Borderline

The Calamity of the Immigration Crisis

Across the globe, hundreds of thousands of civilians, many of them innocent women and children, are being killed in what seems like an endless cycle of political, ethnic, and religious violence. The continuing slaughter in Syria and across Africa, renewed butchery in Iraq, the seemingly inevitable return of war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, and the wanton downing of the Malaysian passenger jet in the Ukraine have shaken, if hardly shocked, the world in just the past month. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is as intractable as ever, while the Shiite-Sunni rivalry in Iraq promises to drag that already devastated country back into the most brutal of civil wars and send its remaining Christian population into permanent exile. Despite the efforts of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to get the Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate, there seems little the United States or the international community can do to bring such implacable enemies together. Stopping the violence in Syria, Ukraine, Iraq, and Afghanistan is equally unlikely. One result of these failures is a refugee crisis of almost unprecedented proportions, with millions desperately seeking sanctuary. 

For the most part, the United States has been spared both the violence and the social and economic upheaval of the refugee crisis engulfing so much of the world. The most notable exception to that benign state of affairs is this year’s influx of more than fifty thousand children across the Texas border—most of them from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. Advocates for these children claim they are seeking refuge from gang violence and deserve to be given political asylum. Those who oppose granting them asylum argue that the children have been “lured” to the United States by the false promise that if they manage to cross the border and are reunited with family members already here, they will eventually be granted a path to citizenship. 

Predictably enough, the question of what to do with the children has turned into a bitter partisan fight. Republicans charge President Barack Obama with being soft on border security and encouraging illegal Latino immigration for domestic political gain. Obama scoffs at such accusations, pointing out that the border with Mexico has never been more secure and that he has in fact deported more illegal immigrants than any other president. Whether these children have a right to asylum under U.S. law is to be determined by a well-established judicial procedure, and Obama has requested $3.7 billion from Congress both to accelerate these legal proceedings and to provide humanitarian assistance to the children. House Republicans have balked at Obama’s proposal. The flood of immigrants can be stopped, they insist, by revising a 2008 law that prohibits the deportation of minors who can credibly claim to be victims of human trafficking. Democrats say that this would endanger too many children.  

Despite the harsh rhetoric of some Republicans and the ugly protests of some right-wing groups, the U.S. religious community, and especially the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has been a staunch supporter of the displaced children (.pdf). “It was un-American; it was unbiblical; it was inhumane,” New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan said of demonstrators who surrounded buses filled with immigrant children, shouting for them to be immediately sent back to their native countries. Dolan compared such incidents to the Nativist anti-Catholic riots of the 1840s.

Unfortunately, it is unlikely that Congress and the president will agree on how to handle the border crisis. Anti-immigrant sentiment among Republicans makes compromise on the issue almost impossible, as the refusal of the House this summer to take up last year’s Senate immigration bill demonstrated. In the meantime, President Obama has hosted the presidents of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala at the White House, hoping to collaborate on various strategies for discouraging parents from sending their children on the perilous journey to the United States. The White House, for example, has tentatively floated a proposal to examine claims for asylum at U.S. embassies in Central America. The Honduran president noted that the gang violence convulsing his country and propelling the exodus of children is largely the result of the demand for illegal drugs in the United States. Many in the United States think the refugee crisis is a problem foisted on them by unlawful immigrants, but it is a calamity for which America itself also bears responsibility.

This “children’s crusade” is not an answer to the violence that plagues Central America. Instead, the United States must do much more to encourage political stability and economic development across the region. Our so-called border crisis is not fundamentally a question of security, but one of poverty, injustice, and disorder. If the United States takes effective steps to improve conditions in Central America, our border will secure itself. Doing so won’t be easy, of course, but it will likely be much less difficult than resolving the conflicts that are displacing civilians in so many other parts of the world.

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It isn't poverty & lack of opportunity alone that bedevils Central America. The drug war and the polciies supported by the U.S. are major factors in creating the disorders and provoking unbridled violence. At least that is what the leaders of Mexico and Guatamala are saying.

