Obama turns to Catholic Church for help handling immigrant kids

Obama turns to Catholic Church for help handling immigrant kids July 11, 2014

A Catholic who is sane looks at this and is glad that the Administration is doing the smart thing and calling in the largest charitable organization on planet earth to do one of the things it does best: offer works of mercy to desperate people.  A Catholic driven mad by ideology forgets that the focus is on the desperate children and launches into foolish conspiracy theories, or terrors that “this might make Obama look good” or fantasies that the desperate children are part of a plot by George Soros to make conservatives look heartless, or suspicions that the Church agencies involved are complicit in a scheme to “liberalize” the Church or various other crazy blather that take our eyes off the fact that those children are Jesus Christ in desperate need of help.

Eyes on the prize.  This is a chance for us as Catholics to bring glory to God by being there for the least of these.  That’s all that matters.

And who knows, maybe even somebody as anti-Catholic as Obama will get a clue when the Church does the stuff it does so well.  But regardless of that, we must help these kids because they are Jesus and it is right.

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  • Dave G.

    Is there a link? My old phone isn’t showing one.

  • Cypressclimber

    There’s a third answer:

    I’m glad the kids are helped, and he’s being sensible. But I’m still irked.

  • Hematite

    Do the Lord’s will and love your neighbor, then let Him take care of the details.

  • LFM

    I used to associate the caricature of certain conservative views as a habit of ‘progressives’ but I begin to suspect it is common among some Christians too, where their views do not coincide with those of other conservatives.

    But here is what the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (that bastion of conservative views!) has to say about immigration, both the authorized and the unauthorized kind; the passage can be found by googling ‘USCCB’ and searching its website:

    Second Principle: A country has the right to regulate its borders and to control immigration.

    The overriding principle of all Catholic social teaching is that individuals must make economic, political, and social decisions not out of shortsighted self-interest, but with regard for the common good. That means that a moral person cannot consider only what is good for his or her own self and family, but must act with the good of all people as his or her guiding principle.

    While individuals have the right to move in search of a safe and humane life, no country is bound to accept all those who wish to resettle there. By this principle the Church recognizes that most immigration is ultimately not something to celebrate. Ordinarily, people do not leave the security of their own land and culture just to seek adventure in a new place or merely to enhance their standard of living. Instead, they migrate because they are desperate and the opportunity for a safe and secure life does not exist in their own land. Immigrants and refugees endure many hardships and often long for the homes they left behind. As Americans we should cherish and celebrate the contributions of immigrants and their cultures; however, we should work to make it unnecessary for people to leave their own land.

    Because there seems to be no end to poverty, war, and misery in the world, developed nations will continue to experience pressure from many peoples who desire to resettle in their lands. Catholic social teaching is realistic: While people have the right to move, no country has the duty to receive so many immigrants that its social and economic life are jeopardized.

    For this reason, Catholics should not view the work of the federal government and its immigration control as negative or evil. Those who work to enforce our nation’s immigration laws often do so out of a sense of loyalty to the common good and compassion for poor people seeking a better life. In an ideal world, there would be no need for immigration control. The Church recognizes that this ideal world has not yet been achieved.

  • obpoet

    It will be a short game of chess if you only focus on the pawns.

  • JmcBoots

    First: It is good that they called in the pro’s to help. The church is much better suited to help than the government is. The truly desperate do need our help. However, there are also many opportunists among the desperate. Hopefully, the Government will be there to collect these terrorists, drug runners and gangsters instead of leaving the good souls who help to fend for themselves. Who knows, maybe even a few of them may have a change of heart. That would be fantastic! However I fear far more of these good people will get hurt instead.

    Second. You are a fool if you think these acts of mercy will do anything to change the mind of Obama and progressives in regards to Catholics. We are the enemy in every way to them. Everything we stand for is counter to their beliefs. We are just a convenient means to help with a problem they cant handle.

    • Dave G.

      So far, the articles I’ve read say that officials within the government agencies contacted the Churches in question. That’s different than saying “Obama” did it. Especially since Obama’s main managerial strategy is to insist he didn’t know what was happening until he read about it. It’s quite possible that this was in full swing before he got on board – assuming by this point he’s on board. So there’s really not much to focus on regarding Obama’s role one way or another, other than help the kids.

    • Marthe Lépine

      And never underestimate the works of the Holy Spirit. Obama and “progressives” may have open the door a little in order to get help on something they may find difficult on their own. But an opening as wide as a little crack might let in the Holy Spirit…

  • I’m just waiting for the late night comics reaction to this. Will their hate for the Catholic Church win out over their sycophancy for Obama? It must be a real dilemma for them.

    I’ve done a little immigrant integration work back in the day. It’s not easy even when everybody’s legal and has their paperwork handy. Vaccinations, education, english lessons, ‘how America works’ lessons all need to be worked in. It’s harder with these unaccompanied minors because none of their paperwork is likely to be available in most cases.

    One thing that does worry me is TB which is something of a complicated issue.


    Another thing is whistleblower nurses who are saying that the government is lying about disease load at the camps.


  • CSmith

    I agree. It’s very simple. We need to focus on the needs of the children. All the arguments and reservations are as dust.

  • PalaceGuard

    Do the right thing.

  • Squiboda

    One of the things Obama ran on in 2008 was the claim that he was going to have the most transparent presidency in the history of ever. It would help me a whole lot if he transparently explained what his master plan is.

    • chezami

      The assumption that there is a Master Plan is a favorite in the paranoid fever swamps of the right. I think he has no clue what to do here.

    • Danny Getchell

      It sure is the most transparent presidency ever. I see right through him every single time.

  • jaimjackson

    Here’s what I sent to Bishop Gerald Barnes (bishopsoffiice@sbdiocese.org)

    As a person who has been active in Catholic homeless shelter work and ministries to Hispanic Catholics for over 40 years, I offer this message to you, Bishop Barnes,
    and to others who are dealing with the suffering and politically exploited immigrant and trafficked youth in your Diocese:

    I understand that the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy are not optional. Amar es entregarse. The love of Christ impels us to help the needy.

    However, Mercy does not impel us to become accessories in crimes, nor to be exploited by the coercive power of a lawless State.

    The resettlement of tens or hundreds of thousands of Central American
    people here is a crime. Both they (unwillingly, in the case of children) and the present Administration (willingly) are breaking the reasonable laws of the United States regarding just, lawful, well-ordered and humane immigration.

    This is being done in a manner totally opposed to the Common Good. And the present Administration is using this for partisan political purposes which are at odds with the Rule of Law in our country, and hugely destructive both to our citizens’ well-being, and to the safety of our newest arrivals. It amounts enabling to one of
    the biggest, most immoral human trafficking schemes in the history of the Hemisphere.

    I am totally convinced that we must fed the hungry, clothe the naked, and shelter the homeless. I will cooperate with merciful acts with all my heart.

    But mercy is not enough. As Dorothy Day and Cesar Chavez said, we must also work for justice.

    It is the perverse incentivization of mass, chaotic, lawless trespass which puts these bewildered and suffering young people in danger. It vastly enriches the human trafficking neworks, provides cover for the unbelievably brutal narcotraficantes, and plants the seeds of inter-ethnic conflicts which will not be eradicated for generations. It is rapidly turning Black against Latino and La Raza against the rest.

    I urge you to tell the government authorities that you, and the faithful Catholics in your diocese, will house and help these unfortunate Central American young people, only pending the urgent reunification of their families VIA THEIR REPATRIATION TO THEIR COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN.

