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Archbishop Chaput on immigration

posted by awelborn

From Zenit:

Archbishop Chaput: The U.S. immigration problem is systemic. Attacking the symptoms — in this case, undocumented workers in a meatpacking plant — does nothing to address the root cause, which is economic.

Some 40 million abortions and billions of contraceptives later, Americans have a work-force shortfall. Why is anyone surprised?

Now that he’s got your attention…

Q: The United States gives out about 1 million "green cards" a year, yet more than 800,000 undocumented workers arrive illegally each year. Would it be fair to assume that part of the problem also lies with the economic and political situation in the immigrants’ home countries? What responsibility should these countries assume for the large numbers of citizens leaving their borders?

Archbishop Chaput: That’s an important point. Some people enjoy blaming the United States for nearly every problem, and, unfortunately, American policy has had a very mixed history in Latin America.

But until Latin American nations seriously reform their own legal and economic systems, they are co-responsible for the current crisis. Just pointing fingers at the United States isn’t going to work. One of the implications of a hemispheric economy is that both sides of the border need to cooperate. Both sides of the border have duties.

Q: The federal government is insisting on the need to control immigration for security reasons. The Church, among others, has criticized some of the measures taken, such as the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, because of the human toll it takes. How can we reconcile the need for security with a more humane treatment for those trying to enter?

Archbishop Chaput: The Church is most effective when she reminds people that punitive force alone can’t work. For me, the debate over the border wall is really a debate over blunt-edged solutions.

The border wall is an icon for all sorts of other American contradictions. For example, we’re trying to fight a war in Iraq with an obviously inadequate manpower pool, but Americans have no intention of making the sacrifices that would enlarge that pool in an equitable way.

Have you heard anyone seriously calling for conscription or mandatory national service, or vastly increasing military pay to encourage volunteers? I haven’t. In a similar way, we want to "get tough" at the border, but are we really willing to militarize American life and spend the money it would take to shut down the immigrant flow? And what if we were? Have we really thought through the consequences for our economy?

At the same time, candidly, I don’t think all religious voices are equally helpful in the national debate. Accusing Americans of national racism, or prematurely threatening civil disobedience to immigration law, is unwise.

Sometimes common sense is more useful than "prophetic witness." The security concerns most Americans feel are very legitimate. Citizens have a right to be worried about disrespect for the law and the solvency of their public institutions.

If Americans are angry about the immigration issue, it’s not because they’re instinctively bigoted. They’re frustrated and afraid, and too many of our public servants have failed us by not really leading with vision — in other words, by following their polls and ambitions, instead of their brains and consciences, to find a solution.



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Celine

posted March 1, 2007 at 10:31 am


I’m not sure where the Archbishop’s arguments lead here. It is true that the U.S. abortion/contraception rates have led to a decrease in American workers. So American parents should have had more children so that they could clean motels and pick fruit? I don’t think that is what native Americans have in mind for their children or themselves.
Also, it is true that we should consider “root causes” of the immigration problem, but this does not mean that we shouldn’t also be raiding factories that employ illegal immigrants or rounding them up and deporting them, as he seems to suggest. We should be dealing with the “root causes” of abortion too, many of them also based on economic and social dislocations and discriminations. But this does not mean we shouldn’t be trying to close down abortion clinics or criminalize abortion.



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Josiah

posted March 1, 2007 at 10:38 am


“Sometimes common sense is more useful than ‘prophetic witness.’”
Wise words indeed.



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James

posted March 1, 2007 at 10:45 am


Put up the wall to keep brigands, drug runners, thieves, nuclear terrorists and those opposed to American ideals out.
Set up a reasonable system that allows people to work here temporarily, or to apply to become full-fledged American citizens (along with the oath to defend the Constitution).
Then enforce that system.
A borderless nation soon ceases to exist. That’s one of the prime reasons the Roman Empire fell.
Here in New Jersey, we have brazen marches in our capitol – with illegal aliens demanding social security, voting rights, free education, government jobs, and above all, insisting that there be no distinction between those who came here illegally and those who did not.
James



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Cornelius

posted March 1, 2007 at 10:45 am


I wonder if Cardinal Mahoney is reading . . . .



