O’Malley leads bishops on border visit

NOGALES, Ariz. — Their short pilgrimage across desert sands stopped where it had to stop, at the 20-foot high security fence that separates Nogales, Ariz., from Mexico. And there Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley and eight other American Catholic bishops did what priests and bishops always do — they said Mass.

But this was different. Their uncommon congregation had gathered on both sides of the fence, about 500 on the United States, 100 or so south of the border. They came together at the emotional crest of the service, with communion wafers passed through the fence to the eager hands reaching north — the direction of hope and, for far too many immigrant border crossers, O’Malley said, danger and death.

“The desert is lined with the unmarked graves of thousands.’’ O’Malley said during the service Tuesday morning. Summoning the memory of the estimated 6,000 people who have perished trying to make the crossing during the last 15 years, he called it long past time for comprehensive immigration reform.

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Im glad that they did this

This is wonderful news, thank you for posting this.
God bless.
pianist

Fantastic! If the Church is able to continue to push this through media something might actually get done.

Praise the Lord.

I imagine this is going to be very unpopular, but we don’t need immigration reform. We have immigration laws. We need proper enforcement.

“They came together at the emotional crest of the service, with communion wafers passed through the fence to the eager hands reaching north …”

Communion wafers?! You’d think the Boston Globe would know better.

No we need immigration reform because a). we have 11 million people here living illegally and b). INS is probably the most inefficient agency out there. The reason they come over the border is because the visa process is just absolutely ridiculous. Its not an option.

We have more than 11-million people living here illegally because the laws are not enforced. Politicians don’t want the laws enforced, especially this president and his party, because they want, specifically, the Hispanic vote (whether it comes from an Hispanic-American citizen or Hispanic illegal alien, hence the Democrats fight to prevent voter ID laws).

I have a friend who just retired from what was once called the INS, and is now known as ICE. He told me countless stories from years ago about how they would raid factories and businesses and arrest and deport illegal aliens working there. He also told me that within 6-months, he would arrest the same illegal aliens standing in the same spot in the same factory. This was, of course, at a time when they actually arrested and deported illegal aliens, unlike now.

The visa process is not on the mind of those sneaking over our borders and certainly not on the mind of our politicians. Those coming here illegally know that, these days, once they get here, chances are very slim that they will be deported. They know that our politicians want to give them all sorts of rights and benefits for which illegal aliens do not qualify - employment, healthcare, a driver’s license, an education, free tuition or in-state tuition, basically, all the rights of an American citizen, which is complete amnesty. They know the political game our politicians play, in an attempt to garner the Hispanic vote.

The illegal alien issue is not a matter of compassion. It is a matter of fairness to legal American citizens, including those born here and those who stood in line and waited for years to earn their American citizenship. It is a matter of a country that must maintain its sovereignty or the country will no longer exist.

Had the borders been strictly enforced, those 6,000 would not have died because their crossing would not have been attempted. It is exactly because of the likely success of it that people and the coyotes who purport to aid them across, try it.

I wonder too whether any prayers were said for those who used to have jobs in the construction industry but no longer do because of the heavy use of illegals in those jobs. I’m guessing not.

I agree. There are multiple elements here in the U.S. that are complicit in the enticement of non-American citizens to cross our borders illegally. Go after the companies and people who hire illegal aliens and watch the influx stop and most of the illegal aliens already here self-deport for lack of work.

Again, this is not a compassion issue for me. A country has a right to its own sovereignty. Any foreigner who wants a better life can either come here through legal channels, or effect change for the better in their own country.

It is worth noting that in 2000 (the peak year for illegal crossings), more than 1.6 million people were arrested. One can only imagine the numbers that crossed successfully. That is the extent of the problem that had to be addressed. It is also worth pointing out that had the borders been successfully sealed even those 6,000 would not have died inasmuch as that number refers to those who died in the US after getting over the border. I am personally not a fan of bishops creating photo-ops and behaving like politicians. The staging of this event is a disappointment.

Ender

I feel the same way, although it is hard for me to be critical of anyone doing Christ’s work. I just hope that the Bishops and the Catholic Church are not politically motivated on these issues. They must recognize the detriment to U.S. sovereignty, economics/employment, and the welfare of American citizens presented by weak border enforcement and amnesty for illegal aliens. Because that’s what immigration reform will look like.

