Support continues despite delay of immigration reform meeting

Although the White House announced that the meeting between President Barack Obama and key leaders in the push for immigration reform would be delayed for a second time, supporters still came to Washington for a prayer vigil at the Church of the Epiphany Wednesday.                                          reform logo

Parishioners representing the Archdiocese of Baltimore, including St. Michael/St. Patrick Parish, held up signs during the vigil and the press conference given beforehand. Redemptorist Father Robert Wojtek, pastor of St. Michael/St. Patrick, gave his speech in both English and Spanish, saying: “I know I want to be more active in this cause, starting today. May God, whoever he may be to you, set your hearts on fire with justice and hospitality.”

Some may think these delays would result in waning support for the cause but from the looks of things, supporters are staying hopeful.

The White House rescheduled the meeting for June 25.

3 Responses

  1. Cardinal Francis George of Chicago in his news release of June 18 on behalf of the USCB, “…urged respect and observance of all just laws… we do not approve or encourage the illegal entry of anyone into our country”. Additionally he stated the following, ” As a moral matter, we must resolve the legal status of those who are here without proper documentation so that they can fully contribute their talents to our nation’s economic, social and spiritual well being”. Here, within the context of the very same statement are what appear to be two diametrically opposed viewpoints. The language sounds Barack Obama-ish.

    The USCB like the president employs in much of their public discussion of this matter in particular, a judicious use of the ever present but duplicitous, “I (We) believe… but on the other hand…” approach. No doubt, Redemptorist Father Robert Wojtek is likely in full agreement with Bishop George’s statement.

    One must reject this latest attempt to “reform” immigration because the outcome will not be “justice” in the manner of which President Obama, Fr. Wojtek and the bishops speak of it. The issue that needs to be addressed above all else before any kind of “reform” can be instituted is the denigration of a system that has been abused for more than 40 years. It is the very lack of “respect and observance of all just laws” that Bishop George references that has created the mess in which we find ourselves.

    “Reform” will not change this kind unlawfulness. If the sovereignty of the nation continues to be treated as a doormat for illegal immigration, then we are doomed as a nation anyway. To whom will the legal immigrant turn if anarchy rules the day? The stated purpose of groups like La Raza who have the ear of the president is the transformation of the U.S. into an “Hispanic” nation no matter the means. How far are we then from self imposed extinction if the flow from our southern borders does not go unchecked? What ever became of assimilation and the melting pot? Where are the voices of reason?

  2. Eugene’s got it right. Our church should not be supporting, in any way, the anarchy that continues to exist along our southern border. Father Wojtek would be better off insisting on justice and hospitality for those who have legally applied and are patiently waiting to enter our country. Or does he think its OK for others to just skip ahead and illegally take their place?

    Its no wonder our youth have no respect for the churches teaching authority on life and morals. What else can be expected when clerics sanction lawlessness? A church that provides comfort and assistance to scofflaws is sending the wrong message.

  3. I would invite Eugene and Rick to familiarize themselves with the Catholic principles that undergird the Church’s efforts to seek comprehensive immigration reform. Fearmongering about becoming a “Hispanic nation” or “anarchy” are hardly helpful to an honest and respectful debate about how immigration reform should proceed.

    Starting such a debate around “lawfulness” or “fairness” is not useful since clearly our nations laws are not current and arguably not just. Remember, Jesus conviction and death were wholly within the laws of the secular and religious culture of his time. Does that make it right and just?

    Below are a couple of citations from the Bishops’ document on immigration: “Strangers No Longer…” These may be helpful. http://www.usccb.org/mrs/stranger.shtml#4

    Migration in the Light of Catholic Social Teaching
    28. Catholic teaching has a long and rich tradition in defending the right to migrate. Based on the life and teachings of Jesus, the Church’s teaching has provided the basis for the development of basic principles regarding the right to migrate for those attempting to exercise their God-given human rights. Catholic teaching also states that the root causes of migration–poverty, injustice, religious intolerance, armed conflicts–must be addressed so that migrants can remain in their homeland and support their families.

    I. Persons have the right to find opportunities in their homeland.
    34. All persons have the right to find in their own countries the economic, political, and social opportunities to live in dignity and achieve a full life through the use of their God-given gifts. In this context, work that provides a just, living wage is a basic human need.

    II. Persons have the right to migrate to support themselves and their families.
    35. The Church recognizes that all the goods of the earth belong to all people.15 When persons cannot find employment in their country of origin to support themselves and their families, they have a right to find work elsewhere in order to survive. Sovereign nations should provide ways to accommodate this right.

    III. Sovereign nations have the right to control their borders.
    36. The Church recognizes the right of sovereign nations to control their territories but rejects such control when it is exerted merely for the purpose of acquiring additional wealth. More powerful economic nations, which have the ability to protect and feed their residents, have a stronger obligation to accommodate migration flows.

    IV. Refugees and asylum seekers should be afforded protection.
    37. Those who flee wars and persecution should be protected by the global community. This requires, at a minimum, that migrants have a right to claim refugee status without incarceration and to have their claims fully considered by a competent authority.

    V. The human dignity and human rights of undocumented migrants should be respected.
    38. Regardless of their legal status, migrants, like all persons, possess inherent human dignity that should be respected. Often they are subject to punitive laws and harsh treatment from enforcement officers from both receiving and transit countries. Government policies that respect the basic human rights of the undocumented are necessary.

    39. The Church recognizes the right of a sovereign state to control its borders in furtherance of the common good. It also recognizes the right of human persons to migrate so that they can realize their God-given rights. These teachings complement each other.

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