Is it immoral for a Catholic to work for ICE (immigration enforcement)?

There is a topic going on about St. Agnes Church in SF declaring itself a “sanctuary” for immigrants, based on an article in America magazine. The article describes a meeting at the church, in which one of the speakers actually told parishoners they need to ask for forgiveness for letting ICE deport immigrants:

americamagazine.org/politics-society/2017/03/07/how-st-agnes-church-became-first-jesuit-parish-america-declare-itself

She emphasized, however, that I.C.E. had carried out four million deportations in the last few years and that this was an opportunity for the people of St. Agnes to ask for forgiveness for not responding to the years of sweeps that had already occurred under President Barack Obama.

So, if it’s somehow sinful for Catholics to not “respond” to I.C.E. (for if they didn’t sin, why would they need forgiveness) then I’m sure it must be sinful to actually work for them, right? The article doesn’t even mention that “US immigration laws are unjust and so Catholics have no obligation to uphold them”, it is assumed as an Obvious Truth.

On the other hand, AFAIK it is not immoral for a Catholic to work for the IRS or other government agencies, even though we could certainly make a case tax laws and other laws are just as “unjust” as immigration laws.

Is this trollbait or are you sincerely confused?

People who think like above are basically :

Democrats wrapped in Christian clothing.(~wolf in sheeps clothing)

They are of the Culture, take their cues and thinking of this age, not from Catholicism or Christianity. They are from the Secular left.

Feel free to read my many prior posts if you think I’m a troll. This is a sincere question. Because I’m fairly sure the priest of that particular church would say “yes it is a sin”.

I’ll bite.

There are many paragraphs in the catechism that I think would relate to this question. Probably the most important one I found is as follows:

2241 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.

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.

So I guess it comes down to how you view the role of ICE. Are they enforcing the “various juridical conditions” of immigration? In that case they are not Sinful.

On the other hand, if they are preventing “the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin”, then that would be sinful.

So, working for ICE is not INHERENTLY sinful, but it could be sinful depending on actions undertaken.

People who think like above are basically :

Democrats wrapped in Christian clothing.(~wolf in sheeps clothing)

They are of the Culture, take their cues and thinking of this age, not from Catholicism or Christianity. They are from the Secular left.

No, working for ICE is not sinful. That would be a very broad statement to make, and would by extension basically be saying that having any kind of immigration laws is immoral. It’s a baseless assertion that just doesn’t hold up. I am not surprised that a Jesuit church would make such a claim, and that America Magazine would tacitly support it. They have not exactly been known as a bastion of orthodox Catholicism in recent years.

The fact that a nation’s laws and ability to enforce them are under question shows just how sick our culture has become and how utterly political-leftist certain members of the Church hierarchy are.

Due to its natural beauty and the world’s best coffee, I would like to slip across the Guatemalan border and live there, but would be arrested and imprisoned. 'spose there would be any righteous indignation from Saint Agnes?

No.

Hypocrisy.

Is it immoral for a Catholic to work for ICE (immigration enforcement)?

No.

To be fair no one from that church stated in the article that “working for ICE is sinful” but if they think parishioners should ask for forgiveness merely for not “responding” to ICE raids, then I assume actually collaborating with ICE is a sin that requires forgiveness, too. Actually working for ICE, then, must be a sin, right?

And the article doesn’t actually state “any kind of immigration laws is immoral” but AFAIK no one at the St. Agnes parish is advocating their parishioners work towards reforming the laws. They are just refusing to make any distinction between legal and illegally present immigrants and presenting ICE agents for being in the wrong for “rounding up and deporting immigrants”. I doubt anyone there would actually state that for the record that they believe in totally unregulated migration, but it does seem they are supporting that by their actions.

ICE is a law enforcement branch. It is there for your protection, security and national security. No, it is not sinful unless some individual commits a crime or sin while representing ICE. Why would you think it to be sinful for them to serve and protect??? Peace.

Others have mentioned the morality which was the topic of the initial post.

I do want to discuss a couple of points which are common to both this article and many topics here having to do with morality and politics.

We as Christians must differentiate our role as Christians and our role as citizens, as well as the governments role as government.

A governments’ primary purpose is to provide for the safety of its citizens and to create a fair playing field for the citizens to prosper. They take moral stances on things which might degrade the foundational structure of the society as part of their first role, not as moral agents. Otherwise we would have a theocracy. As part of the initial role, they uphold the laws passed for the security and welfare of the nation / community. To the degree they selectively do that, they are fomenting mob rule.

Christians are called to welcome strangers and help the poor, weak, sick and lonely. In that role we should help people who find themselves here. That’s our role.

But causing the government to abandon its first role of protector of society to fill the Christians (not the governments) role of welcoming the stranger is really counter to good order and in the long run not helpful to the faith as the societal problems which come from abandonment by government will be placed on the church.

Church should be church.
Government should be government.

PAX

ICE doesn’t round up and deport immigrants, they round up and deport ILLEGAL aliens when a proper court order has been signed. My mother is a immigrant, a legal immigrant who is now an American citizen. The difference between the two is huge.

What people write in an article and what they “think” about a subject does NOT mean it is Church teaching.

This is a PRUDENTIAL MATTER.

The Catechism recognizes the right of immigrants to seek better circumstances AND country’s rights to manage and regulate immigration and protect from threats.

We must find a balance and the US system is not perfect. We can have legitimate differences of opinion on immigration, its regulation, and its enforcement.

So, any article that states or implies cooperating with ICE or working for ICE is sinful is expressing their OPINION.

So, any article that states or implies cooperating with ICE or working for ICE is sinful is expressing their WRONG OPINION.

You have the right to claim yourself a Conscientious Objector and request a transfer but the government could let you go for refusal of duties. Now I’m sure the person’s lawyer will file suit and let the courts decide the case.

Amen. The people who are most hurt by waves of illegal immigration are the people who are waiting in their home countries, trying to immigrate legally. We must necessarily have smaller numbers of allowed legal immmigrants per year because of the resources being used to support the illegal immigrant populatiuon.

People who assert that there should be no deportation for illegal immigrants, are basically saying that they would rather have people living here whose first action in the country was to break our laws, than people who were willing to go through a fair bit of trouble and wait their turn so they could AVOID breaking our laws. I heartily welcome the latter sort of immigrants. People will have to excuse me for not feeling the same about the former sort. Given that, I don’t see how it could be sinful to belong to ICE. (That is assuming that the methods used for deportation are not unnecessarily cruel or anything like that, which I don’t know about. But the mere fact of deportation is not sinful.)

That’s of course only my opinion, but I don’t think that my opinion is contrary to the teachings of the Church in any way.

–Jen

Can anyone explain the term Democrats wrapped in Christian clothing?

The poster who first made the reference already did, I think:

Not that I necessarily agree with the dichotomy.

The opening post was liable from the beginning to begin a good discussion.
But it is not sinful at all.

ITA, Jen. Because of the influx of illegal immigrants, those wishing to come into the country legally are being delayed–this is what is not fair to them. I have no objection to immigration–just do it legally. The laws are for the protection of our country. They are not unjust. There is no sin in working for ICE.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.