I have written extensively on illegal immigration for various conservative websites for which I write regular columns and I am a proud Latino myself, all of which means that I have researched and thought about the problem of illegal immigration extensively over the past few years. This piece is an attempt to summarize those reflections plus add a Catholic perspective within the framework of what true Catholic teaching tells us.
The Truth About So-Called Immigration Reform
Any reasonable analysis of the recently derailed "immigration reform" efforts and the stubborn back-room back-on-the-docket-this-week continued plans of those who will insist on pursuing such moves demonstrates that what is commonly called "immigration reform" is a misnomer on various counts. First, the issue is not about immigration per se since immigration should mean lawful immigration for which there is no problem or moral issue other than making the process fair, responsible, sensible and sensitive to the needs of both those seeking to make this country their home and those already lawfully here as citizens or residents.
A common ploy of liberals is to call illegal immigration simply "immigration" pretending that there is no distinction between lawful and unlawful immigration. Initially, these people called illegal immigrants "undocumented" to make their actions seem less criminal. Liberals always love to soften sin by using vague euphemisms, as in calling abortion "termination" of pregnancy, the murder of innocent unborn children "choice" and the selfish, arrogant demand to be allowed to murder one's unborn child "reproductive freedom". Wherever a vague, neutral sounding word is used by liberals to describe something, rest assured that the odds are good that said something is evil, immoral and one of their pet agendas, better known as "liberal lies."
As far as for "reform", that term is typically used when one wants to improve something. For example, I would "reform" a school by improving its faculty or curriculum. I would "reform" a proposal by making it more practical, useful and beneficial for the public.
Many of us may recall the term "reform school" as a place where trouble kids were sent to be put on the straight and narrow. Obviously, there should not be much need to reform what is already fairly moral and good and, even more obviously, there is absolutely no need to reform what is perfect, as is the case with God, God's Word and God's Will.
Again, we commonly find that liberals and all purveyors of evil commonly use the word "reform" with regard to efforts to change things toward their way of thinking since, obviously given the arrogance of evil, anything contrary to their way of thinking is defective and needs to be reformed. Here we can see how the very word reform seeped into Vatican II and changed God's Church definitely not for moral and good reasons, but, as has been proven over the past forty years, the arrogance of evil through liberal agendas, ergo "liberal lies" that have confused so many and caused countless Catholics to lose their faith and ultimately salvation itself.
So also the same modus operandi is being used by the strongarm progressivists in Congress to railroad through an immoral bill that serves one purpose: to "buy" votes for Democrats in overpowering by sheer numbers Republican voters. At the end of the day, what is now called "immigration reform" is merely an attempt to paint sane and rational immigration as racist, intolerant and evil thereby demanding some form of improvement. Any review of the history of immigration in this country will reveal that America is the most generous, benevolent host of immigrants that the world has ever known. Most if not the vast majority of other nations have never treated their immigrants with as much sensitivity, generosity and kindness as America does. In fact, Mexico, which is the source of many immigrants into this country, treats its immigrants with little regard and its illegal immigrants with outright disdain and vicious persecution. The hypocrisy of such situations is so plain as to be nauseating. Simply put, no nation or people of this earth can justly accuse America of abuse, bias or mistreatment of immigrants given the fact that America treats its immigrants better than any other nation on earth ever has.
Illegal Immigration is Evil and Sinful
Christ repeatedly told His followers that they must obey moral laws and that they had a responsibility to determine the true morality of laws rather than merely accepting all laws regardless of their moral content. Theft, burglary, trespass and exploitation of human beings are all immoral actions. Each is a disrespect of valid property and human rights which treats others and their property with utter selfishness and arrogance.
Some may argue that some normally immoral acts are rendered less immoral by the circumstances surrounding those acts as, for example, when a starving man steals food to feed his children. While the defenders of illegal immigration may argue that many people who enter this country unlawfully do so out of desperation, the hard reality is that most merely do so out of a desire to gain the advantages and benefits found here. Furthermore, study after study has found that an increasing percent of illegal immigrants do not enter this country with the intent to contribute or remain loyal to this country. Rather, it seems that many if not most of them only seek to take what they can get while remaining publicly and defiantly loyal to their homeland. Considering the untold benefits and opportunities that entry into this nation holds, such an attitude is insolent, ungrateful and embarrassing.
