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.