Immigration Reform


Based on this link:

What is the position of the USCCB in terms of Immigration Reform, exactly? Are we as Catholics supposed to support illegal immigration in a spirit of welcoming, or does the United States not have the right to create and enforce laws that limit the numbers? I would support Mexican economic reform, whereby that country is made to be a place people want to stay.


As Catholics we are not required to support either. I lean towards open borders myself.


The quickest way to collapse an entire nation is through an open border policy. All our institutions are already hemorrhaging. A people cannot do all good things for everyone.
It seems to me that for people to support open borders, they must ignore the drug trafficking, organized crime of every sort, kidnappings, murders, vehicular DUI homicides, racism(La Raza “THE Race”), gang violence, etc.
If one yearns for one-party “might is right” rule forever in America, where people cannot even communicate with each other, this is the way to proceed. Rob :eek:


We had open borders with Mexico for decades, never collapsed. Actually works better because people can easily travel back home and not worry about coming again for work.

I lean towards open borders also, but realize with today’s security issues, that won’t quite work. But as long as people are coming to work, there should be no barrier beyond a good background check to verify criminal free past.

As to our kidnappings, DUI homicides, racism, gang violence, etc: that is all just fear mongering.


The USCCB has explained its position before:

Catholic Social Teaching

The Catholic Catechism instructs the faithful that good government has two duties, both of which must be carried out and neither of which can be ignored. The first duty is to welcome the foreigner out of charity and respect for the human person. Persons have the right to immigrate and thus government must accommodate this right to the greatest extent possible, especially financially blessed nations: “The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.” Catholic Catechism, 2241.

The second duty is to secure one’s border and enforce the law for the sake of the common good. Sovereign nations have the right to enforce their laws and all persons must respect the legitimate exercise of this right: “Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.” Catholic Catechism, 2241.

In January 2003, the U.S. Catholic Bishops released a pastoral letter on migration entitled, “Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope.” In their letter, the Bishops stressed that, “[w]hen persons cannot find employment in their country of origin to support themselves and their families, they have a right to find work elsewhere in order to survive. Sovereign nations should provide ways to accommodate this right.” No. 35. The Bishops made clear that the “[m]ore powerful economic nations…ave a stronger obligation to accommodate migration flows.” No. 36.

As you suggested, if we improve the economy in other countries, we can reduce the desire to move here. During the US economic recession of a few years ago, the numbers of illegal immigrants is thought to have significantly dropped, with people actually leaving the country.

You may be right that a comprehensive immigration reform needs to include economic development of Mexico and other countries of origin. How should the US help the economies of those nations develop?


We also have a welfare state now which is already imploding. As for the “fear-mongering”, go to the border and see whether the pathologies which I assert are real are exaggerated. Moreoverthere is a big push among progressives for legalization, which will very quickly lead to a demand for citizenship. Our Constitution, our electoral system and our rule of law will lay shattered like Humpty Dumpty. Rob :o


Very few illegal immigrants get welfare benefits. The truth is they have a positive impact on the economy while often being exploited.


When was this time of open borders with Mexico? Clearly there was a large operation to return undocumented persons to Mexico during Eisenhower’s term but I believe similar operations happened during the administrations of Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman as well.

When amnesty was granted during the Reagan Administration, (Simpson Mazzoli I think), I believe 3,000,000 people were made citizens. Now, we are estimating it would be 13,000,000 under an amnesty enacted during the present time and who knows, what number we are actually dealing with.

If somehow we had open borders prior to World War II; that certainly is some time ago. In the 1950s and 1960s, we had the Bracero program, I guess those were green cards.


Totally agree. It really is hard to argue that California has a number of its financial problems in part due at least because of the system having to cope with non-citizens.

They even had a vote in California to raise taxes to pay for the education system. Gov. Brown called his allies out to vote for the measure.


You ideas of the reality of immigration issues might have to do with your distance from the border you seem to be referring to so much…Kinda hard to pick out the Canadians in a the crowd…are you thinking all those white guys lined up outside the Pittsburgh welfare office are immigrants breaking the economic back of the US?

Just sayin’!


Here’s a story of someone from Ecuador who tried to make it to the USA; Ecuador certainly is far from the border. Trying to say “have you seen the border?” in a debate forum is like saying “have you seen war?”; it’s the old debate tactic of “appeal to authority” to try to make a point, it’s saying “I know, you may not”.


you will think differently if u were born in India where they have more mobile phones than toilets (according to BBC). people living less than humans should live are trying to go like Larazus to feed on the crumbs from the tables of ‘developed nations’.