I know… the involvement of Card. O’Malley, whom I greatly respect, is the reason why I’m biting my tongue, er, um … smacking my fingers… and trying not to say anything else.:smiley:

Catholic Church’s Position On Immigration Reform

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[LEFT]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.
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Read the rest: usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/immigration/churchteachingonimmigrationreform.cfm

In order for the two duties not to contradict each other, the first duty, or paragraph, must mean that those seeking a better life MUST come here through legal channels. In other words, all involved have to follow the immigration laws we already have on the books.

As far as I am concerned, these two duties confirm that immigration reform is not needed if our current laws and capabilities are enforced and followed.

It’s possible that for some bishops (not mine) politics trumps all. But my best guess is that some of them live in an information bubble created by more politically minded staffers and organizations that hover around chanceries like bees around spilled soda pop. It’s interesting (though rarely very public news) how when a more traditional-minded, young bishop gets appointed, he tends to clean house of entrenched staffer.

And how obtainable is legal immigration?

As the wife of an Irish immigrant, I can testify to the fact that it’s not cheap. We have spent THOUSANDS…and he is still here on a year by year basis. I just shelled out over a grand to keep him from being deported. Expires next January. I presume I will get another bill.
How many Mexicans do you imagine can afford the 7-10 grand per person to walk across the border? There are many “helpful lawyers” that are happy to take their money…er…“case”.
If they had that kind of money they would stay home with their family, their culture, and their friends. The border folks come here out of desperation.
How quickly we forget that people suffer greatly.

My husband was not persecuted in Ireland, but he is still my legal husband.
But we are an “immigrant” family. We get no handouts. We get no free health care. We get nothing but an invoice every year. He can apply for citizenship in 2 years. Meanwhile, I’ll keep writin those checks. We have completely depleted our savings.
Oh, and no one want to hire an immigrant legally. He’s still looking for a job…ANYTHING. Moving boxes, washing floors. Nope, once they see that you are from somewhere else…your application goes in the trash. The scrutiny and documentation that employers have to go through is just not worth it to them. So…the illegal hiring thrives.

We do need immigration reform. Those who are able to corrupt the process are doing so.
It’s always the same: people who can lower the hammer on the poor and the needy, will.

It needs a SERIOUS re-set.

Sometimes that’s true. Sometimes it isn’t. I have known a pretty substantial number of illegals from south of the border, and it’s not always desperation that drives them. Sometimes it’s “getting ahead of the Joneses” (of their own country)

Mexico, for example, is not a third world country, and isn’t counted as such by any international standard. Wages are about 1/3 what they are here, but so is the cost of living. The unemployment rate in Mexico is actually lower than ours.

There are, however, a number of attractions. A very substantial number of illegals save their money here and use it to live large where they came from. I know one guy from Guatemala, for example, who lives with ten other guys in a house and spends almost nothing. He works a tremendous amount of overtime. He sends the money to his wife in Guatemala, who is buying up banana-growing land there. I know a father and son who are buying land near Mexico City and planting peach trees there. I asked him how much peaches cost in Mexico City, and he told me “about the same as here”. So he and his son are going to live large when they get their orchard expanded to the degree they want, or at least that’s their plan.

I have known illegals whose plan is to buy a store in their home country, and American money speaks with a very large voice in their home countries when it comes to buying something like that.

For many, many Latin Americans coming here to work, it’s to get that “currency/wage differential”, sort of like American oil workers who go to work in Kuwait for a few years and then come back greatly wealthier than the American oil workers who didn’t. But who could credibly maintain that they have a “moral right” to work in Kuwait? The country with the highest per capita income (other than an oil state) is Lichtenstein, or so i understand. Lichtenstein is not very big on letting foreigners become citizens. Who would say I have a “moral right” to citizenship in Lichtenstein just so I could maybe make four times what I make here and live better than my fellow Americans?

It isn’t all desperation. I have my doubts that desperation is even the biggest factor. Moving back to the home country and being well ahead of their neighbors, I think, is.

On the other hand, I recently met a couple from Macedonia who did it the legal way. Took them years. They have no intention of ever moving back to Macedonia, and are enormously proud of being Americans. In their home, it’s the rule that only English is spoken because they don’t want their kids to lack English skills. They worked in restaurants until they could finally buy a little restaurant of their own. Their restaurant has a giant American flag flying over the door, with two big spotlights on it. Both are citizens now.

There may be some merit to making people earn it, and there may be something to giving preference to people who really do intend to become Americans.

It’s not supposed to be easy or quick to become an American citizen.

I once read that the second largest revenue source for Mexico, at the sum of 30-billion dollars a year, is money sent back to Mexico from Mexicans, probably both legal and illegal aliens, living and working in America.

I would have to confirm if that is still the case, but I imagine that it is still accurate.

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