    In Christ our Justice,


    • jroberts548

      Which law is Obama breaking? Is it 8 U.S.C. § 1232, requiring case-by-case determinations of the removal status of unaccompanied minors from contiguous countries? Is it 8 U.S.C. § 1158, giving unaccompanied immigrant children the right to apply for asylum?

      If you’re talking about the “rule of law,” you should be able to say under which laws these children should be deported.

      • jaimjackson

        I challenge the legality of DACA. I also challenge selective non-enforcement of laws essential to the safety and well-being of immigrants and citizens alike..

        The 2008 Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Act requires border officials to send child
        migrants to the Department of Health and Human Services for processing.
        These migrants are also allowed to seek an asylum hearing before an
        immigration judge. This is “right and just” — but there’s a horrendous backlog and it takes time. Until then, most of the migrants are
        simply released in the United States, and 99% don’t show up for hearings.

        This is horrible for the families, horrible for the immigrant/trafficked youth, and in practice an invitation to tens or hundreds of thousands from El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala to do the same. Until it is reformed through the democratic
        process, the president is obligated to enforce the laws we have. His non-enforcement of some laws, his imposition of other laws as go-it-alone Executive Orders, and his exploitation of Dreamers as “Champions of Change,” (like, this is the change you were promising?) disastrously undermines the trust in the Rule of Law necessary to enact real immigration reform .

        There’s plenty of blame to go around — Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, immigrants and citizens. But I feel sorry for the vulnerable young people of Central America, who are being used as battering rams to further break down a system which is already practically rubble.

        • jroberts548

          Is the administration somehow not complying with the Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Act? If it’s a bad law, and the administration is complying, is that a rule of law problem, or a bad congress problem?

          • jaimjackson

            Perhaps I’m becoming thud-headed (that is always a possibility) but I believe I did not say the Wilberforce Act is a bad law. Quite the contrary, I said it’s a good law. That’s why I wrote “This is ‘right and just’.” Sorry if I didn’t make that clear.

            • jroberts548

              Is Obama not complying with it?

              I’m trying really hard to see the rule of law problem with what the administration is doing (except maybe with DACA, which only applies to immigrants who were here in 2007).

              • jaimjackson

                The DACA youth (and others) are being released with the knowledge that 99% will never show up for hearings. They don’t even have to prove they are eligible for DACA. They don’t have to prove their age. They don’t have to prove when they entered this country. They could be 22-year-olds from Yemen who arrived 2 days ago, and be DACA’d out with no enforcement.

                That’s why it’s foolish to say “it only applies to immigrants who were here in 2007.” If they don’t have to prove they are eligible, and they are released knowing they’ll not show up for a hearing, DACA — or, not DACA but catch-and-release— is in effect being applied to everyone by the tens of thousands.

                Are these not perverse incentives? Is this not lawless behavior?

                The vulnerable young are being exploited, and suffering. One third of the population of El Salvador is already in the United States. Families are being torn to shreds. You know what? I hate that.

              • jaimjackson

                I want to reiterate that one third of El Salvador’s population — 2.9 million inhabitants — has emigrated, primarily to the United States..

                One third of El Salvador is here in the states. It would be fair to say that most of the “emigrants” are young, strong, and of reproductive and working age. Does a country even exist once a country loses its youth? Does one country have the right to covet a third of another country’s population, that country’s lifeforce, for their own labor force?

                I’m not talking about Obama and lawlessness now — I’m talking about trafficking workers for American profit. I want to ask that question of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

  • Dmikem

    Mark, do you support open borders? I understand that the word children which causes people like Nancy Pelosi to emote about being a lioness defending ‘children’. This isn’t about the children as much as it is about politics. The liberals are using this crisis to paint anyone in opposition as skinflint evil tyrants who hate children. Obama, in my humble opinion, engineered this crisis when he declared that no one would be deported. He’s been in office for over 5 years has done zero to secure the borders.
    In addition I object to the press not abandoning the label ‘illegal immigrant’ in favor of undocumented illegals. I also object to the suggestion that these people are refugees. They may be but not out of threat to their lives but because they live in crap countries and are taking advantage of Obama’s ‘no deportation’ invitation. Unless this is fixed it will be an ongoing problem….and indefinite problem which is totally avoidable.
    Finally, enlisting the Catholic Church as a partner to basically ‘hide’ these illegals boggles the mind. The last time I check it was still against the law to enter the United States illegally. So now the CC has been enlisted to break the law in response to an manufactured crisis. WOW!

    • chezami

      I support helping desperate unaccompanied children. You, like so many hard-hearted ideologically driven conservatives, support paranoid conspiracy theories as an excuse for turning your back on desperate human need. Score another reason why I would not touch the Party of Personal Responsibility with a barge pole these days.

      • LFM

        Mark, I think you should be more cautious in responding to a reasonably-worded comment that does *not* recommend vigilante action against children or anything else of the kind. You refuse to acknowledge that there are ANY legitimate concerns on the side of those who ask that US borders should be secured and US immigration law enforced and instead impugn the motives of those who offer such arguments. You do not even seem to grasp that by encouraging more such immigrants, you and those who share your views may actually be putting people at risk as they make the long trek from Honduras or Guatemala to the US border, which is by far the most dangerous part of their trip, considerably worse than anything that might await them at the border.

        In case you’re tempted, you cannot accuse me of being ‘ideologically driven’, as I am sure you remember that I am considered rather too ‘liberal’ by some of your readers: I support ‘socialized’ health insurance (in my own country), and as a non-citizen have no party affiliations in the US.

        This nonsense about ‘conspiracy paranoia’ flies in the face of the facts of immigration policies as they have been used/abused by many governments in recent years. If you don’t believe it has happened in the US, consider this article about the same issue in the UK: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/7198329/Labours-secret-plan-to-lure-migrants.html

        Sigh. I have occasionally been exasperated with the intemperance of your expression of your views in the past but have fundamentally agreed with you. Now I cannot.

      • Dmikem

        This isn’t about the children! It’s all about the rule of law and control of our borders. Instead, as usual, Obama throws money at the problem without a clue on how to stop it and vilifies anyone with the sand to stand up to him. So Obama wants 3.7 billion to manage the problem which calculates to ~$65,000 per child(?), perfect! Oh did you see Jesse Jackson’s news conference yesterday? He wants 2 billion to fix Chicago!

        Somehow I’m sure all of this is some how Bush’s fault. The truth is Obama couldn’t put together a Two piece puzzle. Personally responsibility….libs run from that label in favor of the nanny state.

        • jroberts548

          If you’re such a big fan of the rule of law, you should be an equally big fan of hiring immigration judges and asylum case workers so that we can process asylum claims as quickly and efficiently as we can.

          And it is, in fact, at least partially Bush’s “fault.” We loosened our asylum laws in 2008, when Bush was President. The William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2008 was signed into law on December 23, 2008, when Bush was president. It passed 405-2 in the House, with John Boehner’s vote. It passed the senate by unanimous consent.

          Under this law, unaccompanied minor immigrants get an asylum determination on a case-by-case basis. The rule of law means that we can’t deport these kids without determining that we can legally deport them.

          I’m pretty sure “rule of law” is a euphemism. You irrelevantly bringing in Jesse Jackson supports my theory.

          • LFM

            The fact that ‘rule of law’ might be a euphemism or that this particular commentator might have mixed motives is itself irrelevant to the question of whether the ‘rule of law’ is being defied at present: at the border it is.

            Both Bush and Obama courted the Latino vote in your country. That is not a ‘paranoid conspiracy theory’ – that is what politicians do, in case no one has noticed.

