Amnesty Equals Abortion

When a Roman general returned victorious from a war against an enemy of the Republic, he was typically granted a “triumph”: a lavish, bloodthirsty, pagan version of a ticker-tape parade, which centered on long lines of enslaved captive enemies marching in chains behind his chariot, and climaxed with the butchery of their general before throngs of cheering patriots. After that, the general used his newfound status as a hero to advance his political power, often squeezing the stay-at-home politicians in the Senate to grant him and his partisans special privileges — especially of the kind that would help them grab and hold on to power.

We probably should be grateful that the raid that enacted justice on the mass-murdering orthodox Muslim Osama bin Laden did not yield thousands of captives for a parade through New York City — as cathartic as they might have momentarily been. However, the president has not been slow to follow the rest of the pagan precedent, using his surge of popularity to press for special favors that will benefit his faction. No sooner have the crabs done picking the bones of bin Laden than President Barack Obama has announced another push to obtain legal amnesty and citizenship for the many millions of illegal aliens who still reside in the United States — who, as soon as they are legal, will prove ideal recruits for the Abortion (i.e., Democratic) Party.

In many states that last year elected a pro-life, pro-family member of the Senate or the House, the vote margins were relatively close, and Hispanics voted two-to-one in favor of the pro-abortion Democrats. Had the voting rolls been padded with recently legalized immigrants — most of them comparatively poor and eligible for the government benefits Democrats love to dole out at the expense of middle-class, working families — how many of these seats would still be in the hands of liberal Democrats who favor abortion on demand for all nine months (if need be, paid for by the taxpayer), gay “marriage,” explicit sex education, and countless other measures that violate the most fundamental premises of the natural law? While individual immigrants might sound like social conservatives in their hearts or their answers to opinion polls, they tend to vote their pocketbooks and their racial solidarity — much as white segregationists in the South (despite their Christian faith) used to do.

More importantly, if President Obama’s amnesty is granted, it is easy to predict how this will affect the next election — which is, of course, the reason Obama is pushing his amnesty now: He is desperate to recruit new liberal voters for the 2012 and subsequent elections, to reverse the pro-life gains of the 2010 elections and guarantee a pro-abortion, pro-gay-marriage majority for the foreseeable future. There is ample historical precedent for this: Whenever the Southern, pro-slavery forces gained the upper hand in antebellum America, their focus was always foremost on their single issue: admitting new slave states to the Union, to lock in proslavery votes and keep the peculiar institution legal. Civil war erupted in Kansas and several other states, whose residents (on both sides of the issue) knew the stakes: demography is destiny. The safest way to gain solid votes is to import them — as the Democrats now hope to import millions of safe, pro-abortion votes by admitting them to the Union, via amnesty.

If we were to grant amnesty — the full rights of citizenship, including the right to vote, collect government benefits, and use affirmative action at the expense of (for instance) impoverished white male war veterans — to the estimated 10-12 million illegal immigrants in America, we would be adding at the very least 6.3-8 million liberal, pro-abortion voters. No, these recent illegals need not, by the laws of physics, vote for liberal, pro-abortion Democrats. But that is how they will vote, and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. Anyone who claims to value unborn life, who favors padding the voter rolls with those who will vote to leave the unborn unprotected, is also either lying or simply and doggedly refusing to consider the consequences of his actions. A school bus driver who downs a fifth of Jim Beam before climbing behind the wheel might not have intended manslaughter against his tiny passengers — but when he crashes them into a wall, that is how the prosecutor will charge him.

 

I do not wish to imply that those who know how amnestied illegals are almost certain to vote and who still favor amnesty are not, in cold fact, pro-life. I would never leave such a statement to mere implication. I wish to say it outright: Those who favor amnesty for illegal immigrants are not, in cold fact, pro-life. That goes for politicians and voters, bishops and priests, men, women, and children, red and yellow, black and white. Such people may be pro-life in theory, as thousands of antebellum Southerners claimed to be inward abolitionists. But those who lobbied for admitting new slave states to the Union knew that their actions spoke louder than words. No one who really believes that abortion is a life-and-death issue will allow any secondary considerations (economic “justice,” “diversity,” or misguided compassion for lawbreakers) to trump the legal murder of a million Americans each year. This amnesty — proposed by a president who, as a senator, fought almost singlehandedly to keep partial-birth abortion legal — will make such legalized murder permanent. End of story.

I have already made extensive and un-rebutted arguments against the groundless claim that we somehow owe a “path to citizenship” to people whose very presence in our country is a crime. Instead of rehashing them here, let me direct the reader to this piece, this one, this one, this one, and this one. Those Catholics who cry for “justice” for immigrants should be careful what they wish for: The starkly just outcome for illegal immigrants who violated just and democratically enacted laws to enter our country is clear — immediate deportation. That would be mere justice.

Now, I myself don’t favor this. I favor mercy for illegal immigrants, as I crave God’s mercy myself. But I insist, as does the Christian tradition, that mercy not violate justice. Justice for America’s unborn — and also for its working poor, and its hard-pressed middle class — forbids granting citizenship to amnestied illegals, as the Abortion Party wants.

Instead of rewarding lawbreaking with the precious gift of American citizenship — and rewarding with millions of votes the party that fought to keep America from protecting its own borders — there are two steps we could take that would secure the rights owed Americans (born and unborn) in simple justice, while extending to illegal aliens a generous measure of mercy:

  1. Fully secure America’s borders, completing the border fence with Mexico so that it covers the whole expanse between the countries, and walls off the “impassable” deserts in which hundreds of migrants die every year. Implement E-Verify, an effective, existing (but currently voluntary) system that keeps employers honest about hiring legal workers, and quickly track down and deport those visitors who (like the 9/11 hijackers) illegally overstay their visas.
  2. Once this is done, offer illegal immigrants who haven’t committed other serious crimes (including identity theft) the right to reside here permanently and to work, but never to vote. Their children who are born here will have full rights, of course, but adults who chose to flout our laws should never have the right to help make those laws.

If pro-business lobbyists or pro-abortion liberals reject this rational compromise, it tells us that they were never really serious about protecting the human rights and dignity of immigrants. All they wanted was cheap labor and cheap votes, and we in America value both those things too highly to treat them like trash.

John Zmirak

By

John Zmirak is the author, most recently, of The Bad Catholic's Guide to the Seven Deadly Sins (Crossroad). He served from October 2011 to February 2012 as Editor of Crisis.

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  • Dan Bosun

    I still don’t get the abortion/immigration link. Most immigrants are more pro life than pro choice. They certainly tend to have larger families, whatever country or culture they come from.

    This article mostly just seems like ethnocentric racism of the nastiest and most insinuating kind to me.

    • Charles

      Often in Latino districts the Democrat candidate will never boldly make a positive statement towards pro-choice ideology until requested officially when legislation is at hand. Because in these districts the candidates know fully well their districts are clearly Democrat oriented and they’re interchangeable and must follow their leaders down the chambers of infanticide less they face a primary challenge and loss of patronage benefits.

  • Cord Hamrick

    Dan:

    You don’t seem to have read the article.

    The connection is not that immigrants have small families (they don’t) or even that they’re personally opposed to abortion (I suppose they usually are). The connection is how they actually vote: For Democrats, by a 2-to-1 margin.

    The author is saying:

    1. It is in fact an injury to justice to grant amnesty to lawbreakers;

    2. There is no overriding reason to do so in this case;

    3. The fact that it would defeat the pro-life cause in America by guaranteeing a tip-of-the-scales in favor of pro-abortion pols is an overriding reason not to do it, even were the injury to justice not sufficient reason;

    4. The left-wing activists who support amnesty know this and don’t care, thus demonstrating their disregard for the lives of the unborn.

    Moreover, Dan, I don’t know how you can say that there are any insinuations in the piece, or that there is any racism.

    First, there are no insinuations: Zmirak went out of his way not to insinuate anything, but always to say it overtly.

    And, none of what he says claims (or even insinuates) that any race is somehow superior to another. So racism is not present.

    Perhaps you meant either bigotry or prejudice? (Neither is the same as racism.) But nothing Zmirak said seems bigoted to me. (Where did he indicate a dislike for persons ethnically different from him?)

    The best you can argue is that he is prejudiced against illegal immigrants, and that the form of this prejudice is that he pre-judges them to be likely to vote for Democrats, by a 2-to-1 margin. That would be prejudice against the group, if he made such an assertion prior to having good evidence of the assertion; or, it would be prejudice against an individual, if he made that assumption about an individual on the basis of it being commonly true about the group.

    But, Dr. Zmirak is not targeting an individual at all. He is only speaking about the group. So this could only be pre-judice if, in judging the group as a whole, he had pre-judged about its voting habits (that is, judged antecedent to evidence).

    But that’s not the case, either: He found some evidence (the Pew Research article he linked) for it, and judged after the evidence. This is post-judging (postjudice?) rather than pre-judging.

    So that isn’t prejudice, that’s rational expectation.

    Dan, really, I think the only thing to which you’re objecting is the harsh tone of the piece.

    But did you notice against whom that tone is directed? It’s against pro-amnesty American leftists; which mostly is to say, white liberal Democrats, who’re using illegal immigrants as pawns in an attempt to reverse pro-life gains in America and ensure the legality of child-killing-for-hire.

    I don’t, myself, mind anyone taking a nasty tone toward folks of that kind, though I don’t know that it’s the best way to convince someone who’s on the fence. (I’ve heard one can draw more flies with honey than with vinegar.)

    But, Dan, unless you can show where I’m factually wrong about the content of Dr. Zmirak’s piece, I think you were too quick to shout “RACISM!” Perhaps you just reacted to the title of the piece, built up expectations of the author’s point, and posted right away without careful reading?

    But you really ought not do that. Calling someone a racist online is getting to be like comparing them to Hitler. Godwin’s law ought to have a codicil about it, don’t you think?

  • http://vox-nova.com Henry Karlson

    I know, I will write a piece which says “capitalism equals abortion” pointing out how abortion is just one of many things traded on the “free market.” I will also point out that jobs equals abortion, because people with jobs will be able to pay for abortions. I will also write on how corporations equals abortion, because corporations pay for health insurances from companies which pay for abortion.

    • tertullian

      Henry, your premise on capitalism/jobs/corporations is like saying, “money is the root of all evil”, which is entirely incorrect. It is rather “the love for money is the root of all evil”. There is a term called “unbridled capitalism” which translates to “profit at all cost”. Profit or “free market” itself is good…parable of the talents. Any honest work(job) is good…man was meant to work. Corporations have provided employement, products for the good of humanity and are major charitable donors. Your attempt to equate these realities with abortion demonstrates narrowmindedness. Hope your just putting a funny spin on the titles…

      • jacobus

        You sound like an old Marxist who, with a straight face, after reviewing the crimes of Stalin, Mao, etc, says, “that was Stalinist Marxism, true Marxism has never been tried.”

