USCCB committee chair calls upon Congress to permit Syrian refugees to enter nation [CC]


#1

Noting that the number of Syrian refugees has risen from 550,000 in October 2012 to 2.3 million today, the chairman of the United Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration …

More…


#2

Is Auxiliary Bishop Elizondo referring to Christian refugees who have been the targets of much violence in Syria or is he referring to Al-Qaeda linked Syrian Muslims?

I would suspect that he is referring to the former but that the Obama administration would use the opportunity to admit the latter to the US.


#3

I’ll only say that the United States government should be VERY careful about who is allowed entry from Syria.

That is all.


#4

:thumbsup:


#5

Given his position I’d assume he’s talking about all the refugees of the conflict regardless of their faith. You know, like the Church calls us to do. Or did I miss the memo stating that we are only to carry about the welfare of people we like or agree with?


#6

I imagine you are correct in believing they mean people of any faith. A shame if so, because it isn’t strictly a matter of “welcoming the stranger” regardless of who the stranger might be. In the case of places like Syria there will indisputably be people claiming refugee status who are of a radical jihadi turn of mind. There are probably thousands of those who consider themselves “refugees” because their jihadi faction is being shot up by another jihadi faction.

This country does not protect its citizens from foreigners coming into it. Remember the Tsarnaev brothers? Remember the Somali/Nigerian massacre/Minneapolis connection? And, of course, the Mexican drug cartels have franchises here.

Years ago, I came to believe that “immigration reform” would ultimately end in no immigration at all, precisely because this government does not vet the people it lets in. Eventually, the people will oppose all immigration, no matter what. And that would be a great shame.

Of interest to me, at least, my parents sponsored a family of displaced persons in this country. In doing so, they had to take responsibility for them, and did. Because I considered that my “heritage” in a way, I sponsored a family from El Salvador. It’s even scarier to do it now than it was in my parents’ time because the potential liability is huge. I am now past the liability period, and am grateful for that. I am not at all sure I would encourage my adult children to do the same now.

I truly wish those who purport to be so generous with the livelihoods and, indeed, the lives of others in supporting indiscriminate immigration would feel themselves disqualified to even speak of it until they undertook personal responsibility for those immigrants. And I include the various churchmen in that, and the politicians too.

There is no merit in making oneself feel good at the expense of others.


#7

Mind showing me where he or the USCCB called for indiscriminate immigration?


#8

I didn’t have to. Show me in the article where he says we ought to allow immigration by “Syrian Christians”. He’s calling for a number only. Numbers, without qualifiers, are “indiscriminate”.

Show me anything at all from the USCCB saying we ought to be careful not to allow immigration from places and cultures in which jihadism flourishes.

You won’t, because their calls for increased immigration is always just general.


#9

There are crimes against humanity in Syria every day. They are the acts of people with power and not the acts of people without power.

It is almost inevitable that the first people in the emigration lines are those who have power, who are in the better position to get out of that hellhole.
Refugee policy on the other hand is humanitarian and ideally would reach out to those at the back of the line.
That is not how it works in reality.

Christians tend not to be the ones in power in Syria, although they are more tied to the current regime than to those who are striking out against it. The scenario then would be those Christians with the most connections to the current regime, and therefore most culpable, would be towards the front of the line, and those who are being attacked are without power to either defend themselves, or to place themselves closer to the exit gates.


#10

Really? I have to show you that very well educated men who hold high positions in an international organization that has a long history of dealing with very complex issues (such as immigration) in multiple countries don’t mean “let anyone in without applying reasonable controls or measures to safeguard your own people” when they just quote a number like everyone else does since it’s assumed everyone understands the need for reasonable controls and measures?

As for “we ought to be careful not to allow immigration from places and cultures in which jihadism flourishes,” I didn’t know being from a country where “jihadism flourishes” automatically makes one a jihadist. I guess you being an American means you’re pro-choice, pro-homosexual marriage, and view the Holy Father as just another political leader.

