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To All,

Now to get into another aspect of the problem of illegals. What is going on here is being watched throughout South America. To them it appears we are anti-Hispanic and racist...which of course they might be right.

Chavez in Venezuela has friends in other countries, and it seems that even Mexico might end up with a Marxist leader someday...something we are all contributing to with our lack of compassion.

Well, let's think of the oil situation. What Venezuela and Mexico decide to shut it off, then what? Now I'm not talking about a recession, but rather a depression, when all Americans might end up in soup lines the way they did in the depression of the 1930's.

Economics is a tricky business, so if one is not concerned about helping these people so that they can start raising their standard of living, a Marxist leader like Castro just might. The difference though, is that we need the oil....that is unless someone thinks that we should go to war with them in order to protect our interests. Come on now, we have enough problems with the Middle East.

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Here's a reflection, lest we forget-

The present form of the world passes away,
and there remains only the joy of having
used this world to establish Gods rule here.
All pomp, all triumphs, all selfish capitalism,
all the false successes of life will pass
with the world's form.
All of that passes away.
What does not pass away is love.
When one has turned money, property,
work in one's calling into service of others,
then the joy of sharing
and the feeling that all are one's family
does not pass away.
In the evening of life you will be judged on love.

To be able to praise what is good in anyone
as well as to be able to rebuke with total freedom
what is evil and unjust in anyone:
that is what the church is here for.
The political circumstances of people change,
and the church cannot be a toy of varying conditions.
The church must always be the horizon of God's love.
It today it is democracy and tomorrow socialism
and later something else,
that is not the church's concern.
Christian love surpasses the categories
of all regimes and systems.

Let us not put out trust
in earthly liberation movements.
Yes, they are providential,
but only if they do not forget
that all the liberating force in the world
comes from Christ.

Oscar Romero, The Violence of Love

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Dear Michael, Michael, Annie, SPDundas, and all who have posted here,

Thank you for your contributions to this thread. I am, however, deeply saddened by the virulence and the vitriol that has been written thus far. I am deeply saddened that Christians could write such things. I do not want to contribute to this thread, due to the high level of emotion that is tied with the issue of immigration, but I feel that God calls me to do so as a Catholic Christian; I am duty-bound not to remain silent when such things have been said.

I do not believe that calling a large group of people who care about immigrants' concerns "Marxists" is at all constructive in this debate; whether we are Marxists (and I do not consider myself to be a Marxist) matters far less that what we believe and how we act.

I do not think that there is anyone who supports immigration, simply in order to swell the ranks of Latin Catholics in this country. I think the vast majority of those who support balanced immigration reform (such as S. 1033/H.R. 2330), as opposed to extreme legislation (such as H.R. 4437), do so out of love for our fellow humans, made in the image of God.

I do agree that those who wave Mexican flags and yell about "La Raza" in this context are being offensive to many people. Being rude is obviously inexcusable. I cannot really apologize on their behalf, but I think that what they are doing is stupid and counterproductive. This whole issue is not about Mexicans specifically or about Latinos specifically, but about the dignity that our government accords to those who have come into this country illegally. Cursing at one's opponents does no one any good.

When Jesus said that we must feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, care for the ill, and visit those in prison, He most certainly did NOT say that we must help only those who are innocent of sin or of crime. We are not called to welcome the stranger who is here legally and to visit the innocent person who is in prison. We are called to love both those who are innocent and those who are guilty of sin and crime: to welcome the stranger (whether he is here illegally or not), to visit the prisoner (whether he is innocent or not). Using Matthew 25:31-46 to support treating illegal immigrants with respect is not hypocritical; it is interpreting the passage correctly.

When illegal immigrants lie and steal (in falsifying Social Security documents, for example), is this excusable? Certainly not! But the arguments can just as easily be used against pretty much anyone else; I'm sure that the vast majority of people who lie and steal in this country are American citizens. Even if one considers illegal immigrants to have lied (about their status) and stolen (their space in this country), stereotyping them as liars and thieves in other matters in both inaccurate in irresponsible.

Moreover, if reasonable reform legislation is passed, illegal immigrants will be required NOT to lie, in order to regularize their status; they will in fact be forced to pay a fine if they wish to stay.

Again, I would like to emphasize that Jesus does not call us to love only those who do not lie or steal; Jesus calls us to love our neighbor, whether they be a sinner or a saint.

