Pro-life? Then keep immigrant families together, bishops implore [CNA]

#1, Md., Nov 14, 2014 / 03:49 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In the wake of the mid-term elections last week, the U.S. Bishops urged Congress and President Obama to work together on timely immigration reform that respects families and human dignity.

“We urge both parties to work together to finally reform this broken and immoral system,” said Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio Elizondo of Seattle, addressing his brother bishops at their annual fall meeting in Baltimore on Nov 11.

He spoke about the need to address the “human tragedies” caused by the current immigration system. The bishops are not trying to “pick political sides,” he explained, but they have long worked in support of “humane immigration reform.”

The emergence of a Republican Senate after last week’s elections has raised serious doubts about any passage of comprehensive immigration reform in the next Congressional term, with many Republicans saying they want the border secured first before other actions are taken, such as a potential path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently residing in the U.S.

President Obama, for his part, is “looking forward to taking executive action on his own” on immigration, according to White House press secretary Josh Earnest. Republicans in Congress have warned against him doing so, saying it would damage his relationship with incoming GOP lawmakers.

Bishop Elizondo, who heads the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Migration, acknowledged his approval of potential executive action “to protect certain individuals from deportation, especially to stop the separation of immigrant families.” However, he emphasized that ultimately the “broken and immoral” immigration system can only be reformed by the joint action of Congress and the President.

“Only Congress working with the executive branch can achieve that,” he insisted, and pledged the support of the bishops “to help facilitate that process in the months ahead.”

“I think it is an urgent matter for the country so I hope that they take it soon, the sooner the better,” Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles told CNA.

Archbishop Gomez made it clear that any pro-life platform must include respect for the dignity of the immigrant.

Asked whether immigration is connected to the pro-life position, he explained, “Obviously the Church is very concerned about the culture of life. But life from conception until natural death. So all those issues are part of the dignity of the human person. So I think that’s obviously a connection, in the sense that we care about every single person.”

Overall, the two bishops made clear that their main objectives are keeping families united and protecting the dignity of all immigrants.

“I think the basic principles we would like to see are a path to citizenship, unity of families, and also ending deportation,” stated Archbishop Gomez. He also noted the need to better understand “the movements of people in a global world.”

“Families are torn apart by enforcement actions,” Bishop Elizondo said. He stressed the goals of working to “promote family unity” and “provide immigrants and their families legal protection.”

Full article…


The article is another reason why I’ve abandoned the moniker “pro-life” in favor of “anti-abortion”. “pro-life” is ambiguous enough to allow all kinds of conflating mischief. Abolitionists would have rightly scoffed at attempts to characterize their position as “pro-freedom”. Trying to PR-spin a hard teaching is usually a bad idea.

And no, I’m not against finding compassionate solutions to keeping immigrant families together. :slight_smile:


“Separating families” is really not the issue. Parents here illegally could simply go back to wherever they came from and be with their families.

The real questions are whether the U.S. as a nation can afford to allow SOME foreign nationals to have an economic advantage over their fellow citizens back home, and whether it is immoral to say “no, we don’t think we can, and don’t want it.”


So if a parent breaks the law by breaking and entering in a house that doesn’t belong to them, are we just supposed to let them off the hook and not punish them so they’re not separated from their kids? Just how many parents, mothers especially, are separated from their families in our prison systems? Should we have a guilt trip placed on the American people because these people chose to break the law and now can’t raise their kids?

These illegal immigrants broke the law. The only reason they would be separated from their kids is if they left them here when they were rightfully deported. That would be their choice, not the United States fault.

I disagree with the Bishops on this issue.

I believe we should fix the immigration system by making it easier to legally emigrate here, not by rewarding those who thumbed their nose at our laws and did whatever they pleased.


Those pesky bishops! But really, the bishops are not wading into the specifics of what proposal or policy is best. They are merely pointing out a moral problem and asking for cooperation in solving it. Is that too much to ask?


What about the illegal immigrants who have children in the US. Their children are U.S. citizens.

It goes like this,

Parents get detained, kids go to foster care, parents get deported, parents have to try and find a way to get their kids back, parents must show “it is in the best interest of the minor citizen children” for them to live in Central America or Mexico or wherever. Parents must then prove that they can provide an american style home and standard of living in central America. That is near impossible for any but the extremely wealthy (who aren’t illegsl/danger of deportation) . Kids then get adopted out to an American family and parental rights are terminated to the illegal parents.

This happens everyday in our immigration courts.

It’s s travesty, and if it was your kids being held by a foreign country adopting out your 5 year old, you would feel the same way.


Of course this is a moral question, but on the other hand just how many people, who have entered this country illegally, are we expected to absorb? IMO this will hurt people who were born here and whose families have been here for generations. There is a limit to the largesse this nation can afford. Why does no one take this into consideration? We cannot keep spending money we do not have and tax the already overburdened welfare and education systems in this country.


"What about the illegal immigrants who have children in the US. Their children are U.S. citizens. "

Yet that in itself is open to interpretation.


What long-lasting assistance could we give, and pressures could we put if necessary, on the governments of the countries that oppress their citizens to clean up the corruption and build their infrastructures and economies? Then the norm would be that these families could enjoy a happy life in their own country and not need to try to go elsewhere? I mean, I would prefer not to have to leave my country; I’d rather things improved here (and I have a list - but don’t get me started). (And yes, I do appreciate the good things about the US; but we could do without the abortion and consumerism and other things that are wrong.) The immigration problem to me appears to be a symptom of much larger problems that are never being addressed at the root. :twocents:


Sure it’s debatable, but that’s beside the point when it’s being applied and keeping kids from their parents.


We spend more money on pet food than on absorbing immigrants. Why not ask how many more pets this country can afford to absorb?


If you are looking to be fair,Why do I have to wait 12 years to bring family from the Philipeans? These people have already broken the law .They walk in free use the system and my wife is told to wait.


Proof, please.


I’m all for these separated families staying together: illegals just pack up and go back to where they came from and be re-united with their loved ones. Want to live in the US? Apply legally and wait the years and years that Filipinos patiently wait.


Well, even if one could prove pet food huate cuisine, it’s irrelevant because. “We spend lots on pet food, therefore illegal immigrants should be made legal via overreaching Executive magic wand-waving” is a non sequitur.

Obama and is foul policies were fully repudiated in the last election and now it appears he is going into a petty scorched earth mode. It would be nice if the bishops didn’t abet it.


One solution is for the immigration reforms to put illegal immigrants in line… but at the back, so that they aren’t getting preferential treatment over folks who have been patiently cooperating with the procedures in place. Prayers your wife/family’s process moves expeditiously!


We can spay and neuter dogs to control the population. Our animal shelters put down dogs when they can’t be cared for. If a dog is old and requires extensive medical care to stay alive, opting to put them down is not considered immoral.

Seems to me we are addressing the pet overpopulation with methods not applicable to human beings…perhaps you should use a different comparison.


I think this is an important point. We seem to want to provide preference to Mexicans, Hondurans, El Salvadorians, etc., who broke our laws to come here over people waiting in line legally who are unlucky enough to have an ocean separating our countries.


Or on the other hand, we find a lot of these “kids” are actually parts of gangs, mostly male, many over 18 years old, hence the system is being played. That part is not right and it is not compassionate either.

And what about the Entero-Virus that has sickened American children that arguably appears as though it came from Central America? I believe some American children have even died, at least suffered paralysis.


Also, real high numbers of refugees never show up for their immigration hearings, I’m hearing that figure is over 90%. Are we just to be dupes and feel we are being compassionate and then in turn, a lot of the alleged immigrants don’t even show up for their court date?

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