            Not only that, they both had their big business fund-raisers to consider – all of whom, in both parties, wanted access to cheaper immigrant labour – once again, in case anyone hasn’t noticed.

            In fact, it’s curious how those persons and entities who would ordinarily be most suspect (politicians, corporations) all favor more-or-less unfettered immigration, and yet suddenly any suspicion of their motives is said to be paranoid conspiracy-mongering.

            • jroberts548

              Which law is being broken?

              The law requires that unaccompanied migrant immigrants get a hearing. We need more housing, case-workers, and judges to do that. I don’t see a rule of law problem in asking for the resources necessary to comply with the law.

              Would the rule of law be better served by deporting en masse children who are legally entitled to a case-by-case determination? That’s not the rule of law. That’s vigilantism under color of law.

              • LFM

                The law that does not permit illegal immigrants to enter the United States. Your constant emphasis on unaccompanied children confuses me: all the photos I’ve seen so far do not show busloads of unaccompanied children. Instead, they show waiting areas full of what look like groups of children and young adults in their mid to late 20s – i.e. families.

                Nowhere have I suggested that I would favor deporting children en masse, not even if it were my country and my decision to make. My principal suggestion has been that border areas in the US have been overwhelmed by incomers in recent years – and still more in recent months – and are understandably feeling the strain, and that it might be more charitable to try to understand their point of view and not snobbishly mock them as ‘rednecks.’ What if they are simply poor, or struggling? Californian cities and towns, in particular, have faced a real crisis and many bankruptcies in the last few years, thanks in part to inflated public service salaries and pensions, but also thanks to the influx of newcomers.

                • jroberts548

                  I’m sorry. Disqus must have accidentally sent my comment to a different article. I thought this was an article about the government asking for Churches to help with housing detained children, and sometimes their mothers. Which article are you commenting on?

                  For immigrants who don’t qualify for asylum, the Obama administration has deported more immigrants than any other administration. So I have no idea what makes you or anyone think there’s a rule of law issue here. These people are being held till the government determines whether or not they’re legal. That’s what the rule of law requires. People who are upset about all the immigrants, especially children, being detained, or about the administration asking Congress for money to process immigrants, are not possibly upset about a lack of the rule of law.

                  • LFM

                    I’m conducting an ongoing online conversation through several posts at Mark’s site about the impact of illegal immigration in the US, about how the issue has been manipulated by your nation’s political parties, and about the reasons why some Americans may be suspicious of the motives of both the government and perhaps even some Church men – legitimate reasons and not ones that ought to get them mocked or excoriated as rednecks, as anti-Christians, as ungenerous, etc. My comment was thus relevant in that it addressed Mark’s grossly exaggerated venomous tone. If you are hoping to win supporters by this means, good luck.

                    As for your comments on the law, I thought that it was only children/minors who were entitled to the protection of hearings to determine whether they were endangered. Adults without papers are illegal immigrants by definition, are they not?

                    • jroberts548

                      They can still apply for asylum, but they don’t have the same procedural protections, and they have to meet a stricter standard.

                      The administration has deported more immigrants than any other administration, is detaining masses of people pending immigration status hearings. and is asking for money necessary to process these hearings in a timely manner. Yet people like dmikem are accusing Obama of violating the rule of law because he hasn’t yet deported these thousands of detained immigrants, some (perhaps most) of whom are legal asylees. These people are some combination of ungenerous, unchristian, anarchist, uninformed as to immigration law, and/or racist.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      You keep saying that Obama has deported more immigrants than any other and you’ve already been given the reply this is only true because much larger numbers are entering the country under Barack Obama’s administration.

                      Besides, you’re not even right. Obama is on track to have more ‘official’ deportations than Bush, but this is primarily due to a change in DHS procedure which means that of the people being deported a higher proportion are processed and deported as opposed to simply being ‘informally returned’. In fact far fewer are actually being turned away at the border than under Bush. The path to legal immigration is completely backlogged. All of this points to a need to discourage more illegal immigration into the U.S. because there is no way for the American government to handle the problem responsibly.


                    • jroberts548

                      The other person said Obama was turning more people away at the border, which is somehow not a true deportation. I ignored that person, because he’s a moron. I also don’t see why there being more immigrants somehow invalidates Obama’s removal of immigrants.

                      Yes, the Obama administration is doing fewer simple returns, and is actually processing more people. For something as serious as deportation, where there’s a nontrivial risk of error and informal returns produce less valuable numbers, I can’t imagine why we would ever use informal returns instead of something with some level of due process.

                      The broader point is that you can’t move from more removals than any other president to “he’s not enforcing our laws.” He’s clearly enforcing our laws. Even as the US population grows, the illegal immigrant population has remained steady under Obama, and lower than it’s Bush-era peak. On the presidents-curve, by which it’s probably reasonable to judge a president, he’s certainly not doing a worse job of enforcing our laws than, e.g., Bush or Ronald “Amnesty” Reagan.

                      If the argument is that he should be doing more about illegal aliens that are already here, without getting those near the border (which includes the overwhelming majority of our country, since the border extends 100 miles both from the border and the coast), that’s fine. You can make that substantive argument. You just can’t make the argument that immigration shows Obama’s disrespect for the rule of law.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      There are greater numbers appearing at the border and far fewer being turned back under Obama’s leadership. We are at the point of crisis on more than one front which is why Obama is once again looking for a bailout and an excuse to grant amnesty. The accusation is that Obama has once again manufactured a crisis (or alternatively has caused a crisis due to his negligence and naive policy decisions). You falsely claim this is untrue because he’s ‘deported’ more illegal immigrants than any other president.

                      And by the way policy of reducing the proportion of informal returns was a DHS initiative and occurred during Bush’s presidency. Are you also a fan of Bush’s highly successful troop surge initiative in Iraq that Obama tries to take credit for?

                    • jroberts548

                      The troop surge in Iraq wasn’t successful. Or at least, our occupation as a whole wasn’t successful; even if one phase “successfully” accomplished its goals, the invasion and occupation as a whole was an aimless, purposeless mess from day one. Even if you successfully complete a 5 yard pass on third and ten, it wasn’t a successful play because it didn’t accomplish any objectives worth accomplishing.

                      The DHS answers to the president. The president is response for DHS policy. Any discretionary act a cabinet agency is ultimately attributable to the president. So yes, the start of the change of DHS policy on removals replacing returns is attributable to Bush. The removals under Obama are attributable to Obama. Just because something started under Bush doesn’t mean it’s not attributable to Obama, especially if it’s something that’s discretionary.

                      How did Obama manufacture a crisis? Our illegal immigrant population is lower than under Bush, and Obama has prosecuted more removals than Bush. He’s ramped up enforcement, without also ramping up the number of immigration judges and case workers, which is how we end up with hundreds of thousands of detained children awaiting the hearings they’re entitled to under a Bush-era law. Obama’s manufactured crises before, or otherwise used them to force his agenda wrongly – Libya and the PPACA for instance, respectively – but when he’s been at least as tough on illegal immigration as any other president, and the “crisis” we have now is that we have too many immigrants in detention centers to process and deport in a timely manner, I don’t see how you can say that Obama has done anything to manufacture a crisis. If anything, I would say that whoever has been lying to Hondurans that Obama is soft on immigration has manufactured the crisis.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      And millions fewer have been sent back after arriving illegally then when Bush was president. You can twist the numbers saying he’s ‘processed’ more or ‘formally’ returned more, but the main reason that there are so many illegals to be processed is he has been turning them away at a slower rate. And he is passing legislation to grant amnesty to illegal aliens. That would tend to encourage the illegal route to immigration rather than the legal route. Crisis successfully manufactured (or falls into lap because he’s clueless). It’s the question that we always come back to under Obama’s leadership: is he clueless about everything he’s trying to do, or is he doing these things on purpose?

