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It is very strange that not so long ago governments were telling their people that immigrants created jobs. Immigrants have needs and spend their money locally as well as send their money o'seas to family who also spend their money. They pay rent to land lords they pay for houses to be built etc etc.

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I support all LEGAL immigrants and oppose all ILLEGAL immigrants.

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Christ is Risen!

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I hope I didn't offend you by my post, that wasn't my intention.
Goodness gracious! No, you did not offend me.

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I just wanted to state that if a person was here and working and contributing he should stay. As you are a Permanent Resident and are contributing I welcome your efforts and pray that you get citizenship soon.
Thank you. A Legal Permanent Resident must wait and stay in the country in a more or less permanent basis for 5 years (short trips abroad do not really count, unless they are too frequent), before you are elegible to apply for citizenship through naturalization.

In our case, that means our application can go through in the Fall of 2009.

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But I am especially enraged by disability cheats!
Oh, sure. I know at least a couple of people who have abused of the system with this particular cheat and I can certainly share your rage.

By the way, both of these persons are "legal".

It would take an extreme case of dispair for an "illegal" to go this way and it is not because "illegal" immigrants are always a model of honesty (I do not trick myself into this kind of delusion), but rather because of a similar reason as the one I mentioned that makes "illegals" better tax payers than "legals".

If the USCIS can proove to you that you have milked the system by receiving free services other than emergency assistance, that is enough to decline your application for citizenship.

Please do notice this has nothing to do with cheating. This disqualification applies even in honest-to-goodness cases.

Now, a false disability claim is not only milking the system, it is fraud and, as such, a felony and, as such, grounds for deportation, even if you are legally in the country.

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As for those who have threatened you, that is deplorable and despicable, especially on a Christian Forum.
As deplorable and despicable as the least of my sins, so as I pray for mercy for my sins, I also pray for mercy for all my fellow members of this forum.

May the Light of the Risen Lord enlighten us all.

Shalom,
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Originally posted by iconophile:
The only Christian reason for opposing Hispanic immigration is concern for the immigrants, that they will become corrupted by American "culture" and be exploited by big business.
The hostility expressed here is identical to that which all our non-English ancestors experienced and is despicable.
-Daniel
Another Christian reason for opposing ILLEGAL immigration (of Hispanics or any other race) is that those who choose to immigrate LEGALLY are hindered in their efforts to get jobs and create a better life and a better future for their families without breaking any laws.

If that's hostile, sorry. But it continues to irk me that so many people are refusing to make the distinction between LEGAL and ILLEGAL immigrants. LEGAL immigrants are a blessing and are more than welcome, and we need lots more!

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Another Christian reason for opposing ILLEGAL immigration (of Hispanics or any other race) is that those who choose to immigrate LEGALLY are hindered in their efforts to get jobs and create a better life and a better future for their families without breaking any laws
One might think so, but if you read some of what Memo has to say about the immigration system, it is not at all clear. Indeed, it may be the case, especially for those at the bottom of the economic ladder, that the surest way to become a legal immigrant is to immigrate illegally, establish a record as a good "citizen", then apply for legal status. This idea was reinforced in some of the proposals for new legislation.

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Originally posted by Theist Gal:
If that's hostile, sorry. But it continues to irk me that so many people are refusing to make the distinction between LEGAL and ILLEGAL immigrants. LEGAL immigrants are a blessing and are more than welcome, and we need lots more!
And it continues to irk me that so many people are refusing to make the distinction between civil legal matters and matters of charity.

This post and others like it refuse, obstinantly in my opinion, to acknowledge that some of us clearly differentiate between legal and illegal immigration. They refuse to acknowledge that we are not addressing the civil legalities but the need for compassion and charity to alleviate human suffering.

Stop confusing my belief that any religious group in this country should be barred from offering charitable help to human beings in need by our government with a wholesale support of illegal immigration.

Do not confuse my belief that our country's customs and immigrations laws need some serious reworking to be more equitable and more easily understood with a belief that illegal immigration is not a problem.

Clearly it is.

But I say again, this is not about the civil legalities. This is not about anything other than the Church following Christ's command to "Do unto others" to "Love your neighbour" to bring to all people His word. This is about charity.

That people refuse to see that this is about charity and not politics is maddening. And the venom and vitriol that are accompanying the opinions should have no place anywhere in our lives as Christians but certainly not here on this board.

