What I Saw in Roma, Texas

So a week or so ago, I was asked down to Roma, Texas by Fr. James Erving, OMI.  His parish was putting on a conference for the youth he serves there in Starr County (the poorest county in Texas).  Fr. Erving is a gung ho priest who loves his people fiercely.  His people are Latino Catholics who love Jesus and the Church deeply and who celebrate that love joyously.  Being around them was a tonic for the soul.

I got into Roma late Friday afternoon after a night of no sleep.  So I was pretty exhausted Friday night.  But I was able to get in a very fruitful confession and make a bit of headway in the whole “I am a sinful jerk” battle.  It made Saturday a much happier experience than it might have otherwise been since I found myself among people whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.  Sleep also helped.

Most of the day consisted of them evangelizing me, reminding me that the point of the faith is to rejoice in the love of God.  A couple of times, they graciously put up with me blathering stuff at them (I was there to talk about the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes).  But mostly they ministered to me just by being who they are.  I was a stranger among them and they treated me like a brother.  A lovely time.

Back at the parish, meanwhile, there were two terrified women staying in a building on the grounds.  They were Honduran and had managed to escape protection racket gangs back who took half their income and threatened to kill them and their kids if they did not pony up.  Using money (typically $6000 or so) they had scraped together with endless toil, they had hired “coyotes” to get them through Mexico to the border. (Such arrangements frequently feature a side order of rape.)  They had been dumped, with six other women, for a week without money, food, or water, in a motel in Mexico.  Thankfully, the motel owner understood their plight and blamed the coyote and not them.  He prevailed upon him to fetch them and get them to the border.

The parish (Our Lady of Refuge) is literally a stone’s throw from the Rio Grande.  The women (who did not know each other till they were tumbled together by their torturous journey) had managed to get as far as OLOR.  But the coyote who was supposed to meet them on this side of the border never showed.  He basically just took the money and ran.  Now the women were petrified they would be sent back and killed.  They had absolutely nothing, spoke no English, and had not one clue what to do next.

The next leg of their journey (to family in VA and Los Angeles) would have consisted of avoiding the Soviet checkpoints set up to protect our great nation from the threat of Honduran women who just want to save their children from poverty and murder while working to build a life for themselves and going to Mass.   This threat is much like the other 11 million people whose labor we already exploit and benefit from when we aren’t sending them to their doom.  To avoid those checkpoints basically involved crawling through thorns and cacti and getting sliced up for 14 miles of desert of so. (Fr. Erving wondered aloud how many bodies are out in that desert.) At present, however, they were stuck, trembling and terrified, with no options.  Fr. Erving could give them sanctuary, food and water, but that was about it.

Fr. Erving asked, before I left, that I tell their story because it’s a story that gets played out again and again at his parish and at countless other parishes.

When I got back, he sent me word that–somehow or other–somebody had managed to make arrangements to get them to their respective destinations.  So thanks be to God for that.  Presumably the next stage is to get the rest of their families safely away from the gangs.

“But that’s illegal!”

Yeah.  Don’t care.  All “illegal” means here is that some paperwork for Caesar’s bean counters hasn’t been filled out.  The higher law is that innocents not be killed.  “Inasmuch as you did it to the least  of these, you did it to me.”

Aside from Fr. Erving’s letter about the escape of the Honduran women to safety, I also got a letter from the Heritage Foundation when I got back.  Printed on the front was the question “Should we deny citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants born on our soil?”  Just to instruct me on the Correct Conservative Position on this, the Heritage Foundation helpfully printed a big arrow pointing to the word “YES”.

I threw it into the garbage after tearing it in half.  Screw you, Heritage Foundation.  Welcome to America, ladies.  May you and your children find safe harbor here in the bosom of Our Lady of Refuge.

  • CrustyNatsFan

    Thanks for sharing that story. Powerful and scary stuff. I can’t help to wonder if there are ways we can help others like these women find shelter and refuge here. Something I’ll have to look into today.

  • Dan C

    No Mas Muertos is an aid group that formed to assist those in the desert. It provides aid to those refugees crossing the border. They were opposed, with threats of violence, by armed Americans who called themselves Minutemen. Minutemen groups do not exist anymore, dying out. As expected, Amercians divided into these groups according to their liberal/conservative divide. One group was armed with guns, to use against the refugees and the liberals, and the other was loaded with water and first aid kits.

    • guest

      I love it when a pertson is called some form of a label when the viewpoint doesnt agree with the commentator, whoever you are. Yes , I’m conservative, I want to be fiscally responsible, spend carefully, and live according to the Churchc teachings. I am a liberal because i have sympathy for, and support helping a person have a better life. The reality is, i cannot help everyone, If you really think it is as simple as mass bigotry against a poor population, you are missing the point entirely. If youi think it is an issue of total immigration evil where all who come here have an evil adjenda,, you are missing the point entirely. The sad truth is, many people that come here , are here to game the system, to promote cartel activity, to take what is not theirs. Many come here to raise families, to create a better life, to escape levels of evil inflicted on them that we havent had here, yet.
      It kinda makes me laugh that the immigration issue only came to the forefront of the national consciousness fairly recently, when immigrants began showing up in numbers in states that typically had no real contact whth them, border states have been screaming for help for decades, and are overwhelmed with the results of uncontrolled migration into them. Immigration laws are needed, and they need to be reformed to ensure that we are able to separate the sheep from the goats, so to speak…
      I was born outside the US, and i lived in a border state most my life.. and i assure you, the poor latin americans are the least of our problems, we have many countries “gaming the system” without hanging around to contribute. such as Chinese women coming here on ” vacation” while eight months pregnant and having their babies in midwife motels then going back to China. Now their children can come here and get the free education they want at taxpayers expense when they are older. Our university system is currently overwhelmed with foriegn students that spend 7 or 8 years “getting an advanced degree” , while qualified native born students get rejected for admittance. . I could speak to many more instances that , for example, my wife ran across while working in a program that was designed to help children with special needs. My opinion is that it isnt having laws, or lack of laws, it is the wrong types of laws that is the issue.

      • guest

        sorry, this was meant to be a general comment, not directed to dan

  • Beadgirl

    I’m so glad these women, at least, made it to safety!

  • Elias Crim

    Wow, one of your best. It’s great you’re taking up this topic–preach it, brother.

  • Julie

    Thank you for the reminder about what some people have to go through. It is easy for us spoiled people in the U.S. to say close the borders! And think these immigrants are just wanting that free welfare and health care. Our church needs to be more involved in this, doesn’t it. Glad to see that the church has been able to provide refuge. How horrible some people have it.