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S

posted March 1, 2007 at 10:57 am


What a witness! Begs a rhetorical question. Why can’t he be the Republican nominee?



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Morning's Minion

posted March 1, 2007 at 11:40 am


As Catholics, what we need to understand is that most of the anti-immigration feeling is not related to economic insecurity, or to fear of terrorism, but to culture. Many white Americans, especially our evangelical brothers, simple do not like Latino culture. That would be Catholic culture, by the way.
This fear of culture is most pronounced among evangelicals. According to an article linked to by Eduardo Panalver over at Commonweal, a poll of the Family Research Council’s members showed that 90 percent of them favored deportation of all undocumented workers. Moreover, according to a Pew poll, 63% of white evangelicals view immigrants as a “threat to U.S. customs and values,” compared to 48% of the population as a whole. Phyllis Schlaffly wants a fence to guard against “the diseases, and the crimes.” Thomas Fleming, president of the Rockford Institute, said that “Whatever we may say in public, most of us do not much like Mexicans, whom we regard as too irrational, too violent, too passionate.” The FRC’s Tony Perkins announces that the core issue is to protect the “cultural fabric.”
With this in mind, we should recall the Catholic principle. We are one Church, made up of all races and nations. In the context of immigration, John Paul noted that we should “reject all nationalistic thinking and to avoid narrow ideological categories” and not set “limits and conditions” on who our neighbor should be.
For while the Church acknowledges that countries have the right to regulate borders, that right is by no means absolute. Leo XIII stated that people have the right to migrate to sustain one’s family, and this was reiterated by Pius XII, especially if they cannot attain a life of dignity in their own land.
Are we to sell out the heritage of Catholic social teaching yet again to join the evangelicals on this issue?



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Ed the Roman

posted March 1, 2007 at 11:44 am


The manpower shortfall is not because people will not volunteer. The manpower shortage is because we have not increased authorized end strength. The slots are being filled but we need more slots.
And God bless Archbishop Chaput, but we only want a draft if we care more about evening out the effort and the sacrifice than we care about victory. An army of draftees will not perform at the level of the army we have right now.
I’ll throw out another rhetorical question: why is it only conceivable that someone saying what he says would be a Republican?



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Tom

posted March 1, 2007 at 12:09 pm


MM: You’re taking JP II’s point out of context. His point is not that nation’s are illegitimate forms of political ordering; they’re legitimate. Catholic social teaching attests to this, as does the long history of Catholic reflection on political thought. The political community has a common good, a common good which is different from other political communities, although all human communities are equally (although in different ways) ordered to the City of God.
Holding particular things in common means excluding other particular things, even if those other particular things are good. That’s not wrong; it’s simply human. Human beings are particular beings living in particular times, places, cultures, and communities. That’s the way we are, and it’s good. And we have a right to protect a “way of life” against radical alteration. That protection can’t include treating other human beings as if they aren’t our neighbors. But, the point is, treating another human being as a neighbor does not absolutely imply that we must accept that person as a fellow citizen if he or she does not hold the things in common that are held in common in our political order.
Whether certain immagrants, either individuals or groups, mett that requirement, or are capable of being integrated into the community, is a prudential decision to be made by the properly constituted authorities. There’s nothing wrong in principle, though, with excluding people from our polity on the basis of their language, culture, or other habits. Further, there’s nothign necessary about that exclusion that renders a negative judgment on those other particular languages, cultures, and other habits, other than saying that they are not ours.



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T. Chan

posted March 1, 2007 at 12:34 pm


Dr. Fleming is not evangelical, he is Catholic (as is Patrick Buchanan).



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James Kabala

posted March 1, 2007 at 12:47 pm


And so is Phyllis Schlafly.