Edit- Just to cut you off at the knees- usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/immigration/churchteachingonimmigrationenforcement.cfm

“Opponents of both lawful and unauthorized immigration often inaccurately criticize the Catholic Church as supportive of “open borders” in an attempt to discredit the strength of Church’s voice in the immigration policy dialogue.”


#11

Gee! I don’t know if the USA is good enough to let other people in the world come aboard. Seems like from the POTUS on down has apologized because we are so bad.
We might ruin their hopes for a bright future of freedom and equality - hmmmm? No, I say until we get certain matters straight in our country we should not let others enter. Also, I don’t want the USCCB committee chair dictating our immigration policies. You know what happens when you involve another committee.:wink:


#12

Frankly I’d trust a committee full of clergy far more than a committee full of politicians. Though I don’t know if I could deal with the increase in time it would take the committee to do something (the Church makes the guys in DC look like a bunch of speedy go-getters in regards to how long it takes in making decisions).


#13

Omigosh! Scared me there for a moment! But I looked at my knees, and they weren’t cut off at all. I did, however, see the strawman you shot between the eyes, lying there as dead as a stone. Poor fellow.

If you read that article all the way through, you see there is no practical limitation on immigration at all in their view. Well, I’ll grant, they don’t much want known criminals to come in, or perhaps unless those criminals have families here. Hard to tell, because they don’t address that situation.

If, as some have claimed polls show, 1 out of 10 Muslims has jihadi sentiments, just how many do you want to allow in from, say Yemen? Remember, now, one in ten is a jihadi. So you decide how many people in this country you’re going to imperil.

Oh, and how many immigrants have you sponsored? How many have you taken personal responsibility for? Are you ready to be personally responsible for even one person from Yemen, who is otherwise unknown to you? If so, come back and tell us how that went.


#14

Omigosh! Scared me there for a moment! But I looked at my knees, and they weren’t cut off at all. I did, however, see the strawman you shot between the eyes, lying there as dead as a stone. Poor fellow.
You basically accused the USCCB of supporting open immigration. In fact you wanted proof they didn’t. I provide it and now I’m building scarecrows?

If you read that article all the way through, you see there is no practical limitation on immigration at all in their view. Well, I’ll grant, they don’t much want known criminals to come in, or perhaps unless those criminals have families here. Hard to tell, because they don’t address that situation.
Yeah, not limitations were given because the Church doesn’t create policy for countries (well except for the Vatican City it doesn’t). It provides guidelines and advice on what should or should not be done. Giving a detailed policy report isn’t the Church’s job, calling for just policies (in this case immigration) to be used is.

As for “well, I’ll grant, they don’t much want known criminals,” that pretty much destroys your argument that the USCCB is calling for unrestricted immigration of Syrian refuges doesn’t it. Or do you not consider terrorists as criminals?

If, as some have claimed polls show, 1 out of 10 Muslims has jihadi sentiments, just how many do you want to allow in from, say Yemen? Remember, now, one in ten is a jihadi. So you decide how many people in this country you’re going to imperil.
I don’t want any terrorists to get into the country. But, this isn’t an either or situation. Reasonable precautions and checks are rather easy to put into place to safeguard against terrorists from using a system to help refugees to get into the country (apparently they don’t know how easy it is to walk across the borders).

As for the 1 in 10, it’s rather sad to see you are more than happy not to help 10 people because 1 of them maybe a terrorist.

Oh, and how many immigrants have you sponsored? How many have you taken personal responsibility for? Are you ready to be personally responsible for even one person from Yemen, who is otherwise unknown to you? If so, come back and tell us how that went.
I haven’t sponsored any immigrants. Two tours in Iraq putting my life on the line for other soldiers I didn’t know, American civilians I didn’t know, Iraqi civilians I didn’t know, put my career on the line to save an Iraqi girl I didn’t know from unjust imprisonment and possibly death, wrote a letter in support of our Iraqi interpreter’s attempt to get himself and his family (who I didn’t know) into the US; but nope, haven’t sponsored any immigrants. Frankly I didn’t even know you could sponsor immigrants prior to this thread. Now, you mind explaining to me why my lack of sponsorship matters? Especially in light of my stance apparently being in line with what the Church’s stance is? Or do I need to prove that the Church has sponsored people first?