                    • jroberts548

                      And the solution to the crisis is to hire more immigration judges and asylum caseworkers to deal with the child immigrants. This is exactly what Obama has asked congress to do. What would you have him do instead? Disregard the law and send kids back without the hearing to which they’re entitled?

                      If I were a nefarious alinskyite manufacturing a crisis to destroy the republic, I’d try to make one that wasn’t solvable by hiring more judges and deporting kids.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      3.7 billion for immigration judges and asylum caseworkers? Don’t think so. He could take action to secure the border which is what everybody else has been pleading with him to do. Hence the manufactured crisis.

                    • Willard

                      I’m curious. Why do you think immigration activists and others on the left have resorted to calling the President “deporter in chief”?

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      Tough question really. Activists and others on the left maybe don’t tend to represent an accurate or balanced view of politics. Obama turning illegals away at half the rate that Bush did maybe remains an unexpected injustice for activists.

                      Anti-war activists and others on the left still think that George Bush and general Petraus were lying when suggesting they were doing battle with Al Qaeda and other insurgents in Iraq. They’re incapable of believing their own lying eyes maybe.

                    • Willard

                      Is the president really turning away illegals at half the rate Bush did? Do you have a link where I could verify that? That would pretty much destroy the “deporter in chief” meme.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      This is the link that has some figures on deportations + returns comparing Bush to Obama: http://www.newrepublic.com/article/117412/deportations-under-obama-vs-bush-who-deported-more-immigrants

                      I didn’t have a number for 2013 but read that in 2013 deportations actually dropped below the 2008 level (while previously they had been steadily increasing for past 10 years). http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/Apr/03/obama-deportation-border-increase/

                      update: Read that deportations were at ~ 365K in 2013 which is down approximately 45K from 2012.

                    • Willard

                      Thanks. Based on that information, I think the immigrant activists are insane for pushing that deporter-in-chief meme. If they think Obama is bad, I would have to think any possible GOP president would be much worse for them.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      Yeah I guess that’s true. It isn’t as though the President is supposed to be deciding how many immigrants will be turned away or have any say in the rules that determine whether someone is deported. It doesn’t come down to their individual discretion. Where a President has a practical impact is in the extent to which immigration and overall national security is enforced. He has an impact in terms of resources devoted fulfill the mandate set out by legislation. The President also has a less tangible role by setting the tone.
                      I think that many illegals and probably many activists gathered that Obama was offering a promise of asylum and a path to citizenship even for those who arrive illegally. This seems to be the rumour expressed from these central American immigrants and seems to explain the deporter-in-chief meme when this impression is compared with reality.
                      Maybe immigrant activists would be more angry with a GOP president but only if we believe their tone and their personal dedication to enforcement of immigration policy would deter more arrivals and would result in speedier deportations/returns.

                    • jroberts548

                      I don’t get why people are criticizing Obama for deporting people near the border. A huge majority of Americans live near the what the border patrol defines as the “border,” which is anything 100 miles away from the border or the shore. Portland, Oregon? Border. Boston? Border. The entire state of Florida? Border. Every city in California? Border. The whole of New England? Border. The biggest non-border cities are Dallas and Atlanta. Two thirds of the country lives on the “border.” The fact that less than two thirds of deportations are at the border show a disproportionate allocation of resources away from the border.

              • Jeff

                Since laws don’t matter to you, Mr. Hat, these conundrums you postulate and which are clearly a game to you and not an issue of human lives, all can be solved. If the law requires a hearing, hello!!!! CHANGE THAN LAW. We have been zigzagging on immigration laws for decades. They should suit OUR country, not theoretical philosophers like yourself.

                • jroberts548

                  Wait, so on the one hand, I’m saying we should follow our law by giving them hearings. On the other hand, the laws don’t matter to me?

          • Dmikem

            You might, just for once, try and get some facts. Here are a few you might want to include. First the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program is a Obama initiative. This initiative temporarily eliminates the possibility of deportation for many youths who would qualify for relief under the DREAM Act.
            DACA specifically states, “Requests for deferred action will only be considered for immigrants who are 15 or older, unless they are currently in removal proceedings or have a final order of removal or voluntary departure, in which case they may apply if they are under 15.” So most of these kids do not qualify!
            When did the surge of children begin? Following the passage of this initiative in 2012.
            Who passed it? Obama.
            What do the immigrants say? Interviews with immigrants indicate that came here because they thought that under Obama policies they could stay.
            When in the hell will you libs stop blaming Bush for everything; Obama’s been in office for 5.5 years. Besides I don’t give a crap what administration is in power. The answer is to seal the damn border and then disposition illegal (not undocumented) immigrants. Any other solution is like trying to bale the water out of the Titanic with a tea cup.
            So Obama wants 3.7 billion dollars to process all these kids and the door (border) into the country stands wide open. Just plain stupid.

            • jroberts548

              DACA only applies to minors who have lived in the US continuously since 2007. I don’t know what that has to do with recent arrivals.

          • Bill

            We would not have to process anything if the laws of the last 30 years has been upheld by the govt and if we had not allowed people access to the country to begin with. No other nation has a problem guarding its borders. Yet the USA cannot keep out “children”?!?

            • jroberts548

              1. Lots of countries have problems guarding their borders. For instance, Mexico has a huge flood of Honduran and Guatemalan immigrants coming up from the south. Ukraine has a large number of Russian immigrants.

              2. They’re in detention centers, awaiting either asylum or deportation. Having all these children in deportation centers shows that we’re doing a fantastic job of policing immigration. Not having enough judges and case-workers to process them shows that we need to put more money into it, which is exactly what Obama is trying to do.

          • Mike Blackadder

            You mean to say that it was passed by a Democrat majority Congress and Senate in 2008. But ‘Bushdidit’. So ridiculous.

            • jroberts548

              Who signed it? Who was President in 2008?

              And I’m not blaming Bush. I’m praising him. In the long run, the free movement of people on average makes everyone better off. I would no more deport Honduran kids with decades of economic productivity ahead of them than I would deport Honduran oil that for some reason migrated north.

              • Mike Blackadder

                Presidents sign laws that are passed by congress. The President is not a law-maker. He has many other important responsibilities like implementing the laws passed by Congress, acting as commander and chief, enforcing the borders against invasion and illegal entry.

                It’s very confusing for you because Obama has a pen and he apparently doesn’t need Congress to pass legislation, make amendments, to exempt others from being subject to the law, to change the law to fill ‘loopholes’. Obama is the King of the country whereas Bush was just the president, so it’s not really the same thing at all.

                • jroberts548

                  So Bush couldn’t have vetoed the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victim’s Protection Act and forced congress to override his veto? The democrats had a 2/3 majority in both houses? If a president signs a law, he’s responsible for signing that law.

                  I’ve noticed this same sort of mental infirmity among a lot of partisans. Many democrats will refuse to think the Clintons are responsible welfare reform, DOMA, the repeal of Glass-Steagall, the so-called Taxpayer’s Relief Act, etc. Obama partisans will give him infinite credit for speeches about inequality or gun control, but ignore when Obama staffs his white house with investment bankers, or when the only gun law he signs is one allowing people to take guns into national parks.