No less than a respected president of the United States, despite his human fallible faults, said exactly one century ago quite clearly the definitive word regarding immigrants:
"In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else; for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin.
But this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all.
We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."
Illegal immigration is a selfish, arrogant, insolent and blatant disregard for the rule of law, fairness, justice and integrity of the nation being entered. It places the whim and wants of the individual above the needs of the nation entered and the just rights of those already validly in that nation. This act is no different than common burglary, trespass, theft, fraud or rape, for like those acts it violates the integrity of the invaded. Just as in the case of the above acts, there is no excuse, justification or rationalization for this act.
Furthermore, one often finds that those who defend and promote illegal immigration do so out of mere personal economic, political or social gain and not out of their supposed concern for the illegal immigrant. While these illegal immigrants are victimizing this nation, they too are victims manipulated and exploited by those evil people pretending to care.
While those defending illegal immigrants pretend that they are all noble, peaceful and lawful people, entire websites are dedicated to showing the many crimes at least many of them commit. Many articles have been written describing how absurd entitlements and unfair benefits have turned many illegal immigrants into spoiled, demanding and arrogant manipulators of the system. In the final analysis, illegal immigrants range from the vulnerable manipulated to the criminal defiant and insolent, yet all are victims of corruption and greed on both sides of the border.
Many people argue that charging interest on a loan is a sinful manipulation and exploitation of precisely the most vulnerable. Does this same charge not apply to illegal immigration? After all, do we see hordes of successful, educated and wealthy people crawling under fences or hiding in trucks? No, common sense dictates that desperation and frustration are often the motivators pushing people to take such risks. Finally, one really begins to wonder about the morality of exposing oneself and one's family to such risks.
In summary, illegal immigration is drenched in immorality, exploitation, manipulation, greed, selfishness, human cost, suffering, hypocrisy and endless other evils. It is a breeding ground for sin and immorality on many levels, eating away at the core of the society invaded and breeding irresponsibility among all involved. There is no justification or rationalization possible to condone this act, and those who defend it or gain from it are complicit in the evil it brings.
The Illegal Immigration into the Church
Just as illegal immigrants ignore, mock and disrespect the laws in their way while seeking to satisfy their selfish wants, so too there are those who did and would invade the true Church while ignoring and mocking its traditions and doctrine. Just as the other illegal immigrants do, these invaders of true Catholicism care little about the invaded entity and more about what they can get out of the invasion itself. They care little about the history of the Church just as few if any illegal immigrants care about American history or traditions.
One could write volumes about this very fact and cite the prelates from the top on down over the past forty years to verify the illegal immigration into the One True Church. A good example is to look at the present situation where Benedict XVI is the head man in Rome today. He is the very same liberal who was so instrumental in planting the same kind of arguments used today to justify illegal immigration in the Church even before Vatican II. Prior to his being a meticulously placed expert (peritus) at the Second Vatican Council for Germany's nearly blind Cardinal Josef Frings, he had been censored and placed under suspicion of heresy by Pope Pius XII.
Speaking of the latter, his first encyclical on October 20, 1939 dealt with this very issue in Summi Pontificatus on the Unity of Human Society:
"31. Many perhaps, while abandoning the teaching of Christ, were not fully conscious of being led astray by a mirage of glittering phrases, which proclaimed such estrangement as an escape from the slavery in which they were before held; nor did they then foresee the bitter consequences of bartering the truth that sets free, for error which enslaves. They did not realize that, in renouncing the infinitely wise and paternal laws of God, and the unifying and elevating doctrines of Christ's love, they were resigning themselves to the whim of a poor, fickle human wisdom; they spoke of progress, when they were going back; of being raised, when they groveled; of arriving at man's estate, when they stooped to servility. They did not perceive the inability of all human effort to replace the law of Christ by anything equal to it; "they became vain in their thoughts" (Romans i. 21).
