Saturday, December 30, 2006

Immigration Part III Further Clarification

To clarify my positions on immigration, I must state that this issue leaves me uncomfortably with one foot in each camp. But, as a Catholic first, I sometimes find myself without a true political voice in either political party. You read my position in the last posts, which by the way, is my interpretation of the Church's as expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
CCC:2439"Rich nations have a grave moral responsibility toward those which are unable to ensure the means of their development by themselves or have been prevented from doing so by tragic historical events."

Our extension of worker permits to those who are productively employed here, and have no criminal record is a form of aid to those poor countries with histories of malignant dictators, some of which we have actively supported in order to promote a worldwide balance of power.
To quote the liberal icon FDR on these despots, "he may be an SOB, but at least he's our SOB!"This pragmatic approach may be sensible foreign policy, but it is hardly just social teaching.
I don't agree with those signs held at the marches on the West Coast either. They have done more harm than good, arrogantly claiming that the Southwestern US is by rights part of Mexico. They lost the Mexican American War over 150 years ago, and the economy of the Southwest is far better under US control.
However, I honestly feel that these radicals are in the minority, just the liberal leaders who want to hijack this issue for the Democrats. I have worked with immigrants since 1988, and haven't meet immigrants with that bad attitude, just social workers (I used to be one, I know what they're like!).
The worst thing I can say about today's Latino immigrants is that they are easily duped by liberal teachers, and social workers into anti-life positions, so maybe the march leaders convinced the marcher that those signs represented their best interests.
I do support the sovereignty of the US borders, but wish guest workers permits would be issued to those who have been employed here for years. With nearly full employment, who would take these jobs they have? Certainly not the spoiled teenagers in my town!

And I have news for you, with the collapsing birthrate in this nation from non-Latinos, we had better get some new citizens to keep Social Security afloat to pay for my retirement in 21 years!
A pro-life icon, Dr. Charles Rice, of Notre Dame, and EWTN fame, in his must-read book, "The Winning Side", ends by agreeing with the above, saying, in effect that if this country becomes a little Latin America by immigration, then it serves American Catholics of European descent right, for having disobeyed Humanae Vitae (97% of American Catholics contacept, and the abortion rates for Catholics are very similar to those of the general public). We should thank the merciful God that these are Christian immigrants, and make an effort to keep those who are Catholic from being swallowed up by the sects, and the liberals who rush to greet them, and corrupt their family centered morality. Latino immigrants are overwhelmingly pro-life when they enter this country, but, studies show, this is eroded over time.
I worked for years in poor high schools with Latino immigrants. Here is an example of their moral judgement. Once, in a bilingual American History class, I did an exercise with my students on "how a bill becomes a law" by allowing the class to act as Congress, passing any law they wanted. Of course, open immigration was the first law, but the second surprised me. The students, mostly 16 years old, passed a law by a 29-1 margin, making abortion illegal in the US. This wasn't all, they gave the doctor the death penalty, and the mother life in prison for violating the law!! I was still stunned into silence by this, as the debate was progressing between the one negative vote, who, by the way was a European(Spaniard) and the 29 pro-life Latin Americans, One an outspoken Dominican said emphatically to her, "but, Maria, you're an intelligent girl, can't you see abortion is murder?" I told them to stay as pure as they are, and not be influenced by their liberal teachers. I pray they listened.


Baltimore said...

Two points:

First, regarding guest worker programs, they are not the fix all some believe they will be because a) they are still exploitable. Ask anyone with a H1-B visa (which is a guest worker program) they are often abused by their employer because the H1-B visa holder has to hold down a job to stay in the country. They lose their job, they're out of America. The same will happen with the farm worker version.

As for who take the jobs issue, people would take those jobs if they paid more. But rather than pay a living wage, which I believe Pope Leo the 13? (the encylcelical was issued in 1891)stated was a right of all working people, we, as a society, praise people who live in violation of St. Augustine's admonision that there was a maximum as well as a minimum acceptable lifestyle.

You might be put off by his protestant leaning, but you'd probably enjoy Politcs of Jesus by hendericks.

Michelle said...