        “Unbridled capitalism” ha!

      • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Ted Seeber

        How is crony corporatism different than unbridled capitalism in your mind?

        It seems to me that the requirement to serve the profit of the stockholder at all costs, combined with the ease of hiring lobbyists, has indeed turned the entity of the international corporation away from providing honest employment and reasonable profit, towards abuse of human dignity and unbridled capitalism.

        What little good they do is a byproduct of a great evil. The solution seems to be good subsidiarity in corporate governance, like the Mondragon Corporation of Spain or the farmer’s co-ops of the United States.

  • Cord Hamrick

    Henry:

    Now THAT is a pretty good argument against Dr. Zmirak’s piece…or, at least, against the title.

    On the other hand, it is hard to find any alternatives to capitalism, or the free market, or jobs, or corporations, or health insurance, that don’t also equal abortion, since it seems amply able to exist in communist countries, in tightly regulated markets, in high-unemployment areas, in places where private ownership of large organizations is illegal, and in places where health care is either purchased directly without a middleman or provided by the government.

  • Tom

    Prof, I really don’t see why you are so afraid of their vote. As a Catholic, I am always deeply moved by the deep faith I see when going to a packed Sunday Spanish service in the South, full of young families presenting their babies to alter (vs. sparsely attended services with a few grey haired nodding parishioners in the North East). It’s similar to what you described with the Irish in NYC a century ago. Many immigrants are naturally conservative. They have a world view that has nothing to do with the Pelosi’s of this world. If the conservatives learn this, this will be a huge opportunity for them. It is not the democrats that attract them, but a sub branch of conservatives that push them away, with their, lets be honest, bigoted natavistic views. This is ironic, since we are all mostly immigrants or descends of immigrants. A smart approach to immigration (yours is getting there, imo, but would include after some extended time, ability to vote) may be a huge boost to conservatives.

    • Brian English

      “It’s similar to what you described with the Irish in NYC a century ago.”

      And a century later you still have Irish-American Catholics idiotically voting for the Abortion Party out of some misplaced tribal loyalty.

      “Many immigrants are naturally conservative. They have a world view that has nothing to do with the Pelosi’s of this world.”

      Then they should vote that way.

      • jacobus

        “Then they should vote that way.”

        When the “conservative” party stops being more concerned with the rich than the working class, they will.

        • Brian English

          Right. The Democrats are all about the working man, which is why Goldman Sachs and G.E. are such big Obama supporters.

    • sibyl

      Tom, the point is not that these illegal immigrants lack faith. The point is that for whatever reason Hispanics tend to vote heavily Democratic. And there simply can’t be any credible argument that the Democratic party has any pro-life elements left. It just doesn’t; the Democrats (and to a lesser extent, mainstream Republicans) would rather chuck almost any plank in their platform, rather than their unqualified support of unlimited, unregulated abortion services, funded by our tax dollars. As Prof. Zmirak said.

      His article more than addresses your remark, and then Mr. Hamrick’s comment above fully demolishes the “bigoted natavistic” issue. For his piece to be either, his assertions would have to be unfounded in fact. Can you offer any reliable evidence (other than the andecdotal sort) that Hispanic immigrants (particularly the newer ones) do NOT vote for the Democratic party by a large margin?

      • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

        So the point of the article really is “Democratic voters are pro-choice, so let’s try to ensure that Democratic voters are in a minority”?

        You’re saying it’s not a racist article so much as a totalitarian article – only Republican politicians can be trusted to deny women the right to choose, so if you’re prolife you’ve got to be against people voting Democratic?

  • Ender

    C’mon folks, this isn’t that complicated. Mr. Zmirak made the claim that Hispanics voted 2:1 for Democrats in the last election and projected that this ratio would hold in the next election among illegal immigrants should they be granted citizenship. These statements are either factually correct or they are incorrect, but, if they are true, then the implication Mr. Zmirak spells out is both obvious and unarguable.

    The only rebuttal to the article is evidence that there isn’t a heavy preference among Hispanics for the Democrat party. If anyone has such evidence, let’s see it.

  • http://baronvonkorf.blogspot.com Baron Korf

    Yes, how cold and racist of you to suggest permanent residency visas (green cards) to millions of law breakers. Obviously you are a self-hating descendant of immigrants that wants only to close the door behind you now that you’ve become established. The neigh de facto support of the Democratic Party in the Hispanic community is simply a red herring.

    On a side note, is it really a crime to come into the country through the back door? I know it is on paper, but “Qui tacet consentit” and would not the silence of our government communicate that it wasn’t really against the law?

  • Tom
    • Brian English

      Lamar Smith is getting very excited about 38%.

      And you really have to remove the Cuban American communities in Florida from these calculations, so the number is not even that good.

  • tertullian

    I am a naturalized citizen through employment(long process) but know of people who got their citizenship from the last amnesty program. Though they tend to be ‘conservative’ they have voted for the democrats out of political ignorance and misplaced sense of gratitude. There is a pervasive “returning the favor” mindset that amnesty recipients have that explains their voting preference which the democrats have and will always exploit. Some have broken ranks after realizing the ‘big lie’ but the rest are still stuck in the muck of entitlement or ‘false solidarity’.

  • Alex

    I thought I was the only one that noticed this dilemma.

    I’ve found that Mexicans here in Arkansas are friendly and hard-working. However, they vote pro-choice by a large margin.

    So I’m faced with the question; What’s more important?
    To continue to struggle against abortion, at the cost of others thinking I’m xenophobic. Or, to show others that I welcome and support immigrants, but at the cost of increasing the number of pro-choice legislators.

    So far I’ve decided to err on the side of life, even if it means other people now think I’m an uncaring person, or occasionally, a racist.

  • http://vox-nova.com Henry Karlson

    Should we stop giving freedom to people because they might abuse it to do evil? Should we deny human rights to people because they we think they will act contrary to our wishes? And should we deny rights because we have a democratic system and we fear they won’t vote for our favored political party? Really?

  • Dev Thakur

    Um … what if it were a republican president and congress that granted the amnesty? And those receiving the amnesty were told “hey the Dems talked about it, but we actually care about family values, and we are going to help you. We are your party.”

  • John Zmirak

    The “freedom” and “human rights” proper to a human being according to the Catechism did not, last time I checked, entail the right to vote in an American election. Otherwise, we are sinfully denying that right to everyone in Canada, China, and Saudi Arabia. If being illegally present in a country for a certain period of time grants one that right–again, I would like to see the Church teaching affirming that. If Roman gypsies were to camp out on Vatican territory for long enough, would they thereby acquire the “right” to vote themselves into power, and sell off the Vatican’s art? The right to vote is NOT a basic human right; it is a political privilege, and one we deny to 17 year olds, felons, and, oh, I dunno… illegal aliens squatting in our territory for the sole reason that the police can’t find them.

    • http://vox-nova.com Henry Karlson

      See, you continue to look at it all with a political aim, instead of looking at what the Vatican consistently says about migrants and the care which should be had for them.

      I can only think about how the early Christian missionaries, sainted martyrs, were for the most part “illegal immigrants.” The state had, however, no right to treat them as such, which is why they were in the right and are saints.

      That you are trying a rather specious argument against amnesty, against what the Church thinks is best for support of human rights, says much. Again, this line of reasoning can be used to say “X equals abortion.”

      “God equals abortion, because God gave us free will.” See how it works? Seriously, the logical fallacy is obvious.

  • Tom

    Prof, not saying I have all the solutions, but, whether we like it or not, our economy is very dependent on those that you say are “illegal aliens squatting”. Just speak to one of them or their employers and ask how many native born would even apply for what they are doing. If they do, they stay one day, at best. If you really want to tank our economy to the bottom of the sea, follow the extreme natavists. We can compete with places like China, in large part because of immigrant that are willing to work hard and do not expect that everything will fall on their laps. Even a small shift in votes could make a huge impact.

  • Miguel

    You know John, I’m normally an admirer but this seems just plain wrong. The whole reason so many of us Hispanics end up voting for Democrats is because the Republican party has managed to brand us as their enemy, and who votes for the enemy? In my experience with other Hispanics, we are in general quite against abortion, but when people are voting they are voting not with that in mind, but with the question of their own livelihoods at the forefront. Hispanics have come here to attempt to get a better life for their families, and Democrats are providing a way to that, a way out of the daily stress and worry of being marginal, being “illegal.” We just want to make a living, like your own immigrant ancestors. My point is, if the Republican party had courted us from the beginning, instead of trying to use use to gain some short-term votes through exploiting popular fear of the “other,” you’d now be writing an article on how amnesty was essential in order to end abortion. Sure, Bush tried to help, but he was very much out of the mainstream in his party and his proposals were shot down.

    Look man, like it or not, Latinos *are* going to be a major electoral force in this country. Republicans should get that into their heads and stop trying to make an enemy of us. I would never in my life vote for a pro-abortion politician, but more and more I find it extremely difficult to vote for Republicans…

    • Nick Palmer

      Tom and Miguel, some real category errors in your posts.

      First, immigrant does not equal “illegal immigrant.” Period. I, and many conservatives have no per se problem with immigration. It’s respect for our laws and borders that are the issue.

      Second, our economy “is very dependent on those you say are ‘illegal aliens…”? Is it really? Numbers please? The plural of anecdote is not data, and feelings are not facts.

      Third, Latinos does not equal “illegal immigrant.” I’ll agree that the Republican party has not committed sufficiently to latino outreach, but how does this address Dr. Z’s thesis? What do you see, Miguel, as recent examples of “Republicans” making “enemies” of “Latinos”? Again, please separate “Latino” from “illegal immigrant.”

      Fourth, how are Democrats providing a “way out of the daily stress”? By offering a reward for law breaking? By offering moolah, and lots of it — medical care, subsidies, and the like? My money? Yours? The evil rich? Sounds to me like Dems are buying votes, no? So, should the Republicans promise amnesty and money in the hope that the law breakers will vote pro-life? I doubt the efficacy of that solution.