Once having been homeless and once
visiting a third world country, the word
luxury takes on another meaning. I
find that long hot showers are a luxury
and so is a soft bed with clean sheets,
not going to bed hungry and definitely
being able to have some hot coffee for
breakfast. After that I am good to go. (I quote another forum user).


The history of immigration legislation in the United States is based on racism and religious prejudice.
The first immigration laws dating back to the ate 1800’s were designed to keep the Chinese and Japanese out of the country. At that time the Congress made no bones that they were “protecting” our country from the “Yellow Peril”.
Then, in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s we had a mass migration from Eastern Europe and Italy. The people in the interior of the country went berserk that so many Catholics and Jews were being allowed into the country. So, in thee 1920-'s another set of Laws restricting immigration from Eastern Europe and to a limited degree, Italy were enacted. These laws were so strict that it became almost impossible to obtain even a visitors visa if you were from countries like Poland, etc. Our State Department even pressured neighboring countries like Cuba and Mexico not to admit people from these countries. There is one famous case in the late 1930’s, where Cuba was pressured into not admitting an ocean liner loaded with Jews trying to escape the NAZIs. The ship was forced to return to Europe, where all of its passengers were immediately sent to concentration camps where almost none survived.
With regards to the current immigration situation, one always hears about Mexican illegals. What no one mentions is that the Mexicans have three major strikes against them: 1) They are not white. They are mostly American Indians, or are mixed race. (This might not seem like much in most of the U.S., but it is a big deal in California and much of the South West. 2) They do not speak English. Horror of horrors - they speak Spanish! And, as everyone knows, the Latinos are hell bent on taking over the country! 3) They are, at least nominally, Roman Catholic. And, as the whole world knows, Catholics are trying to take over the US and force their religion down everyone else’s throats!
These facts negate all the pro-anti-immigrant arguments because they are counter to every principle this country was founded upon. I find it especially shameful that any Catholic would be anti-immigrant because that is especially uncharitable and counter to our religious beliefs.


When we read something like this, ask oneself, what country has open borders?

Canada? Oh, it must be racist. Maybe Mexico? No open borders there, ask the Central Americans. Switzerland? Strict immigration rules. In fact, I virtually know of no country that has open borders. Pakistan? India? China? Australia?

Really looks like all people can do to argue for open borders is bring in that those who believe in the sovereignty of a nation may have racist reasons.

Really, see how easy one can migrate to Japan. Must be racist.

I’m sure most people claiming we should have these open borders invite the destitute and needy and homeless into their homes if they are able.


The links in the article gives the position of the USCCB as a group. You can search individual bishops by name and topic to see if you can find their views.

Are we as Catholics supposed to support illegal immigration in a spirit of welcoming, or does the United States not have the right to create and enforce laws that limit the numbers?

The US has the right to create and enforce laws. We should support laws that are in line with social justice. One has no obligation to support anything illegal and the USCCB does not suggest that. However, one should always strive to see just laws in place, whatever the topic, and follow the principles laid in Catholic Social Doctrine.


The return of 13 million would be an impossibility and a PR nightmare. NO illegal immagrant should be given a green card which is the path to citizenship. Instead, offer all illegals another card which guarantees their right to stay in the country but does not give them a direct path to citizenship. Anyone found to be illegal after a certain date should be sent back, no questions asked, no excuse tolerated. There comes a point where a lifeboat cannot take on anymore passengers and until we straighten out our current mess there needs to be a limit.


So when did we have this open border with Mexico? If, you are talking about the 1800’s and early 1900’s I’d say yes, there was not a big problem back then because just about everyone was living off the land. But as time went on into the 1930’s and 40’s, I believe that the government tightened up on them. Mexican workers had to have permits to come here and work and that seemed to work well.

But in this modern time we cannot continue to allow millions of low skilled people to continue to enter the nation illegally, these are poor people who after awhile are more likely to try and get some government aid in one form or another. Sorry, but we as a nation are broke and cannot afford this kind of policy any longer. We are a sovereign nation and have a right to control our national borders.


No welfare? Please! Our schools are full of illegals and the medical facilities, especially in the southwest are being overwhelmed. And our prisons are well populated by illegals who came here and committed crimes, costing society millions of dollars. The time has come to put an end to this madness once and for all. We just can’t take in everyone.


You can’t say this categorically. For a long time, immigration was unrestricted. if you could get here, you could stay. My great grandparents all immigrated during that period. But you were on your own. No safety net other than what politicians were willing to pay you for your vote, and what perhaps the Church or other organization might provide.


I know that the USCCB support immigration reform and so do I. But what exactly that means, I am not sure. I do not believe it should mean that a gay person’s “spouse” should be allowed to immigrate here just because they are “married”.

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