I would love to have a healthy, respectful debate with you about this, "as Catholics", but my original comment has not yet appeared on your previous post. Before I spend time constructing another argument, I want to be sure it will appear.

I'll say this though. You shouldn't rely on your social security to provide for you in your retirement.

Fredi said...


There is but one Owner of the World

causa nostra laetitiae said...

Michelle, comments have been spotty on blogger lately, my mother has been trying to leave one for weeks. Sorry about that.
I did answer your email, however, I always welcome respectful debate, that's how we grow in knowlege and understanding.

I have learned a lot from my 17 years working with immigrants about who they are, at least on Long Island, but, for example, baltimore has a point about guest worker permits being exploitable. They're better than being undocumented, however, and President Bush wants to give them a path, with many requirements, and years of waiting to green card status.
About the living wage, you have another point, baltimore, illegal workers have lowered the wages, but don't forget that due to contracepgtion and abortion, there are fewer young people to take entry level jobs. I'm the last year of the baby boom, and when I got home from college, at Easter break, it took my whole week off to hustle a summer job. Now,there are help wanted signs up all summer.
And Michelle, no, I would never be foolish enough to rely on Social Security, it's just the way I show how the taxes the immigrant would pay, if in the system, would help support Social Security's future. I know many immigrants now who pay taxes to someone else's or no one's retirement, the US Bishops say they amount to billions of extra income to SSA every year.

Michelle said...

I'm disappointed that my comment didn't appear on your earlier post...still. I spent a bit of time writing it. I did start by saying how much I enjoy reading both of your blogs, Leticia, and your comments on mine. I also quoted the paragraph that immediately follows the one you quoted here. I assumed you were well aquainted with the first one, based on your position, but that you may have needed reminding about the second one.

Have you read about the Swift Co.? After they got busted for employing illegals, guess what! Americans are now lining up to take those jobs. Corporations who hire illegals aren't doing so because Americans won't do the jobs. They are hiring them because they can get away with exploiting them for profit, because they will work for much less. Supporting that is NOT pro-life. It is treating them as a commodity. Meanwhile depriving law abiding citizens of jobs.

You mentioned earlier that Hispanics are overwhelmingly pro-life when they come here, yet their views become corrupted after being around liberals too long. This is another problem with pardoning illegal behaviour. Sin begets more sin.

Also the living arrangements of these illegal aliens are often piling large families, and often multiple families in little apartments or small single family homes. This is not good for society either. It leads to all kinds of social ills.

Leticia, I think that you have had experience with good people who happen to be immigrants (I hope legal), and your judgement is being clouded by that good experience. In your arguments, you often fail to make the distinction between legal and illegal. It's true that legal immigrants are a blessing to America. It is not true for illegal aliens.

causa nostra laetitiae said...

Illegal behavior doesn't necessarily mean sinful, Michelle, abortion is perfectly legal in this country as are extra-marital affairs, homosexuality, etc. If laws are unjust, as in the case of the segregation laws, they are asking for civil disobedience. Is is just for children to die of malnutrition and preventable childhood diseases just because they had the misfortune to be born into a poor country whom we don't grant visas to?
Let me let you in a a dirty little secret, Michelle, the number of visas are driven by politics, or who is asking for them. For example, Irish Americans, are very vocal in asking for visas, and they get them. Hispanics come from 22 different nations, and are just now getting organized. Before, they exploited one anther.
Another thing, I have had my life threatended, and my car vandalized by Hispanic gang members, hardly nice people!

Michelle said...

In this case, the illegal behaviour is sinful. It is not unjust to have borders and laws regulating immigration. It is sinful to disobey those laws. The catechism paragraph you left out addresses this, and it addresses the duties of the immigrant. And it is only right to disobey a law when the law itself is sinful. And even then, it is not always the case. Would you advocate refusal to pay one's taxes if a portion of their tax money goes to fund abortions? How about blowing up abortion clinics in order to protect the innocent? Would you say that folks that do these things are not guilty of sin?

What is dirty or secret about granting visas to those who apply (so long as they are well meaning and have a clean record), and not granting them to those who don't apply, but instead break the law?

And in your comment about Hispanic gang members, I'm not sure what you're trying to demonstate.