  • Mary B

    Thank you for sharing this. I will be praying for these strong courageous women, their families, and all others facing similar horrific circumstances. I am so proud that our Church put politics last and the welfare of human beings first.

  • Robert Zeh

    This story doesn’t make sense to me. If you are fleeing from Honduras to avoid evil people there, why go all the way to California? Why not migrate to either of the countries you have to go through on the way?

    • chezami

      Because she had family in California.

      • Robert Zeh

        Thanks, I missed that.

    • Deacon Steve

      And Mexico is crueler to immigrants working their way north. Mexico’s southern border is a dangerous place for people to cross without permission. They do what they accuse the US of doing to Mexican citizens who are crossing the US-Mexico border.

  • kcarrabamaboseil

    Thank you, Mark. Your love for people is a breath of fresh air in a world that appears to be dominated by power hungry zealots who wish to rule over the world. I love where you absolutely NAIL the truth of this issue:

    “But that’s illegal!”

    Yeah. Don’t care. All “illegal” means here is that some paperwork for Caesar’s bean counters hasn’t been filled out. The higher law is that innocents not be killed. “Inasmuch as you did it to the least of these, you did it to me.”

    I also appreciate your honest regarding your struggle to be a little less sinful. My sins involve wanting to take the coyotes who prey upon these people and toss them into a patch of closely weaved Sugaro cacti and then walk away. I become daily more infuriated with the rank evil of some people in this world and find myself wishing evil upon them in return. Of course, our Lord said to pray for them, which is a lot harder than the self-satisfying desire that they be eaten by Gila Monsters.

    Great story and great comments, Mark.

    Ed

  • Ian Rutherford

    You should talk to my aunt and uncle who live several miles from the Nogales border south of Tucson. They have illegals coming through their property regularly demanding food, threatening them, leaving behind trash and last year lighting a wildfire that burned thousands of acres within a couple of miles of their home.

    My aunt was also t-boned in Nogales on the American side of the border by a police car chasing an illegal in another vehicle. She spent hours in a hallway of the Nogales hospital with fractured ribs and a broken leg before being taken to Tucson because the Nogales hospital is overloaded with illegals who flood the emergency room to get free care.

    It isn’t all weepy stories about these poor faithful Catholics.

    That said, the government and businesses here have been complicit in the situation we have so throwing everyone out is not a realistic or just solution.

  • maddermusic

    Good piece, and I sympathize. But I don’t see how any nation can tolerate millions of desperate people flooding across its borders without any kind of controls. I have nothing against the people who do this. In their shoes I’d do exactly the same. And the idea that we should deport those who are already here is too stupid for words. But I do not believe we are under a moral obligation to let just anybody into the US. At some point, we must take serious measures to bring the problem under control.

    • Robert Zeh

      In other words, the carrying capacity of the United States (or any other country) is finite, so how are you going to allocate a finite resource against almost infinite need?

      • chezami

        I’ll start by listening to the Church and not neo-Malthusian crap. This is the sort of agitprop one hears from Planned Parenthood, only directed against poor brown people instead of babies.

        • Robert Zeh

          I have listened to the Church, by reading Populorum Progressio. It says “There is no denying that the accelerated rate of population growth brings many added difficulties to the problems of development where the size of the population grows more rapidly than the quantity of available resources to such a degree that things seem to have reached an impasse.”
          I’d add, on my own, that available resources are *always* finite, or are you arguing for infinite resources?

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Resources are finite because people are greedy instead of being generous. Resources as taken planet wide are finite, but plentiful.

            The question is more how we live than how much we actually have.

            We can live like they do in the Arab Emirate and we’d need 5 planets to create enough resources for the entire population of 7 billion. We can live like we do in America and we’d need 4.1 planets. We can live like they do in Bangladesh and have enough world resources left over for another 9 billion people.

            It’s all about greed vs generosity.

            http://persquaremile.com/2012/08/08/if-the-worlds-population-lived-like/

  • Mr. Graves

    Dear Mr. Shea:

    RE: “What I Saw in Roma, Texas”

    Your posts are always lively and entertaining, especially Reasons to Homeschool and “If Only XYZ Could Marry.” I cannot write off your views on illegal aliens by thinking you are simplistic or merely a left-wing blowhard; you are clearly concerned with Catholic moral AND social teaching. There are several questions that recur for me when I read your immigration posts, and I wonder if you would take the time to answer them.

    As the spouse of a legal immigrant, I (and my household) am opposed to amnesty or any preferential treatment for illegal aliens that would encourage any other person, U.S. national or otherwise, to break valid laws and/or harm American citizens or legal immigrants by their actions.

    Exceptions to immigration laws have (as far as I am aware) been made for persons trafficked into the U.S. against their will, particularly because Americans (either agribusinesses or “Johns”) have benefitted from this involuntary servitude, and personal restitution must be made for personal injury. Your observations, assuming the persons involved were candid and honest, seem to indicate these people worthy of consideration for individual sanctuary.

    I did not see a specific number of persons listed in your post, only “two women” and their children. Let’s add more to that number and say there were 30 persons. Assuming another 50,000 persons have been kidnapped and trafficked unwillingly into the U.S., that leaves only 11,949,970 illegal aliens to account for their continuing unlawful presence in another sovereign nation. You could knock a cool million off that number for victims of all types; with all due respect, that means approximately 10,949,970 opportunistic scofflaws.

    “Crazy right-wing, myopic, knee-jerk Protestant!” you’re probably thinking about now. But nothing could be further from the truth. My family and I are bona fide Catholics of the convert type (Does this harm our credibility? We came into the Catholic Church after much prayer and thought.). We are conservative with regard to many issues, “liberal” as to a few others, and we try to be thoughtful and orthodox in our views. (God alone knows how well we succeed.)

    Your immigration stance, as I understand it, is to do away with (any?) immigration restrictions, which you often call “a mere failure to file paperwork.” From your posts it seems safe to say you are not a shy man, so you will no doubt correct me if I have mischaracterized or over-simplified your views. Such was not my intention.

    And at long last, here are the question promised so many paragraphs ago:

    1. Assuming no foreseeable change in U.S. immigration laws, does your only-a-lack-of-paperwork belief extend beyond illegal entry into the U.S. to the ongoing and underlying crimes required to stay and work here (identity theft and various kinds of document fraud being chief among them)? If so, this seems less nuanced than usual for someone who obviously considers things more deeply.