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Joel

posted March 1, 2007 at 12:59 pm


MM wrote:
“As Catholics, what we need to understand is that most of the anti-immigration feeling is not related to economic insecurity, or to fear of terrorism, but to culture. Many white Americans, especially our evangelical brothers, simple do not like Latino culture.”
This is absurd. Please cite some evidence for this, other than your own opinion.
Point 2, the good bishop wrote:
“Have you heard anyone seriously calling for conscription or mandatory national service, or vastly increasing military pay to encourage volunteers? I haven’t. In a similar way, we want to “get tough” at the border, but are we really willing to militarize American life and spend the money it would take to shut down the immigrant flow? And what if we were? Have we really thought through the consequences for our economy?”
There really should be a papal edict barring the clergy from speaking on topics that they know absolutley nothing about. Where to begin? General Patraeus believes we have enough troops for the conflicts we are engaged in currently. I think he’s in a better position to judge that, than a bishop. Second, we are not engaged in the type of conflict that would require the “miliarization of american life”, and no one of any credibility is suggesting that a draft is necessary. As for mandatory service, it removes young people from the workforce, and the US economy itself has done more to raise up the poor and less fortunate than all the charities in the history of the country put together. The bishop takes a typical marxist view of the individual’s contributions. Third, in the few districts where fencing has gone up, the flow of illegals has completely shifted to other areas. It is nonsense to suggest that we would need a line of troops from the gulf to the pacific shoulder-to-shoulder to stop illegal immigration, when in fact it has already been proven that fences work. Finally, he slyly suggests that the goal of those seeking control of our borders is to “shut down the immigrant flow”. Other than a few marginalized isolationists and teamsters, I’ve never heard anyone suggest that we need to shut down immigration, or that “immigrants” are the problem. That argument is a straw man.



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rkf

posted March 1, 2007 at 1:12 pm


Very cheap attention getting device that disserves the Archbishop. Abortion is wrong because it takes a human life, not because it reduces the labor pool. That is a utilitarian view of humanity, which, if accepted, could easily be applied to make the practice licit.
A child is not an economic machine and a human does not loses it’s inherent worth if it has no economic worth. I know he would never argue otherwise, but his cheap rhetoric supports just such an argument



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rkf

posted March 1, 2007 at 1:15 pm


Joel wrote:
MM wrote:
“As Catholics, what we need to understand is that most of the anti-immigration feeling is not related to economic insecurity, or to fear of terrorism, but to culture. Many white Americans, especially our evangelical brothers, simple do not like Latino culture.”
“This is absurd. Please cite some evidence for this, other than your own opinion.”
MM wrote:
“As Catholics, what we need to understand is that most of the anti-immigration feeling is not related to economic insecurity, or to fear of terrorism, but to culture. Many white Americans, especially our evangelical brothers, simple do not like Latino culture.”
This is absurd. Please cite some evidence for this, other than your own opinion.
“In the current issue of Foreign Policy magazine, Samuel Huntington, a professor at Harvard University, warns that the country faces yet another subversive threat from predominantly Catholic immigrants—Hispanics in general, and Mexicans in particular. These newcomers seem determined to destroy the “Anglo-Protestant values that built the American dream,” Huntington writes. Whether they arrive legally or not does not really matter. What does matter is that they simply do not value hard work, education and so many of the other virtues that apparently are the exclusive province of Anglo-Saxon Protestants.”



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rkf

posted March 1, 2007 at 1:17 pm


” Citizens have a right to be worried about disrespect for the law and the solvency of their public institutions.”
Do I detect a degree of Opus Dei authoritarianism?



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Ephrem

posted March 1, 2007 at 1:18 pm


Of course, we did basically steal the Southwest from Mexico.
Maybe their economic situation would be better if they still owned California, which has the 5th largest economy in the world.



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J. Christian

posted March 1, 2007 at 1:31 pm


“Very cheap attention getting device that disserves the Archbishop. Abortion is wrong because it takes a human life, not because it reduces the labor pool.”
Not only that, but the argument that there’s a labor shortage is just flat out wrong.