#15

I realize you think the USCCB citation you gave indicates that it does not support indiscriminate immigration. I say it does except for known criminals, though support for family reunification might cancel that exception. Terrorists are not mentioned in the article. Most definitely those with jihadi sympathies are not. In any event, nobody knew the Tsarnaevs would commit crimes until they did. Same with Atta and all the rest of them.

They would allow indiscriminate immigration other than perhaps known criminals. You know it, and every person who reads the article can’t help but know it.

But those who want to can read it, and I recommend that they do.

You are not arguing what the CHURCH says, only what some USCCB spokesperson said.

The reason I brought up sponsorship is to underline the fact that many, including many churchmen, are awfully generous with the resources or wellbeing of others, but are not nearly as keen on accepting immigration risk personally. Frankly, I WOULD like to see some of these USCCB people take on sponsorships personally. I really would. I would like to see parishes do the same thing, and it could be done at that level for Christian Syrians. I think some, maybe a lot, of parishes and dioceses would do that. I could see K of C chapters doing it. But I don’t see any recommendations for that. It’s always “the government ought to”; “society should”.

That’s not real commitment. That’s not real charity.

I’m actually pro-immigration, and lots of my past posts would demonstrate that. I even agreed with Bush’s “de facto Hispanic preference”. But it’s difficult to do it carte blanche without risking the welfare of others. And the more risk that gets taken, the greater is the likelihood the American people will insist on it ending altogether.

When you were in Iraq (and you are thanked for your service) that was personal. You risked personally. You did not volunteer “the other fellow” for it. There is a difference between that and the “shoot 'em up” armchair warrior.

But “armchair warriors” are not different in my mind from “armchair philanthropists”.


#16

The bold- Thanks for calling me a liar. I apparently “know” the USCCB wants unrestricted immigration but argue otherwise and present the article as proof of this. Any other hits on my integrity you wish to take?

As for the rest, I’m not even going to bother.


#17

Just remembered this, and will risk being tedious to say it.

Some time ago, I ran across a part of the country where there are a lot of recent Ukrainian and Russian immigrants. I was talking to one of them and assumed they were perhaps orthodox. No, she said, they are all Baptists. Appears they were having a hard time in Ukraine and Russia for being Baptists and the Baptist Church lobbied for a special admission of them into the U.S., green cards and everything. And they got it done.

Truthfully, I couldn’t see anything wrong in that, even though they only did it for the Baptists, not for Orthodox or Catholics.

So, one wonders, why is not the USCCB or someone in the lobbying business not lobbying for Syrian Christians on a special deal like the Baptists got for their people? Maybe the Orthodox Church would join in that effort.

Who in America would object to that? Not many. Why does the USCCB just hand the government a blank endorsement of whatever the government wants to do, instead of working to benefit those they (presumably) most want to aid?


#18

Ease up, pardner. It was not my intention to call you a liar. If I worded it clumsily, I apologize for that. In my opinion, it is not possible to read the article and not conclude the USCCB writer was simply endorsing whatever immigration the government wants to allow, with the sole exception of known criminals.

But I did allow of the possibility that you may see it otherwise, and apparently you do.


#19

Thank you for the clarification on the intent of your comment. I think it would be best for me to go ahead and just drop out of this discussion.


#20

I really think that would be a sound idea, that Christians, including the Copts and Catholics and Orthodox of Syria, Iraq and Egypt to be given special consideration in terms of refugee status.

That problem is real enough, and is not just the product of this or that war.


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.