    2. Is your view influenced by the majority of illegal aliens arriving from historically Catholic countries? There is much I could write about this, but I will limit my observations to two.

    First, as much as I hate people lumping my family and I in with “pro-choice Catholic” leaders like Kathleen Sebelius and Nancy Pelosi, we are also confused when people assume that we approve of trespassing, theft, and fraud because the persons committed them are putatively Catholic. Pelosi et al. and the streams of opportunistic immigrants have in common one thing many Catholics — my family and I among them — cannot countenance: willful, unrepentant violation of the moral law.

    Second, if the bishops’ (and perhaps your own?) support for illegal entry into the U.S. is somehow a hopeful gesture that the rolls of the Church will swell, I can answer no better than the author of this piece:

    “For their outreach to immigrants who have entered the U.S. illegally, the bishops will get the same sort of thanks the Church has been receiving from Catholics in those Central and South America nations that are the wellspring of immigration: Gracias y adiós.”
    http://www.thecatholicthing.org/columns/2013/why-the-bishops-are-wrong-on-immigration.html

    3. Does the lack-of-papework view extend beyond the borders of the U.S.? (For instance, if my next-door neighbor were to gate crash Sweden, would this another instance of bean-counting on the part of the Swedes?)

    4. Does the lack-of-paperwork apply to anyone besides Central Americans? Would a rush of Finnish Lutherans change the paperwork analysis?

    You will, I hope, forgive the somewhat rambling nature of this letter. I feel strongly about this issue, as do so many, but I have tried to present my (and my family’s) position reasonably without being too hot-headed. I appreciate your consideration.

    Regards,

    M. R. Graves

    • Jesse

      Mr. Graves,

      Immigration law does not rise to the level of “moral law” in the same sense that homicide is consistent with the moral law “thou shall no kill”. I think you are imputing a “moral” sense to laws passed by a government. However, natural law and the moral law by definition suggests that human beings and families PRECEDE governments in terms of their historic development and moral obligations (one human being has more value than any great government because the human being has an eternal soul that was destined to be with God in eternity). Therefore, if the govnemrnet’s laws are not consistent with the natural law, then one can reasonably, if not be morally obligated, to obey the natural or moral law even if it is in opposition to the government’s posited laws.

      You seem to have placed your conservative principles above the principles of Christ and his Church – in effect, you have made an idol of your political conservative preferences. Apparently, you are willing to place politics above Truth, and I can only conclude that you impute this politicization of your morals onto the Bishops by cynically suggesting that the Bishops’ position on this is political in nature (wanting more catholics) rather than taking their word that they are living their calling to be shepherd’s to their flock and lead them in the Truth. If the Bishops wanted fill the pews for a while, all they would have to do is reverse their position on abortion, contraception, same sex marriage, women priests, etc. – on all these issues, they have chosen Truth over political expedience – but according to you, they are taking up the immigration issue to do this. Your cynical mind betrays you.

      • Mr. Graves

        Dear Jesse:

        Your post brought a smile to my face. It reminds me of a letter I once filed for a senior attorney back in the days when I was part of the dreaded private sector. Having put forth a straightforward legal question to a new associate, he received a three-page reply. He responded with this: “Your detailed analysis does not appear to answer the one question I actually asked.”

        My interest is piqued though: Must an act rise to the level of homicide to be immoral? Fraud is ok? Fornication? Theft? Goodness, all the licit fun I’ve missed out on these past few decades.

        I jest, sir, but I happily await a more temperate, cool-headed, and on-point analysis from the gentleman to whom my query was addressed.

        Regards,

  • Dennis Neylon

    They are entering the country illegally, because the United States, like every other country in the world, we have rules for entering the country. The reasons for entering illegally, though tragic, do not make it okay, no more than saying it is okay to steal groceries for a starving family, but not okay to steal Rolex watches. Once in, to participate in society, they generally engage in misrepresentation (acting like they are here legally when they are not), which is also known as fraud, and may use the identity of legal residents as cover, known as identity theft. I do not disagree that our immigration laws are stupid, lacking in contact with reality and like many of our laws, way too complicated and way too arbitrarily administered. Deporting all those already settled here is impossible, impractical, and for those with families, immoral. These are not the wandering nomad tribes of bible times. They are citizens of nations who would rather be citizens of other nations. Being good citizens requires following the rules and upholding the law.

    • Jacob Suggs

      There are such things as intrinsic evils, the committing of which for any reason is completely bad. Killing an innocent. Torture. Fornication.

      But I have yet to see a list of intrinsic evils that included “violating immigration laws.”

      The situation is far from ideal – countries need immigration laws for protection, and it is difficult to make (and enforce) those laws so that they allow in the truly needy while keeping out the gang violence and the like. But I think we can forgive a couple of ladies for not waiting patiently for us to strike the perfect balance in these circumstances.

      And yes, I do think it’s unfair to those waiting to enter legally. But I don’t have a better idea, given the situation we’re in. I mean, ideally we’d have an efficient system for helping these people. But we don’t. In their place, can you think of anything legitimately better to do?

    • chezami

      The reasons for entering illegally, though tragic, do not make it okay, no more than saying it is okay to steal groceries for a starving family, but not okay to steal Rolex watches.

      St. John Chrysostom vigorously recalls this: “Not to enable the poor to share in our goods is to steal from them and deprive them of life. The goods we possess are not ours, but theirs.”

      • enness

        I’m okay with sharing, but should I expect to have my house ransacked tonight if it is deemed not enough?

  • pjm

    Breaking into the USA illegally is not simply a matter of not having the proper documentation. That’s a lie the progressive left and the social justice crowd loves to perpetuate. You’ll notice how they never refer to them as illegal aliens, but the “undocumented”. The truth is that its a federal crime:

    Under Title 8 Section 1325 of the U.S. Code, “Improper Entry by Alien,” any citizen of any country other than the United States who:

    Enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers; or
    Eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers; or
    Attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact;
    has committed a federal crime.

    Violations are punishable by criminal fines and imprisonment for up to six months. Repeat offenses can bring up to two years in prison. Additional civil fines may be imposed at the discretion of immigration judges, but civil fines do not negate the criminal sanctions or nature of the offense.

    • chezami

      Breaking the Fugitive Slave Act was a Federal crime too. Don’t care. I’m glad the women made it in. It is one of the many stupidities of the Thing that Used to be Conservatism that it a) staunchly allies with the people who exploit such people economically while b) urgently embracing every cockamamie and immoral policy to harass, terrify, and abuse these helpless people and their kids, while living in the fantasy that we can and should deport all 11 million of them. Paperwork is not more important than people. This is where the whole “prolife” thing really coughs up a hairball of hypocrisy. Most people on the right are not prolife. They are anti-abortion in all cases that do not interfere with Republican chances of election.

      • Mark Duch

        Exactly.

  • AJS

    Thank you for this. I used to work in a border state as an immigration attorney. I am no bleeding heart liberal and am an orthodox, practicing Catholic. That said, there is so much misinformation about this topic and such a lack of Christian charity from conservatives, generally. Including pjm’s misguided legal discourse below, which only applies to fraud cases. Your simple case of entering without inspection (crossing the border illegally) is generally a *civil* offense. Not criminal. Heck, to qualify for asylum, it basically requires a person to be “out of status” (or “illegal” or have “expired documentation”). I certainly think that a state is entitled to rules and procedures for admitting potential citizens, and I am no friend of those who abuse the system, but our current immigration law (the INA) is very broken, even for those who try to play by the rules. Praying for your Honduran friends and their journey through USCIS (and hopefully not EOIR).

  • Padrecito

    Thanks for sharing that Mark. The combination of “blame the illegals” and “follow the government’s paper rules” is so far from reality and Catholic teaching that I have little sympathy for it on the blogs. The IRS came to my parish for years offering seminars for illegals to get Tax ID numbers (thus working legally and paying SS taxes they would never be able to benefit from), the local mills actively recruited workers in Mexico and gave them jobs when they came, the banks were happy to loan to them for homes and cars, the local governments knew that their tax base (companies) depended on illegal labor and looked the other way to the undocumented farm and mill workers (and the ways in which they were abused). If not for these immigrants (the majority undocumented), all the mills would have moved to the Philippines 15 years ago.

    How the “Correct Conservative Position” (TM) fell into blaming the illegals for the sins of the companies and the local, state and Fed governments just shows the shallowness and capriciousness of their position. I’m all for enforcing and protecting the borders – it saves women like the Hondurans you write about and people in my parish from losing family members (we have too many “desaparecidos” from our parish) – but this ex post facto enforcement and punishment of human laws, *paperwork laws* that were ignored for decades lacks any association with the Gospel.

    And yes, the Gospel can be compatible with a political solution: secure the borders, work permits for those established here, better processing of seasonal workers, not breaking up families, back of the line for citizenship, learning the language and civics, etc. Many of these immigrants are not even clamoring for citizenship (as some politicians are) – they’d be happy to be able to work, live and provide for their families, and their children are and will be the citizens that contribute to this great country. All 1500 kids in our CCD program (98% Hispanic) are bilingual – they’ll do great if given a chance.

    (As an aside, I am dismayed at those would happily give up their fourth amendment rights to protect us from desperate Honduran mothers).

    • AnneG

      I’m a conservative and I agree with you but for one item. I’ve seen guest-worker programs and am against them except for short term. Everyone here for a while should be working towards citizenship. Formerly, these issues were handled de facto by border stares, as you describe. Now they are federal. We really need to get State Dept out of the visa business. They are part of the problem.
      Another issue nobody mentions is the fecklessness of the Mexican bishops. Instead of heroically taking on their own corrupt government, they treat the US like a piñata, you whack it and good stuff comes out. Solves their problem, sort of, not ours.

      • http://www.sjccdalton.com/ Padrecito

        I understand your position and mostly agree. For guest-worker, I’m primarily calling for those who have been here years and decades to be regularized, not necessarily new guest workers (except for seasonal and short-term).

        As for the Mexican bishops, living there gave me a different perspective. The government formed after the Mexican Revolution, the PRI, ruled for decades and is still around. IOW, the same people that martyred many priests and persecuted the Church instituted many anti-clerical laws, many of which are still on the books. E.g. Pope John Paul was fined for wearing clerics in public during his first visit. But it’s worse, because in years past, the government used denunciations of priests and regulations to keep the Church in line. The bishops I knew were very protective of their clergy for these reasons.

        That’s the environment in which the current bishops were formed. The shrines to the martyrs are still fresh, less than 100 years old. We named our mission for one of them: St. Toribio Romo, d. 1928.

        • AnneG

          I was also referring to long-time residents. I know many who have built businesses and lives in the US and have US citizen children, spouses and even siblings.
          We lived in Mexico many years as well and am aware of the anti-clericalism. That started to change with De La Madrid Huerta and especially Salinas de Gortari. I knew Mexico was changing when Salinas was on US TV speaking English. Now, there are public processions and they no longer fine priests for wearing clerics in public and practice of religion. The Church still cannot own property and the PRI is back in power, but things have changed. It is time for the bishops to start speaking out. Expecting emigration and remesas to solve their problems is wrong. The Central American bishops are even worse in some ways. That is the environment most of the new immigrants have grown up in, which is why I do not romanticize their heroic struggle to go to El Norte for a better life. I do not think they are the saviors of the Church. El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras get more of their GNP from remesas than from coffee or bananas. That is an internal problem that the Church in those areas could lead in, good internal government and economic development. They could be a little heroic as their predecessors have sometimes been.

  • http://www.sjccdalton.com/ Padrecito

    This is my proper ID (for some reason couldn’t log on).

  • Debbie

    Thank you mark for writing this. I couldn’t agree more.

  • Dan C

    The US has major role and culpability for the political state and economic mess of many of the countries from which these folks are running.

    Our wealth and national security has been predicated for 60+ years now on control and management of Latin America.

    • AnneG

      No, the US is NOT responsible for the state of Mexican and Central American countries’ economies. I have spent many years in those countries and can tell you that they have screwed up their economies with a basic corruption from the very bottom, most basic level of society to the top. One example, in Mexico for decades the only brand of refrigerator and most other appliances you could buy was a “crummy Philips” because Philips was in tight with the Mexican govt. NAFTA changed all that. Quality improved with imports from US. The easiest way of doing business is favors in a high context culture. Each country is different and has different problems and their problems are not our fault. Right now, because of the way Mexico operated since the Revolution, they are on the verge of being a failed narco-state. The Church has done very little to confront that. That is a choice they made because of their basic corruption and we are not to blame nor can we solve it.

      • Dan C

        Nonsense. Your memory loses all the Cold War influence and military and government support. With coups, and military intervention, and transnational corporations we began with.

        These countries were our client states for over 40 years. We supported governmental oppression and torture, trained militaries, and directed intelligence in internal suppression.

        The Cold War inflienced both the governmental, popualtion, and economic structure.

        • AnneG

          Dan, Mexico is not a client state of the US. The US did not want and helped prevent communist takeovers except in Nicaragua, thanks, Jimmy Carter, and Cuba. The people did not want communist governments either. These countries have made their own decisions and are very, very corrupt. That is part of their own culture and legacy, not our influence. I can go country by country, regime by regime but this isn’t the forum for that. It’s not the US fault, nor multinational corporations. Did you know that Mexico nationalized their oil industry and has never allowed any outside investment? Just one example.

  • Elaine S.

    Surely there is a middle ground between throwing open the borders to anyone with no questions asked, and treating all illegals/undocumented as “criminals” deserving of punishment? Our current regime of having strict immigration laws on paper but not enforcing them, or enforcing them only when we feel like it, does no one — including desperately poor people like these women — any favors. If we had a more secure border AND a simpler immigration procedure that was consistently enforced, maybe it would help put people like the “coyotes” out of business, the same way that getting rid of Prohibition put bootleggers out of business. Prospective immigrants would no longer need the dubious “services” of these vile human traffickers if it were easier to legally immigrate, I would think.

  • Erin Pascal

    It breaks my heart to know that there are women living in a state like this. If I had a lot of money I would help if I could. It is difficult for anyone to know exactly what these women and their families are feeling unless we are in the same situation as they are. There are people suffering out there, seeking for help, seeking for refuge. May God find the right way for these women and may he soften the hearts of those people who are more than capable of helping them but are choosing not to.

  • vks

    None of the respondents mentioned, that USA should shift some business to Central America, or provide some other trading system whereby illegals don’t want to leave their own countries.
    However easy for me to say. I live in New Zealand

  • Mike the Geek

    If they are refugees who needed to escape Honduras, why did they come all the way through Mexico to get to the USA? Why wouldn’t they just stay in Mexico, where the language is pretty much the same and the culture is very similar? Save the #6k and use it to get started?
    If I had ti run for it, and could get to Canada, why would I go to Russia?
    Just askin’.

    • chezami

      Turns out they are remarkably like human beings and have family here. Who can fathom the mind of the mysterious brown skinned foreigner and her need for love and security in the midst of desperation? Weird.

    • jlb

      Immigrants from Central America are often treated even more harshly in Mexico than they are in the U.S. Mexico is hardly safe for Mexicans, let alone foreigners. Gangs are cruel and torture and rape immigants that pass through their territories. As a missionary in Honduras after I graduated from college, I heard horror stories of friends who attempted the journey through Mexico to the U.S. and landed in Mexican prisons only to suffer atrociites at the hands of the police. I would highly recommend a book called “Enrique’s Journey” written by a journalist who retracked the path of a young Honduran man who made several attempts to get to the U.S. to be reunited with his mother who had left when he was a small child in order to be able to provide for his schooling and care.

      • Mike the Geek

        Missing the point. $6k in most of Central and South America is, in general, a fair amount of money. It won’t get you a beachfront condo in a resort city (where wealthy foreigners spend their money), but it is enough for a to set up in new digs and get started. If you are actually a refugee, there are better ways to improve your situation.

  • Enders_Shadow

    Illegal immigration is not a victimless crime:

    There’s the poor of the receiving country whose wages are competed down by the increased supply of labour
    There’s the company owner whose business is destroyed by competitors paying sub-minimum wage rates to their illegal workers
    There’s the victims of illegals who turn criminal because they have no other means to support them
    There’s the children of illegals who came in with their parents who get expelled back to a country they don’t know when they get spotted as illegals, or else who live all their life in the shadows
    There’s the victims of crimes perpetrated against illegals whilst trying to get to the enticing border.
    And there’s the sending community who lose some of those who are its most dynamic, leaving a community less able to move forward

    Of course this sort of case is a problem. Hard cases make bad law. Law is about providing ‘justice’ to all those involved in a situation. The present situation is a disaster, but the only logical alternative is giving free entry to everyone who wants to come to the West, which would surely be in the hundreds of millions, thereby destroying our society. Once you reject that option, illegals are acting immorally by breaking a law designed to prevent that tidal wave of arrivals.

    This is a hard case. Ideally the women should stay. But to argue from it that all illegals should be treated as victims, not criminals, is unjust to the victims of illegal immigration. They’re invisible – that doesn’t mean they’re not real.

    • Mr. Graves

      Well said! No straw men, no ad hominem attacks. Refreshing. Thank you, sir or madam.

      • Enders_Shadow

        Thank you for that response.
        My nick comes from Orson Scott Card’s novel ‘Ender’s Shadow’, which is a parallel novel – telling the same story from a different perspective – as Ender’s Game, which is due in cinemas in November or so, having been first published some 25 years ago

    • http://www.sjccdalton.com/ Padrecito

      It’s hard to blame the individual immigrant for what globalization and NAFTA have wrought. As I said, the mills in my town would have moved to the Philippines decades ago were it not for the immigrant labor force that helped the industry to grow. They did not displace poor workers here, because demographically (like most of the US), they have contracepted themselves out of the workforce (IOW, there was no local population growth to fill the growing needs in the mills), not to mention the problems of meth use and generational poverty enabled by a broken welfare system. This is not a “hard case”, and you can’t look at it as a problem of an individual immigrant breaking the law, it is a demographic problem enabled by inept government policies and cultural problems.

      • A Name

        Is your response to the victimization caused by illegal aliens that they are not individually responsible for their actions but are somehow the zombie slaves of national economic policy? Seriously?

        • http://www.sjccdalton.com/ Padrecito

          No, that is not my response. Thanks for asking. ;-)

          • A Name

            You’re welcome. :-). If I throw a whipped cream pie at my representative for voting for Obamacare, you’ll understand? After all, you can’t hold me responsible for what the politicians “made” me do. No individual moral responsibility here!

  • Eve Fisher

    Great post, Mark. I grew up in Southern California, and there are a couple of aspects to this. First off, it used to be quite normal to go where the work is – even if everybody does hate you. Read “Grapes of Wrath” and remember the Dust Bowl, the Okies, and the hatred/insults/dehumanization they generated – and they were “100% Americans”! Secondly, anybody will go where they think they can have a better life for their family, and God bless them on their journeys. This country is a nation of immigrants – mostly illegal, undocumented, because back in the 1800′s and early 1900′s, when the Italians, the Irish, the Eastern Europeans, the Russians, etc. came, documentation wasn’t required. Go way back, and let’s face facts: the Puritans had no documents; the Pilgrims weren’t “legal” immigrants.

  • Lauri Friesen

    Mr. Shea never fails to disappoint. I really have to stop being taken in by the first paragraph, where he presents himself as a loving Christian because he invariably ends with the demonization of any who disagree with him. The issue of “human trafficking” and the corresponding illegal entry by migrants into the US and other developed nations is extremely complex and not simply resolved by ignoring it. I would bet that the Heritage Foundation document that Mr. Shea so promptly, and rudely, disposed of offered some well-developed and substantiated arguments. I hope this is the last time I’ll post a comment in response to something Mr. Shea has written, because I hope this is the last time I allow myself to get suckered by him.

  • Sally

    Hey I know, kill me, take my home, take my life saving and give it to all those poor people. They deserve it more then I. I am just another racist Neanderthal knuckle dragging idiot. Why is it that the country the illegals come from have such problems that the Priest and community there can’t fix the problems in their own country? Why is it my fault that I am losing my ability to care? The United States is broke right now, my kids can’t get a job, I haven’t had the money to go on a vacation in years and I live in a neighborhood that is full of special snowflakes like you. My life means nothing to you and if I were dead, all my stuff and money wouldn’t help. The problem is not the Heritage Foundation, it is the Country where the corruption comes from. How about your anger go to the coyotes or the drug cartel, or maybe you could pay a visit to the family who’s son, daughter, father, mother was killed by an illegal. Where are the Priest speaking out for their suffering, oh that’s right their life means nothing to you.

    • chezami

      Yes. I’m urging you be killed by those sinister Honduran women. Because I believe in killing totally-sober-and-not-hysterical-or-anything Americans.

      • Sally

        Gee wiz, Thanks guys. Your just great! Come on down and I’ll just let you in. No problems and I’ll even give you a special snowflake job so you won’t feel bad about it at all. Come and join the Party of Death and you will fit in just fine.

        • chezami

          Sobriety, thy name is Sally. Funnily enough, you sound just like Margaret Sanger fretting about the swarming and spawning untermenschen.

    • david

      “They deserve it more then I.”
      They deserve it more THAN I.

  • annmarie

    True asylum seekers are one thing. Illegal economic aliens another. Mr. Shea needs to make the distinction.

  • ann

    Mark, welcome to the Valley.
    last responder, Mr. Shea has made the distinction amply clear.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    The biggest part of the whole illegal immigrant mess, is that women like these are unable to get a visa for the United States *merely for requesting it on the internet*. Get them here, get them safe, THEN investigate their situation. Give them food, clothing, and shelter until such a time that you can determine whether to let them in permanently or not.

  • defiant12314

    Mike I’m sorry that I have to disagree with you, I was due to start studying for the Priesthood for an American Diocese next month, however some months ago the Vocation director had to tell me that they were showing me the door not because they thought I was unsuitable but because the paperwork requirement was simply to exhaustive with no garuntee of success and that they were unwilling to invest the time and effort it would require.

    Now I sympathize with the plight of these women believe me, but I am more than a little narked that the proposed amnesty bill will effectively reward these women and others like her for breaking the law whilst I have to look elsewhere (not to mention lose a year’s study) to pursue my vocation simply because I had the decency to seek the legal path of entry.

    I would also add that a nation has a right to secure it’s sovereign borders, those women BROKE the LAW, Like St Thomas More I would give the Devil the Benefit of the Law for my own sake, these women do NOT have the right to enter the United States, and yes they should be deported back to Honduras should they be caught perhaps if the Honduran government wasn’t as corrupt as it is then it’s economy would be better, the crime rate would be lower and these women would be seeking a new life in the US.

    Bravo Heritage Foundation, they are sticking up for the right of the United States to secure it’s sovereign boarders.

    • enness

      I suppose one could then argue: if that was your experience with the law, are you surprised they decided to bypass it?

    • Jacob Suggs

      The U.S. certainly has the right to secure its borders. And it is certainly true that if some of those countries weren’t run so terribly that people wouldn’t be seeking entry.

      But those countries are run terribly, and the citizens of the U.S. (or anywhere else) also have a duty to help those that we can, and that duty does not stop at our borders. Insofar as it is possible to help such people without causing undo harm to our own country (which we also have a duty to protect), we are bound to do so.

      And the process we have set up to do so is just terrible. You can tell because people like the women in this story have to go through so much to enter. They should be allowed to enter. And this should be decided in a timely manner.

      So if they get caught, then what should happen is that a court review their reasons for coming, realize that they had just cause to flee their own country, grant them asylum and, at most, some community service hours for walking around the big stupid time barrier that’s only in their way because we can’t streamline the immigration process.

      As for the fact that paperwork issues kept you out, and are keeping other well meaning people out – what this demonstrates is that we need to fix that area, not that those who ignore it because they’re afraid that they’ll be murdered if they don’t should be deported.

      I do agree that people who come across illegally for financial gain without fear for their safety should probably be sent back until they can try to come in legally (although I think even this should be done carefully – families should not be destroyed, etc). But that’s not the situation here.

      This is not the case of a poor person who is making it violating the law to make things a little easier. That should be discouraged, though the law should also be streamlined so as many of the poor are helped as reasonably can be.

      But this is the case of two people who are afraid their family’s extortioners will murder them if they don’t get away. And that is altogether different.

    • mike

      Of course the “War on Drugs” keeps the racketeers in business. Prohibition, however well-intentioned, was repealed because it enabled guys like Al Capone. He said putting all these mom and pop sellers of alcohol (i.e., his competitors) out of business with the threat of prison, was the best thing that ever happened to his business. The same thing is happening today. And does the War on Drugs keep drugs out of the hands of kids? Not one tiny bit. Any kid can get any drug. Yet we spend billions a year on law enforcement and incarcerating people for drugs. And people are suffering south of the border where governments are too weak to fight the organized crime that our ridiculous policy enables. And then we complain that we have a refugee problem. It’s our own friggin fault.

      • defiant12314

        sorry mike, the opening was meant to be addressed to mr shea

    • http://www.sjccdalton.com/ Padrecito

      “Those women BROKE the LAW…”

      If you knew what this meant, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned these innocent women. (Cf. Mt. 12:2-7)

    • spudnik

      “proposed amnesty bill will effectively reward these women and others like her for breaking the law”

      Should they have “had the decency” to await death through murder or starvation during the several-years-long wait to gain entry legally? Laws should have a basis in morality, but in every case they reflect some value system or other. “Rules is rules” is a poor excuse to let people suffer and die when we can help. Laws that lack a basis in morality are really just “might makes right.”

      • defiant12314

        Spudnik

        Hard cases make bad law, yes these women were living under terrible circumstances but the facts are the facts and they broke the law, CAN we do anything to help, YES, the US Congress can pressure the Honduran government to clean up its act, offer to train their police services effectively and give them some tips on how to manage a private sector economy (the Honduran government runs a fair chunk of the economy and lets face it, governments tend to make a pigs ear of that).

        Now in a less corrupt and safer state, along with an environment that is business friendly foreign companies will hopefully see that Honduras is an excellent place to do business, will hire people and their standard of living will increase, hence they don’t want to risk their lives moving illegally to the US, hence your ‘illegal immigration problem is largely solved.

  • enness

    “Printed on the front was the question “Should we deny citizenship to the
    children of illegal immigrants born on our soil?” Just to instruct me
    on the Correct Conservative Position on this, the Heritage Foundation
    helpfully printed a big arrow pointing to the word “YES”.”

    Mark, I assure you I’m not checking press releases to see what my opinion should be. If it’s blatantly unconstitutional (and it is), I’m going to raise hell. But general apathy transcends both parties, so it’s not uncommon to feel like I’m screaming into the vacuum of space.

  • chris

    TO DEFIANT 12314: with your way of thinking,no wonder our LORD does not want you as one of HIS representative.

    • defiant12314

      Wow, Christ, has God come down and told you that he doesn’t want me to be a Priest? that’s quite a claim, just what is it about my of thinking that he disagrees with?

      • http://www.sjccdalton.com/ Padrecito

        It also takes a vocation director, a seminary rector, and a bishop to confirm your calling. What is wrong with your thinking? It’s fine if you’re applying to be a Tea Party Republican Priest, but we need priests who think with the mind of the Church. Here’s a course to get you started: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/immigration/index.cfm

        • defiant12314

          As I said before the Bishop and the VD were quite keen to have me, its just that the paperwork was so extensive, time consuming expensive and unlikely to succeed.

          What may I ask is WRONG with the Tea Party? they seem (on the whole) to agree with the Church on many issues including the Right to Life, Traditional Marriage, role of the government etc etc

          I also suggested how Americans can help people in their own countries so that they don’t feel the need to try and enter the US illegally,

          BTW the USSCB’s views of immigration are not binding, this is an area on which Catholics can disagree.

          • http://www.sjccdalton.com/ Padrecito

            Well, there’s your problem. You equate Church teaching with just another political party: “not binding”. Don’t reduce your religion to politics and don’t elevate your politics to religion (as C.S. Lewis argues in Screwtape). It seems your reasons for disagreeing with the USCCB and the Vatican are because they don’t agree with your politics and your understanding of the Constitution.

            Have you read the Bishops and the Popes on Immigration? Just start with the Catechism:

            2241: “The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin…”

            Which, interestingly, is immediately followed by a reminder of the duty to obey God rather than men:

            2242: “The citizen is obliged in conscience not to follow the directives of civil authorities when they are contrary to the demands of the moral order, to the fundamental rights of persons or the teachings of the Gospel. ”

            As Pope John Paul said, “The Church considers the problem of illegal migrants from the standpoint of Christ…”

            You’re welcome to your political views, just don’t equate them with the Gospel.

            • pjm

              Interesting how you left out this little nugget:

              Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.

              • http://www.sjccdalton.com/ Padrecito

                Interesting how you apparently haven’t read the entirety of Church teaching on the subject, which includes that “nugget” and many others. Again, reference the link to the USCCB above.

                • pjm

                  Please show me where Church teaching contradicts that illegal aliens are to obey the laws of their host country? You’re confusing the ramblings of the social justice arm of the USSCB (a group that believes there is nothing wrong with the CCHD) with actual Church teaching.

                  • http://www.sjccdalton.com/ Padrecito

                    Please show me where mere human, civil law is the only criteria for the Church’s response to pastoral problems in the world?

                    • pjm

                      No its not the only criteria, but that doesn’t negate that the alien must still obey immigration law.

                    • http://www.sjccdalton.com/ Padrecito

                      Nope, it doesn’t, which is why mercy and justice must be balanced: Aquinas, “Justice without mercy is cruelty, Mercy without justice is the mother of dissolution.” The Bishops recognize this and affirm the right and need to protect our borders, while at the same time calling for mercy for those already here. “Deport them all!” is the height of cruelty, whereas “Let everyone in!” is the height of dissolution. GW Bush was the first to propose what I outlined below (work cards, back of the line, etc.), but his rational voice has been lost in a sea of extremism on both sides.

                    • defiant12314

                      People broke the law, why on earth should they be treated equally with those who emigrate legally to the US?

                    • http://www.sjccdalton.com/ Padrecito

                      GWB’s plan did not treat them equally. “You pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier things of the law: judgment and mercy and fidelity.” (Mt. 23)

                    • defiant12314

                      answer the question please

                    • A Name

                      Defiant: Your vocation = between you and God. In this, as in the immigration debate, please don’t feed the trolls. No one is better for it. God bless.

            • defiant12314

              on the contarary I believe Church teaching to be binding, however the Church does not have an official teaching on immigration therefore Catholics may prudentially disagree on the issue.

              I can’t type a full response as I need to get to work but the bit about obeying God is actually about life /family issues as well as not abandoning the faith for pollitical / economic gain even in times of persecution. The key point in 2241 is ‘to the extent that they are able’ this is not a cart Blanche for unlimited immigration, the state has a right to regulate immigration and as PJM pointed out make it subject to certain conditions as well as the fact that immigrants have responsibilities.

              • http://www.sjccdalton.com/ Padrecito

                Whatever happened to obsequium religiosum?* I imagine you appeal to that in matters favorable to your opinion.
                Just another example of how people reduce their religion to politics and dismiss Church teaching as “not binding” in order to pursue their own agendas, despite the Bishops and the Pope clearly teaching something different. Conservatives rightly criticize Cafeteria Catholics but fail to take the plank out of their own eye.

                If you do choose to respond, please do so with Church teaching in its entirety and not political talking points.

                *(LG 25) In matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious assent. This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. His mind and will in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking.

                • defiant12314

                  ok………………….. let me start by stating my argument in a deductive form

                  Premise 1) As you rightly point out there are matters that require religious assent i.e. dogmas of the Church

                  Premise 2) Catholics must only offer religious assent when the Pope or Bishops in union with the Pope are talking on matters of Faith and Morals

                  Premise 3)The Bishops Conferences possess no teaching authority apart from that which they are given by the Pope.