As to whether illegal immigration is a drain on the US economy or not, I will quote from a document put out by the Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform, which is supported by the USCCB:
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During the 1990s, half of all new workers were foreign-born, filling gaps left by native-born workers in both the high- and low-skill ends of the spectrum. Immigrants fill jobs in key sectors, start their own businesses, and contribute to a thriving economy. The net benefit of immigration to the U.S. is nearly $10 billion annually. As Alan Greenspan points out, 70% of immigrants arrive in prime working age. That means we haven’t spent a penny on their education, yet they are transplanted into our workforce and will contribute $500 billion toward our social security system over the next 20 years.
http://www.justiceforimmigrants.org/ParishKit/Myths.pdf

I'm glad the subject of "the fact that many GREEDY Americans and American companies undercut employment to the Illegals to save money on wages and benefits" has been brought up. As has been pointed out, this is unjust, to both illegal immigrants and US citizens. This is why S. 1033/ H.R. 2330 contains provisions for a temporary worker program and for protecting the rights of temporary workers. This legislation also requires that US employers attempt to recruit US citizens before offering a job to foreign workers.

As for arrogance, I think both sides of this debate can be justly accused of that. I think the sense of entitlement that both sides can at times feel is pretty ridiculous. Why do I "belong here" any more than someone else does? Why am I entitled something (US citizenship) because of an action an ancestor of mine took, for example? I certainly did nothing to "earn" my own US citizenship. It matters far less where we are born than that we are humans.

I agree that people should not enter the United States illegally. For a bit of context, however, I'll again quote from the Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform:
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In the history of the United States, immigration law was developed relatively late, in the middle and late stages of the twentieth century. For the first 153 years of our nation, there was no general law barring entry into the United States, unless it was targeted to certain convicts or prostitutes. The Alien Sedition Act, passed early in our history, was seldom enforced. Entering the United States did not become a violation until Congress passed a law on March 4, 1929. Because of the lack of funding, Congress did not authorize or appropriate funds to enforce the law until the late 1940’s. The beginning of our current immigration code, the Immigration and Nationality Act, was enacted in 1965. The INA began imposing limits on categories of immigration and establishing an immigration enforcement regime which we adhere to, in part, today.
http://www.justiceforimmigrants.org/ParishKit/ResponseUndocumented.pdf

The Catholic Church -- and all of us -- should indeed stand up for Truth. People should indeed not break laws. I will quote the USCCB directly, in response to the question of whether the Church supports illegal immigration:
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No. The Catholic Church does not support or encourage illegal immigration because (1) it is contrary to federal law and (2) it is not good either for society, because of the presence of a large population living outside the community, or the migrant, who is subjected to abuse, exploitation, and even death. Instead, the Church is advocating changing a broken law so that undocumented persons can obtain legal status in our country and enter the United States legally to work and support their families.
http://www.usccb.org/mrs/mrp.shtml

Lastly, is unlawful entry into the United States really a "crime"? No. It is a violation of civil, not criminal, law. To quote from the campaign one last time:
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Moreover, undocumented immigrants are not criminals—they have not broken a criminal law. They have only violated civil law, as we do when we violate a traffic ordinance. The United States Supreme Court has held that “a deportation proceeding is a purely civil action to determine the eligibility to remain in this country, not to punish an unlawful entry….The purpose of deportation is not to punish past transgressions, but to put an end to a continuing violation of immigration laws.”
http://www.justiceforimmigrants.org/ParishKit/ResponseUndocumented.pdf

I know that I have not responded to every single argument put forth in previous posts. This controversy tires me, and I have written enough for now.

To close, I'd simply like to remind us all that God calls us to love one another, not to judge one another.

Holy Mary, Holy John the Baptist, and all you holy men and women throughout the ages, pray for us! Amen.
Lord God, please help us as we struggle through this divisive issue. Amen.


Yours in the Peace of Christ,
Alex Neroth van Vogelpoel
American Citizen
Son of two permanent residents who came here perfectly legally
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Quote
Originally posted by Memo Rodriguez:
Hi,

Quote
You guys may not come here intending doing that...but whether you like it or not..that's what you guys are doing.
Very fine.

Which toilet would you like to clean?

Which field would you like to harvest?