      • Miguel

        Nick, I myself was born in the US, but my parents are immigrants — actually quite recent immigrants since we moved back to Colombia after I was born. They moved here because they have always loved the United States and it was for many years their dream to be able to live here permanently. Though the transition was very difficult, because it involved leaving behind almost everything they had and, in a sense, were, they finally decided to come here, whatever the cost, in the year 2000 after Colombia descended into violence and a severe and long economic recession. They saw there was no future for our family, so my dad go his tourist visa and came here, without a clue of how he was going to be able to support us. We stayed in Colombia for a few more months, he lived with family members who were here (legally). He could not find any company to sponsor his visa, but eventually, through various means, he was able to get an “investor’s” visa and stay here. It was done legally, so we’re in the clear. The thing is, when my dad came to the US with his tourist visa, he had *no idea* if such a path would ever open itself. All he wanted to do was to take care of his family, and if that meant working an honest job without “permission,” that in no way was going to make him feel like a criminal, and he would not have hesitated to do that. Moreover, as a well-educated man with a master’s degree, he was still willing to do any menial job necessary to provide for us. You would have done it too, Nick, if you were living in a country where, for example, *everyone* knew somebody, or at most knew somebody who knew somebody, who had been kidnapped. We needed to get out.

        No, I don’t think a country is morally required to accept anyone into its borders, that’s silly. But my point is simply that from the perspective of an immigrant, the distinction between “legal” and “illigal” carries no weight other than practical. From our perspective it carries all the moral standing of jaywalking when there are no cars around. The only consideration is practical, the fact that life is much easier with a work permit than without one, but we’re willing to risk deportation if it means a chance at a better life.

        My family was able to figure out legal means, but many others we know haven’t, and they are not some separate category from us, but rather our friends, neighbors, and colleagues. As a matter of fact, while my mom was never here illegally, she did work without a permit in a factory where the white owner actually preferred to hire Colombians out of all others not because she could pay them less (she didn’t), but because they were the most dependable workers she knew. I think the reason is that they had not yet taken this country for granted, did not feel entitled to anything, but felt the need to improve their lot an prosper. If that is NOT what US needs, I DON’T KNOW WHAT COULD BE! One of the men in that factory, for example, was lawyer back home, who was working here moving boxes from one place to another. What could he have contributed to the economy with a permit to work legally? From the perspective of the US economy, he is a wasted resource, a failure of the market system.

        The end of the story, by the way, is that thanks to my parents’ willingness to risk all and move here, and find work whether with a permit or no, my sister and I both graduated from Ivy League schools, and have stayed here in the US contributing to the society. I, in fact, am very involved with an orthodox Catholic organization of which you would no doubt approve, and have contributed the little efforts I might to bring about a culture of life more consistent with the Church’s teaching. During college I did the same, by the way, being heavily involved in my university’s pro-life group (being an Ivy League school, this was a much needed voice there).

        We Hispanic immigrants, legal or not so yet, have much to contribute to this society and to the Church, and the conservative movement could find in countless of us allies if it did not alienate us with the sort of rhetoric that was heard often in the last presidential election during the Republican primaries. Tancredo was especially egregious, but others followed suit. Even McCain was cowed into it a bit.

        If the US wants to keep its edge, if it wants to keep that spirit of innovation and hardiness, it will welcome these millions of people who have given up almost everything in order to be here.

  • Edwin

    Miguel, that was my thought exactly. First Republicans deny the human dignity of Latino immigrants, forcing most of them into the arms of the Democrats, and then conservative Catholics want to use this as a reason to go on supporting an evil and unjust policy toward people who are trying to follow natural law by providing for their families?

  • Isabel

    The author can’t be implying that the reason Obama is trying to pass “amnesty” is so that those illegal immigrants will become card-carrying voting Democrats…….in time for the next presidential election? Only one year away?

  • Isabel

    I can’t imagine that Obama, or anybody else who is even remotely familiar with the situation, thinks it could ever happen that quickly.

  • Mrs. F

    Tom, you will find that when illegal immigrants are removed from the jobs in an area, there are many legal citizens, often minority ones, who are happy to accept the open jobs. This is particularly true in today’s economy. I used to believe the line that illegals do the jobs that legals won’t do, but the truth is, the illegals will work for less pay than the legals (who must be paid minimun wage). This benefits the employer, but allows for exploitation of the illegals (often through fear), and unemployment for the unskilled legal citizens. My (Hispanic) husband used to work in a meat-packing plant. He worked a very nasty, labor-intensive job for 13 years. The plant hired illegals when it could because they didn’t need to be paid as much, they didn’t get the health care package, which wasn’t very good but better than nothing, and if they objected to anything, the supervisor could threaten to turn them in. When the company was raided and the illegals removed (along with several guilty parties in human resources and corrupt supervisors), the jobs were filled by legal citizens within a week.

    While most Hispanics in my family, in my Church, who I worked with, and knew as friends were moral conservatives, they voted liberal. They would pray outside the abortion clinic, but vote for Obama. There is also a cultural shift among Hispanics in the country, regardless of legal status, that is hammering away at the morality of the community. It is easy to point to large families and praise them, but my time within the Hispanic community revealed a great deal of promiscuity, out-of-wedlock children (at least not aborted!), quick marriages, divorces and quick remarriages, very little concern for catechizing children properly, even in those families who faithfully attended any church, drug and gang problems, and witchcraft. Many young Hispanic males become enamoured of the gansta lifestyle portrayed by the black rappers, and the misogyny, disrespect for laws and authority, and admiration of violence that goes with it. Hispanics who really believe in and try to live strong family values, want their children to get a good education, be properly catechized, and take hold of that American dream are fighting against the insideous quicksand of these things within their own families, communities, and culture. Those who see no problem with this culture are likely to vote liberal, if they vote at all, and usually have little reason or information about it.

    • Tom

      Mrs F. I also noticed similar negatives, but a lot of this exists in the non Hispanic communities as well. Plus its not all negative. A problem I see with first generation children is that often parents are busy doing 2, 3 jobs (in a 300-1000 mile radius), so often the children don’t see them, are with relatives, etc… That is where the Church could play a role, perhaps. It can be as simple as soccer with some catechism, for example.

  • Tom

    Not an economist, but here is some data.
    The wealth created by illegal immigration is a small positive, according to Harvard professor Borjas (smaller than I thought).
    http://borjas.typepad.com/
    The net loss to governments (expenses vs tax collected from illegal immigrants), is a modest negative, according to the CBO.
    http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/87xx/doc8711/12-6-Immigration.pdf

  • Tom

    …so this is your proof, perfect Republicans: family oriented, create wealth and don’t like taxes

  • Rich Browner

    Henry Karlson nails this.

    One can make a connection from almost any action to an evil one and declare that there is material cooperation with evil, and to some degree be correct. As Henry says, it isnt hard to do. What needs to constantly be explained to what appears to be a very narrow mindedness is the fact that our motives mattter. I will not judge the author’s motives negatively, but the first responder here shows us that arguments like this do little if anything to sway opinion, and really only appear to serve the author and those who agree already.

    Only God knows the hearts of men. John Zmirack can create logical fallacies all he likes, this does not make what he says true.

  • http://profiles.google.com/JohnMcG JohnMcG

    Is it possible, just possible, that someone who supports immigration reform might also truly believe on of the following:

    1. It is possible that people who become citizens will not vote Deomcratic.
    2. It is possible that one or both of the parties could move their positions on abortion such that this is not the ultimate issue.

    The ultimate problem with the main argument is that it sees people as instruments. The immigrants aren’t people whom we must treat in the most virtuous manner possible; they are potential votes that will either help or hurt our cause, and their treatment depends on how they will help or hurt that cause.

    Isn’t that the pro-choice position? The moral status of the unborn child doesn’t matter — what matters is how they impact *my* life; and if they conflict with my larger goals, they can be disposed of.

    I find it extremely unlikely that a pro-life society is going to be built on this.

    This same logic could be used to say that pro-life people living in blue states shouldn’t have children. After all, people who grow up in blue states tend to be Democrats, and research has shown that peers can be more influential than parents in forming ideas. What’s worse, these blue-state children might move to red states and turn them blue.

    Pro-life couples shouldn’t let their selfish desire to have children interfere with justice for the unborn, right?

    • http://vox-nova.com Henry Karlson

      John

      You are right on this. It is treating people as instrumental objects instead of the personal subjects with human rights they are. That is one of the main problems — and as you demonstrate, the argument can be used to create all kinds of instrumental uses of people. I would even say it follows the instrumentalist approach which destroyed livelihoods in Soviet Russia — it is, as Ellul would say, turning people into objects of technique.

      • James

        Of course that is part of the problem. If Obama, and others, are allowing amnesty for the sake of increasing Democratic voters, then this is also instrumentalizing immigrants. And thus immoral. Thus, if that is a motive, then amnesty in this situation would be immoral.

        The question is, is that the case?

  • Isabel

    My experience with illegal immigrants who have come here for (sometimes desperate) financial reasons or to flee violence, is that they want a chance to live a normal, healthy life here. I don’t hear them asking for citizenship and a chance to vote. They want to be able to feed and clothe their families and live in relative safety. I would guess that for many of them the simple permission to work legally would be a miracle. The life of an illegal immigrant is very difficult and I would not want to change places with any of them.

    Mrs. F, I have seen many of the things you describe. My concern is for young people growing up as illegal immigrants, having been brought here as children. Without any kind of legal status, they have no viable options to develop as full members of society. I have met many young people like this and I am deeply concerned. As they hit adulthood, how much worse will all of this become? In my opinion, it is a time bomb. As all the politicians and pundits fight and squabble, time passes.

  • Mrs. F

    Agreed, Isabel. I feel we need border security (the drug cartels are enough of a reason for that!), but I certainly don’t favor attempting a sweeping deportation program. I think that feeling of being in a citizenship limbo–not a legal American citizen, even though it’s really all they’ve known–contributes to the apathy I saw in the younger Hispanic generation. There was a distinct sense of entitlement that was not present in the older generation, but with no reason to feel invested in any country, or in anything larger than themselves and their own ends, these young people drift to whatever is easiest and provides the quickest satisfaction.

    Sadly, there are some good positives among the Hispanic community that could be nurtured by themselves, the Church and the larger community around them. There is a large pool of musical and artistic talent that simply slides away. There is a spiritual awareness that I see much less of in mainstream Catholic culture.

  • Martial Artist

    I fully support immigration reform, as well as the creation of a viable guest worker program. However, I am a bit surprised that most of the commenters here who disagree with Prof. Zmirak’s point, seem quite willing to ignore the fact that if illegal immigrants gain full citizenship via an amnesty, they are effectively “jumping the queue” with respect to their fellow countrymen who are following U.S. immigration law. How does that accord with your respect for the dignity of those immigrants who obey our laws? How does that not encourage them to break other laws which are incovenient? How does it not encourage others to break the same laws in hopes that they, too, can “win the next amnesty lottery?”