32. With the weakening of faith in God and in Jesus Christ, and the darkening in men's minds of the light of moral principles, there disappeared the indispensable foundation of the stability and quiet of that internal and external, private and public order, which alone can support and safeguard the prosperity of States.
In the nearly seventy years since that was written we can see what happens when man decides he has a better idea than God.
You see what happens when the floodgates are opened and laws relaxed? We've seen it in the intentional destruction of the Church. Are we to witness it in the intentional destruction of America as well? Both have survived previous revolutions and come out stronger. The Church, divinely instituted will again; but America, finitely created may not, especially if illegal immigration passes. The gates will give and society's mores, already at low ebb, will sink to new depths.
Finally, in both cases we find those who would seek to justify or condone such selfish arrogance in the name of perverted social justice. How many priests and religious do we see actually spewing their hypocritical concern for illegal immigrants while ignoring the evil of abortion? How hypocritical is it for any bishop or cardinal to ever wave the flag of social compassion justifying unlawful acts while condoning or even justifying lawful yet immoral actions such as abortion? How does it benefit the integrity of our Church to embrace the violation of moral laws while justifying the existence of immoral laws allowing abortion? Yet when was the last time you heard any prelate from Benedict on down mention the word "sin" or "welfare of souls"? I'm waiting. No, all you hear is the "dignity of man" and through this humanistic approach they have led the way so that amoral and immoral politicians, collectives and lobby groups can intimidate others into buying the "liberal lie."
At the end of the day, the New Order Church is so drenched in its liberal, social justice stew that it is increasingly becoming indistinguishable from the liberals who think that feeding the poor entitles one to an abortion. If this nation is facing people crawling under fences, then our Church is facing frauds crawling under pathetic rationalizations and in no way can claim to be Roman Catholics for their salt has long ago lost its savor and they are, as Jesus said, "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt lose its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing any more, but to be casrt out, and to be trodden on by men" (Matt. 5: 13)
The Obvious Conclusion
Given all of the above, there should be no doubt where Christ would stand on the issue of illegal immigration. Liberals will tell us that Christ would embrace the illegal immigrant and soothe his or her suffering, but they tell us the same thing about the woman who aborts her child. You see, for the liberal, there is an explanation or justification for anything and everything. Theirs is a subjective, shifting morality built on the sands of personal agenda rather than the sure ground of absolute truth. Joseph Ratzinger fits that mold to a tee, favoring Hegel and his constant synthesizing to the great syllogizer Saint Thomas Aquinas, the greatest of the greatest among the renowned, sage Doctors of the Church.
Liberals and those who defend illegal immigration will tell us of The Good Samaritan, but that misses the point. We are all called upon to be kind to those in need and ease suffering where we can, but that is not a license to condone evil, wink at sin or pay lip service to injustice. It is blatant injustice to equate unlawful conduct with lawful conduct and to treat those who break the law better than those who obey it. Remember that the Corporal Works of Mercy are intrinsically linked with the Spiritual Works of Mercy. Both are necessary to live as Christ would have us live.
Christ would look into the hearts of those who manipulate the illegal immigrant and those who hide that abuse under the guise of concern and compassion. He would see the hearts of those hypocrites who only seek political gain while preaching their lies. He would see the minds of those who spin the truth about this topic to suit their political agenda. Finally, He would see the source of sin that this activity represents. In the end, Christ would ask us to be compassionate, merciful and understanding. However, that compassion would not translate into irresponsibility or acceptance of what is clearly immoral and destructive conduct. He clearly would expect us to constantly seek ways of making lawful immigration more just, efficient and effective. As for illegal immigration, however, everything He has taught us and everything we know about that teaching clearly tells us that He would not be marching with those hordes who trample God's Laws as well as the American flag demanding rights they do not lawfully have or who equate love of country and respect for its laws with racism.
In the final analysis, the issue of illegal immigration into this country is no different than the issue of illegal immigration into our Church by those seeking to import and impose their personal, subjective brand of morality while ignoring and mocking what they find disagreeable. St. Robert Bellarmine, the great cardinal of the Council of Trent and a Doctor of the Church, said it best: "Unjust laws are, properly speaking, NO LAWS!"