                  If a president signs a law, it’s his law. If he vetos it, he’s responsible for vetoing it. Actions taken by cabinet agencies overwhich they have any discretion are also ultimately attributable to the president, as he’s in charge of the cabinet. So if congress passes a law, and a president signs it, that president gets the credit or blame. If a cabinet agency, or any sub-agency that’s ultimately part of a cabinet agency, does something, that president gets the credit or blame. It’s literally insane to credit/blame Bush for what the DHS is doing under Obama, and refuse to credit/blame Bush for a law that he signed.

                  I don’t like Obama. I don’t think I’ve ever said a positive thing about Obama, except in efforts to correct false and delusional criticisms. I don’t know why, when talking about immigration, you keep on raising superfluous, general criticisms of Obama.

                  Bush signed the law under which unaccompanied minor immigrants get extra procedural and substantive protections. If you don’t like that we’re not able to just immediately deport tens of thousands of kids without giving them individual, case-by-case determinations of whether we’re going to let them stay, there’s one, and exactly one president responsible for that bill.

                  I support the bill. On a substantive level, I don’t like Obama for being vastly too far to the right on immigration. I wouldn’t mind if he put all immigration resources on the border (the actual border, not the “border” which extends 100 miles from the actual border) and ignored immigrants who are already here. I would love it if Obama was actually pushing for amnesty. He could even name it the “Ronald Reagan Amnesty Bill of 2014.” Substantively, I’m as far from Obama as you imagine you are.

                  But that still doesn’t mean there’s grounds to call him lawless or say he’s undermining the rule of law when his DHS is complying with a law passed by congress and signed by his predecessor. In fact, complying with a law passed by congress and signed by his predecessor is the exact opposite of lawless. Do you want Obama to just ignore every law passed by Republicans? Because that’s what you’re saying. You’re calling him lawless for complying with Bush’s immigration law. It would not benefit the rule of law for Obama to pretend the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Act did not exist.

                  • Mike Blackadder

                    Thanks for sharing your points/opinions in more detail. The makeup of Congress determines laws that will be passed. The president has influence over this process, and more influence when the houses are divided, but never has the power to replace Congress. I DO agree with your argument that when the president signs a law or vetoes a law they are responsible to the extent that they endorse or oppose the law at least from an ‘official’ point of view. The reality though is that in a functional circumstance the president will defer to the will of Congress, will ‘play nice’, negotiate, etc. Similarly, a president will rarely politically attack the judicial branch for their decisions (at least not any prolonged attacks) because it is inherently dysfunctional and unfair when the judicial branch cannot ethically fight back politically.
                    I take your point that ‘Bush is partly responsible’; certainly that’s true. But like the repeal of ‘Glass-Steagall’ it’s silly to entirely attribute legislation passed to a sitting President when it is only Congress who can write and pass this legislation and when it is known that the congressional and presidential agendas are at odds with eachother.
                    You repeat again the suggestion that I’m calling Obama’s immigration policy lawless which I did not. I said that he is lawless and explained why I have that opinion in response to your comment. I also said that this crisis is a result of Obama’s lack of enforcement of border security and his rhetoric about granting amnesty to illegal immigrants. I wait to hear more facts about what is going on before suggesting Obama is ‘breaking the law’ wrt processing illegal immigrants.
                    Obama being too far to the right for you is a foreign concept to me, but to a degree I understand you could feel that way. You might notice that my primary criticism of Obama was that he disregards the law, he’s a liar and a thug and maybe totally incompetent (not that he’s a leftist or socialist). No matter the agenda these are character flaws that are difficult to stand behind.

                    • jroberts548

                      “I DO agree with your argument that when the president signs a law or vetoes a law they are responsible to the extent that they endorse or oppose the law at least from an ‘official’ point of view.”

                      Without being signed or vetoed and overridden, a bill isn’t a law. We’re not talking about personal endorsement or opposition, but about the act that makes something become a law. If the presidential agenda is at odds with the congressional agenda, there is precisely one real way for the president to express that, and that’s with the veto. Of course, you can still blame congress. Blame is an infinite resource; congress and the president can have any amount of blame without diminishing the amount of blame the other gets.

                      This whole thread has been about Dmikem’s deluded claim that Obama is undermining the rule of by detaining immigrants and processing their cases as required by law, and secondarily about which president is responsible for the law that created the crisis.

    • jroberts548

      “He’s been in office for over 5 years has done zero to secure the borders.”

      The Obama administration has prosecuted more removals of illegal immigrants than any other administration. There are millions of deported individuals who would disagree with your claim that Obama “has done zero to secure the borders.” He’s already more than any other president.

      “So now the CC has been enlisted to break the law in response to an manufactured crisis. WOW!”

      Which law is the Church breaking by housing immigrants awaiting the immigration determination to which they’re entitled?

      • jen

        There’s now question harboring an illegal alien is a crime. The question is, is it a crime when the federal govt commands you to do it?

        • jroberts548

          They’re not illegal yet. For the most part, they’re being detained pending a hearing to determine whether they’re asylees. Housing someone pending a hearing isn’t the same as harboring a fugitive.

      • christine

        There’s a lot of confusion in terminology for stats on on removals and/or deportation. The term deportation is not in use since 1996. Except by media. There is also cooking the books. ICE union pres has publicly said so. Capture and release, removal & return all are counted under ‘deportation’. Capture & release numbers alone skyrocketed because of sheer numbers approaching the border. Unfortunately the numbers of those getting through also skyrocketed. But that is history. Now they are all just walking through. Fed agents have retreated 40 miles from border to avoid capture & release and to create conditions that require processing/transporting/housing etc of illegals. How you can defend Obama on immigration is outrageous- for a seemingly intelligent and knowledgeable person. It appears to me to be a textbook case of Cloward-Piven strategy. The system is falling apart. Now they will overload other systems- welfare, hospitals, etc..This man, with the help of his supporters, has ‘fundamentally transformed’ our country. (Into a banana republic) I would hope by now most of those who did vote for him would have buyers remorse. He has not and will not protect our borders. He did not enforce federal immigration law back in ’09 causing Jan Brewer to pass state laws to enforce them. The DOJ turned around and sued her, crippling her ability to protect her state. That was a strong message for where Obama stood on immigration. Not to mention the dreamers and DACA.
        As far as the CC goes- they are in up their eyeballs for at least 70 million $$ worth. Current figures are hard to get. That is called a conflict of interest. They should not be involved in the politics and they have clearly taken sides. Is what they are doing called charity? I find their involvement with the government unseemly and corrupt.

  • daisy

    Most of these children look like men. I think we are bring hustled. But my question is this: How many kids are you going to take into YOUR house? I’ve already been exposed to TB from my immigrant neighbors sick kid and we have a strong MS13 presence in my town so I’ve already done my bit.

    • joan

      That’s because they are men. Kids don’t walk alone 1000 miles in a desert, like the Hansel and Gretel fairy tail. They had maps and escorts provided by the U.S. Govt!

      The totalitarian federal govt put a media black out on this, in case you have not been noticing for weeks now. Very few pictures, or just of the big bad protestors. Shots only of buses or from a distance. But the few I have seen, and now we are seeing more as the govt realizes your average idiot American is finally waking up to the invasion and they must show something. Interesting we see a girl/mom here and there and about 90 percent huge hulking men age 15-25

  • JJ

    Its our duty to secure the border. Why cant the church in Mexico help them?

  • Dave G.

    FWIW RE: opposing illegal immigration. The media narrative is, of course, that anyone opposed in any way to doing whatever we’re supposed to do when it comes to people immigrating outside our laws is a white, racist, male, conservative (probably gun owner with KJV Bible). Fits a bumper sticker.