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John Jansen

posted March 1, 2007 at 1:38 pm


rkf wrote: “Very cheap attention getting device that disserves the Archbishop. Abortion is wrong because it takes a human life, not because it reduces the labor pool. That is a utilitarian view of humanity, which, if accepted, could easily be applied to make the practice licit.
A child is not an economic machine and a human does not loses it’s inherent worth if it has no economic worth. I know he would never argue otherwise, but his cheap rhetoric supports just such an argument”

“Utilitarian view”? “Cheap rhetoric”? Huh?
rkf, you’re the one doing a disservice to the archbishop by implying that he’s taking a utilitarian view of human life.
He is merely pointing out the rather obvious fact that decades of rampant contraception (and the fruit of contraception, abortion) have wreaked demographic havoc.
It would be daft to not recognize the connection here.



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TRD

posted March 1, 2007 at 1:43 pm


rfk: ” Citizens have a right to be worried about disrespect for the law and the solvency of their public institutions.”Do I detect a degree of Opus Dei authoritarianism?Can the albino monk assassins be far behind? Clearly, a lawful and fiscally prudent society is a conspiratorial nightmare. /sarc>



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Joel

posted March 1, 2007 at 1:49 pm


“In the current issue of Foreign Policy magazine, Samuel Huntington, a professor at Harvard University, warns that the country faces yet another subversive threat from predominantly Catholic immigrants—Hispanics…”
That article was published in 2004, and is so over-the-top that it actually reads like it parody. What serious person takes that seriously?



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Donald R. McClarey

posted March 1, 2007 at 2:03 pm


“Of course, we did basically steal the Southwest from Mexico.”
Who stole it from the Comanches, the Apaches and many other tribes. At the time of the Mexican War there were approximately 7000 Mexicans in California, and in 1836 in Texas there were 3470 Mexicans, or Tejanos, as opposed to 30000 Americans, or Texicans. New Mexico had about 40,000 Mexicans. Mexico could not, and did not, establish effective control over such a vast area with such a small population, and inevitable, the influx of Americans would have led to revolts such as occurred in Texas, Mexican War or no Mexican War.



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Morning's Minion

posted March 1, 2007 at 2:04 pm


Phyllis Schlafly may be Catholic, but much of her analysis flies in the face of Catholic teaching, and some of it rises to the level of dissent from core teachings. She once claimed that “God gave America the atom bomb” and called the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki a “lifesaver”. Sorry, but this is akin to defending abortion. It follows the same consequentialist logic in the face of intrinsically evil actions. Phyllis Schlafly is as Catholic as Frances Kissling.



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Morning's Minion

posted March 1, 2007 at 2:06 pm


Joel,
Citing evidence is exactly what I did in the comment above. As Carville might say, it’s about the culture, stupid.



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Joey

posted March 1, 2007 at 2:33 pm


Morning’s Minion:
I am only 41 years old, so I wasn’t in-line to participate in the invasion of Japan, which was scheduled for the fall of 1945. However, I think any of the GI’s and Marines who were scheduled to participate in the invasion did in fact, and those still alive, do in fact, believe the A-Bomb saved their lives.
Deconstructionism is a very dangerous method of examining History, and I don’t think those of us not around during WWII should start criticizing Truman and those who decided to use the A-Bomb to end WWII.



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jobim

posted March 1, 2007 at 2:36 pm


Ephrem said;
“Maybe their economic situation would be better if they still owned California, which has the 5th largest economy in the world.”
You mean the absolute corruption of Mexico would somehow disappear? That it is anything but the genius of the American experiment with democracy that is the bedrock under California’s success?



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Larry

posted March 1, 2007 at 2:51 pm


We always here that the immigration situation is mostly economic, but i do remember reading article sometime last year, which took a survey that indicated that, if given the chance even the middle and upper middle classes of mexicans would immigrate. I think this speaks to a much more serious problem, souh of the border, involving crime, corruption etc.