    There is an adage which I have found generally true that would seem to apply: “If you subsidized something, including behavior, you are almost assured to get more of it.” Granting full amnesty to illegal immigrants clearly subsidizes breaking of U.S. immigration laws, if not others.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

  • Isabel

    What do you do when you hit 18 and you can’t get a job- except illegally- can’t go to college, can’t get a driver’s license….what do, and can, you do? To try to help these kids, to reach out to them, it to experience the enormity of their situation. I guess the hard fast numbers are just not there, but my sense is there are a lot, a very lot of young people in this category. I really believe that what happens to them will be an important factor in the future of this country. It could go well…..or very badly.

  • John Zmirak

    Let me remind the readers of my compromise proposal:
    Pro-immigration concessions:
    * Suspend deportations of immigrants except for those convicted of serious crimes;
    * Grant legal residency and the right to work (and receive social benefits) to the remaining illegal immigrants.
    In return I seek only:
    * Real border security, so we don’t need another amnesty every 5-10 years.
    * Monitoring and punishment for employers who hire illegals, and careful monitoring of visitors on visas (like the 9/11 hijackers).
    * Legal residency rather than citizenship status for those who are granted amnesty.

    This is GENEROUS offer, which fully respects the human dignity and rights of the immigrants–and in fact grants them many unearned benefits. It avoids ALL the alleged humanitarian catastrophes said to accompany enforcement of our immigration laws (divided families, trauma, loss of cheap labor). But it DOES deprive the Abortion Party of votes.

    Those who reject this deal expose themselves as frauds, and reveal that all they were seeking (when they spoke of human dignity and compassion) were more Abortion Party voters. But then, we suspected that all along….

    • http://profiles.google.com/JohnMcG JohnMcG

      I don’t have a problem with the deal; I have a problem with the morality driving this post.

      Specifically, I strongly object to the notion that voting privileges should be conditioned on the voting tendencies of demographic groups.

      Reducing people to things like party affiliations is part of the the Culture of Death, which is what we’re supposed to be fighting against.

  • Ender

    Let’s try again: the point Professor Z. made is on the table and has still not been addressed, let alone refuted, and the other good, bad, and ugly aspects of immigration are not relevant.

    The claim is made that Hispanics vote 2:1 Democrat and that ratio will remain basically unchanged among new voters if illegal immigrants are given citizenship rights. Such a voting pattern would solidify the Democrats ability to thwart any significant changes in abortion rights for “the foreseeable future.”

    Whatever else may be true about immigrants and immigration doesn’t change the nature of that claim: it is either true or false. Discussing anything else merely directs attention away from the point of the article.

    • Rich Browner

      Is the point of the article merely to reduce an immigrant to a potential voter?

      Things are more nuanced than this.

      Personally, I think the compromise proposal is fine, but there NEVER will be something called “real border security.” The sheer size of this country makes it almost impossible, and only an absolutely xenophobic population would foot the bill to create those conditions.

      I also think the over-the-top negativity toward anyone who might vote for a candidate who happens to be in the “abortion party” is useless blowhard material.

    • http://profiles.google.com/JohnMcG JohnMcG

      Quite the contrary — I submit that it is Prof. Z’s point is the one that is irrelevant.

      The justice of “amnesty” must stand or fall on its own; it is not contingent on the voting tendencies of demographic groups that stand to benefit.

      To say otherwise is to say that the treatment people are due is dependent on how doing so serves our other goals.

      This is the Culture of Death.

      • James

        Though there is not something intrinsically “just” or, for that matter, “unjust” about amnesty.

        • http://profiles.google.com/JohnMcG JohnMcG

          I am not claiming there is. That is also a worthwhile discussion.

          If the voting statistics for Hispanics were reversed, and someone were making the argument that to oppose amnesty is to support abortion because amnesty would provide a boost to the GOP to enable pro-life legislation, I would be saying the same thing.

      • LV

        On the contrary again. While the justice of amnesty will stand or fall on its own, this piece is not concerned with the justice of the issue (as the Prof. notes, he has addressed that point many times before).

        This piece is concerned with the *prudence* of amnesty, with regards to the abortion issue.

    • Isabel

      The claim is based on the premise that current US Latino voters are so much the same as new (illegal) immigrants that they will vote exactly the same. This unsupported claim could be based on either total ignorance of the culture or a belief that, despite differences in life histories, religious affiliations, economic level, cultural experience, primary language, education, and a number of other factors that could be listed, two disparate groups will vote exactly the same because of………? What? Race? Even that’s not the same. Or that they all like tacos? Oh, wait, not everybody likes tacos….hmm…not sure.

  • Pingback: Capitalism Equals Abortion « Vox Nova

  • Isabel

    Keith,

    You make a good point. However, I myself, as well as, it seems, other people commenting on this blog, are not necessarily advocating ‘amnesty’, at least not the bogeyman ‘amnesty’ that many people like to conjure up as a way of panicking people about ANY immigration reform. I understand the perils of what you are describing. I myself am strongly against illegal immigration, and not because of some false conflict between the immigrant who wins by freeloading and the poor US who is victimized….to me that is propaganda and mythology. Illegal immigration ends up being bad for everyone, and those who know the immigrants personally know that. We certainly don’t want to encourage more of it. That being said, for people to remain here (and remain they will) in an undocumented status is prolonging and complicating the negative social problems that arise from this situation.

    I think the author of this blog is talking as an academic and has no personal experience with the situation. From what I read of Obama’s proposal, the requirements to be legalized are stringent and difficult. For instance, they will have to learn English. Does anyone know how difficult it is to learn a second language past adolescence, especially if you don’t have an education to begin with, are working two jobs, and raising a family? Have you ever tried to become fluent in Spanish, Italian, or French? How well have you succeeded? Anyone who thinks what is being proposed is an easy “giveaway” should take a look at it again. It would be YEARS before anyone could even apply for citizenship, and the effort involved sounds considerable. But at least there is a chance of at least beginning to straighten out this behemoth.

  • Miguel

    John, I think your proposal is a good one. The thing is, legal residency leads within a few years to citizenship — my parents are applying for theirs now, as a matter of fact. Does your proposal imply that an exception should be made and that all these people should, unlike other permanent residents, should never have the chance to go on to become citizens? Please clarify.

    • Rich Browner

      It seems to me that is exactly what he means. Second class citizens. Forever. No cahnce to become a citizen and then vote for the evil “abortion party.”

      I should start calling anyone who speeds with their car an illegal. They ARE breaking the law…they ARE driving illegally if they are speeding. They would be an “illegal driver.” My guess is that John Z has once or twice broken a speed limit. I shall start using his logic and chicken little hyperbole to call him an “illegal.”

      And, since he broke the law, he should lose his right to drive FOREVER…no matter how much he might pay to make amends, or what he does later.

      That is sure to protect his idea of “justice.”

  • John Zmirak

    Dear Miguel,
    Yes, I would make an exception, if one is legally workable. Or a special residence status could be created by law for those whose violation of our immigration laws was “forgiven.”

    As to the point about their having to learn English, I’m afraid that this part of the proposal is simply a fraud. Did you know that most legal migrants currently MUST have a “sponsor,” who agrees to support them if they become unemployed, so they don’t become a “public charge” and collect welfare? It’s true–and it goes completely unenforced, like most of our immigration law.

    As to Rich Browner, all I’ll say is this plug in “pro-slavery” or “pro-segregation” for “abortion” and see if anyone objects to applying a single-issue litmus test.

  • Isabel

    Ender,

    I will argue the point.

    1) New immigrants are different culturally and socially than the current ‘average’ Hispanic voter who votes 2-1 Democrat. It is not reasonable to assume that they these two groups will vote in an identical way.

    2) In the past, many Catholics were Democrats due to social and economic doctrines that benefitted working class people, but many have changed to Republican because of the pro-life issues. Since many new immigrants are Catholic, there could be a similar evolution.

    3) The way that immigrants vote in the future will have a great deal to do with the ability of the Church in future years to articulate the hierarchy of values in public life in a way that will move the hearts and minds of voters. At present, the Church is consumed with being able to barely meet the sacramental, let alone catechetical needs, of enormous numbers of immigrants for which we were not practically prepared, and there is very little energy or time left over to devote to teaching on social issues such as the pro-life movement in the US.

    4) If we are concerned about abortion, we should be concerned about the fact that an uneducated, underprivileged population, unable to make choices about health care, with a host of social ills which are exacerbated by their ‘hidden’ status in society, are easy fodder for family planning programs and abortion clinics. At present, yes, most immigrants ‘act’ pro-life. If the immigrant culture continues to decline, do not expect that to continue.

    5) If conservatives, especially conservative Catholics, were to reach out to immigrants with real compassion for their situation, actively seeking a solution that benefits all, immigrants would no longer be forced to view conservatives and the Republican party as “the enemy”. By fighting tooth and nail on every issue that could benefit immigrants and their families, we portray a hostile image and fulfill our own negative prophesies.

    Frankly, we look like hypocrites.

    • Ender

      1. It is more reasonable to assume that groups will behave in the future as they have in the past than to assume that their inclinations will spontaneously change.

      2. Beliefs do evolve, just very, very slowly. There are still huge numbers of Catholics who vote for the Party of Death because it used to be something else and they haven’t come to grips with the change.

      3. Hispanics are voting 2:1 Democrat now, why would we believe the Church will be more influential in the future than they are today?

      4. The personal opinions of the electorate toward abortion are irrelevant; all that matters is the opinion of the person elected to Congress.

      5. Republicans will never be able to outbid Democrats in promising benefits.

      I understand you consider the question Professor Zmirak raised to be irrelevant but you have not made a much of a case that it is wrong.

      • Isabel

        1. My point was that they are two different groups.

        2. Sometimes beliefs evolve slowly and sometimes they evolve quickly.

        3. That depends on us. (The Church)

        4. True, and also whether they are effective in putting their opinions into law. But in #4 I was referring to the probability that more abortions will actually HAPPEN if the Hispanic culture continues to decline. Forget about the “legality” for a moment. In the pro-life movement we are struggling to save lives, not just win a legal battle.

        5. What I was referring to, had nothing to do with benefits, if by that you mean welfare. Public opinion is what gains votes.

  • Isabel

    John Zmirak,
    Well, then what is the difference between your proposal and Obama’s?

  • Isabel

    Now having argued the point a bit, let me state that I agree with John McG that the point is irrelevant. Supporting or opposing citizenship based on future voting tendencies is a reprehensible idea.

    • Rich Browner

      Yep. This says it all. Cleanly.

    • Brian English

      What should it be based on?

