Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Robbing the Poor...

I generally stay out of politics on this blog, but I wanted to point out this excellent post by Leticia about immigration and economics:

[Fr. Benedict Groeschel] said the following about sin, "we are guilty of robbing the poor in ways that we aren't aware, and this is a sin which the Old Testament says 'cries out to heaven for vengance'. "He continued, "every year, illegal immigrants with fake Social Security cards pay BILLIONS of dollars into the system which they will never collect; they help keep that failing system going".

I got a political survey telephone call the other day. Actually I first got this call on Mother's Day and was pretty annoyed that a telemarketer would have the gall to interrupt that day. They fairly politely conceded to calling back later the same week at which time they told me they had a one question political survey they were taking. Can't remember the exact wording they used, but it was something along the lines of "Do you think illegal criminal fugitive aliens should be deported?" I said, "Well, it depends on what you mean by 'illegal criminal fugitive aliens'." Turns out it was their propagandized term for illegal alien. And I said, "no", I don't think all of them should automatically be deported. (and please take me off your list!)

One thing I don't understand about this whole debate is how Christians can argue, as if from a higher moral ground, that illegal aliens should be deported because they "broke the law and don't deserve to be here". Christians, at the very least, should believe that there's a higher law than the law of the land and that people who are desperately trying to support their families (and of course there are immigrants in particularly dire situations such as the Bakala family, who, thankfully were allowed to stay) should have our love and support rather than hatred and prejudice.

UPDATE: The WSJ has an interesting article on the financial component of the immigration debate. Read here


Leticia said...

Thank you, Alicia for stating so eloquently what I have always felt about this issue. It gives me great pain when fellow Catholics speak about all illegals as if they were hardened criminals seeking to do us harm. I have worked with them for twenty years, and they are usually humble, Christian parents who love God and are trying to help their families, both here and in their country; often at great personal cost. We should welcome them to out churches, and help them, not revile them. My Irish grandma lied about her age to Immigration authories to come here and help feed her many siblings, and her sister came here illegally from Canada, a common practice in the 20's.How quickly we forget our own roots!

TS said...

Zippy of "Zippy Catholic" says it well:

It seems to me that illegal immigration is a form of trespass. Trespassing can be minor, temporary, and incidental; or it can be ongoing, significant, and grave. Trespassing is something we may do licitly (even if not legally) when we are in immediate grave need. It is not something we may ever do licitly for the rest of our lives though. It is not something we may ever do merely to improve our station in life, even if our station in life is extremely modest. As soon as our grave need - that is, our literal starvation, etc - has been met, we must stop trespassing, and if possible make amends for it, or at least go back to the proper legal process.

Whatever the merits (or detriments) of amnesty as a practical matter, it seems to me that it represents a basic distortion of the moral law. It doesn't represent forgiving the speeder, it represents a license to speed, a special license to speed for those who are already speeding while witholding that license to speed from those who are not speeders.

Amnesty in the case of an ongoing trespass doesn't represent mercy to the lawbreaker, it represents a dispensation to break the law. Granting an amnesty would do violence to the common good. Those who have made sacrifices to keep the law should be granted at least no lower a priority than those who have not done so. Any other path is a basic violation of justice.