Which kind of animal would you like to slaughter and process so I can eat it?
There ARE americans that NEED the jobs of scrubbing toilets, field to harvest, animal to kill. Unfortuantely they couldn't get them because the ILLEGALS took it! mad

Quote
Quote
Did you know that unlawful entry to the United States IS A CRIME??? It IS a crime. So therefore the illegals ARE criminals.
Well, not necessarily and, besides, a good number of those who you call illegals did not enter the US unlawfully, they simply stayed unlawfully.

Illegals are Illegals..whether they made an UNLAWFUL entry to USA or overstayed their welcome.


Quote
Quote
Who's side are you?
I am the side of those who suffer, especially those who suffer injustice and opression.
That's a hypocritical statment you made. The fact the illegals are here are actually making America SUFFER injustice and oppression! Many jobs are taken up by illegals, many funds (OUR tax money) spent on illegals (those who DON'T pay taxes), it'll take few pages of the post to go on and on and on.

Quote
Quote
Are you an illegal?
What are you asking of me?

Are you asking me if I am "one of those". Yes, I am.

Are you asking me if I have ever broken the US immigration laws? Then the answer is no, I have not.

And yet, here I am, not an American Citizen and yet sitting behind a desk where an American Citizen could be sitting if he or she was a better Software Developer than I am.

So you'd probably say that I am stealing an American Citizen's job.

And since stealing goes against both moral and criminal law, then perhaps you would think of me as both a sinner and a criminal.

So perhaps you would prefer if I answered "Yes, I am an illegal" to your question.

It is really up to you.
You have good way of twisting words. It's not up to me but it's up to the AMERICAN LAW against UNLAWFUL entry to USA or violation of staying beyond the VISA would allow it.

Illegal means Illegal. So you are a criminal in a sense that you've broken the law by being here UNLAWFULLY!!! It's really a very simple concept...ILLEGAL means NOT LEGAL. Why complicate that definition of it?

Quote
Quote
What PART of Illegal don't you understand???
What I do not understand is why is that the first thing you see when you look at a human being.

Pro-Choice folks try to get away with a very similar strategy: They want you to see "unborn" first, before you can see "human".

Similarly, those who would like to deprive immigrants of even the very basic assitantace would like you to see "illegal", before you can see "human".

It is the same sin, though: Making anything but the image and likeness of God be the first thing you see in a brother and sister of yours.
I'm gonna go get my kleenex. That doesn't move me because I'm HUMAN too. You're trying to sensationize the whole thing. NOBODY said that the illegals aren't human beings. NOBODY. So what's your point? The argument of human-ness does not cut it for breaking the law. That means I want you out of my country. If you want to be an American and work here...do it LEGALLY! I don't care how long it takes or how complicated it is. Just because our system is complicated doesn't justify you breaking the law by entering here illegally. If America is really that important to you and if being a Christian is really that important to you...then DO IT RIGHT...and LEGALLY & MORALLY.

Quote
Quote
I'm on the American side...AMERICAN CITIZEN side.
Your choice, which I respect.

I am on the side of all the children of God, regardless of anything else.
And...???

Quote
Quote
It's seems that most people favoring on illegal immigrants are more deaf than I am! More blind than the blind people.
Perhaps, but I don't have time to discuss that.

I need to go now, to celebrate the life of a Jew who at some point was an illegal immigrant in Egypt, spent most of the rest of His life stealing the identity of a Gallilean and was put to death in a way reserved only for non-citizens.

Shalom,
Memo
That is a bad argument about Jesus going to Egypt. There was no strict immigration laws back then.

Immigration laws are made to protect a country from overwhelming immigration. America is extremely overwhelmed with way way way TOO MANY illegals coming here all at the same time. We CANNOT have everyone in the world coming here.

If Mexico have problems...then WHY don't you Mexicans or whoever go out and protest against the Mexican government instead of protesting on OUR streets paid by our tax money demanding amnesty and automatic citizenship.

Obviously you have no conscience as to what illegal immigration really does to America...how hurtful it is to America and the American people/tax-payers. You really have NO clue...you're so busy working at a job that should rightfully belong to the American Citizen.

SPDundas
Deaf Byzantine

PS, Don't think I'm hateful person, because I'm not. I'm basically fighting for American rights and I won't have the illegals rubbing me the wrong way.

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Chaldean and pro-Illegals,

I'm disappointed at your post, exploiting Christian faith for your agenda of supporting people who broke the law by being here illegally.