      • Rich Browner

        It certainly shouldnt be based on how SOME people think others MIGHT happen to vote, should they become citizens many years in the future.

        • Brian English

          But what should it be based upon? You have already told me what it shouldn’t be based upon.

          • Rich Browner

            I am not really in a position in terms of time
            to outline all of the things one group of citizens MIGHT decide are the requirements for citizenship.

            I can give you a few:

            The state should make sure the person applying is not a rock or a tree; in other words, a living breathing human person.

            The state should check to see that the person applying understands the laws of the country to which they are applying for citizenship.

            After that, I suppose any country can add whatever hoops they like, ours certainly does. Mostly, we make the process impossibly LONG.

            By constantly asking us what SHOULD it be based on, are you at all agreeing that we SHOULD discriminate because one political party MIGHT get an advantage?

            Citizenship should be based on some merit, and yet, there should be no discrimination in terms of PROJECTED political affiliation.

            Why is this so hard to get?

      • Isabel

        I guess it should be based in charity, that is, willing the good of all, for their own sakes, and not as a means to an end.

        • Brian English

          Does the “all” include unborn children?

          • Isabel

            Of course. Do you assume it wouldn’t?

  • Tom

    Prof Z compromise is interesting, but I still disagree with the vote issue. There are a number of fallacies with that position:
    1) It depends how an amnesty program is designed, even with right to vote. Most likely, there would not be a huge influx of new voters any time soon, if ever.
    2) What ever the ratio of Hispanic vote is currently between parties, it is those that are already citizens that vote. It’s a different group than those described in 1). We like to lump all Hispanic one as same, but they are not. A 5-10% shift in the voting Hispanic group can make or brake political party leadership in government.
    3) Just pick up any Hispanic US weekly, it is often full of local stories of rough treatment, jail, deportations, broken families, etc… Without going into the is it right or wrong aspect of this, on a gut level, it is hard to imagine that anyone in this constituency can feel any sympathy to a party that advocates such treatment. Those that are or will be able to vote will not vote pro-abortion, but against a party that was rough on family members. That is the way the cookie crumbles.
    4) If the pro-life movement had more guts, it would infiltrate the Democrats, and use typical left slogans to justify the pro-life position (very easy to do), and make both sides fight to be the best pro-life party. This is not done not only because liberals as gutless, selfish, whining navel gazers, but also because the pro-life position too often is a too valuable piece of political real estate for the right, used to advance other agendas that have nothing to do with pro-life. It’s almost as if some “conservatives” want abortion to continue, since it’s such a useful political tool (I not saying that you are in that camp, Prof Z, so hold your fire!). Where is adoption in all this?
    5) Finally, where is the Catholic Church in all this? There is no reason that Hispanic children, many whom go to Church, should be brainwashed by the dominant “free for all behavior” culture we now live in. This is where Prof Z’s description of NY Irish and Archbishop Hughes (if I remember) is so instructive.

    • Brian English

      “Finally, where is the Catholic Church in all this?”

      Busy lobbying for amnesty, government controlled healthcare, and other seamless garment priorities.

  • Vermont Crank

    “orthodox Muslim Osama bin Laden ”

    Amen. The most dutiful and faithful followers of islam are the ones who, like Osama, actualise the Doctrines of Islam as recored in the Koran, the Siras and the Hadiths

  • Isabel

    Tom,

    You asked where the Catholic Church is in all this?

    Overwhelmed.

    Not enough priests, not enough religious, not enough money, not enough resources, not enough catechists, not enough time, not enough experience, to meet the needs of the newly arrived Spanish-speaking Catholics.

    To many Catholics talkin’ and not enough on the front lines. If educated, conservative Catholics started learning Spanish and heading out to their local inner-city Hispanic parishes to lend a hand…boy that might change the world.

  • John Zmirak

    Yes, Isabel, and I would like to see the Church’s approach to immigrants shift completely, to leave off mimicking the activism of secular leftists and focus on:
    1) Evangelization. How about an explosion of apologetics texts in Spanish aimed at dismantling both fundamentalism and secularism?
    2) Liturgy: How about parishes offering the Extraordinary Form with Spanish sermons, like a parish I know in Texas? Or many more reverent (instead of silly, folksy, condescending) Spanish liturgies?
    3) Work ethic: Instead of steering poor people toward public assistance programs (as Catholic pregnancy shelters I know about do) why not instill in them an aversion to government dependency (as the Protestant pregnancy shelters do, I’ve observed)?

    The Church should not politicize itself by taking sides on the prudential issue of immigration to win a little cheap, short-term popularity. That good will is going to vanish, just as the Church’s hold over Boston Irish (won in much the same way) vanished in a SINGLE generation.

  • Isabel

    Dear John Z,

    And how about you doing something about it personally? All well and good to talk, but actions are what count. Like I said, it could really make a difference. Hands to work are what we need, not just more opinions.

    How is your Spanish coming?

  • John Zmirak

    Well, Isabel, I could equally ask what you’re doing to stop Islamic terrorism. How’s your Arabic coming?

    Really, don’t try these cheap rhetorical tricks with me, people. You are seriously out of your league.

    I am performing a service by trying to deflect the Church’s slide down the path of mainline Protestant churches, which have turned into saccharine social welfare agencies. I am also defending my country from destructive policies–a moral duty according to the virtue of patriotism, which is a species of piety and an instance of gratitude. I am rendering unto Caesar (and to my neighbor) what is his.

    • Isabel

      It was a sincere invitation, one which I have made to many people, and with quite a bit of success. I’ve seen firsthand the good things that can come out of it. If you want to take that as a cheap rhetorical trick, go right ahead. I wouldn’t dare take on someone who is so obviously out of my league.

      • Isabel

        If you think you are doing everything God is calling you to do, I respect that. But maybe you should ask Him.

      • Rich Browner

        NIcely done, Isabel. It is too bad that Zmirack and others like him are so jaded into thinking that everyone is attempting tricks to win arguments or something. My Spanish needs work, and I am glad to work on it every year we take students to Mexico on mission trips. I, for one, never saw your invitation as a cheap trick.

        I am quite glad I am not is his “league” either.

        • Isabel

          Thanks. :-) Keep up the work. Maybe we’ll cross paths someday.

          • Okie

            Way to go, Isabel…way to point to someone who is arguing during an argument (which you are supposed to do) and use this as a platform to brag about how good of a person you are! We are all so proud of your Spanish! You must really care about things, whereas the rest of us, we obviously are not spiritually up with you yet.

            You have your reward on this one.

          • Isabel

            Okie,

            Sorry if it came off that way but if I wanted to boast don’t you think I’d put down my full name or something so everyone could at least know who I am? Come on.

            Everything about this article seems to hold no compassion or concern for the very people it is discussing, and that bothers me (and others!) quite a bit. How can you make decisions about the lives of people you neither know personally nor care about? Best hope I can see for him is if he actually met some illegal immigrants and learned who (not what!) they really are. Maybe he would learn to see them as persons instead of some great nebulous threat.

            It’s best not to judge another person’s intentions since, first, you could be wrong, and, second, you could be wrong, and third….

            Oh, wait, judging intentions is what this whole blog was about! Silly me. Never mind, you are in EXACTLY the right place! Carry on, good Okie!

  • Vermont Crank

    Dear Isabel. Excellent. Encourage the natives to learn the language of the invaders. That’s the ticket.

    Never allow the Native-Americans, like me (Ii was born in Vermont), to grieve for their lost country (thanks 1965 Immigration Act). Nope. It is OUR duty to change.

    Well, our country was stolen from us fair and square and all that went with it (with its White European Progenitors) is routinely trashed because we white men are evil.

    As Juan Pizzaro used to say, “C’est la vie.

    As we descend into third-worldism with all of its attendant evils, you can count on me to heap scorn upon all of the attempts to make we victims the criminals and to laugh at the putative wisdom of those who are electing a new people.

    I have every right to love and treasure my heritage as any other people on earth and as my country import poverty disease and ignorance I wonder what to think of people who come here solely for economic reasons. There are not invading because they love our heritage, history, traditions etc

    Their country sucks and they were failed by their own people. Not me

    Tell me again what I have in common with such people?

    • Isabel

      VC,

      I don’t know what you have in common with such people. I have in common my Catholic Faith. You are welcome to grieve your lost country. I grieve it sometimes too. I love my heritage and country as much as anybody. I just love Heaven more.

    • Alex

      Hello Sir,

      Mexico wasn’t failed by its own people, but by its political class.

      Mexico could be a wealthy, powerful country. Hardworking people, and situated just below the biggest buying market on the planet. This won’t happen if its most energetic and entrepreneurial citizens leave it for America.

      But that’s not even the most important issue here; human life is.

    • Miguel

      “Encourage the natives to learn the language of the ***invaders***.”

      And there it is. So I’m crazy by suggesting we Hispanics are being branded as the enemy? It almost makes me wish (though not really) for a wave of radicalized Muslims to start getting here by the boatload, just so you could begin to appreciate what a blessing it is to have so many Catholic brothers and sisters, willing to work hard and improve their lives, arriving here.

      How are we different from the Italians, who spoke a strange language and were not even considered white at first? From the Irish who were considered as low as slaves? From all of them who lived in ghettos supposedly self-segregated from the rest of the society? How??? And did they ruin the US?

      No, they made it stronger.

      • Brian English

        They all came here legally, pursuant to the immigration laws then in place.

        There are many people around the world who would make this country stronger. You are saying it is their tough luck that they live in countries that don’t share a land border with the US. Does that strike you as fair?

        • Isabel

          Brian,

          My family came on the coffin ships from County Mayo. Unfortunately, there is no way to prove that they would have come illegally if that was the only option available to them, since the ones that came are all now dead. What do you think? Since you don’t know my family….and maybe you haven’t starved….I will tell you: they would have come illegally if they had to. I’m just sayin’, probably….

          • Brian English

            My paternal grandparents came here from Ireland, and my maternal great-grandparents came here from Ireland and Lithuania, so they all had to come here on boats.

            The question you keep avoiding is why it is fair to favor immigrant groups simply because they can walk here?

          • Isabel

            Who is avoiding that question? I was responding to your first claim, that all our ancestors came here “legally”. Not only is that not true, but of those who did come here legally it is not fair to give them some kind of automatic moral superiority to those who did not.

            Now your second question:

            I don’t understand it. That’s why I didn’t answer it. I’m not favoring immigrant groups simply because they can walk here, and I don’t know anybody else who is.

  • Alex

    The lives of many babies yet unborn are at stake here, yet some consider it a ‘voting preference.’ As if it were something on ballot alongside lottery initiatives.