    But I’ve noticed, since I’ve had the chance to work in a huge multi-zillion dollar corporation in a department with a strong multi-national makeup, that some of the strongest critics are, in fact, legal immigrants. I first noticed this about seven years ago when a fellow from Argentina who is now a US citizen unloaded on illegal immigrants, much to my surprise. Since then I’ve seen several say the same thing. They came from terrible situations, they overcame, they followed the rules – why not others? In fact, during the 2008 primaries, when the press was emphasizing any divisive issue among the GOP, immigration came up. I’ll never forget a Native American was interviewed on CNN. He was part of some NA group that opposed accepting illegal immigrants. His take (which I did chuckle at) was that illegal immigration started 500 years ago in their opinion, and it was no better now. Not all I’m sure. But there are other things I’ve seen and heard that bursts that little media built mold about immigration.

    But all of this is to say that this, like most important issues, is more complicated than the convenient media narratives, or worse, punditry motivated stereotypes. And if we really, really, super-really want to solve the problems, it might do us well to avoid the trap of such partisan stereotypes and simplistic media narratives and put our attention to remembering all involved and actually supporting ways of solving the bigger problems. Or worse, actually getting involved with solving them ourselves. Just saying.

  • Jen

    Ironic the Federal Govt, the most anti-religious administration ever, is basically ordering now 3 dioceses to take in illegals (into HOMES, not just parish halls), and our bishops, sycophants they are to the Democrats, smilingly agree, and 3 bishops have issued irrefutable orders to their priests, and they to their parishioners. When do bishops ever get so worked up about anything? With such zeal and passion and ORDERS abortion could be outlawed by now.

    Yet while we Catholics run arouhnd preparing our homes for strangers, the Supreme Court bashes our faith and a new judge has ORDERED priests to break the seal of the confessional. The priest is looking at possible JAIL. The illegals are given comfy beds. The Church under this poverty pope and his sidekick Maradiaga may have nice intentions but they are really messed up.

    • jroberts548

      Which judge has ordered priests to break the seal?

      • Jude


        • jroberts548

          That was misreported, especially by Fr. Z and the diocese, among others. You can read the case here: http://www.lasc.org/opinions/2014/13C2879.pc.pdf

          The diocese had filed a motion in limine to exclude the testimony of the plaintiff about the confession. The motion was denied, granted on appeal, and then denied by the supreme court. No one was seeking to compel the priest to testify. The diocese was seeking to keep the penitent from testifying.

    • HornOrSilk

      The most anti-religious ever? When people begin with such statements, I find they have no clue to American history. I would say Jefferson with his support for Paine’s Age of Reason is far more anti-religious, and that is just to start. And if Obama does something good and the bishops work with that good, it’s not bad at all, as the parable of the Good Samaritan relates. And we are called, as Christians, to welcome the stranger.

  • Jude

    Okay, Mark. Let us know how many you take into YOUR home. In Texas we already have gangs coming across the border and a massive illegal immigration problem. Diseases like hand and foot disease, TB, chicken pox, and measles have spread far outside of border towns. Perhaps you can guess what life is like for people who have illegal aliens crossing through their property on a daily basis. I guess you think that once they reach America through illegal means, they suddenly decide to respect all of our laws. Our communities can’t keep up with the demand for services, because we have people utilizing them that are NOT paying taxes.
    No matter how you or the MSM tries to spin it, these are not “undocumented immigrants.” They are not refugees. They are breaking the law.
    And if I had known that Pewsitter was going to redirect me to your Patheos blog, I certainly wouldn’t have clicked on it.

  • Michael F Poulin

    Two instances of the same mistake by Mr. Shea: “This is a chance for us as Catholics to bring glory to God by being there for the least of these. That’s all that matters.”
    Mr. Shea, like most Catholic writers, misinterprets the Beatitudes in order to push the social justice agenda. When Jesus calls his disciples “these, the least of my brethren” He means that the world will be judged according to how it treat His disciples, who are His “little ones,” The theme is from Old Testament times, where the faithful followers of God would be avenged by God at the final judgment. Israel might be suffering under the yoke of conquerers, but they would be avenged. The “least of my brethren” refers to the followers of Jesus only, and not the poor of the world in general…nice try Mark.

    “we must help these kids because they are Jesus and it is right.”
    The poor are not Jesus, nor are they divine, this is a modern pathology concocted by mis-reading and mis-application of Scripter, much like the bishop of El Paso recently wrote. Divas the rich man was not sent to Hell for ignoring Lazarus or failing to give him a handout. There is nothing in the Bible that supports this interpretation of Scripture, it is simply imposition of bad Catholic exegesis. The Good Samaritan parable is also misinterpreted by the same crowd to guilt us into taking care of everybody who’s down on their luck. In fact, the parable only tells us that to be a good neighbor, one should be taking care of one’s fellow disciples. The man in the ditch is a model of Jesus’ disciples. To be a good neighbor, the lawyer is told, he must take care of God’s disciple, the man in the ditch. The parable parallels the story in 2nd Chronicles where Samaritans interact with Jewish soldiers.
    The Christian is to be a ” light to the world,” in how he takes care of his fellow disciples. The world will see this and desire to become disciples. So we are only obligated to assist our fellow disciples in their physical and spiritual needs, and sorry bishops, this does not imply free-for-all amnesty and welfare for every poor schmuck in the world. Maybe the bishops should consider what are the conditions in the home countries? Rampant corrupt socialism, and crony capitalism.
    By the way, I have already taken a homeless family into my home, how many at Mr. Shea’s house?

    Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markshea/2014/07/obama-turns-to-catholic-church-for-help-handling-immigrant-kids.html#ixzz37LmNlUT6

    • Dave G.

      I could read this post for hours. Every now and then I get frustrated by what I see in the Catholic Church and how things are going, especially in light of our own plight. Then a post like this comes by and I’m reminded why I’ve put my family through hell and back to become Catholic. Good timing. Thanks.

      • Michael F Poulin

        Read the story of St Athanasius for inspiration.

        Yes, I am Catholic and No Marthe , I do not believe sola scriptura is correct. I do not believe I mentioned sola scriptura anywhere even though I am relying on the Scriptures themselves for this argument. The faith stands on the Sacred Scriptures and Sacred Tradition as handed down from the Apostles and the Teaching Office of the Church. trouble is, I see most Catholics do not bother to study any of the triad, and just take what they’ve heard in the past from some priest or nun or deacon or bishop as “The Faith.”

        I am simply pointing out that modern interpretations are not always correct, and I urge you to actually study the texts without prejudice.

        Bye Bye. I’ve been banned from posting any more.

        Peace and blessings.

        • Dave G.

          If I may ask, are you Catholic or not? That will help me know if I was clear or not.

        • Marthe Lépine

          Well, you did not mention “sola scriptura” but your way of reasoning certainly suggested it. An argument that is relying only on Scriptures themselves usually ignores the Tradition and the Magisterium. And by the way, bishops in particular are supposed to be our teachers, I would not dismiss them so lightly.

        • Dave G.

          Then my mistake. I took you as coming from a Protestant perspective. Just because the way you framed everything was similar to a few older approaches in certain Protestant traditions. Not exactly equal, and your take on the Rich man and Lazarus is the first time I’ve ran across that in any tradition. But I’ve not seen it, as you presented it, anywhere near within the framework of Catholic discussions. And the singular appeal to the Bible with no other references also tipped it in that scale. So again, I was mistaken.

          BTW, how do you know you’re banned and still able to post?