NO Christian would support the immorality of breaking a law that's designed to protect the lives of American Citizens.

Such hypocrisy.

NOTHING excuses for breaking the law. NOTHING. Not even our Christian faith.

Undocumented immigrants mean they have NO birth certificate, no form of identification, NOTHING. So what are they doing here?

Of course you posted a site "justice for immigrants" what about justice for American Citizens?

I'd suggest you to go to:

http://www.numbersusa.com

And

http://www.usbc.org/

Another highly recommended and great site and a Pro-Catholic one:

http://www.renewamerica.us/


SPDundas
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Betty, thank you for that poem. It is beautiful.

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Quote
Originally posted by Memo Rodriguez:
Very fine.

Which toilet would you like to clean?

Which field would you like to harvest?

Which kind of animal would you like to slaughter and process so I can eat it?
What is it about these particular jobs that makes them particularly suited to illegal immigrants? Why not include these:

What kind of building would you like to construct?

What kind of pipes would you like to weld?

What kind of taxi would you like to drive?

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Dear Spdundas you said:

"NOTHING excuses for breaking the law. NOTHING. Not even our Christian faith."

I say:

Excuse me! I believe that churches were always a refuge for everyone. I think that Christian charity is always beyond the law. Oh that's right, didn't Jesus break the Judaic law when he cured a man on the sabbath?

I would like to ask you a question. If your mother, father, sisters and brothers didn't have enough to eat and you loved them, wouldn't you do whatever you could to help them...and what if that meant you had to cross a border illegally?

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Dear Theist Gal you said:

"What is it about these particular jobs that makes them particularly suited to illegal immigrants? Why not include these:

What kind of building would you like to construct?

What kind of pipes would you like to weld?

What kind of taxi would you like to drive?"

I say:

Actually where I live, all our gardeners are Hispanics. Our cleaning women are Hispanic. Our waiters are predominantly Hispanic. And I could go on and on.

If anything was to happen to them, all commerce would stop. There is no one to take their place. For instance: We had to wait at least a month for a painter to paint one bedroom, and he charged $600. Now he wasn't an illegal Hispanic, he was a Polish immigrant, but can you imagine what he would have charged if he didn't have the competition of the Hispanic painters?

Also my priest goes each year with some teenagers to Mexico to build a house for a family. The house is simply four concrete walls, but to the family it is a palace. I believe they live in something like cardboard boxes.

Now the experience for those American teens is something unbelievable, especially after living in this almost 'make-believe' world of ours. I say make believe, because that is how I felt when I first encountered extreme poverty after WW II. I couldn't help but feel that we existed in a fake world. It is a bubble that could burst anytime. But for the Grace of God go I.

Zenovia

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To our esteemed Administrator, and forum moderators,

Please accept my humble apologies for posting this topic.

I apologize for replying so late but we just arrived home from the 12 Gospel readings.

This article was front page news in the St. Pete Times today, and I felt [honestly] that it was wonderful that Bishop Lynch and others in the Diocese are fighting for the downtrodden. To me, during this Great Lent, the message conveyed is one of love for the fellow man.

I did not realize this would turn into a political topic of this proportion. Our diversity of views and positions is quite apparent in this thread, and after reading these comments, I feel that I have sinned/erred grievously for this post and ask for your forgiveness.

Do we not pray fervently "For the safety of those who travel by sea, air, and land, and for the salvation of the sick,
the suffering, and the captive, let us pray to the Lord."? I mean it when I say "Lord have mercy".

Can we not take a chance to make someone else's life a little better?

Father Tim told us during an Adult Catechism Instruction to always look for Jesus in your fellow man, even your worst enemy, for He is there.

Have we done this?

I will end once again asking for your forgiveness.

In Christ,

Michael (a sinner of the worst kind!)

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You know, during the regrettable Clinton era, his people instructed..as a matter of record..the gov't agents to ease the immigration process, including knowing language, skills, etc. And this became the norm. Now, we have allowed so many to come over, its ridiculous. My own grandpa had to learn English, and I remember his heavy Slavic accent, same with Baba, but she was only 15 and learned quicker. The thing is, the Mexicans want to keep their culture, we have to put Spanish on our signage, keep their holidays. What happened to 'becoming' American. But, if you're white from a former eastern block country, better buck up and get on track, get mainstreamed into this society. Hmmm, that's part of the attitude that resulted in many of us 3rd generation Slavs, NOT knowing our language, homeland, history, culture, or heritage faith. I don't see stores having signs in Russian, Norwegian, Swahili, or Arabic. The new law the congress is trying to make, it should be called the "guest voter" law, because both Dems and Repubs want the vote. Sorry state of affairs here, oh well, at least you can still fire someone under age 26,...not like in France..! mik

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This all stems from an old law that wasn't good to begin with and now we are all dealing with the consequences of it. If there are people in America who have broken the law and are here illegally they should have to be deported.

If, however, there are some who came over and had children, and even grandchildren, and have jobs and contribute to our society as our friend Memo has done (not saying he's here illegally but that he contributes. I'm kinda confused by his post, is he a citizen or not? confused ) then those persons should be "grandfathered in" and get to stay.

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I think there are two issues here. One is legal - and I would be the first to admit that the laws are fuzzy and need clarification. The other issue is that our faith does teach that we should help and care for others. My ancestors were immigrants nearly 200 years ago. They did not come here to be Germans, but came to get away from a culture, political system, and class structure that oppressed them. They were eager to be Americans. I have no problem with people coming legally and becoming Americans. If they want to bring and hold to the cultural practices that made their own homes uninhabitable, maybe it isn't in the country's interests for them to be here. I am trying to determine immigrant intent here, since I think it does make a difference. I have noticed the statements from the bishops that have been widely quoted on previous posts. I tend to hold the view that the U.S. bishops are often a bit like what Bede said about the English - they will follow everything that is novel and hold fast to nothing. That's not a direct quote, by the way. This is all a difficult issue and requires much prayer and thought. As for a good legal solution, I have even less faith in the Congress than I have in the bishops. eek

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Without making any statement about being legal or illegal, I just want to say that we have many Mexican and other Hispanic immigrants in the New York area that are humble, polite and *hard working*.

Our gardeners, our contractors and painters, our cleaning services, our restaurants, etc. all depend on them--and I encounter them every day. They work at jobs that many don't want to work at, especially for so little pay, just as our immigrant forefathers once did.

They are also Christians, and I am rather delighted to hear them say "Mrs. have a happy Easter". smile

If anyone has ever heard of Project Mexico, all I will say is that those who have gone for this pan Orthodox charity to build houses for families that are essentially nothing more than four wall structures (*without* indoor plumbing for kitchen and bathroom) will tell you that you will encounter a poverty you never dreamed of but a humility, faith, gratitude and kindness in the people that is awesome but also hard to describe.

I have been to Mexico, and I meet Mexicans every day who serve us here, and I think that they are, on a whole, a most beautiful souled people who deserve a chance for a better life.

The part of the Litany we pray at DL comes to my mind: for those who *serve* us, let us pray to the Lord. Kyrie Eleison.

In Christ,
Alice

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Dear Mike you said:

"My own grandpa had to learn English, and I remember his heavy Slavic accent, same with Baba, but she was only 15 and learned quicker. The thing is, the Mexicans want to keep their culture, we have to put Spanish on our signage, keep their holidays. What happened to 'becoming' American."

I say:

Actually Mike, around the first half of the 19th century, people spoke many different languages. There were people that spoke French, Dutch, German, etc. German though was spoken by the Germans until WW I. I knew people that had one parent that was probably a fifth generation German and married to a person born in Germany. What I'm trying to say is that they continued to be German until they were stoned because of the sinking of the Lusitania. Up until then, even their business' were run in German. After that, they spoke only English, and many changed their last names.

As for the Irish, my friends in high school were pure Irish, yet they were fourth or fifth generation...maybe even sixth.

Then we have the French. Jaqueline Bouvier Kennedy's family always went back to France for vacations to visit their patriarchal town, even though they were probably 4th and 5th generation. Actually, Jaqueline herself spoke fluent French, and it was required in her house to speak only French during dinner.

So what I'm getting at is that people usually want to retain their heritage...and you know something, it makes people more interesting. I also regret deeply that my grandchildren's elementary school didn't have enough class time to include Spanish. It was considered at the time, and I feel that they lost out.

See the problem in this country, is that even if we learn a language, we end up forgetting it because of lack of use. Well! With Spanish all over the TV and on signs....that might not be the case anymore. Let's not look a gift horse in the mouth...or so I think.

Zenovia

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