  • jacobus

    It’s equally likely that the addition of a pro-life, fiscally liberal, Catholic block of immigrant voters would move the Democrat Party towards the direction of abortion- and life-political sanity.

    Amnesty would be a definite positive for the US.

  • http://profiles.google.com/JohnMcG JohnMcG

    If the voting statistics were reversed, and Hispanic voters favored the GOP by a 2-1 margin, (or if that’s too difficult to believe, imagine there was another immigrant group we were considering granting citizenship to that had these voting characteristics), would it be fair to claim that those opposed to granting citizenship were pro-abortion because withholding it deprived the GOP of enough votes to enact some real pro-life restrictions?

    Or is it possible that they opposed this for principled reasons that had nothing to do with abortion?

    But if so, weren’t they letting their concern about things like respect for the law and the health of the job market “trump” justice for the unborn?

    • Brian English

      (1) Yes.

      (2) Yes.

      (3) Yes.

  • http://catholickey.blogspot.com Jack Smith

    So, you would grant all those here illegally all the rights and privileges of citizenship excluding the right to vote?

    That is very short term political thinking and a prescription for sending the fastest growing demographic to the Democrats forever.

    But I don’t think you’re serious. Would this same proposal appear under your name in Chronicles?

  • Tom

    Vermont Crank, what are you complaining about? The last time I was in your faire state, the only “immigrants” were pale Quebecers on their bicycles, trying to loose their winter fat. Why is it people from places like Michigan or Vermont that are the worse cranks in regards to immigration? It must be the proximity to Canada, or something.
    In regards to Muslims, those that I know do not consider Bin Laden orthodox at all. Not sure people noticed, but there is a big fight amongst them now, lets not favor the fanatics.

  • Tony Esolen

    Let’s suppose that I wanted to buy votes by providing bread and circuses to Germans living in Rome. I understand that my natural enemies are my fellow aristocrats, fellow Romans, who may have ruthless ambitions of their own to rule Our Pond. The last thing I really want to have happen is that my Germanic clients should themselves adopt old traditions of Roman piety, raise strong and independent families, and merge with that old aristocracy. Recall that I want clients, not rivals.

    So when some grumbling would-be Cato the Censor tries to pass laws that would encourage the formation of strong families, that would reward men who married and stayed married, and who with their wives raised responsible children, I would — while smiling at his naivete — suggest that he was really animated by hatred of the masses (and who knows, I might have something there, given the vagaries of human motivation), that he wanted to take away from them their right to the grain dole, that he wanted to starve them, and so forth. This is what is known, in the strict sense, as demagoguery.

    I wonder if someone here can tell me what tends to happen to Mexican families — for example — when the father comes to the US to earn money to send back home. What’s not broached here is the possibility that the welfare and abortion regime, the family-crushing State and its symbiotic savengers in mass education and mass entertainment, are in the end far worse than material poverty.

  • Mrs. F

    Mr. Esolen, the Mexican/Hispanic/Latino family, whether a recent immigrant or here for a few generations, is disintegrating fast–in my observations, faster than the general population. The worst parts of American popular culture, and the worst effects coming over the border (the drugs, gangs and violence), hit them hard. I am not sure that the shift to America is a spiritual improvement, though it may give more opportunities in other areas.

    btw, I enjoy your essays at the beginning of Magnificat each month.

    • Isabel

      What Mrs. F says is true.

      Mr. Esolen, I have seen families on both sides of the border in which the father has emigrated or been deported. Every family is unique. Some remain close and eventually are reunited. For others, it is the first step to a permanent separation. Some send money faithfully. Some never send anything at all. Some find a new partner somewhere else.

      Every day people are deported from this country while their family remains here. If they love their family and are motivated, they find a way to get back, though of course there are no legal avenues.

      I have often thought it would have been better for many if they had not come here, better morally, spiritually, etc. But it wasn’t my choice to make, and what’s done is done.

  • Brian English

    “I am not really in a position in terms of time
    to outline all of the things one group of citizens MIGHT decide are the requirements for citizenship.”

    We are not talking about citizenship requirements. We are talking about what factors can be considered in deciding whether a large group should receive amnesty.

    You have made it clear that you consider it a moral outrage to take into account the likelihood that the group will vote in overwhelming numbers for a political party that: (1) voted nearly unanimously AGAINST legislation that prohibits infanticide; and (2) intends to place justices on the Supreme Court who will strike down all restrictions on abortion.

    So what impacts on society do you think can be morally considered in determining this question?

    • Rich Browner

      There was a time in my life when I could only see through the prism of the abortion issue. I simply no longer do that.

      I do believe that life is precious and should be protected, but seeing every issue in our world as trumped or first influenced by how the abortion issue MiGHT be affected is not always helpful, or the most prudent course.

      • Brian English

        I have no doubt that you are a good-hearted person who cares about the suffering of the less fortunate, but there are very sound reasons why the Church places these Life issues at the top of the hierarchy of moral issues. If you don’t get the part about killing unborn children right, you are not going to get anything else right.

  • Brian English

    “Of course. Do you assume it wouldn’t?”

    Yes. Your assertion that taking into account the impact on the unborn of a grant of amnesty constitutes a crime against humanity leads to the conclusion that you do not include them in your evaluation of the common good.

    • http://profiles.google.com/JohnMcG JohnMcG

      Then that’s just a matter of your uncharitable reading.

      • Brian English

        How is that uncharitable? If you condemn any consideration of the unborn’s interests in addressing the amnesty issue, how are their interests being included in evaluating the common good?

        • Isabel

          I never condemned any consideration of the unborn’s interests. I condemn the conclusion of the article… it is false and reprehensible. You don’t make decisions that massively affect people’s lives based on your ignorant assumptions about what they “might” do someday at some future date…..especially whey you don’t even know them! Not only because you can’t know other people’s minds; it completely disregards the truth that human beings are not robots, programmed to act a certain way. I might make decisions for flock of sheep that way, not human beings. It is degrading. If you can’t see that, wait until it happens to you.

    • http://profiles.google.com/JohnMcG JohnMcG

      I guess I trust the Holy Spirit that if granting amnesty to these immigrants is the right thing to do (and I am not entirely convinced it is), then God will work with us to ensure that this does not lead to further bloodshed for the unborn.

      Yes, we have to do what we have to do, and act with prudence. But I don’t think God is calling us to act unjustly (again, if one believes that granting amnesty is just) in one arena so that justice can be done in another arena.

      That is not the God I believe in and worship. And I don’t think a God who would ask me treat people as instruments, to make my treatment of them dependent on how that may influence another arena, even one as important as justice for the unborn, would be one worth worshipping.

      • Brian English

        How can you be so sure that the impact amnesty would have on the unborn is not evidence that it would be the wrong thing to do?

        “And I don’t think a God who would ask me treat people as instruments, to make my treatment of them dependent on how that may influence another arena, even one as important as justice for the unborn, would be one worth worshipping.”

        But how is evaluating the impact of amnesty on the society treating people like instruments? How else are you going to decide whether it is just or not?

        • http://vox-nova.com Henry Karlson

          The ends do not justify the means. Consequentialism is rejected as a guiding moral principle.

          • Brian English

            What does this have to do with consequentialism?

          • Isabel

            This is how it is consequentialism. Someone correct me if I am wrong.

            Assume, for the sake of the argument, that granting citizenship to immigrants is the most just treatment. If that were determined, to deny it would be unjust. To deny it in order to achieve a good would be to commit a wrong (injustice) in order to achieve a good (future candidate elections). That would be doing wrong to achieve good. That is the ends being used to justify the means, when the means are wrong. We can never do evil to achieve good.

            If we don’t start out with that premise, we shortcircuit any attempt to come to any correct moral decision.

        • Isabel

          Evaluating the impact of amnesty on abortion is one thing. This article goes way beyond simply evaluating it.

    • Isabel

      What—-? When did I assert that taking into account the impact on the unborn of a grant of amnesty constitutes a crime against humanity?

      If you twist people’s words enough, it’s pretty much the same thing as making things up!

      If it’s pro-life credentials that are in question, give me yours and I will give you mine!

      • Brian English

        “Isabel 05/12/2011 3:47 pm
        Now having argued the point a bit, let me state that I agree with John McG that the point is irrelevant. Supporting or opposing citizenship based on future voting tendencies is a reprehensible idea.”

        That is you, isn’t it?

    • Isabel

      Well, your assumption is wrong and you have misunderstood me. I did not assert that taking into account the impact on the unborn of a grant of amnesty constitutes a crime against humanity. It is okay to use hyperbole but in this case you quoted something to me which goes contrary to what I really think and misrepresents what I really said.

      • Isabel

        Yes, Brian, and can you tell me how that statement is identical to the original one you quoted back to me? It is not…

        • Brian English

          Let’s not play games. Calling something a reprehensible idea is a pretty strong condemnation.

          • Isabel

            I think it is wrong to deny rights to people because they are not on your side. I do think it is reprehensible. A crime against humanity? There’s no crime; it’s all speculation.

            The right to life is absolutely the original right that there is and there is no question that abortion is the biggest moral issue. I just don’t believe that this line of thinking is going to reduce abortions or win our cause. I think it is the wrong direction.

  • Vermont Crank

    Dear Isabel and Tom. I am complaining about the invasion/colonisation from the South. The people coming from there , obviously, do not have loyalty to their crummy countries and so there is no rational presumption that they are going to be loyal to this Country.

    Am I expected to welcome an invasion by disloyal people?

    It appears to me they are invading and colonising solely for material purposes – we’s got the cash, they want it – and if that is the impetus for the invasion/colonisation then it will end in the final destruction of America.

    In “City of God,” St. Augustine identifies a major problem of people who speak different languages trying to live together in the same country.

    He says “When men cannot communicate their thoughts to each other, simply because of difference of language, all the similarity of their common human nature is of no avail to unite them in fellowship. So true is this that a man would be more cheerful with his dog for company than with a  foreigner.”

    It is a mistake to consider The Camp of The Saints/Holy Mother Church/Kingdom of God as similar in form as to a country.

    Jesus established His Universal Church to include all peoples, cultures, languages, etc but God never established any principle that a country ought be like that but many modern Christian Catholics think a country can be modeled on a Divine Institution and that is a captious and crazy conflation of mutually exclusive realities.

    We Christian Catholics, no matter where we live, are always a nation within a nation and the Church is, in its essence, the same everywhere and always but that is not true of nations. Nations have their own peoples, languages, customs, borders; and kith and kin and blood and soil and it is an execrable evil for politicians to kill our Country to try and satisfy some hallucination that we can just collect peoples from cultures from here there an everywhere and expect peace and prosperity to result.

