Religion & Immigration

Items are posted below for informational purposes and do not necessarily imply endorsement or agreement by the author of this blog.


Beck, Roy  (9/13/13)
"POLL: Catholic voters disagree with pro-amnesty bishops & see moral priority in protecting American workers"

"The moral arguments on immigration that Members of Congress are hearing from Catholic bishops this month are not the ones that most Catholic voters believe are the most important issues in immigration policy, according to polling by Pulse Opinion Research of 4,967 Catholic likely voters in 26 politically competitive states.

Polling of Catholic voter moral opinions about immigration suggests that Catholic bishops face a tough task in their announced effort this month to persuade parishioners to urge the U.S. House to pass the Senate's immigration bill that would legalize an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants and double the flow of new legal immigration in the first decade.

It isn't that Catholic voters disagree on the importance of morality in immigration policy, but that they believe the highest moral responsibility is protecting vulnerable American workers."

Bedard, Paul  (2/23/14)
"Poll: 8 of 10 evangelicals reject clergy's push for amnesty; 29% want border closed"

"Most evangelicals, 73 percent, said that, instead of bringing in more immigrant workers, employers should be ‘required to try harder to recruit and train, Americans from those high-unemployment groups. And most evangelicals, 68 percent, said they are willing to pay higher prices if it is necessary for employers to raise wages to fill jobs with Americans instead of adding more foreign workers.”

The poll to be released at the NRB International Christian Media Convention in Nashville Monday, conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, revealed a schism in the conservative evangelical community. While they believe they should act humanely toward illegal immigrants, they don't believe the Bible requires government action."

Camarota, Steven A.  (12/09)
"Religious Leaders vs. Members: An Examination of Contrasting Views on Immigration"

"In contrast to many national religious leaders who are lobbying for increases in immigration numbers, a new Zogby poll of likely voters who belong to the same religious communities finds strong support for reducing overall immigration. Moreover, the poll finds that members strongly disagree with their leaders’ contention that more immigrant workers need to be allowed into the country. Also, most parishioners and congregants advocate for more enforcement to cause illegal workers to go home, while most religious leaders are calling for putting illegal immigrants on a path to U.S. citizenship. The survey of Catholic, mainline Protestant, born-again Protestant, and Jewish voters used neutral language and was one of the largest polls on immigration ever done."

Childress, Rev. Edwin (Spring 2001)
"The Sojourner Argument"   

"Many Americans find that the national leaders of their religious affiliations argue against reduction of immigration based in part on their interpretation of the biblical term "sojourner." The term, however, often appears to be misused."

Coulter, Ann  (5/8/13)
"Beware of Liberals who come in Evangelicals’ clothing"

"Any Evangelical promoting the McCain-Rubio amnesty plan has the moral framework of Planned Parenthood. Like the abortion lobby, they have boundless compassion for the people they can see, but none for those they can’t see."

Edwards, James R., Jr.  (6/4/13)
"Where Ought Christians Come Down on the Schumer-Rubio-Obama Amnesty"

"For civil government to exercise the mercy of the Golden Rule and the Sermon on the Mount, the result is injustice against its citizens. The very nature of mercy is willingly to incur injustice. When government attempts "mercy" like mass amnesty, what it really does is obligate its citizens to bear injustices committed against the body politic. Thus, the government should only exert compassion or mercy by preserving negative rights. Where illegal immigrants are concerned, that means protecting citizens against aliens' lawlessness. "The least of these", for the government, are American citizens, not illegal aliens. The indiscriminate mass legalization of 11 million illegal aliens is the opposite of compassion. And amnesty is using the sword of justice to coerce and abuse the citizenry.

Johnson, Karen  (3/17/12)
"Who Is The Stranger?"

"The bottom line is that amnesty proponents are simply incorrect when they quote the Bible to support comprehensive immigration reform. The Biblical admonition to "Welcome the stranger" is not a call for welcoming illegal aliens. It's a call to welcome immigrants who follow the law. Respectable ministers, pastors, priests, and other church leaders ought to get that right if they want to use it to make a point."

Kammer, Jerry  (4/16/14)
"A Catholic's Dissent from the Bishops' Immigration Policy"

"In 1986, as Congress used the commission's recommendations as the framework for Immigration Reform and Control Act, Hesburgh wrote:
I undertook my role as commission chairman by asking: Why should immigration be a problem? Why not let down the barriers and let people move freely? After our two years of study, the question answered itself. It is not enough to sympathize with the aspirations and plight of illegal aliens. We also must consider the consequences of not controlling our borders. What about the aspirations of Americans who must compete for jobs and whose wages and work standards are depressed by the presence of illegal aliens?
Concerns like these receive little or no attention at conferences like the one at Notre Dame. That is my criticism, both of the conference and of the bishops. I believe this lack of interest in – or even awareness of – the concerns of those on the other side of the debate is part of the reason for the current legislative stalemate."

Kammer, Jerry  (4/17/14)
"A Catholic's Dissent from the Bishops' Immigration Policy, Pt. 2"

"Yale law professor and immigration scholar Peter Schuck offered this concise explanation in his essay in the 1985 book Clamor at the Gates:
Having ordained an activist welfare state that increasingly defines liberty in terms of positive, government-created legal entitlements to at least a minimum level of individual security and well-being, the nation cannot possibly extend these ever-expanding claims against itself to mankind in general. Instead, it must restrict its primary concerns to those for whom it has undertaken a special political responsibility of protection and nourishment, most particularly those who reside within its territorial jurisdiction. Even this more limited task becomes impossible if masses of destitute people, many ill-equipped to live and work in a postindustrial society, may acquire legally enforceable claims against it merely by reaching its borders.
I think Father Groody and the Catholic bishops should understand that U.S. immigration policy, like the U.S. Constitution, is not a suicide pact. If they believe, as I do, that we have great responsibilities to assist our society's most vulnerable members, they should not insist on policies that would overwhelm our capacity to fulfill those duties. If they persist in that delusion, they should not be surprised that they will continue to lose credibility among those who dissent from their version of Catholic social teaching."

