Saturday 23rd August 2014

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Immigration Crisis

July 7, 2014 Frontpage No Comments

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK

Is there a way to be both rational and compassionate when dealing with the flood of immigrant children pouring across our southern borders? I would assume that even the most tough-minded advocates for tightening our borders would be unwilling to live with scenes of United States border guards dumping Hispanic toddlers into the Mexican desert to fend for themselves.
Where is the intelligent middle ground in this matter? I wrestled with that question one night in mid-June after listening to Bill O’Reilly call for a strong military presence to “secure our southern border.” It sounded good. Every other country in the world polices its borders; it is central to what makes a sovereign country sovereign. But that very afternoon I had watched a newscast from McAllen, Texas, showing a beach in Texas, with dozens of Texans sitting on beach chairs and swimming in the Rio Grande. This Texas beach was directly across from a Mexican beach where Mexicans were doing the same thing.
But along with the sunbathers there were Mexican jet skiers and motorboat operators ferrying illegal immigrants into Texas. The passengers would jump from the boat into the knee-high water on the Texas side and scoot up a small hill into a parking lot where they were met by friends and family members in cars who drove off with them into Texas. I had no idea it could be that easy.
I assume that there must be dozens of other spots along the border where the same thing takes place. We see scenes of long lines of Mexicans climbing fences and trudging across barren deserts to get into the United States. I guess they don’t come to this beach in McAllen because there is something attractive — perhaps easier access to jobs, safe houses, and a network of friends — near those more arduous crossings than around McAllen and areas like it.
It leads me to conclude that there is no way to “secure” a border as long as our border with Mexico, no matter how many troops and dollars we devote to the effort; that if people want to get into our country illegally, they and the smugglers will find a way. If that is the case, the only answer is to make it less attractive for those willing to sneak into the country to undertake the illegal effort. There were fewer border guards, fewer fences, and less surveillance on the Mexican border 20 years ago. But we did not have the flood of illegal immigration we are experiencing now. Why not?
Because those tempted to sneak into the United States back then had to figure out how they were going to survive — how to secure jobs, housing, education, and medical care — once they got here. Some did figure it out, people who had a network of friends and family to help get them on their feet.
But not the hundreds of thousands who are creating the crisis we face today. Something has changed. They are coming now because they know we provide a safety net. There is a mock border sign floating around the Internet; perhaps you have seen it. It reads: “U.S. Border: Lots of Free Stuff Ahead — health care, education, housing, food, contraception, abortion, phones, cash, dental services. Sponsored by the Democratic National Committee.” It is satire, of course, but it makes the point. The fears that held back earlier generations of illegal immigrants are gone.
This means, if we do not want to face the cruel choices of what to do with illegal children coming across our borders, that we have to send out the message that there is no favorable risk-reward in seeking to enter our country illegally in the first place. And that can be done. First by establishing a generous level of legal immigration, enough to provide for the country’s employment needs without threatening the jobs of those already living here. Work visas and a guest worker program can be part of this scenario, when the job market requires temporary and/or seasonal workers.
If we do that, will there not be those determined to go outside the system and come into the country illegally anyway? There will. They must not be rewarded for that decision. It should be made clear to them that the United States will not guarantee them access to our schools, hospitals, and welfare system — all the things that illegal immigrants count upon to make their life in the United States an attractive alternative to their home countries.
And one other thing: We have to make the penalties on employers who hire illegal workers certain and severe. That is not happening now. Those employers are breaking the law as surely as are the illegal immigrants.
Would it be unjust to do these things? In what way? We cannot take into the United States everyone in the world who would prefer to live here rather than in their home country. We have a Christian duty to provide refuge for those who are faced with starvation and whose lives are in danger. But we do not have to open our borders to do that. We can help them through foreign aid and international humanitarian assistance to their countries of origin. It is demanding too much to insist that we open our border to everyone who is attracted to the higher standard in the United States in comparison to other parts of the world.
It is true that there will be some who will sneak into the country, even after we have made it clear that we are not going to provide employment opportunities, health care, and education for them. We will have to find a just and fair way to deal with them once they are here. It should be a manageable problem. Their numbers will be minute in comparison to the situation we face today, with the benefits of illegal immigration unmistakable to everyone unhappy with life in their home countries.
I don’t think even St. Francis of Assisi would require more than that of a Christian. We sometimes hear people say that “charity knows no bounds.” But it is not true. We cannot do what we cannot do. St. Francis would call upon us to open the doors to our house to a traveler abandoned in a storm; to provide him a safe and warm place to spend the night and enough food to get him back on his way. I don’t think he would require that we support him as a member of our family for the rest of his life, along with anyone else who finds himself similarly in need of help.