    “Chronicles” magazine always has great issues but this month’s issue, “Death Wish of the West,” is a must read for those interested in the National Question.

    I’ll just end by quoting Roger McGrath from that issue: “If suicide is a sin for individuals, should not suicide also be a sin for nations?”

    • Isabel

      Dear VC,

      Your attitude is your own and you may have it. Who can convince you to have a different one?

      For me I try to orient myself somewhat by some words I remember hearing once….something about maybe having to depart into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels……because Christ was a stranger, and I did not take Him in…..

      Even if the US goes to a proverbial hell in a handbasket, I’d rather go to a proverbial hell than the real one.

      But that’s my choice. Everyone has to decide for himself.

  • James
  • John Zmirak

    In answer to those who wrote that I was reducing immigrants to nothing more than votes by considering their likely political behavior, let me explain:
    1) By offering those immigrants ENORMOUS unearned benefits (instead of deportation) such as the right to work and live in America as non-citizens, we would be exercising mercy, rather than justice. We would also be answering EVERY SINGLE ONE of the moral objections to deportation: No families would be broken up, no parishes would be disrupted, those immigrants could not be exploited either here or back in their home countries.
    2) By denying them citizenship in a country they entered illegally, whose laws they flouted by working illegally, we would be making a moral statement about the value of American citizenship: It can be earned, but it cannot be stolen.
    3) By preventing these forgiven criminals from voting, we would protect the unborn by not flooding the voting rolls with voters who (as recent history has shown) are likely to PUT THEIR OWN ETHNIC IDENTITY AND ECONOMIC SELF-INTEREST OVER THE SANCTITY OF LIFE. (By the way, why doesn’t anyone hold Latinos morally responsible for doing that? Doesn’t that amount to treating them like children or moral idiots? I condemn the wretched Irish Democrats of New England for supporting abortion. Which pro-immigration spokesman will do the same with Latinos?)
    4) Anyone who will not accept the compromise I proposed here, who insists on full voting rights for amnestied illegals, proves himself a hypocrite; all he wants is left-wing voters for the Abortion Party.
    5) If the Church is primarily concerned with souls, she should consider whether the migrants are more likely to find salvation and stay in the Church in corrupt American cities, atheist public schools, and gang-infested neighborhoods–instead of their flawed but mostly Catholic home countries.

    • Rich Browner

      Ok John, lets go to the hypothetical place you call for.

      Let’s say we do the Amnesty compromise exactly as you envision it here. Let’s say it is ten years since this amnesty and there is a parish where a number of PROLIFE recipients of amnesty now want to vote.

      You go ahead and explain your “principled” reasoning to them. Are you really asking people who want a better life to live forever as second class citizens because you are afraid of how others, in their demographic USUSUALLY vote?

      If people break a law, most of the time nonviolent offenses include fines of some sort, but not PERPETUAL penalties.

      If you can honestly see yourself expalining this to someone who has received amnesty and paid their dues, and wants to vote in our society as a citizen, especially as a PROLIFE citizen, just like our grandparents did…well..your arrogance and hubris astound me.

      Who are WE to decide? Arent we all children of immigrants, most of whom would have been considered “illegals” by today’s standards?

    • Isabel

      1) God’s justice or man’s justice? Just checking. In case you are ever out of money, or food, or goodwill and need to come to my house for help, I’ll know what kind of justice to feed you with.

      3) Some people think ‘condemning’ people is what the Accuser does, whereas actually changing people’s hearts and minds does not advance along these lines. If you think it does, please show me someone that has been ‘condemned’ by J. Z. and therefore has had a change of heart and is now ‘flying straight’. I will show you some people who have been changed after being treated with respect and kindness.

      Why are you talking as if illegal immigrants and American voting Latinos are the same group of people? They are not the same group of people! Your entire argument, such as it is, is based on a false premise, which you can’t support because there is no support for it!

      4. Claptrap. I actually don’t have much problem with your “compromise”, by the way, but for different reasons. Still this statement is claptrap.

      5. I guess the last time you visited Mexico or Colombia you heard the priests preaching from the pulpit about how everybody should move to the US for the betterment of their souls…..or maybe it was the time Archbishop Gomez climbed up on the border fence and yelled “hey everybody this way!!” They usually try to keep that kind of thing under wraps when are bloggers around….but it gets out sometimes.

    • http://profiles.google.com/JohnMcG JohnMcG

      Let me paraphrase to ensure I am understanding this right — my harsh judgement may come that this is the first I have read of you on the issue of immigration, and thus I was thinking this was an opening argument against the set of policies we will refer to as “amnesty,” rather than the end of a series.

      You consider it established that we do not owe those who have crossed the border illegally anything. All justice demands from us is a ticket home. Anything further is an indulgence, or a mercy. (BTW, I am meaning indulgence in the best meaning of the term, not pre-Reformation terms. I mean in terms of how we deserve damnation, but God mitigates it).

      That being the case, it is acceptable and proper for us to exercise prudence in determining which of these indulgences to grant to these people. Since, if they are allowed to vote, they would likely vote in such a way that would continue a terrible injustice, prudence demands that we withhold this particular indulgence. Given that, anyone suggesting we extend this unowed indulgence to them has revealed himself to be, at best, indifferent to the plight of the unborn, if not outright hostile.

      Now, the problem with this piece is that most people who favor “amnesty” do not believe that all immigrants are owed is a ticket back to their home country. They believe, rightly or wrongly, that they are not defined by their violation of immigrant laws, and are due the same hospitality the rest of us are.

      These people may be incorrect. But if there reasons for supporting this are that they believe justice demands it, then the likely impact such voters would have on abortion policy is completely irrelevant. If justice demands that these people are due voting rights, then we must deliver them voting rights, and if that makes the pro-life cause more difficult, we’ll all just have to work that much harder.

      In short, the accusation of this piece would be on target for people who believe the following:

      * Justice does not demand “amnesty” for those who came here illegally.
      * We should have amnesty anyway.
      * Claim to be pro-life.

      My anecdotal experience suggests this is a very small set of people, perhaps non-existent.

      I apologize if my lack of familiarity with Prod. Zmirak’s writing on immigration led me to an uncharitable conclusion. I was coming from a place where the justice of current immigration policies is up for debate, whereas it seems Prof. Zmirak is coming from a place where the justice of the current immigration regime is considered settled.

  • Fr. Vincent Fitzpatrick

    Bravo, John Z.!

    Just as politicians who promote legal discrimination against the unborn are not fit to hold public office, so voters who put such politicians in office are not fit for the civic function of elector–or, in fact, of citizen. Such people–voters and politicians–are monstrous criminals, and history will judge them so. (There are NOT “good people on both sides of this issue”–a bit of morally putrid cant that even pro-life politicians are wont to recite.

    So the question for the bishops is: Do you favor or oppose the continued importation of people whose moral and civic formation is so deficient that they will directly thwart the pro-life movement, and keep our government in the hands of people Pope Bl. John Paul called totalitarians?–i.e., those who claim the authority to define classes of people as disposable things.

    • Isabel

      Dear VF,

      See #5 above.

  • WJ

    (1) According to Zmirak, the President’s latest plan is “amnesty.”

    (2) According to Zmirak, those who favor amnesty for illegal immigrants are not, in cold fact, pro-life.

    (3) The U.S. Bishops support something like Obama’s plan.

    (4) Therefore, according to Zmirak, the U.S. bishops are not, in cold fact, pro-life.

    Not buying it.

    • Anna

      WJ,

      You should buy it. Your logic is remarkably sound. Many of our bishops are not, in cold fact, pro-life. Oh, they may make statements periodically that sound pro-life, but are they at the March for Life? A hand full, perhaps (I certainly haven’t seen my bishop there). Do they volunteer at pregnancy aid centers? Hmm, no they do not (well, maybe for the occasional photo-op). Do they stand up to Catholic politicians who vote for abortion? My, my, most of them don’t – most Catholic bishops won’t even refuse them Communion.

      Let’s face it, most of our bishops are not, in cold fact, pro-life.

  • WJ

    There is so much that is wrong with Zmirak’s piece. Thankfully, much of it has already been noted, but I feel compelled to throw out a few more, perhaps in the hope that Crisis will not publish such stuff again.

    Zmirak faults the possible new citizens for putting their “own ethnic identity and economic self-interest over the sanctity of life.” But only about 10% of citizens consistently make protection of human life the paramount issue when voting. We citizens are no better than the groups Zmirak derides. Should our citizenship be stripped because of our moral failings?

    Zmirak would protest that their illegal status is an issue. Yes, it is *the* issue. How they may vote is not and should not be an issue at all. If it is, and creating a pro-life electorate is the overriding issue, then their illegal status is irrelevant and our status of our citizenship is surely up for discussion.

    Lastly, the comment about the concern for souls is disturbing. Immigration policy is about our souls – not the immigrants – since it we who set policy.

  • Jim Schwarz

    Providing these people a path to citizenship is part of a consistant ethic of life!

  • http://www.crisismagazine.com Administrator

    Jack Smith at the Catholic Key blog (Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph) has a response to this column here:

    http://goo.gl/wAP20

  • Tom

    VC, the percent of Hispanics in the Army and Marines is on par with general population percentages. However, according to the Heritage Foundation, the New England region is under represented in military recruitment (with the exception of Maine). Just take a stroll downtown Burlington, and you will undertand. Just saying.
    I will come to the defense of Prof Z, for a change. I don’t see any problem with his idea that one has to look at effective and creative electoral strategies to reverse abortion. Its such a major issue. I just don’t think the way to go about, is to mix issues. Abortion is abortion. Illegal immigration is totally separate. Mixing both may backfire, and harm both issues, imo.. Best. Tom

    • Brian English

      “VC, the percent of Hispanics in the Army and Marines is on par with general population percentages.”

      And possibly higher than the percentage of population for Special Forces. But that is not the issue.

  • Brian English

    “Not only is that not true, but of those who did come here legally it is not fair to give them some kind of automatic moral superiority to those who did not.”

    What is your basis for claiming that is not true? And people who obey the law have no basis for moral superiority over people who don’t? Interesting concept.

    • Isabel

      My basis for claiming that is not true is what I already said; the moral character of a subject has to do with the person’s intent, not just their actions. A person who intends to commit murder but is not able is similar in moral character as the person who intends and succeeds. My point is twofold: 1- Many people who come illegally do so only because they cannot come legally. 2- Many people who came here legally would have also come illegally if they had no other choice.

      That’s the truth! My ancestors were starving and they would have come, papers or not! They had to eat!

