legally, cause what he is doing is wrong.

Wouldn’t you report somebody who you knew had broke the law in another way other than illegal immigration?

Ask a Priest.

We are under no moral obligation to report people to the police in cases where no one is being harmed. For example, let’s say my neighbor has more pets than the city allows. Do I report her? Not unless she has so many she can’t deal with them and her home has become a hazard to her and the animals. This is not a black and white issue. It’s degrees of guilt and of harm we have to take into consideration. Besides, he’s not sure his friend is here illegally. He should ask him before alerting the authorities and only if it’s serious enough to warrant it.

Eh watch it with that comment. You are basically in-directly endorsing thievery.

If I take an apple from a big-chain grocery store…Who is hurt? It’s one apple amongst hundreds and hundreds more coming tomorrow. Even so, it’s guaranteed that some of those apples will not be purchased because an employee or customer will accidentally destroy one. Also it’s a big store, they make plenty of money and they can afford to lose 18 cents…so who gets hurt?

The store gets hurt because it is 18 cents you have stolen from them. The employees get hurt because you stole from them 18 cents, cause they are paid by selling those apples. The customer gets hurt, because that is one less good apple they have to choose from, anyone who owns stock in that company gets hurt, because that is 18 cents they will never see, and finally everyone in the world gets hurt because that is 18 cents the government cannot tax to pay for civil services and profits the grocery store would use to feed homeless children.

So yeah committing crimes is a black and white issue, it’s wrong and justifying it only makes it worse.

You have no civic duty to report him. I would be very cautious, as you may not know your friend’s family situation. Our government has been splitting up family’s with deportations. I know of 3 cases personally and they have all caused great hardship. It seems to me the government is picking the low hanging fruit with regards to immigration in order to bolster deportation statistics.

I was in that situation once. I had an employee friend who was illegal. The way I found out was directly asking him. He said he was. I hired an immigration lawyer, paid $6,000 to get him permanent residency and he is now a citizen. It took several years.

My company made a unique product for our military. This man operated equipment that made the essential component and no one else could make the quality he did. We received testimonies from many soldiers and marines thanking us and extolling the product claiming it helped them in their deployments.

If you were a real friend you would try to help your friend find a way to get residency instead of thinking about turning him in. Maybe Jesus’s log in the eye admonition is applicable.

Can anyone say apples and oranges? No one is talking about the OP committing a deliberate crime, as in your example. It is not a crime nor even morally wrong to not report what one is not sure about.

If his friend is an illegal and he’s a good person contributing to society, then he should help him become legal instead of turning him in out of mere suspicion.

Some laws are not moral. Some laws are immoral. Some morals are not made into laws. Other morals are enshrined in law.

Some laws condemn things which are wrong in themselves (malum per se) other laws prohibit specific acts for bureaucratic reasons (eg., driving on the left or the right depending on which country makes the law).

A person may be illegally in another country because they were brought here as a child, and they may have no where to go back to, no family, no support, no life, no education, no work, no future.

It is up to each Catholic to inform their conscience and to act accordingly.

I agree, but first he should find out if his friend is even here illegally. He could be here on visa (quite legal). If he is here illegally, he should really try and convince his friend to try and become legal.

Entering a country illegally is no longer a crime? If he is working, did he also steal a social security number? Or is he working under the table and not paying taxes?

First the OP needs to find out the status of his friend. If the guy is here legally, great. If not, then the guy is a criminal.

Not too long ago, it used to be illegal to harbor a Jew, or a runaway slave. The government salivates at the prospect of people looking to human laws as the highest arbiter of what is right and what is wrong; Christians are called to follow a higher moral law, and to follow their own informed consciences above any merely human law.

Our own bishops will be breaking Caesar’s law when they refuse to do the bidding of the HHS bureaucrat ideologues. Will the bishops be wrong and ought we to point our accusatory fingers at them, too?

I don’t like this comment either, so that means someone could drive on the opposite side of the road because it’s bureaucratic and not moral (even though they will get themselves and others killed).

If we get to pick and choose which laws we find moral and laws we are going to follow, then that of course means everyone can pick and choose laws they want to follow. Just because you do not agree with the law does not mean it is moral to disregard it. I could find following the laws in your country, just a bunch of bureaucratic who-ha, does that mean it is moral for me to break them? My answer is no.

It’s not against the law not to report an illegal, but lets please not make this thread about whether the law itself is moral or not…there are other threads for that.

Crossing a border without permission is usually a misdemeanor. It rises to the level of a felony only after being deported and re-entering.

Being a bishop is about to become a criminal act, if the present administration gets its way.

Wow…comparing illegal immigration to the Holocaust or Slavery? Excuse me, but no one forced the illegals to come here and the illegals have no legal right to be here.

Comparing border laws (every nation has one) to the Shoah and slavery is pathetic.

Shame On You. :nope:

[QUOTEIf I take an apple from a big-chain grocery store…Who is hurt? It’s one apple amongst hundreds and hundreds more coming tomorrow.

That brings to mind a particular commandment (thou shalt not steal). There is no commandment saying you must turn in illegal immrigrents. Thnk about Jesus. Did he not break Jewish law when he preached? Would you have turned him in?

Once again read the context. :rolleyes:

I swear reading is an epidemic in this world.

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