Illinois bishops welcome driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants

The Catholic Conference of Illinois has welcomed the legislative passage of a measure permitting immigrants who are not present in the United States legally to apply for temporary driver’s licenses.

“This legislation will give our immigrant brothers and sisters the training to safely get to church, work and school,” said Robert Gilligan, the conference’s executive director. “All families are safer when every driver is trained, tested, licensed and insured.”

I’m not going to lie, I have some significant reservations about our Bishops supporting things like this. Supporting illegal (not undocumented, illegal) immigrants to get a driver’s licence goes way too far in my view. The above quote which says that it will allow them to safely get to work really get’s me. Hello! They aren’t supposed to be working in the first place. They are here illegally which is a crime. Working without the proper visa is a crime. And companies who hire them are committing a crime. Our Bishops should not be supporting that.

In case anyone is curious or thinks that I might have something against immigrants, I married a foreign national who is Hispanic and my sister married a man from Europe. Many of my students and friends are also immigrants. In addition, I agree completely with our Bishops that we do not turn people away for things like immediate shelter, food, the sacraments, emergency health care, etc. regardless of immigration status. That is the humane and moral thing to do.

My concern is not with immigrants, providing they are here legally, it is with the encouragement and rewarding for the violation of laws which are legitimate and not immoral on the part of our Bishops, and in the country in general.

This thread concerns the Temporary Visitor Driver’s License (TVDL), a program which the state of Illinois has previously offered to legal immigrants who lacked a Social Security number. The state legislature recently passed an extension of the program which would allow illegal immigrants to obtain a TVDL.

In order to get a TVDL, immigrants would have to provide proof of at least one year of Illinois residency. They would have to pay a fee, and pass vision, written and driving tests, in addition to purchasing auto insurance

I think the idea of offering such a license is to protect other residents of the state. The program aims to increase the number of persons on the road who have auto insurance and who have proven an understanding of the rules of the road.

May JESUS fashion a whip of chord and drive you out of the temple, or ME, one or the other, I no longer care which.

The United States of America was a country founded on the principles of Judeo-Christian beliefs (to include the 10 Commandments), and dedicated, in shrinking awe and absolute deference to HE WHO IS. To say otherwise is to be wholly ignorant of [the Truth of] real history, or to be wrong on-purpose which is to lie.

N.B. - it is not also the purview of any municipal or public entity, nor of any individual living now, to attempt to reduce that fact to that of a mere superstition. Those unconviced can go read America’s founding documents and the other writings of our founders, and be wholly- apprised otherwise.

Also Note Well, that such Judeo-Christian principals are not found so revered in the founding documents of ANY OTHER NATION IN HISTORY. NOR can it be said that ANY OTHER NATION IN HISTORY, has been so blessed by peace and prosperity and nothing short of absolutely UNPRECEDENTED opportunity to be afforded the time and opportunity to KNOW AND SERVE HIM, here on earth.

AGAIN, there is not anywhere the right granted, and I will provide NO QUARTER, to those attempting to reduce THAT to a mere superstition.

Worship of HE WHO IS, has also been (almost) UNILATERALLY supported by those here in America, who have been so (albeit admittedly just as otherwise undeserving as the rest of the world) willing to sacrifice themselves to afford others the opportunity for the same.


THE ALMIGHTY may AT WILL someday choose otherwise, and may even (unknown and unconscionable to the author here) bring us all into one-mindedness in the worship OF HIM, and I humbly pray with raised and trembling soiled hands, that, for all those purposes, the Spirit HE has instilled in me is absolutely supple to HIS WILL.

But now I tell you that such action, by the Church in Illinois is WRONGFUL. Further that the Church, in so doing, stands Far Afield, and saws the limb from the tree on which they are standing. For if America (a Nation under GOD) is theirs to give-away, it is mine to take away from them. The very time they have to consider such a laissez-faire attitude has been WHOLLY AFFORDED BY THE ALMIGHTY, but the skin that holds that water has dripped blood for it on every other corner of the globe in its defense.

WE (Americans) do not aspire to be any other nation in the world.
We do not aspire to be any other people in the world
We do not need any other persons to come to our country who do not first
aspire to be American.
We cannot afford the luxury of indifference towards the sovereignty of our Nation, as that BY THE HAND OF THE ALMIGHTY, is how we afford everything else.

Perhaps illegal immigration might actually be moral. Just asking the question - I don’t know the situation firsthand - but Thomistic moral theology might be able to say that out of necessity the immigrants have a moral right to be in the country. Whaddya think?

I believe the CCC states that nations have the right to enforce their borders and to control the immigration process. It also states that we have a duty to follow laws as long as they are not unjust. There is nothing unjust about having a controlled process for immigration. Having gone through the process with my wife, I am the first to admit it could be streamlined some. However, that does not make unjust, merely inconvenient.

The Bishops are just as much for those illegal immigrants as they are for us “faithful” Americans.

The bishops aren’t breaking the law, they are trying to change the law so people can come into our country, people a lot of times who probably have better values then the values we find here in the states.

