Before you pile on me, please know that I didn't come up with this on my own. Fr. Benedict Groeschel, no great liberal, yet faithful to Church teaching and to the truth, said it. On his live call in show Sunday evening, he said the following about sin, "we are guilty of robbing the poor in ways that we aren't aware, and this is a sin which the Old Testament says 'cries out to heaven for vengance'. "
He continued, "every year, illegal immigrants with fake Social Security cards pay BILLIONS of dollars into the system which they will never collect; they help keep that failing system going". The USCCB confirms this fact. So does my husband Francisco, who, as an illegal fleeing the terrible civil war in El Salvador, paid six months of Social Security he will never collect. Here is an article in USA Today confirming this fact.
So, next time a Catholic pundit (Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, are you listening?) tells you that illegals do nothing but rob this country, mention this fact. Yes, their kids go to school and get medical care. They are most likely citizens, and, even if they aren't, would you have them wandering the streets or die of preventable diseases right here in the USA?
Let me set the record straight, in my day job, I have worked with the poor for nearly 25 years. Illegal immigrants are NOT eligible for welfare. Do they still mangage to exploit the system sometimes? Sure. Did you ever file a homeowner's claim, or a tax deduction that was shaky? Let's be honest with ourselves,as Catholics, can't we afford to allow some of the poorest people in the world just get a job to feed their families? We who are overweight, whose homes are completely oversized for the 2.1 children we have, whose cars are big enough to climb the Rocky Mountains, yet never will, and whose cruise vacations rival those of the rich and famous. Why do we think it's moral to live like this, while children in the Southern Hemisphere die of hunger by the minute? Watch those World Vision Infomercials next time.
If your children lived where the water carried disease, and they had to scrape through garbage to eat, what would you be willing to do, to help them survive?
American Catholics are some of the richest people in the history of the world, yet we give a paltry 1% to our collection baskets in church, far less than Protestants. Yet our Church is involved in so many worthy projects to help the poor provide for themselves. Evangelization, education, health care, housing, there is so much your money can provide for the poor.
Mother Teresa told the story of a young Indian couple who, instead of the extravagant wedding which Indian couples celebrate, donated all the money to her. She asked them why they would sacrifice their wedding celebration, and they answered, "we want to share the joy of loving". I had a nice wedding, but since I've been married, I have supported several of my husbands' relatives through college. Was I always a willing and cheerful giver? Nope. God has blessed even my reluctant generosity, and He will certainly bless yours.
Here are some 100% reliable places to donate money.
Missionaries of Charity
Food for the Poor
Christian Foundation for Children and Aging
Franciscan Friars of the Renewal
Catholic World Mission
Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara