An Immigration Manifesto

An Immigration Manifesto April 11, 2014

…in which Artur Rosman and Sam Rocha make a number of common sense points about our demented immigration policy.

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  • Marthe Lépine

    Don’t you know that common sense is dead, and has been dead for a long time? I have only read a few of the comments to the linked article, and I am not impressed.

  • Mark R

    This whole situation started when the U.S. started to close off the border with Mexico. At one time Mexicans could travel freely, do seasonal work, go back to Mexico and infuse dollars into their economy. Everyone won. The unions back East started to crab about Mexicans taking away work from Americans (full disclosure– I belong to a union), crossing back and forth across the border became more restrictive yet no American wanted to move West to pick fruits and vegetables.
    Now most Mexicans feel compelled to stay here; they may not have a second chance to get back in. Many do have to resign themselves to being landscaping helots for high income suburbanites.
    Common sense died when it became vital to score political points at the expense of practicality (and practicality can have a moral bent). Left, Right, play this game…Catholic social types too, though they fail miserably.

    • Pete the Greek

      You bring up an interesting point.

      As I have mentioned before I work and deal in C and D class real estate. This means a lot of renters are Hispanic immigrants.

      From interacting with them, I can say that many, if not MOST of the ones I deal with don’t really want to ‘become an American’. They are here to make some decent money and send some home to help their extended families there. The whole bogeyman of Hispanic immigrants wanting to ‘take over’ the southern states and ‘make them Mexican’ that neocons often bring us is a fantasy.

  • Elmwood

    why do so many conservative catholics forget that we took the American SW from Mexico unjustly?

  • Sam Schmitt

    I’m getting really frustrated coming across articles railing against our current immigration laws – but then offer zero ideas on how to actually fix them.

    Do we let people cross our border at will? Get rid of visas and passports? Are national borders and sovereignty against the teaching of the Church or natural law? If not, how would a just immigration policy work? It’s pretty easy to decry the injustice of the present system, but please – can they give us a hint of what a better system might look like?

    • Elmwood

      you must be really frustrated with the church then because they rail against other complex problems like trickle down wealth capitalism, environmental destruction and modern warfare without offering any simple solutions.

      the church only offers moral guidance, not technical solutions. solutions are the job of the laity. complex problems probably need complex solutions, not simple solutions that foment hatred or fear.

      • Sam Schmitt

        I wasn’t complaining about “the Church,” but about commentary (from laymen) like the article linked to in the post. I’m not looking for “simple” solutions to a very complex problem. I also get it that the bishops aren’t in the business of offering technical legal solutions. And I couldn’t agree more that those kinds of solution must come from the laity who are skilled in those areas.

        So I am looking for some clarity on a few basic issues – is the right to immigrate absolute? Are all laws restricting immigration inherently unjust? Must a given country accept any and all people that want to cross its borders (barring violent criminals)? It seems that the answers to these questions from the article is “yes” – or is it? What about the people who go by the rules and red tape? Are they dupes who are cooperating with an unjust system when they really have a natural right to enter the country anyway?

        What exactly is unjust about US immigration law? Is it the results (families being broken up)? How it’s enforced (people being deported)? Its intentions (restricting people from entering the country with a legal framework)? All of the above? Is part of the law fine and other parts problematic? Which parts? Anyone?

      • John

        I remember being told years ago that the Church lacks authority on scientific matters, so any science-related Church “errors” of the past shouldn’t undermine its authority. Morality and Revelation were its supposed domain. Which is why I’m so confused… How can the Church feign ignorance on important moral questions like immigration? In the Catholic view, are moral laws based on reason or decree?

        As a highly vocational white male, I find the Church is both unclear and unhelpful on these topics. For as long as the Church remains ambiguous, I choose to remain outside it. I know how I feel about the issue. And how can I believe in its authority when it possesses no greater understanding than myself? Please enlighten me.

    • nopalio

      I am really frustrated coming across articles railing against:
      Liturgical abuse
      Common core
      Gin violence
      Air and water pollution
      War on drugs
      Global warming
      The Philadelphia Eagles releasing DeSaean Jackson,,,,,

      But then offer zero ideas on how to fix them

      • Sam Schmitt

        Thanks for the encouragement. So articles that rail against abortion or the war on drugs without any glimmer of hope or a solution are lame as well – got it.

        Thing is – I have some across many articles with ideas of how to curb abortion, or liturgical abuse, or at least a first step we could take in the right direction. I have yet to come across a single article – and believe me, I’ve looked around – giving any sort of idea of what a solution to the immigration mess might look like.