I didn’t say that the Bishops were breaking the law, so I am not sure what you are referring to. However, if they are encouraging the passing of a law which allows illegal immigrants to drive so that they can go to work, which is illegal, then they would seem to be supportive of illegal activity or perhaps, encouraging it, which I have a problem with.

It is: A) against the law that they are here in the first place; B) against the law for them to work; and C) against the law for employers to hire them. We have a name for people who break the law, and it is not “undocumented immigrant” but rather “criminal”.

Now, If they want to advocate for changing the law because they believe it is unjust, that is their prerogative. I disagree with that position and I believe that I am in agreement with the CCC, but I am willing to have that conversation. What I have a problem with, is rewarding people for being a criminal.

Having lived in Chicago for 2 years,I can tell you many illegal immigrants there already are driving. May actually not be the worst thing to at least have them licensed and somewhat accountable. BTW,in Illinois I can tell you that many of the illegal immigrants are not just Hispanic,but also Polish,Fillipino,Russian.

Try telling that to the native Americans who would have gladly deported those founders had they had the chance.

This is true and their Mass attendance is growing.

I am surprised the claim is being made that the Illinois bishops said this. All I see is a statement by a layman who is an administrator in the Illinois Catholic Conference. He never quotes even one bishop or even says the bishops said this. This layman has no authority as a teacher in the Church.

This is not to say that it is right or wrong for them to have driver’s licences. But I do wonder what is going on.

The spokesman made a similar announcement back in November. If he were going rogue, I think he would have been called on the carpet and a corrected statement issued.

For what its worth, a recent news story indicates that the bishops of New Mexico back a similar program.

New Mexico’s three Catholic bishops said Wednesday they support the state law granting driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, and they asked for a compromise bill that would keep it on the books.

Gov. Susana Martinez, who wants to repeal the licensing law, made no mention of the controversy in her speech at the bishops’ annual legislative breakfast.

Martinez instead focused on state-mandated retentions of third-graders who do not read proficiently. Education reform, rather than driver’s licenses, may be her signature proposal of the 60-day legislative session that began Tuesday.

With Martinez sitting nearby, Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan of Santa Fe brought up what he called “the famous issue of the driver’s licenses.”

I am not a fan of this. I dont know why would they even bother getting them. It’s not like they are just sitting at home waiting for a ride with some one with a license. I knw people are talking about them becoming insured, but once again its not stopping them now. But this is Chicago so I am not surprised.

Or NOT! It is a complex situation which has a very dark side. You might want to read the book written by a Catholic priest entitled, “The Immorality of Illegal Immigration” to get a balanced perspective.

Just asking the question - I don’t know the situation firsthand - but Thomistic moral theology might be able to say that out of necessity the immigrants have a moral right to be in the country. Whaddya think?

I think that considering just one point while disregarding the whole of Catholic social justice teaching may not be a wise thing to do.

Not among Hispanics, it isn’t. They are converting in large numbers to Evangelical Protestantism.

And how many times must the majority be fooled into thinking the Church is sanctioning such action. Even certain bishops’ statements have suggested we must advocate “immigration reform” or be opposed to church teaching. The whole issue is more political than anything.

There’s not much evidence that Hispanic immigrants have “better values” than white Americans do. If they did have better values we’d have to question why their home nations keep being ruled by deranged leftists, or why their children keep winding up living just as pathological lives as ours do.

I admit to being a little baffled by the bishops’ position here. The labor force non-participation rate is, last I heard, around 40% in the United States. That means 40% of working age adults aren’t working. We have a pretty stunning problem providing for our own as is, even before importing a million or more unemployable Third World hand laborers ever year (and NB, there’s a lot more poor Hispanics who need American jobs than there are American jobs). And the Church does not teach that we must accept any immigrants at all, only that we must not exploit or alienate those we do accept. And even if you accept that it may be obligatory to permit some immigration under the right sort of circumstances, we are obviously nowhere near those right sorts of circumstances.

If anything it’s clear to me that basic Church teachings regarding the rule of law, just social order, and the common good demand that we immediately adopt a zero-immigration rule and being a policy of vigorously deporting illegal immigrants where this can be done without serious moral trespass. So what in the world do the bishops think they’re accomplishing?

Try telling that to the native Americans who would have gladly deported those founders had they had the chance.

They DID have their chance.

They also had a pre-existing chance to build America as it stands AND DID NOT.

Nor did any of the illegals coming to America, within their previous borders.

I don’t really see any relevance to this and one has to wonder what those “better values” are. An ethnic group of any sort should not be stereotyped, but we can clearly state that those here illegally, through their own free choice, have decided to break the law of another country. Whether or not the government is enforcing this law, should have no bearing on their individual moral choice and as this is contra to the Catechism I am thoroughly confused as to why it is never addressed by the bishops.

Illegal immigration may be immoral for many reasons, without ever once saying that the immigrant him or herself is immoral for coming illegally into the country

It might be immoral for the way it is carried out: the trafficking of humans for instance. It might be immoral because of their poor work conditions. It might be immoral because of the way that the poor are exploited.:shrug:

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