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"Uncle"!!

You're all right. I give up. Let's just open the borders and let everyone in. No limits, no challenges, no boundaries. I'm sure everything will work out jusssttt finnneeee ... wink

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Huh, Chaldean? I said NOTHING against illegal immigrants... maybe I misread your collectively addressed post below, but I sure as heck don't see the bishops who have spoken in favor of illegal immigrants as Marxists or whatever label may have been applied to them. Cardinal McCarrick actually expressed where I tend to lean in his comments. See http://www.adw.org/news/news.asp?ID=362&Year=2006.

We have to treat our fellow human beings with justice and mercy, no matter where they come from. To do any less is to do the unChristian. All cynicism aside, laws often change because situations arise to make us collectively scratch our heads and ask: what is "the just" here? what is "the merciful?" That is what is going on right now and there are a variety of opinions, some extreme, some not so extreme, that have to be considered in coming up with a solution.

This issue is so complicated that, again, I would urge prayer on it because we need His guidance for our nation.

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Originally posted by Chaldean-rite Mar Thoma Catholic:
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.

[b]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
Sinner [/b]

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Hello,

Christ is Risen!

A couple of comments:

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Another Christian reason for opposing ILLEGAL immigration (of Hispanics or any other race) is that those who choose to immigrate LEGALLY are hindered in their efforts to get jobs and create a better life and a better future for their families without breaking any laws
I wouldn't call this a reason for opposing illegal immigration, rather, a reason for looking for creative ways to make the legal immigration system work effectively and efficiently in both ways:

1. To make sure the people who wish to legitimately exercise the right to look for a better future in a country other than the one they were born are granted that opportunity.

and

2. To make sure the borders remain secure and those who only want to come here to do harm are effectively kept out.

One concern doesn't deny the other. Yes, I understand that in an effort to achieve the first goal you might miss a few individuals that fall into the second goal and viceversa.

No system will ever be perfect.

But 12 million???!!!

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One might think so, but if you read some of what Memo has to say about the immigration system, it is not at all clear. Indeed, it may be the case, especially for those at the bottom of the economic ladder, that the surest way to become a legal immigrant is to immigrate illegally, establish a record as a good "citizen", then apply for legal status. This idea was reinforced in some of the proposals for new legislation.
This is true. And to see how much, let's take a look at some numbers.

Let's imagine you were born in Mexico and want to immigrate to the US, through a relative of yours who is a "US Person" (this includes citizens and in some cases, legal permanent residents).

You want to do things right, so you filed your application, remained in Mexico waiting for the US government to process your application.

Well, according to the May 2006 Visa Bulletin (just out, as this is published monthly around the 15th of the previous month), you can expect your application to be processed in the near future according to the following:

If you are an unmarried, non-minor son or daughter of a U.S. Citizen, if you applied on or before 1/1/1991.

If you are the spouse or minor and unmarried child of a Legal Permanent Resident, if you applied on or before 6/15/1999.

If you are an unmarried, non-minor son or daughter of a Legal Permanent Resitent, if you applied on or before 9/1/1991.

If you are a married son or daughter of a U.S. Citizen, if you applied on or before 1/1/1993.

If you are a brother or sister of a U.S. Citizen, if you applied on or before 8/15/1993.


To the system's credit, I have to say that parents, spouses and minor, unmarried children of U.S. Citizens are not subject to waiting times, their applications are processed immediately.

In every other case, are these times reasonable?

I understand that married children and siblings of Legal Permanent Residents be excluded, but in the case of their parents, there should be a legal way to bring them to this country, especially with these kinds of waiting times, as anybody should be entitle to take care of their elderly parents.

Currently there are special processing dates for Mexico, China, India and the Philipines. The rest of the world goes with a 5th set of rates and although these are more reasonable than the 4 countries signaled out (because of volume, of course), it still takes several years for every category.

And on top of all that, having an immigration application submitted, disqualifies the potential benficiary from any type of visitor's visa, effectively keeping families separated for decades at a time.

What I am trying to say is that EVERYBODY agrees we need immigration reforms and we all understand the legitimate concerns about border control and economic viability of the immigration flow.

But the problem is real right now and it is much more complex than a terrorist wanting to get into the country to attack you and much more complex than you not getting the job you want because an immigrant got it before you.