Kammer, Jerry  (4/18/14)
"A Catholic's Dissent from the Bishops' Immigration Policy, Pt. 3"

"I came to work at the Center for Immigration Studies because I wanted to respond to those who try to shut down the discussion by claiming that those who want to limit immigration are motivated not by legitimate concerns but by bigotry, racism, nativism, and anti-immigrant hostility.

I want to be part of a well-informed discussion of the complexity and moral ambiguity of the issues involved in shaping immigration policy. I think people on both sides of the debate should take note of this admonition from Jonathan Haidt:

[I]f you are trying to change an organization or a society and you do not consider the effects of your changes on moral capital, then you're asking for trouble. This, I believe, is the fundamental blind spot of the left. It explains why liberal reforms so often backfire and why communist revolutions usually end up in despotism. It is the reason I believe that liberalism – which has done so much to bring about freedom and equal opportunity – is not sufficient as a governing philosophy. It tends to overreach, change too many things too quickly, and reduce the stock of moral capital inadvertently. Conversely, while conservatives do a better job of preserving moral capital, they often fail to notice certain classes of victims, fail to limit the predations of certain powerful interests, and fail to see the need to change or update institutions as times change.
In order to have this discussion, each side must be willing to open our ears and our eyes to the other..."

Mortensen, Ronald W.  (9/12/13)
"Heal Thyself Archbishop - Moral Obligation Is Not a One-Way Street"

"However, the archbishop and the other moral obligation imposers never talk about the moral obligations that they and others around the world have for Americans who ultimately pay the cost of the moral imperatives that they so readily impose on us. In their world, moral obligation is a one-way street.

So, on the immigration front, the archbishop shifts the moral obligation from the illegal aliens who routinely commit multiple felonies in order to get jobs onto all us who are doing our best to obey the law and to take care of ourselves, our families, and our communities. He says nothing about the moral obligation of the illegal aliens to stop committing forgery, Social Security fraud, perjury on I-9 forms, and identity theft."

Munro, Neil  (9/13/13)
"Catholics Reject Bishops' Push for Immigration Increase"

"The polling data also shows that the Catholic voters believe government has a moral duty to aid Americans, he said.

Forty-eight percent of the respondents said Congress has “a lot” of “moral responsibility … to help protect unemployed or low-wage Americans from having to compete with foreign workers for U.S. jobs.”

Only 19 percent said Congress has no or very little responsibility to shield disadvantaged Americans from foreign workers. Thirty-one percent said Congress has “some” responsibility.

Only 28 percent of Catholic support the hierarchy’s effort to win “legal status and work permits” for illegals. Thirty-two percent favored deportation, and 30 percent said some could stay, but not be given work permits."

O'Hare, Kate  (9/13/13)
"Do U.S. Catholics Have to Obey Bishops on Immigration Reform?"

"Of late, the United States Council of Catholic Bishops has been very vocal in its support of the latest version of immigration reform moving through Congress. It is making a particular push this month, even urging pastors to speak to the issue from pulpits.

But are the Catholic faithful in America required to heed the bishops' call and get behind the legislation?

No--and many believe the leadership of the USCCB, which doesn't necessarily represent the views of every American bishop, has exceeded its teaching authority--its mandatum docendi--in supporting a specific piece of legislation, regardless of news reports to the contrary.

It appears that a Vatican document supports this contention."

Telford, Marguerite  (4/4/14)
"Pushing Amnesty: Moral or Immoral?"

"As a Catholic, I question the wisdom of the bishops spending parishioners' money, my money, to push an issue that is not theologically and doctrinally based and not shared by the people sitting in the pews. The Catholic hierarchy encourages foreigners to break our laws and come into the United States illegally, to make the dangerous journey, and to leave their families in order to enjoy the standard of living offered here. Thus, they must also share the responsibility for the deaths, rapes, assaults, and robberies experienced by these individuals (thousands of whom are minors traveling alone), the orphans left behind, and the unemployed, poor Americans displaced by illegal aliens in the labor market, in whom the bishops seem uninterested."

Woodruff, Betsy  (10/24/13)
"Evangelicals and Immigration"

"Metaxas tells National Review: “The Scriptures are very clear that God commands us to ‘care for the strangers and aliens among us.’ But to leap from that to enacting destructive immigration policies is exceedingly sloppy thinking and shallow theology, neither of which benefits anyone.” He adds that it’s lamentable that “the siren song of easy answers” has kept so many Evangelicals from “sound and rigorous thinking on how to responsibly and Biblically think about this tremendously important issue.”

But, as we have seen, not all Evangelicals have fallen under the spell of that siren song. According to polling data from Pulse Opinion Research (a derivative of Rasmussen that Evangelicals for Biblical Immigration cites), 78 percent of surveyed Evangelicals oppose “an influx of foreign labor,” and 82 percent “oppose work permits for illegal immigrant workers.” That’s hardly a bullish attitude toward the Gang of 8’s bill."

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