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rkf

posted March 1, 2007 at 3:00 pm


“That article was published in 2004, and is so over-the-top that it actually reads like it parody. What serious person takes that seriously?”
Samuel Huntington has been a celebrity of late. He is better known for his 1993 “Clash of Civilizations” thesis which seemed prophetic in its prediction of a war between Islam and and the West.
How widespread his concern over the injection of Catholic values via immigration is, I don’t know. But the suggestion that the suggestion that anti-Catholic views infected any part of opposition to immigration as “aburd” is itself not well founded, given that one of the most well known commentators on such issues had voice that opinion, and given the fact that to the degree such opinions are held, they are not usually expressed. It may be an animus held by a small minority, but is not unknown, and not just on the fringe. The fact that someone as regarded (admittedly for other views) as Huntington espouses the views makes them part of the debate, by definition.
Certainly the Archbishop is correct that opposition to immigration is likely motivated by many defensible reasons and bigotry, and I am using that term too expansively but trying to expand this too greatly, is a limited minority of the motivations. But it is there



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Sydney Carton

posted March 1, 2007 at 3:09 pm


rkf = MM?



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rkf

posted March 1, 2007 at 3:09 pm


The dropping of the A-Bomb no doubt saved American lives and I think the decision to deploy it is extremely defensible from a Niebuhrian Christian Realism perspective. Whether it would be a Catholic ethical analysis is a more open question, but again it is possible. To celebrate the A-Bomb as an adeodatus is an abomination and indefensible under any truly Christian worldview. That’s not to say that the American nuclear umbrella did not likely save thousands, perhaps millions of lives, but still one does not celebrate a bombing that was so horrific, even if one thinks it was regrettably necessary



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Catherine L

posted March 1, 2007 at 3:14 pm


“Maybe their economic situation would be better if they still owned California, which has the 5th largest economy in the world.”
Because we all know that California’s economy is a direct result of it being that funny shape right there on the Pacific coast and having desert and mountains and Sacramento and Malibu. Mexico would have been a paradise had it had possession of California all these decades.



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ContraMundum

posted March 1, 2007 at 3:42 pm


I’m glad I’m not the only Catholic annoyed by Archbishop Chaput’s remarks. When, I wonder, will people be more careful to distinguish between immigration tout court and illegal immigration? No one I know of is against immigration. The country depends upon both immigration and emigration, I think, for an influx and efflux of ideas, culture, education, work force, etc.
But while many people observe the (altogether just) laws of the US and wait for entry visas, other people scoff at the law and crash through the border. Granted there are some extreme cases that warrant special treatment (and perhaps amnesty), for the most part that is not the case at all. And why are people so eager to make this a racial thing? I, for one, am against all illegal immigration–that of Irish, English and Canadian peoples, as well as of hispanic and Muslim. And there are a lot of illegal whites in this country.



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Morning's Minion

posted March 1, 2007 at 3:44 pm


I don’t want to divert the thread from the important topic of immigration, but I must answer this one:
Joey:
Read Elizabeth Anscombe. Way back, she stood alone in denouncing Truman as a war criminal. She saw straight away that defending the nuclear attacks in Japan was an exercise in pure consequentialism. Remember, it is never licit to kill even one person to save a million. As for it being “necessary”, well, evil is never necessary. But RKF is correct to note that this is not what Niehuhrian ethics would say, but then again, the Niebuhrian “realism” is infected by proportionalism and consequentialism. Come on guys, these are the same kinds of arguments made by the pro-abortion crowd.



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Ephrem

posted March 1, 2007 at 3:50 pm


We told them: Let us buy your land.
They said: No.
We said: We’ll fight you for it.
That’s the Alamo. That’s American heroism.
Generally the officers of the army were indifferent whether the annexation was consummated or not; but not so all of them. For myself, I was bitterly opposed to the measure, and to this day regard the war, which resulted, as one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation. It was an instance of a republic following the bad example of European monarchies, in not considering justice in their desire to acquire additional territory. Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs



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Mike Petrik

posted March 1, 2007 at 4:12 pm


While on the ant hill of human injustices the war with Mexico ranked pretty low, it was almost certainly an unjust war — unless, of course, you buy into that pesky self-determination thing.
And the justice or injustice of that “land grab” notwithstanding, one thing is for damn sure: if California was today part of Mexico it would not have “the 5th largest economy in the world.”
And as to that second point, before some toddler enthusiastically accuses me of the mortal sin of consequentialism, it is merely a response to Ephram’s earlier post — nothing more.