  • Brian English

    “This is how it is consequentialism. Someone correct me if I am wrong.”

    You are wrong because you are arguing in circles. You can’t assume amnesty is the just course of action because the issue is whether the impact of amnesty on the unborn can be considered in determining whether amnesty is the just course of action.

    • Isabel

      Look, I would like to see what you are saying. But I don’t see how I am arguing in circles. Please define consequentialism for me and tell me why that is not consequentialism.

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  • Gail F

    We need comprehensive immigration reform that addresses both the millions of illegal aliens already here and border control. So far, I see few (if any) politicians willing to do both. Mr. Zmirak’s plan is the sort of sensible one we need. And we also need to recall the many people who have been waiting for years to come here legally — let’s not slap them all in the face!

    Temporary and permanent work visas are a good start. For years our family business employed a man who had come here as a young child but never became a citizen. He paid taxes, got married, raised his (citizen) children, and enjoyed a good life here — but he could not vote. That was his choice and he thought it was a good one.

    Finally — my family is all Irish from several generations back. As far as I know I am the only one who is not a Democrat. They all think the Democrats are the only ones who like the poor — they don’t see that the party changed years ago.

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  • Liam

    So, this must mean that, if a majority of illegal aliens were to become likely to vote for the GOP, then it would be morally required to grant them amnesty….

    • Rich Browner

      Exactly.

  • Dennis

    The title is logically flawed. To say that amnesty equals abortion is to say they are the same act, the same way 1+2=3 means that 1+2 and 3 represent the same amount. A more correct title would have been ‘amnesty will lead to a promotion of abortion’ or a similar title, but this does not have the same impact.

    Using that same philosophy, Dr. Zmirak wants illegal immigrants kept out of the U.S. This leads them back to a life where they may very well die from starvation. Therefore, “Border Fence Equals Death by Starvation”. We know this is silly, but it is as accurate as the title to this article.

  • Ruben Aguilar

    My name should make it obvious that I’m hispanic (of Mexican decent born in the United States). I have family both in this country and in Mexico. What might not be as obvious, all though the odds would be good if you guessed, is that I’m Catholic Unfortunately the odds are narrowing as many hispanics are leaving the Church. In the last presidential elections I didn’t vote like many hipanics and like many Catholics for that matter. I voted as a Catholic should have voted, not because of race, color but by Creed. Reading all the posts, which I found both have some good points. I found during those elections most naturalized citizens from Mexico that I know were more likely to vote for pro-life candidates than those hispanics/Catholics that were born in the United States. Even though i think those that voted for pro-abortion candidates sinned, I don’t think that I would go as far as to advocate that we take thier citizenship away, as I could not advocate that we not allow some one full citizenship based on how I think that they would vote. Having said this, I think it would be naive for me to think that both parites don’t look at the voting statitics from the last election and that they don’t attempt to do what is best in thier political intrest. I don’t know much about anything and even less about everything, just my own humble opinion. God Bless us all!

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  • Vermont Crank

    Isabel. I am welcome to my attitude but you follow Jesus?

    OK, you win.

    • Isabel

      Well, you write as if someone is denying you the right to think the way you think. Nobody is denying that to you. But it will be hard to convince me to follow you if it looks like your attitude is conflicting with the Gospel. What else can I say?

  • joanie

    I am not a partisan nor do I hold any illusions that my vote will constitute more than a drop in the bucket. But I do think that there is something very curious about, the talking out of both sides of the mouth: the notion that a life dependent on government subsidy or minimum wage is commendable, which is what the vast majority of beneficiaries of amnesty, as adults, will have to lead for lack of other options, but, at the same time, the possibility of leading such a quality of life is so repugnant that abortion must be offered and available to prevent it at all costs.

  • John Church

    People need to get a grip. Amnesty is not the Christian thing to do because it ignores responsibility and it does not put limits on future behavior. Do you all go to confession without contrition? Without trying to amend your behavior? People do not have a God given right to live where they want.

    NOBODY HAS SUCH A RIGHT.

    But of course, the lunatic fringe socialists that seem to be everywhere in the Catholic Church dont seem to get that. For them, its about crushing everything down to the lowest pitiable level of misery for everybody. If you dare raise your head above the crowd its because you stepped on somebody… even on a cultural level. Exalt the minorities, crush the evil majorities is their mantra. To them, Jesus is merely some sort of food vending machine that makes sure everyone has a snackwell regardless of payment.

    Forcing America to take the yoke for a third world subsisting culture because liberals like to throw around the phrase WWJD, when it suits them, is suicide for this country and our way of life. One need only visit the border of Arizona, Texas and NM to witness what baggage they bring with them in terms of rampant crime, gangs, drugs, etc. Humanitarian aid is one thing. Flouting the law by not adjusting behavior is another. All those WWJD fanatics out there need to remember that Jesus expected people to adjust their behavior, He expected us to respect just laws, to honor your king, to protect your country. Nobody is saying we deprive them of love, comfort and aid. Good people are saying respect our laws and way of life. My mother had to wait 10 years for citizenship, but she loved this country enough to do it the right way…. by waiting in line. By working legally, By paying taxes, By supporting the future of this country with sons and daughters who served it. The vast majority of illegals do not pay their taxes. Yet they suck the system for its resources. They need to go back, confess their sins and beg forgiveness before stepping another foot in this country without respecting it.

    • Isabel

      That’s not true. People have a right to economic initiative. They have a right to life. Among other rights. If it is denied them, in one place, they have a right to flee to another place. (Church teaching) Are all illegal immigrants in this category? Probably not. But some absolutely are.

      If you don’t like the question ‘What would Jesus do?” WHAT in the world would you like to base Christian morality on?

      Your mother had an option. Most people don’t. Be grateful she did. Millions of people would give anything to have had the option she had- ten years wait or no.

      • John Church

        Isabel, if you are correct(and your not) and people have a God given right to live wherever they please, then you have have just destroyed the concept of private property, of state sovereignty, etc, etc…..

        What you are saying is simply absurd.

        Secondly, these people have a duty to fix their own countries through sacrifice and hard work. Not fleeing like cowards bringing their disrespect for their own state to our shores.

        Thirdly, this is not a refugee situation. They are not fleeing imminent death. So this is not a right to life situation.

        Fourthly, WWJD is great if it is issued from people who know what they are talking about. Like me.

  • Ronald Thomas

    It appears that people are overlooking what Zmirak argues at the end of his piece: it is not moral to treat illegal immigrants as trash.

    If Democrats (in cooperation with La Raza and numerous other groups [the staff of the USCCB?]) are interested in using illegal immigrants for the creation of a massive new voting constituency , then, yes, they are treating these people as trash–using them for base and merely political ends. Let’s face it: the “equal rights” and “diversity” people want this amnesty victory very badly. They want it for what it will bring to social reorganization. Can anyone doubt that? It is the desire of a large and comprehensive liberal cultural elite, which is already largely in control. This is what our Bishops do not seem to understand. Furthermore, I cannot see this complex of interests ever, say, coming out in favor of families, Hispanic or otherwise. Throw in the destruction of marriage, then, along with Abortion, as part of Zmirak’s original equation.

    Another aspect of the problem is significant here. Failure on the national level to enforce our reasonable immigration laws has placed every state and municipality in a crisis. I know it from my own experience. It is a crisis of “unfunded mandates”, but also a social and cultural (and, yes, ethnic) crisis from which our polity was supposed to protect us. It also affects every aspect of contract, personal property, and the underpinnings of self-government, in case one is interested in these things. The point is, shouldn’t Catholics, with their interest in Subsidiarity, be arguing that the LOCAL effects of federal intransigence are deeply unjust and immoral? It seems to me that it is not simply good enough here to say, “I am a Catholic, and I believe in something above the Nation-State.” That is not nearly capacious enough. For instance, what about police in local communities (and county and state prosecutors and others) who must deal with this crisis, provide Spanish-language services, deal with new gangs, etc? Since Solidarity and Subsidiarity are two sides of the same coin, I would think a Catholic appraisal of the immigration chaos would attend to the possibilities of complete social breakdown inherent in this chaos.

    No one who knows something about the lives of the illegals can be callous, but neither can he deny that an original corruption (illegal entry) is breeding corruption upon corruption (e.g., the black market for SS numbers), and also breeding what should have been a preventable anger against the host country. The anger issues in a desire for subversion, whether that is explicitly acknowledged or not. Think of the huge demonstration a few years back featuring hundreds of thousands of Mexican-flag-waving people. This was not about escaping from the Potato famine or coming to a land of opportunity, appreciatively, for a new start. It was something else. Call it ethnic or nationalist or globalist–it was not about respect for the US or a humble plea to become, one day, a proper American patriot. God knows, the last thing it was about was being a thoughtful Catholic.

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  • Vermont Crank

    From the Old Catholic Encyclopedia

    “By civil allegiance is meant the duty of loyalty and obedience which a person owes to the State of which he is a citizen”

    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03794b.htm

    How is this reconciled with the new putative binding Catholic Doctrine on Immigration? It seems to me there is a contradiction twixt the old and the new.

    One hears the hierarchy talking about a right to migrate and never hears the hierarchy talking about the loyalty and obedience a citizen owes to the crummy countries to our south

  • kneeler

    I generally enjoy Crisis Mag (Inside Catholic, etc) articles… but this is completely ridiculous.

  • Sean O’Kane

    John Zmirak,

    The Democrats are a frightfully poor excuse for leadership and they are no doubt blindly and ideologically tied to abortion access. Thus you call them the Abortion party because they believe in it and work to secure its availability. And they have been mighty successful.

    This in no way makes the Republicans the Pro-Life party as you seem to imply. Actions, not words tell me who you are. Once in office it is only on the rarest occasions that you will here Republicans talk about Pro-Life or ending abortion. That talk seems confined to election time only.

    George Bush had a Republican Congress for a number of years. I saw or heard no action on fighting or ending the scourge of abortion other than a very timid action on stem cells. Instead of using the position of power and pulpit to fight for the unborn, change hearts on the issue and promote a culture that values children and families, we got a big fat nothing. We got crickets chirping in the overwhelming silence.

    Talk as we all know is dirt cheap. In the fight against Abortion there are few and far between political allies.
    Pro-Life rests with the Catholic Church and Evangelicals and we are on our own.

    Let’s stop pretending Republicans have any core commitment to Pro-Life. Just stop for a minute and think, how would the Abortion regime in America be any different if R’s didn’t really care about the issue?
    Hmmm……We have the most liberal, unrestricted Abortion regime in the world….couldn’t get much worse. You have your answer.

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