    • jroberts548

      Matthew 25 (the parable of the sheep and the goats) isn’t part of the beatitudes. Your analysis would be more credible if you didn’t start out with such a needless error.

      • Michael F Poulin

        Yes, I am sorry if it seems I squashed them together. I wasn’t clear.

        The Beatitudes are not laws, something that can be or ought
        to be “put into practice.” People who say this show that they don’t grasp what the Beatitudes are. They are a set of promises made by Jesus to his faithful disciples, and only to his disciples, that no matter
        what setbacks they face in this life they will be sure to inherit the
        Kingdom. The Beatitudes are not a set of actions or attitudes that Jesus is endorsing for the general population; Jesus
        is promising rewards to his hungry, meek, oppressed and long-suffering followers. They are the ones who will inherit
        the Kingdom. The faithful sons and daughters will inherit the Kingdom.

        • Michael F Poulin

          The notion that the rich man is being punished for something he did (or did not do) to Lazarus is completely fanciful. Lazarus hung round the gate so that he would
          get fed the leftovers from the rich people. There is no reason in the actual text of the parable to assume the rich man never gave Lazarus anything. In fact he most likely did as he actually knows Lazarus’ name. This assumption by Catholics tells me they are reading something into the Bible story that is not there. It is not fair to say the rich man “should have done more” either. While first century Jews realized their obligation to the poor, they were not obligated to go above and beyond. No one hearing Jesus tell the story would have said, “that nasty rich man
          should have invited Lazarus in for supper.” Egalitarian ideas are a later development, Also fanciful is the idea
          that the rich man “failed to notice” Lazarus. In fact nowhere in the parable are we actually told why the rich man is suffering torment, the “social justice” Catholic
          just jumps to his own conclusions with no biblical support and imports his own interpretations in to the text . This is
          a problem it seems most American clergy suffers from, a complete lack of Biblical knowledge, high-jacking the real gospel in order to make a man-made paradise on earth.
          The problem is the modern Catholic “religious” writer is bound and determined to make the relationship between the rich man and Lazarus the focal point of the parable without any actual textual evidence. Then, having imposed the false relationship idea on his unsuspecting listeners (or readers), the modern Catholic religious writer draws his imaginary lesson from the parable that the rich should feed the poor.
          Actually,the parable isn’t interested in the particulars of Divas or Lazarus’ lives, or some assumed relationship, but the contrast between them and the contrast of their fates
          in the afterlife. Bad men are punished, good men are rewarded. Plain and simple. The assumption
          was in those times, that rich men were being rewarded here on earth by God, and poor men were being punished for their sins or the sins of their fathers. Jesus turned that upside down. The message is that eternal judgment is final
          and cannot be changed. That is the lesson of the parable, and not the hot air flowing from Catholic bishops and other scribblers who can’t understand much less interpret Scripture.

          • chezami

            Wow. That is one of the most tortured misreading of Scripture I’ve ever seen.

          • Marthe Lépine

            Are you really a Catholic? I had always thought that “sola scriptura” was a Protestant thing…

        • jroberts548

          Aren’t most of these kids baptized Catholic? How do we know, under your reading, that American protestants, and secularists, and others aren’t being judged by how they treat all these little Catholic kids?

          Even moreso than how I would read these passages, if I read them the way you did, I’d be terrified about accidentally deporting even one faithful Catholic back to a country which we’ve directly and indirectly turned into a violent, gang-overran mess.

          • Marthe Lépine

            Amen! I was thinking of pointing this out, but you beat me to it.

            • LFM

              This discussion has not grown more sensible or discriminating since I last had a look at it.

              I do not think M. Poulin’s interpretation of scripture is correct, but I do think that scripture can make a very imprudent, not to say dangerous, guide to conduct when not considered with due discernment. For example, the rich young man who is told to sell all he has if he wants to follow Jesus – good advice for a would-be disciple with no ties. But if a married man were to do such a thing, he could fairly be accused of criminal irresponsibility. Welcoming the stranger? Yes, but a woman living alone who heard a knock on her door and a request to use her phone from a stranger at 3 a.m. might be forgiven for showing caution in opening the door. (A certain number of crimes against women, I understand, are facilitated by the fact that many women hesitate to be rude to strange men.)

              Prudence is not a vice, especially for people with many equally legitimate claims on their charity and compassion.

              Importing thousands of people at once with no capacity to carry out background checks or keep tabs on their whereabouts is likely to help *replicate* within the United States the conditions from which those people are fleeing, especially since there is no guarantee that the young males will be able to obtain jobs and will thus be vulnerable to gang recruitment.

              Naivete and sentimentality are not the same as justice and mercy.

              • jroberts548

                If someone wants to argue about what would constitute the best, most prudent immigration policy, they can. Someone claiming that the Bible does not tell us to care for the poor and for the immigrant is not having a serious discussion about how to form a prudent immigration policy. At best, they’re having a serious discussion about their misreading of the Bible.

                I don’t think Michael F Poulin is looking for a serious discussion about asylum standards or how best to treat immigrants. I don’t think the people making death threats against Glenn Beck for bringing them some soccer balls, or the people yelling at children on buses, or the people saying that the Church is helping Obama break the law by housing immigrants pending hearings are looking for serious discussions about the best, most prudent way to deal with immigration.

                • LFM

                  I agree with you about the people making death threats against Glenn Beck, etc. I also agree that some of the comments here do not really address the issues in question, or propose curious interpretations of scripture. However, it is possible that the whole discussion would have been more temperate, and informative, if it had not begun with Mark Shea’s insistence on describing the situation in highly charged rhetoric, without even suggesting that caution and prudence are necessary in such circumstances.

    • chezami

      Amazing the resourcefulness of narcissists in avoiding the plain teaching of Christ and the Church. So the *real* judgment will be on how nice we were to Christians who want to tell the poor to go to hell. Perfect.

      • Michael F Poulin

        No, the World will be judged on how it treats Christians, I am sorry if I wasn’t clear.

        No, I don’t tell the poor to “go to Hell” I say, here’s a drink, here’s some food, here’s some clothing, let me tell you about Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church. Unlike Pope Francis I want to actually convert people to the true faith.

        Narcissist? That’s too big word for me, I am a simple man, I’m not sure what it means. I stand in front of our Post Office giving Catholic pamphlets to strangers. I teach my fellow parishioners the Bible and the Catechism, I give ten percent of my income to charity. I sponsored a beautiful little girl (Vanessa) from Costa Rica through CFCA and am now sponsoring a young man (Jeremy) in Kenya, I gave $600.00 to a family in my parish I barely know because their car broke down and they need a down payment on a new vehicle so the wife could drive to get cancer treatments. I create pro-life bumper stickers urging real men to protect the innocent, I wrote a check this morning for $300.00 to support our local Catholic School that gets no support from the diocese ( who are too busy solving social justice issues) I have three homeless people sleeping in my house not 20 feet from me right this minute. If that is what being a narcissist is, count me in!
        Oh yes, and I go to that dreaded Latin Mass , ( you know, the same one Saint Therese went to) where 50% of our attendees are under 18 (tee-hee)…

        • Michael F Poulin

          In his description of the final judgment, Jesus is addressing non-Christians. It is they
          who are being told to feed, clothe and visit the disciples of Jesus in prison, the Christians. It is the disciples of
          Christ who are the face of Jesus in the world, not the poor in general.