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Josiah

posted March 1, 2007 at 4:24 pm


Morning’s Minion,
Let me get this straight. You accuse evangelicals of opposing illegal immigration because they don’t like Catholic culture. As evidence, you cite the anti-illegal immigrant statements of two Catholics. When this is pointed out, your only response is “yeah, well their approach isn’t consistent with Catholic teaching in other areas.” Give me a break.
I think you owe people an apology.



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John Hetman

posted March 1, 2007 at 4:27 pm


“Phyllis Schlafly is as Catholic as Frances Kissling.” –Morning’s Minion
Not bad for a morning’s attempt at character assasination and rather ignorant comments comparing Hiroshima and Nagasaki to abortion.



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Donald R. McClarey

posted March 1, 2007 at 4:32 pm


“We told them: Let us buy your land.
They said: No.
We said: We’ll fight you for it.”
Actually we conquered them and purchased the land. From the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo:
“ARTICLE XII
In consideration of the extension acquired by the boundaries of the United States, as defined in the fifth article of the present treaty, the Government of the United States engages to pay to that of the Mexican Republic the sum of fifteen millions of dollars.
Immediately after the treaty shall have been duly ratified by the Government of the Mexican Republic, the sum of three millions of dollars shall be paid to the said Government by that of the United States, at the city of Mexico, in the gold or silver coin of Mexico The remaining twelve millions of dollars shall be paid at the same place, and in the same coin, in annual installments of three millions of dollars each, together with interest on the same at the rate of six per centum per annum. This interest shall begin to run upon the whole sum of twelve millions from the day of the ratification of the present treaty by–the Mexican Government, and the first of the installments shall be paid-at the expiration of one year from the same day. Together with each annual installment, as it falls due, the whole interest accruing on such installment from the beginning shall also be paid.”
I believe the US is one of the few nations on Earth that has regularly beaten other nations in war and ended up paying funds to the defeated nation



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Donald R. McClarey

posted March 1, 2007 at 4:36 pm


“one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation.”
Although I would not agree with them, I imagine many a former Confederate enjoyed a good long laugh when reading that passage in General Grant’s memoirs.



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Sandra Miesel

posted March 1, 2007 at 4:48 pm


How are those Mexican immigrants going to fill us up with “Catholic values” when nearly 40% of them are now Evangelical and who knows how many abandon religion altogether?



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Peggy

posted March 1, 2007 at 5:02 pm


RE; Abp’s comments on the effects of abortion. First, I agree that there’s not necessarily a shortage of labor. Secondly, I think one should take the Abp’s comments as making the point that abortion and contraception are NOT private matters, their advocates claim. There are real societal impacts of murdering or preventing the conception of babies. For example, some one pointed out the problems we are having with low enrollment in Cath schools (besides in areas of pop growth) is in part (maybe mostly?) due to the lack of children Catholics are bearing today.



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Ephrem

posted March 1, 2007 at 5:15 pm


Donald, we did pay. But I don’t think we honored the terms of the treaty entirely. The point is, it was a land grab and it was unjust.
I’m not suggesting that strict reparations are in order. But have you been to California? Fertility, beauty, plenty–and that’s just the citrus orchards. And there are some other states in the Southwest too (snobbery of a native San Diegan).
Anyways, it’s when people talk about Mexico’s corruption and its poverty that the Mexican-American war seems pertinent. And when people wonder how we (both sides) could have fought our Civil War with such hubris.



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Rich Leonardi

posted March 1, 2007 at 5:19 pm


So American parents should have had more children so that they could clean motels and pick fruit?
Tell that to my carpenter brother-in-law, who’s watched his wages shrink because of those hammer-wielding “fruit-pickers.”