                  Premise 4) as a Private Theologian the Pope can teach error

                  Premise 5) There are issues where Catholics do not have to give religious assent and may prudentially disagree with the Pope and/or the Bishops

                  Premise 6) unlike say abortion, cloning, IVF or the Immaculate Conception the Church has not issued a doctrinal statement on immigration

                  Conclusion: It is an area on which Catholics can prudentially disagree.

                  Now if you want to dispute my conclusion then you have to show that either the premises of my argument are invalid OR that the conclusion does not logically follow.

                  • http://www.sjccdalton.com/ Padrecito

                    The Bishop and the Pope’s response to immigration is a pastoral response, informed by its teaching. As an aspiring priest and therefore “pastor”, what is your pastoral response to the broken immigration system in this country? Blame the illegals for violating a civil law and therefore deporting all 11 million of them? Dump the Honduran women on the other side of the border and wash your hands of them? Break up families whose children know no other home but the US? Send mothers of five to crowded detention centers for months years without panties (this happens in my state)? As someone with more authority than your and I or even the Pope once said, “go and learn the meaning of the words: it is mercy I desire, not sacrifice”.

                    • defiant12314

                      Which premise do you dispute? forget the emotion and answer the question.

                      As for a solution I believe that the Red Card system proposed by several right wing organizations is a sensible solution (Google red card solution) as a Win-win for everyone.

                      Also please look at previous posts where I propose how to tackle the root cause i.e. problems in Honduras (and central America in general)

                    • http://www.sjccdalton.com/ Padrecito

                      I dispute your underlying logic:
                      1) The Pope and the Bishops can err;
                      2) they disagree with me;
                      3) therefore, I have the right to presume they have erred.
                      Since the Pope and the Bishops are the proper authorities here, the burden of proof is on you to show how they have erred in their application of Catholic teaching to this problem. I have seen no such demonstration of their alleged errors, nor any appeal to Catholic teaching. Just an appeal to human law.

                    • defiant12314

                      1) i only said that the Pope can err when he speaks as a private theologian & Yes Bishops can hold to heretical opinions (think of the bishops who apostaized during the protestent revolution.

                      2) you had have not demonstrated that the church has dogmatically ruled on immigration

                      3) I merely state that because of 2 Catholics can prudentially disagree on immigration

                    • pjm

                      It’s a criminal offense to enter the USA illegally:
                      http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1325

                    • http://www.sjccdalton.com/ Padrecito

                      You completely misread it. It is a criminal offense to commit a crime (evasion, willful false, misleading or concealment of material facts) while entering the United States. Anything else is a civil offense (e.g. Visa overstay). Simply being present in the US without documentation is not a crime (misdemeanor or felony) and is treated and pursued as a civil violation.
                      http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/crs/rl32270.pdf
                      The effort by some to criminalize mere presence in the US without documentation is something the Catholic Church opposes. And a good citizen under the Constitution ought to oppose it as well, because such enforcement almost always entails a violation or abandonment of the Fourth Amendment.

      • http://www.sjccdalton.com/ Padrecito

        And here are some words of Pope Francis at Lampedusa to add to your meditation:

        “Where is your brother?” His blood cries out to me, says the Lord. This is not a question directed to others; it is a question directed to me, to you, to each of us. These brothers and sisters of ours were trying to escape difficult situations to find some serenity and peace; they were looking for a better place for themselves and their families, but instead they found death. How often do such people fail to find understanding, fail to find acceptance, fail to find solidarity. And their cry rises up to God! Once again I thank you, the people of Lampedusa, for your solidarity. I recently listened to one of these brothers of ours. Before arriving here, he and the others were at the mercy of traffickers, people who exploit the poverty of others, people who live off the misery of others. How much these people have suffered! Some of them never made it here.

        “Where is your brother?” Who is responsible for this blood? In Spanish literature we have a comedy of Lope de Vega which tells how the people of the town of Fuente Ovejuna kill their governor because he is a tyrant. They do it in such a way that no one knows who the actual killer is. So when the royal judge asks: “Who killed the governor?”, they all reply: “Fuente Ovejuna, sir”. Everybody and nobody! Today too, the question has to be asked: Who is responsible for the blood of these brothers and sisters of ours? Nobody! That is our answer: It isn’t me; I don’t have anything to do with it; it must be someone else, but certainly not me. Yet God is asking each of us: “Where is the blood of your brother which cries out to me?” Today no one in our world feels responsible; we have lost a sense of responsibility for our brothers and sisters. We have fallen into the hypocrisy of the priest and the levite whom Jesus described in the parable of the Good Samaritan: we see our brother half dead on the side of the road, and perhaps we say to ourselves: “poor soul…!”, and then go on our way. It’s not our responsibility, and with that we feel reassured, assuaged. The culture of comfort, which makes us think only of ourselves, makes us insensitive to the cries of other people, makes us live in soap bubbles which, however lovely, are insubstantial; they offer a fleeting and empty illusion which results in indifference to others; indeed, it even leads to the globalization of indifference. In this globalized world, we have fallen into globalized indifference. We have become used to the suffering of others: it doesn’t affect me; it doesn’t concern me; it’s none of my business!

  • spudnik

    Keeping illegals illegal means that they don’t have to be paid minimum wage for their toil, which means among other things cheaper groceries for all. That’s good economic conservatism: the law of the jungle. It’s just not very Christian.

  • weore

    I don’t care that much either. The burden the illegals place on us is pretty small relative to the government. We should have paid for the women to fly in. We should just import the entire third world. That would solve everyone’s problems. Pretty much the only people who believe in America anymore are the third-worlders who lack the ability to make their own countries prosperous and successful, for whom America is magic. We should get them all voting, too. They’ll definitely support the best policies, having received their formation in poverty-stricken hell-holes. America’s fucked anyway. The ship is going down, and a few more souls on board won’t make much difference.

  • Marc Shay

    Hey I’m all for cheap workers as long as they don’t come to Seattle!

  • tnlawgirl

    yes, by all means, let’s encourage this trafficking and sympathize with the lawbreakers, because the consequences mean NOTHING for Americans. Oh ooops, yea they do…. http://fishgame.com/news/?p=21160#.Uh-6YqutTQo.facebook

  • gregcamacho8

    Mark Shea: Helping women who undergo torture to help their families is very good, something Jesus would like, even if it’s illegal, as in this case.

    Combox: WHY DON’T YOU LOVE ME?


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X