          So it is not that the Christians are being told to be nice to everyone else. That is understood already. It is the pagan world, the nations, who are being judged by their
          actions toward Christians. The judgment is a scene of the “vindication of the just,’ with Jesus as the Judge handing out rewards and punishments to “the nations” gathered before him on the basis of the reception they gave to his disciples when the gospel was preached among them.

          The Church for most of its history had this primary understanding of Matthew’s judgment scene , and has only recently lost it for the most part. The “least of my
          brethren” is a reference to Jesus’s followers, and not generally to the poor and disadvantaged. It is not those in the Church who are being judged, but those outside it. The pagans are being told they will be accepted into the New Covenant only if they have first treated the family of the people of God, the Church, with charity. The basic idea is from Jesus: “Whoever receives you, receives me.”The Judgment of the nations, the “Day of the Lord” is an idea found in the prophetic Book of Joel, which delivers the promise that payback is due for mistreatment of Judah and Israel, a repayment that will come swiftly and surely:

          Joel 2:31-32 to 3:1-2 The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and
          awesome day of the Lord comes. And it
          shall come to pass that all who call upon the name of the Lord shall be delivered; for in Mount Zion and in
          Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among those survivors shall be those whom
          the Lord calls.

          For behold, in those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat, and I will enter into judgment with them there, on account of my people and my heritage Israel, …

          The nations will be judged according to how they treat Israel…ie what we now call the Church.

          Mr. Shea’s statement was:

          “we must help these kids because they are Jesus and it is right.”
          Perhaps he was speaking in hyperbole…OK.
          But my contention is, yes, it is right to help them but, no the kids are not Jesus. If they were Jesus, I would be obligated to fall down and worship them, to kneel before them and offer adoration.
          Catholics in general just assume that Jesus means “the poor and disadvantaged” when he says “the least of my brethren.” But there is no actual Biblical support to that assumption. And It is a convenient excuse modernist Catholic bishops use to justify milking the government (taxpayers) to support their hyper-moralizing social justice agenda.

        • Michael F Poulin

          Oops, I forgot to let you know, I married an immigrant and I love her lots and lots.

          • jroberts548

            I get it. You just don’t like the in-laws, amirite?

    • Francisco J Castellanos

      Amen brother! And I also have it on good authority that the man attacked by robbers and left for dead in the Parable of the Good Samaritan was actually a Christian. What Jesus is REALLY trying to tell us in that parable is that we should ONLY have compassion towards Christians. (Of course, it goes without saying that Christians who are undocumented are not represented in this parable)

  • obpoet

    Or, the sane Catholic says both/and, not either/or, sort of like justification by faith and works.

  • mparks12

    1. The feds demand provision of abortion and birth control to immigrant females. The Church lost the contract a few years ago because she refused. So now what?

    2. In doing this, the Church is complicit in human trafficking.

  • annmarie

    If Jesus had been dumped on a traiin in the company of drug dealers by Mary and Joseph the Christian thing to do would be as quicly as possible get Him back to his closest of kin in his own country. Why not put hospital ships on the voasts to facilitate that.

    • Marthe Lépine

      The URL in my previous comment got misplaced.

    • Marthe Lépine

      I disagree. If Mary and Joseph had done that, it would have been for a
      very good reason and to protect Jesus from a worse fate. For example, sending Jesus back without taking a good look at the situation back home might have the effect of putting Him back into the area where all the other kids his age were being murdered…And please take
      a look at the following article: From:
      By Patricia Zapor, Catholic News Service

    • jroberts548

      Just like the example of the Egyptian princess, who immediately sent Moses back to the Hebrews so he could die.

      Or the example of the Gospels, where, rather than becoming illegal immigrants, they stayed in Judea so that Herod could enforce the laws.

      • Marthe Lépine

        The Holy Family did go to Egypt, though. As I recall, their choice to stay in Judea was not to avoid becoming illegal immigrants, a notion that I think was still unknown at the time. It was after Joseph had been told in a dream to come back from Egypt, and just as a matter of caution because they were not sure that the reigning Herod could be trusted. By the way… If you had been an early Pagan inhabitant of the Promised Land, would you not have seen the approaching Hebrew people as illegally trying to enter your country after fleeing Egypt?

        • jroberts548

          I was mocking annmarie. Of course, Moses stayed with the Egyptian princess, and the Holy Family immigrated into Egypt (probably not illegally; I think Rome was pretty loose about immigration within the empire, but I’m not sure).

          Yes, of course the near-eastern pagans would have felt that way. Given the deuteronimist’s repeated exhortations to remember that you were once a stranger in a strange land, and therefore to be generous with other strangers, it requires a profound dishonesty to pretend that the biblical position on immigration is to kick them all out.

          • Marthe Lépine

            Sorry. I had understood your point about Moses, but was confused about your 2nd point about Judea.

            • jroberts548

              We should also not forget Pentecost, where Parthians, Scythians, Medes etc. all heard the apostles telling them to learn to speak English.

              • Marthe Lépine

                Good one! Was that King James era English or American English?

      • Marthe Lépine

        Was not the Egyptian princess breaking the law?

  • Mike Blackadder

    The Obama administration isn’t doing the ‘smart’ thing, he’s doing the get-my-way-by-whatever-means narcissist thing. The better point is that it doesn’t matter whether Obama says we are BAD or we’re GOOD, he’s lawless, he’s a liar and his every action proves that he only cares about himself and his pet causes. As Catholics this has nothing to do with Barack Obama. We only need to concern ourselves with answering to the problem before us and doing the right thing which means acting with compassion and helping in whatever way we can in accordance with the laws of our country.

    • jroberts548

      Which law is he breaking by housing immigrants pending the asylum determinations to which they’re legally entitled?

      • Mike Blackadder

        Obama’s lawlessness is just one of his general attributes. No president has ever gone so far stretching his executive powers to postpone laws, grant waivers, rewrite legislation and penalties wrt to laws already passed through Congress. The Supreme Court have unanimously overturned his executive orders on thirteen separate occasions (not to mention that his signature Obamacare passed by the skin of its teeth with questionable justification).

        And nobody actually thinks that Obsma had no part or knowledge of the IRS targeting of Conservatives when it came from the very top from his own appointee and when the purpose of the targeting was to quell his critics. Nobody actually thinks that Obama was unaware of the details of the fast and furious operation or that he really thought Benghazi happened because of a Youtube video. And Obama demonstrated clearly the priority he places on the judicial process when without any mention of evidence or circumstances suggested Trayvon Martin’s death was being dismissed because of racial inequality in our legal system.

        And when Obama isn’t disregarding the law he disregards his responsibilities as president when they don’t suit his agenda; such as his abandonment of Americans at the Benghazi compound (for the sake of his Vegas trip the next day), his refusal to take action to secure the Mexican border despite provocative protest from state governors, his obtuse refusal to negotiate to avoid fiscal cliff, etc.

        • jroberts548

          So, your answer is that he’s not lawless with respect to any specific immigration laws, you just called him lawless in general, while talking about immigration?

          • Mike Blackadder

            Yes, I referred to him as a lawless, lying narcissist (and forgot to mention that he’s a thug), which is why it really doesn’t matter whether he thinks Catholics are GOOD or BAD. He’s no authority on virtue. You see that I only said what I meant to say. You unsuccessfully tried to redirect my point to an argument that you wanted to make. 😉

    • Dave G.

      Actually what most seem to think, including even some Democrats and pundits, is that once again we’re hit with a crisis that seems to have completely blindsided Obama. Once again he arrives late, acting as if he was caught off guard. That can happen of course. Any leader can be smacked out of the blue. But for Obama, it seems to be his reaction to anything and everything. And that is a growing criticism on all sides.