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The “Closure Crisis” Within The Church.

(RNS) What happens to a community when a Roman Catholic school closes its doors? That’s the question Nicole Stelle Garnett and Margaret F. Brinig, two Notre Dame law professors, pondered as they studied closures in Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. There were 7,000…Continue Reading

Satanists Return Stolen Host to Archbishop Coakley

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Slain journalist James Foley on praying the rosary in captivity

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Black Mass Organizers Face Lawsuit Over Stolen Host

Oklahoma City, Okla., Aug 20, 2014 / 11:05 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Organizers of a satanic black mass slated to take place in Oklahoma City next month face a lawsuit on grounds that the consecrated Host used for the sacrilegious event…Continue Reading

Archbishop of Mosul: ‘I Have Lost My Diocese to Islam; You in the West Will Also Become Victims of Muslims’

At our pro-Israel rally on Sunday, leaders from across the world warned the crowd of the impending threat of Islam to America. One million Christians have been killed or have had to flee Iraq because of persecution by jihadists. But…Continue Reading

Pope Francis profoundly saddened by death of three relatives in traffic accident

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis has learnt of the tragic death of three of his relatives in a traffic accident in Argentina and is “profoundly saddened.”  The Director of the Holy See’s Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi said the Pope had…Continue Reading

The present, future, and quality of Catholic online education

An interview with Patrick Carmack, President of the Ignatius-Angelicum Liberal Studies Program, about Catholic online education, technology, and Great Books August 15, 2014 07:48 EST Patrick S. J. Carmack, J.D. is the President of the Ignatius-Angelicum Liberal Studies Program, and the founder…Continue Reading

Pope makes silent anti-abortion statement in South Korea

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Pontifical Council For Interreligious Dialogue Slams Islamic Caliphate Crimes And Barbarism

Caliphate militants are responsible for inhumane actions like public executions, humiliation of women, and terror towards Christians, Yezidis and members of other religions. The Vatican body calls on Islamic religious leaders and governments to condemn these crimes and prosecute their…Continue Reading

Incoming Roman Catholic Springfield bishop on gay marriage: ‘God made us male and female’

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Liberia: Nun dies of Ebola virus, two missionaries ill

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Kurtz: New Catholic Teachers Shouldn’t Be Afraid

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Pope Francis Calls Parents of James Foley

foley

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Pope at Audience Warns Against Evil One Who Sows Discord Between People, Nations

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Culture Of Life 101 . . . “The Strange World Of Margaret Sanger’s Birth Control Review”

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Q. I saw a letter-to-the-editor recently that asked why, if a member of the Mafia is to be excommunicated for cooperating with murder, then why isn’t a member of any group that murders unborn children (or enables the killing, e.g., politicians who vote for abortion bills) also excommunicated? The editor made no comment, but how would you respond to this…Continue Reading

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Memorial Of St. Alphonsus Liguori… Marian Catechists Strive To Imitate The Mother Of God

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A Leaven In The World… How Catholics End Up As Practical Protestants

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Is Mary The Mother Of God… Or Only The Mother Of Jesus?

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Cast A Gauntlet – Sola Scriptura: Part 1

Catholic Heroes . . . Pope St. Pius X

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Catholic Heroes . . . St. Maximilian Kolbe

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What to Do If Your Boyfriend Wants You to Get an Abortion?

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It’s Time to Build Schools, from the Ground Up

February 13, 2014 by Anthony Esolen   It might have been worth repairing, if it had once been noble and beautiful, or at least conceived in an orderly way, for ordinary human purposes. But it wasn’t. It was constructed upon false principles. Its walls looked like those of a bad factory. It smelled like a warehouse. It could be terribly…Continue Reading

Why I am Pro-Life

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Fathers . . . The Essential Role of the Father

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How Much is One Billion Dollars?

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Planned Parenthood

This article appeared in The Wanderer, April 3, 1941.  (WOW, Look what we have 70 years later.) A group which calls itself the National Committee for Planned Parenthood has begun a nationwide campaign to have the promotion of birth control included in State and national health programs. The committee—which, according to propaganda sheets reaching our desk has a branch in…Continue Reading

Questions of Non-Catholics . . . Answered by Father Richard Felix, O.S.B.

Reprinted from The Wanderer April 10, 1941 Why Does God allow us to be tempted? God allows us to be tempted so that we may prove our attachment to him and merit a higher place in heaven. Temptations are the lot of all men; they are the battle ground upon which heaven is won or lost. “The kingdom of heaven…Continue Reading