Via Media

Via Media

Immigration Woes

An NCR(egister) look at the problem from the perspective of the Church in Arizona

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Aquinas Admirer

posted January 14, 2004 at 10:29 am

The long-term solution is immigration reform, he contends.
“Year after year, despite a redoubling of efforts to stop them, the number of immigrants remains the same,” he said. “It’s obvious the policies aren’t working. Until they do something about the fundamental migration itself, all we’ll get is more and more of the same.”

I would have liked to hear what he would like to see the “reform” look like. Saying that the current system is broken and it needs to be changed doesn’t say much. Is it totally broken, or is part of it working, but just inadaquate?
Who is the they spoken about here? Knowing the specifics of who is responsible would be a great start to understanding how this might be addressed.
I may sound quite cynical in saying this, but I haven’t heard or read anything concrete to address the source and nature of the problem; I’ve only heard platitudes.

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posted January 14, 2004 at 12:50 pm

The solution is for there to be economic (& political?) freedom and opportunity in the Latin American countries from which most of our illegals hail. Vicente Fox is quite happy to give us his huddled masses. Dontcha wonder why? If NAFTA farmed out all those jobs to Latin/So. America, why aren’t those folks staying home and working there? Why must they still come here to earn a living? Corruption most likely persists in these countries to prevent economic growth.
By the way, Heather MacDonald has an article in City Journal that indicates that a high percentage of violent crimes are committed by illegal aliens in cities w/such large pops and where local government prohibits its employees from determining legal status of a criminal (eg, LA, Miami, NYC).

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posted January 14, 2004 at 4:38 pm

Maybe we should go back to the medieval idea. If a serf escaped to a town and avoided apprehension for a year and a day, he became a free man. Same rule could be applied to illegal immigrants.
I don’t know if we should just give up and open the borders or get serious and enforce the laws. We could ease up the laws but any “law” other than open borders will not satisfy either the poor and the marginalized who want to escape nor those Catholics here who dare not refuse our hospitality to the poor and marginalized from the south.
I do believe that consistently unenforced law makes all law a joke. I also weary of the sentimentalism which sees Latin immigration as the re-invigoratization of the Church in America. If the grandchildren and great grandchildren of devoutly Catholic European immigrants became lax with economic prosperity, why should that process change with Latin immigration? My objection is to what I consider this underlying attitude that people have to stay poor and marginalized in order to be real Catholic
Christians. We are Gospel driven to lift them out of their poverty and confounded as to what to do with them, what to offer them once they are standing on their feet and climbing up.
Concern for the poor and the marginalized is not going to eliminate the problem of reaching out to the not so poor and marginalized anymore. The spirituality of the ex-poor (all Americans) has to become more than a guilt trip. My guess is that Evangelicals have caught on to this in our day just as they did in l8th century England, but Catholics somehow don’t get it.

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