Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Catholic Church is supporting illegal immigration

I hadn't commented yet on the numerous illegal immigration rallies that took place around the country over the past few days, mainly because it was being covered so well all over the blogosphere by bloggers who counter-protested or at least were present at some of the various rallies. I'm sure most of the 2 of you who stop by regularly have figured out that I'm opposed to illegal immigration, opposed to giving rights designated for US citizens to illegal immigrants, opposed to amnesty, and pro increased border security whether that means more guards, detention facilities, or a wall.

But being against amnesty we've got to figure out what to do with the millions of illegal immigrants currently in the country. They broke the law (and continue to break the law everyday) by not entering the country legally, but what do we do about it? Do we just start rounding all illegals up by the busload and start deporting them? At what cost, both in financial terms and world image terms? Do we only deport some and let others stay? Then how do we decide who stays and who goes? By how long they've been in the country? Family already legally in the country? Children who having been born in the country are automatic citizens. Work history, if that can even be determined since many illegals often work for cash under the table? These are tough questions, and realistically we can't deport them all. Some will have stay.

But what inspired me to post on this is this article in the Washington Times, about how the Catholic Church is not just supporting illegal immigration, but actively opposing current legislation being debated that would (hopefully) help stem illegal immigration and begin making the tough choices as to who stays and who goes when it comes to people currently in the country illegally. And as a Catholic, I'm apalled by the Church's stance.

The Catholic Church has played a key role in opposing legislation to restrict immigration and rallying protesters.

"As we've been able to reach more and more people, they're waking up to the ills of the proposals made to date and seeing the need to be vocal about the kinds of reforms that would be more acceptable," said Mark D. Franken, executive director of migration and refugee services for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The bishops conference in May began "Justice for Immigrants," a campaign focused on activating a network of grass-roots movements against punitive immigration-reform legislation.

Mr. Franken said all the nation's 197 Catholic dioceses are in some way backing the campaign, with more than 70 being particularly active. Disseminating pamphlets and networking, community-level groups tied to the campaign are operating "in churches and everywhere they can gain access," he said.

I understand the Church's role and mission to show compassion to all; that would definitely include illegal immigrants, especially since many illegals are Catholics who are from Cental and South America. But this issue has far reaching consequences beyond citizenship. How much money does the government lose in tax revenue as many illegals get paid cash, under the table? How much money does the government waste giving illegals access to welfare, food stamps, health care programs, and free education? How much does our economy lose when many illegals send much of their hard earned money back to their family in their native country? And on the security side, how much of a risk to we pose to ourselves by not regulating our borders, both Mexican and Canadian? In the post 9/11 era can we really afford to be so lax with our security?

We've seen scirmishes at the Mexican border where US police and border patrol have been exchanged fire with Mexican military escorting drug runners across the border. We've discovered extensive tunnels criscrossing the border used for smuggling drugs. And there's Tom Clancy who poses a simple scenario (a premonition akin to enemies flying planes into government buildings?) in one of his last novels where terrorists are smuggled across the border with the assistance of Mexican drug cartels to carry out simple attacks on innocent US citizens.

These issues directly affect the welfare of all Americans, not just Catholics, and the US Conference of Bishops has lost sight of the greater good in its zeal to assist a minority. The Catholic Church can still assist the impoverished with soup suppers, shelter, and clothing and food drives. They can still carry out their missions of hope and home building volunteer trips to the ghettos of Tijuana. And they can help all Americans by staying out of the illegal immigration issues that the government is facing. Speak out and battle for injustice.

Amnesty and open borders isn't justice.

UPDATE @ 2:27pm: Cox & Forkum play "hot tamale" with immigration reform...

Mexican restaurants really do bake the hell out of their plates...