Catholic College Presidents promote bad, immoral immigration policy (ACCU letter to Congress)

Yesterday 93 presidents of Catholic colleges and universities sent a letter to all members of Congress demanding that they support comprehensive immigration reform (see the link for the downsides of that plan).

I'll quote the letter and then briefly describe how it deceives and promotes bad policy. From the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities ("ACCU") letter [1]:

...Leaders on Catholic campuses advocated for the DREAM Act, and we stand with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in urging Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform that includes a road to earned citizenship. Our broken immigration system, which tears parents from children, traps aspiring Americans in the shadows, and undermines the best values of this nation, is morally indefensible.

We hope that as you face intense political pressure from powerful interest groups, you will draw wisdom and moral courage from our shared faith tradition. Catholic teaching values the human dignity and worth of all immigrants, regardless of legal status. We remind you that no human being made in the image of God is illegal. The Vatican's Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church warns against the exploitation of immigrant workers and says “immigrants are to be received as persons and helped, together with their families, to become a part of societal life.â€. We are part of an immigrant church in an immigrant nation.

As Catholics engaged in public service, you have a serious responsibility to consider the moral dimensions of policy decisions. Our immigration system is so deeply flawed, and in such urgent need of repair, that inaction is unacceptable. As Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, the chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Migration, said last month:

"Each day in our parishes, social service programs, hospitals, and schools we witness the human consequences of a broken immigration system. Families are separated, migrant workers are exploited, and our fellow human beings die in the desert. Without positive change to our immigration laws, we cannot help our brothers and sisters. Simply put, the status quo is morally unacceptable. This suffering must end."...

1. The DREAM Act is an openly anti-American bill that would deprive struggling American students of college; see the link.

2. The deceptive talking point that the system is broken is discussed on that page; see also this recent example of David Brooks trying the same talking point. In this case, it's not our laws that "[tear] parents from children". Those parents made the decision to put their children in harm's way and in some cases they've compounded that bad parenting decision by not taking their children with them when they're deported (e.g., Elvira Arellano).

3. Likewise, it's not our laws that "[trap] aspiring Americans in the shadows". Those in the shadows put themselves there. See living in the shadows for more on that deceptive talking point.

4. There isn't a huge difference between our laws as written now and many aspects of the amnesty bill. The amnesty bill would legalize millions of illegal aliens, but current law can do a limited version of that. Our current laws have guest workers programs; the amnesty bill would increase those but they'd still be "guest" worker programs not something completely different. Our current laws include immigration enforcement, and the amnesty bill increases that. So, given that there aren't fundamental conceptual differences between the current laws and the amnesty bill, it's a wonder how the ACCU refers to the current situation as "morally indefensible". Unless, of course, the ACCU has a different conception of the amnesty bill: one deprived of its enforcement provisions and one that would set the stage for a future amnesty. Given that they think deporting parents of U.S.-based children as "morally indefensible", does anyone think they'd actually support the "tough" enforcement provisions in the amnesty bill? For a tangible example, hundreds of thousands or even millions might not be eligible for the amnesty bill and - per the amnesty bill - would have to be deported. Does anyone in their right mind think that the ACCU would support that?....5. The part about "face intense political pressure from powerful interest groups" shows yet again just how deceptive the ACCU letter is. The only "powerful interest groups" that oppose amnesty are groups like the Numbers USA, FAIR, and CIS. On the other side of the ledger (literally), there are truly powerful groups supporting amnesty: the US Chamber of Commerce, food processors, growers, WalMart, the Koch family, Grover Norquist, big banks, GOP and Democratic Party organizations, and on and on. The ACCU has almost all the money and power on their side of things, yet they're trying to deceive people into thinking they're the underdogs.

6. For how the stock "no human being is illegal" talking point is deceptive, see immigration terminology.

7. Regarding the Pope's thoughts on immigration, see the link.

8. The ACCU will be helping crooked businesses exploit workers. The amnesty they support will set the stage for yet another round of illegal immigration, which will result in a new group of people being exploited by crooked growers, chicken processors, and so on. The only way to reduce such exploitation is to reduce immigration and not give crooked businesses the cheap labor they want. The ACCU won't do that (see #4 above), they're going in the opposite direction.

9. For why the "immigrant nation" part is wrong, see nation of immigrants.

10. The quote from Archbishop Jose Gomez is particularly sociopathic. The policies he supports would increase border deaths, not reduce them. See false compassion.

Want to do something about this? The full list of signatories is at [1]. What I need you to do is to look up their Twitter handles and leave them in comments on this post. They can then be contacted.

In addition, look up leading Catholics on Twitter and send them the link to this post or make the arguments above to them. Urge them to contact individual church leaders and work to convince them to oppose amnesty.


[1] accunet . org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3899