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Morning's Minion

posted March 1, 2007 at 5:21 pm


Josiah,
Not sure what you mean. I said simply that the polls show evangelicals to be on the front line in opposing immigration, and the defining issue is culture, Mexican culture, not economics or security. And it is evidence of an unfortunate trend that many conservative Catholics are joining hands with their evangelical brother and sisters in this endeavor. The two Catholics I cite make arguments against immigration in a way that would seem to violate the Catholic principal (“who is my neighbor?”).
And my comparison (totally justified) between Schlafly and Kissling comes because of the former’s views on the legitimacy of nuclear weapons, not her views on immigration. And because both of these women are defending intrinsically evil acts, my point stands.
John Hetman believes comparing abortion to Hiroshima and Nagasaki is “ignorant”. I would say it is essential. By the way, many of the most conservative moralists such as John Finnis, and German Grisez would hold that nuclear deterrrance is morally prohibited, as it must involve an intention to kill innocents. And of course, Elizabeth Anscombe (who coined the term “consequentialism” in the first place) denounced Truman was a war criminal in very strong terms.



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Caroline

posted March 1, 2007 at 5:24 pm


In the long run the only solution is the annexation of Mexico to the United States which might have happened in the Manifest Destiny days of 1846 had not the fear of the extension of slavery and the consequent imbalance in the senate prevented it.
When we get enough Mexican voters here and when we drain Mexico of its people, then perhaps we can complete our manifest destiny by peacefully annexing Mexico through plebiscite. There will be no more immigration from Mexico, legal or illegal. We will at last be one as the generation of the 1840′s said God and His geography intended.



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Brian

posted March 1, 2007 at 5:26 pm


Chaput!



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Ed the Roman

posted March 1, 2007 at 5:35 pm


Mexico has very large oil reserves, a lot of arable land, and people who are willing to work TREMENDOUSLY hard (pace Huntington, Mexican men in the US have higher labor force participation than any other group). THey have a free trade agreement with, and easy physical access to, the largest economy in the world. As P. J. O’Rourke said of the Soviet Union, there’s no excuse for the place.



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Rich Leonardi

posted March 1, 2007 at 5:50 pm


Tony A.,
Don’t be coy. I agree that it’s fair to point out the difficulties reconciling Hiroshima with Catholic teaching, but you knew what you were getting into when you compared Schlafly to Kissling; anyone not predisposed to agree with you was bound to be turned off.



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Donald R. McClarey

posted March 1, 2007 at 6:23 pm


In regard to the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Ephraim, I believe every cent was paid. The Mexican government sold a small piece of territory subsequently to us in the Gadsend purchase:
“ARTICLE III.
In consideration of the foregoing stipulations, the Government of the United States agrees to pay to the Government of Mexico, in the city of New York, the sum of ten millions of dollars, of which seven millions shall be paid immediately upon the exchange of the ratifications of this treaty, and the remaining three millions as soon as the boundary line shall be surveyed, marked and established.”
In some sense our conflict with Mexico was a land grab. In another sense it was Americans moving into territory inhabited mostly by Indians with very few Mexicans. I feel much sorrier for the Indians than I do for the Mexicans for whom the lands in the North were never of much concern. As to the present sorry state of Mexico, it has everything to do with the way that potentially rich land has been misgoverned since the day Benito Juarez breathed his last, and nothing to do with the outcome of the Mexican War.



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T. Chan

posted March 1, 2007 at 6:27 pm


MM:
The two Catholics I cite make arguments against immigration in a way that would seem to violate the Catholic principal (“who is my neighbor?”).
You’re going to have to give an argument for this one. Those who support restrictions of legal immigration on the basis of cultural differences (and we are not talking merely about the religious aspect, but the social and political customs and traditions as well) acknowledge the precepts of charity–they also recognize, as you don’t seem to do so, that there is an order of charity.
An argument for the restriction of immigration so that assimilation can take place can be formulated using the principles of Aquinas, who himself acknowledges with Aristotle that it is not merely written law the educates, but customs that are passed on–a whole way of life. Simply passing a citizenship test is no guarantee that one has adopted the way of life which undergirds American society.



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Anne

posted March 1, 2007 at 6:29 pm


Contra Mundum’s point is well taken. When, oh when, will the bishops make the distinction between legal and illegal immigration? And if they are so gung -ho about admitting everyone and his brother to the U.S., I hope they will start leaving their doors unlocked at night with a “Welcome” sign, so that anyone and everyone can make themselves at home. When that happens, maybe then I’ll consider their statements more seriously.



