A chat with O’Malley
After the Mass at the border Tuesday morning, O’Malley sat down for an interview with the Globe. The following are excerpts from that conversation.
Concretely, when you call for immigration reform, what do you want?
We need to roll back the deportation mania that’s taken place in the last couple of years. We need to rethink these detentions centers that are costly, unnecessary, and very often penalize people who are not criminals. We need to do something about quotas, making it easier for people to come. There are segments of our economy that depend on immigrant labor, and that should be recognized in the law rather than forcing people to enter illegally, which often means they’re exploited and in competition with American laborers.
There’s a huge downside to allowing the present situation to continue. With the borders as tight as they’ve become, seasonal workers are often trapped here now. They can’t go back and so they’re separated from their families. There are also a rising number of unaccompanied minors coming into the country, and that’s a problem.
Can a Catholic who takes church teaching seriously support the status quo on immigration policy?
No. First of all, we’re not only a nation of immigrants, we’re an immigrant church. Many of our families had very difficult challenges when they came to America, so we should identify with the suffering of these people. Pope Francis’ term [about attitudes towards migrants], the “globalization of indifference,” is a very apt way to describe how people have allowed themselves to turn a blind eye to the human suffering and the tragedies that are taking place.
So a Catholic in good faith has to support immigration reform?
I think so, yes.
Pretty clear black and white statement here.