About the first concern, I'd say that all 19 hijackers responsible for the 9/11 attacks were legally in the country. Some of them even received extensions to their visas posthumously after the attacks!

About the second concern, I'd say the solution is self improvement. You want a job an immigrant has right now? Become better at that job than the immigrant!

Some previous posts have denounced some positions regarding this issue as hypocritical.

Well, how hypocritical is to claim that democracy is the only acceptable government system, worth even the war in Irak, when you deny the right to vote to tens of millions of people who work in your country, pay taxes, etc.?

How hypocritical is to claim that free market is the only acceptable economic system, when you are unwilling to face fair competition from us immigrants?

Blessings!

Shalom,
Memo

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Originally posted by Theist Gal:
"Uncle"!!

You're all right. I give up. Let's just open the borders and let everyone in. No limits, no challenges, no boundaries. I'm sure everything will work out jusssttt finnneeee ... wink
Please point out one instance in which I, or anyone else, who has spoken in favour of churches, religious organizations and private charities offering assistance to people in need without regard to their citizenship or immigration status, has advocated that we "open the borders and let everyone in. No limits, no callenges, no boundaries."

You would be very hard pressed to find one such comment. At least not if you were being intellectually honest.

The point that everyone is missing is that this discussion is not supposed to be about politics or immigration law. It is about CHARITY and the ability of the federal government of the United States to interfere in the charitable activities of religious organizations.

But if you would prefer to continue to be snide and put words in the mouths of other, please do continue. You only end up hurting your own credibility in the long run.

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My church has a ministry to migrant workers. We work in conjunction with a larger RC parish. I have been working in this for 3 or 4 years. I am profoundly changed by the experience. This last year I met boys as young as 14 (smart boys, and very funny!)who had left their homes and families to come here to pick tomatoes for 30 cents a bucket (a huge bucket - at least 8 gallons). I have met women who are pregnant, women who have left children in Mexico with grandmothers, and had the pleasure of attending a first communion for a very serious group of adults. I have met people who begged me to teach them English. And I have met people who begged me to help them get a lawyer so that they could become legal. They said they never wanted to have to cross the desert again, but wouldn't talk about it. If you really want to know about the situation, perhaps turning off the news on your radio and TV and getting out in the world and seeing the situation first hand would be a step in the right direction. It is difficult to vilify a friend.

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Dear LaFamilia,

Thanks for your post which adds a personal and human perspective to this topic.

In Christ,
Alice

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Here's my personal story of why I agree 100 pct with posters like Spdundas.

In the mid-late 1990's I had a good paying teamsters job at a bakery just 12 minutes from my house. Just days before the new millenium I had to quit to care for my mother full time. After she passed away in March of last year, I went back to the company figuring I had a good chance of being rehired. When I went to reapply however, I was told that since the company had filed for bankruptcy, that the State of Illinois was now handling all hiring and that I could only apply at one of there offices. What a run around that turned out to be. First I had to sit through an hour long talk, then I was required to undergo a series of math and reading tests, while I continually protested that all I wanted to do was to fill out a job application for a company I used to work for. Finally, after wasting hours of my time, I was told by a woman, who's English I could barely understand, that they were part of a program that helps low income and Spanish speaking applicants find work, AND that she was not allowing me to reapply to my old job unless I could provide bank statements, rent receipts, utility bills etc, that would indicate that I was financhially eligible. During this ordeal a couple of men walked around the room and asked those attending if they required any assistence filling out forums. And the worst part of all is that I pay taxes to the State of Illinois in order to receive this kind of abuse.

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None of which, Lawrence, has anything to do with the point at hand, which is:

The federal government telling religious organizations and privately held charities to whom they can offer charity and making it a crime to offer aid to those in need.

I pray that none of you are ever in need of charitable assistance and the loving care of your fellow Christian and are treated with such hate as you exhibit here toward your bretheren.

It is shameful.

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"None of which, Lawrence, has anything to do with the point at hand, which is:

The federal government telling religious organizations and privately held charities to whom they can offer charity and making it a crime to offer aid to those in need.

I pray that none of you are ever in need of charitable assistance and the loving care of your fellow Christian and are treated with such hate as you exhibit here toward your bretheren."

Carole, is it shameful to want to work in the country of one's birth? I'll bet you have a nice paying job.

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