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Josiah

posted March 1, 2007 at 6:41 pm


Morning’s Minion,
What you said was “Many white Americans, especially our evangelical brothers, simple do not like Latino culture. That would be Catholic culture, by the way.”
This is a ridiculous thing to say. As if evangelicals wouldn’t care about illegal immigration if it came predominantly from Russia, or Japan, or India. You don’t see a lot of anti-Cuban sentiment among evangelicals (let alone animus towards the Catholic culture of the Irish). In fact, as noted in a previous comment, more than a third of Latinos in the U.S. are evangelicals.
As a general rule, iIf you can’t make your case without accusing your political opponents of bigotry, then you can’t make your case. Certainly such charges shouldn’t be made unless they are backed up by more than the flimsy evidence you provide.



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TM Lutas

posted March 1, 2007 at 7:29 pm


I have to say that I am disappointed with Abp Chaput’s statement. I’ll give his immigration statements a pass because he (however indirectly) points to the criminal failure of the Church in Latin America to inculcate honesty and a respect for property into Latin American public culture. Until property rights and honest government reliably and sustainably emerge in Latin America, there’s going to be an immigration problem.
Abp. Chaput does far worse in his military comments where it is clear he just hasn’t been talking to the military recruiters among his parishioners. We could very quickly double the size of our military if we would pass a law to raise end strength and would simply adopt the recruiting standards that were used in the Gulf War I era. The military doesn’t want it for the very good reason that relaxing those standards condemns more soldiers, sailors, and marines to their deaths because they’re not going to be as good and their mistakes are going to get themselves and their comrades killed.
Our debt situation as a % of GDP is actually quite good for a 1st world welfare state and we could afford a doubled military. It is an altogether commendable desire to minimize deaths that has led the professionals to dismiss Abp Chaput’s solution. He should have known that before he spoke on the topic.



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Ephrem

posted March 1, 2007 at 7:46 pm


Donald, apparently when the Senate ratified the Treaty they did not honor the provisions in Article X, which protected the rights of landowners under the Spanish and Mexican land-grant systems.



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Donald R. McClarey

posted March 1, 2007 at 9:25 pm


Ephrem, Article X was stricken by the US Senate before the treaty was ratified, and therefore it was not a part of the treaty. The treaty, as passed in the US Senate, was subsequently ratified by the Mexican Congress on May 19, 1848.



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Ephrem

posted March 1, 2007 at 9:34 pm


Donald, I admit I don’t know this story well. And if the Mexican Congress accepted it (were we still occuppying Mexico City at the time of the ratification?) then I suppose that overrides the treaty as signed at the time of surrender.
But what choice did they have.
And all I’m saying is, this is not such ancient history. It’s economically momentous and huge in scale, and it should be somewhere in the conversation.



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inhocsig

posted March 1, 2007 at 9:43 pm


Spain invaded Mexico in 1519, thankfully destroying the evil Aztec Empire and bringing the blessings of Catholicism. Her rule lasted until 1821 when revolution brought independence of a sort. France gained a stronghold in 1864, while we were involved in “the late unpleasantness”. Occupation ended in 1867 when Mexican opposition forces presured France to withdraw. Since then Mexico has since survived dictatorship and revolts. The Catholic Church has survived persecution from the Mexican government.
Some day a US President with vision will propose “manifest destiny South” and the blue field on our flag will get a whole lot bigger!
Besides it’s much cheaper to build a little wall in Panama.



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ron chandonia

posted March 1, 2007 at 10:19 pm


I can’t let this one go:

The dropping of the A-Bomb no doubt saved American lives and I think the decision to deploy it is extremely defensible from a Niebuhrian Christian Realism perspective. Whether it would be a Catholic ethical analysis is a more open question, but again it is possible.

An OPEN question??? To many Catholics, it seems as if any question on which they differ with the Magisterium of the Church is by definition “open.” Immigration? Perhaps. Dropping the A-bomb on innocent civilians? I don’t think so.



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