@nat riley -- the Libertarian blogosphere is fully in support of the notion that the drug wars are fueling gang violence -- we have plenty of it here in NJ as well.

But I would add that the Church seems fully comfortable with a feudal existence for the peoples of Central America.

Summa Theologica: For they were not at once admitted to citizenship: just as it was law with some nations that no one was deemed a citizen except after two or three generations, as the Philosopher says (Polit. iii, 1). The reason for this was that if foreigners were allowed to meddle with the affairs of a nation as soon as they settled down in its midst, many dangers might occur, since the foreigners not yet having the common good firmly at heart might attempt something hurtful to the people.

COHA provides excellent background information 

http://www.coha.org/destined-to-be-the-biggest-of-wars-the-humanitarian-...

@michael roloff -- thanks for the link, nevertheless "comprehensive immigration reform" is a band-aid on a cancer -- Central and South America have to reform themselves.  They need a classically liberal economic system to remedy poverty and mal-distribution of incomes and wealth.  There is no other solution.

 It's not just the U.S. consumption of drugs that is pushing these

children northward.  The U.S. has its fingerprints, oftentimes bloody, 

all over this refugee crisis. The U.S. supported dirty wars and

death squads in El Salvador and Guatemala during the Reagan

years.  Later, emigration from Mexico and Central America increased

exponentially with the passage of the North American and Central

American Free Trade Treaties (NAFtA and CAFTA).  And now Obama,

bowing the the nativists, wants $3.7 billion, much of it going to  law

enforcement like ICE and the Border Patrol, to deal with a humanitarian

crisis.  We need to provide refugee for these children who are victims

of our past destructive policies.  We need to stop funding corrupt and

brutal police and militiary forces in those countries, and we need to end

the free trade and intervention policies that cause poverty and forced

migration.  

 

 

 

 

I think the immediate question is what can we do as individuals, families , parishes and communities to help these children. As these children languish in detention centers, we debate but concrete action now is necessary. Any suggestions?

A few thoughts on when is Catholic Charities not Catholic?

"Taking the “Catholic” out of Catholic Charities"
http://www.philanthropyroundtable.org/topic/excellence_in_philanthropy/t...
"Cardinal O’Connor rightly warned Catholic institutions that “dependence on government is fraught with peril and that I saw this creeping dependence. I saw us going after the money, wherever the money is, to tailor programs accordingly, to fit our charity to the requirements of governmental regulatory procedures.” He continued: “Ten years have passed, and what I feared, I think, is now an even greater peril.” The fact is, government support is not charity or philanthropy, defined as the giving of the proper amount to the most worthy institutions and individuals. Government support is a regulated purchase of goods and services where he who pays the piper calls the tune."
Several examples;
In Massachusetts and Illinois Catholic adoption agencies were closed because they would not place children with same sex couples. What religious charitable service is next?

"Taxpayer-Funded Catholic Charities on Hiring Spree to Provide for Illegal Immigrants"
http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-Texas/2014/07/21/Taxpayer-Funded-Cath...
"The organization is known for receiving a bulk of its funding from the U.S. government. In 2010 alone, it received $2.9 billion from the federal government, about 62 percent of its annual revenue.  The organization could soon receive significant funds from the federal government; the Department of Health and Human Services recently announced a "funding opportunity" of $350 million for "residential care providers" for minors in the U.S. illegally."

"EXCLUSIVE: HHS Bankrolled Catholic and Baptist Church from 2010 to 2013 to Prepare for Obama’s 2014 Invasion!"
- See more at: http://www.libertynews.com/2014/07/exclusive-hhs-bankrolled-catholic-and...
 

The breaking news you’re about to read is ten times bigger, because the following proves the Obama administration was bankrolling America’s churches back in 2010. And the tens of millions were flowing in to prepare for the invasion currently underway.

The following is a small taste of what’s out there in grant records. This is just the tip of the iceberg, folks.

Between Dec 2010 and Nov 2013, the Catholic Charities Diocese of Galveston received $15,549,078 in federal grants from Health & Human Services for “Unaccompanied Alien Children Project” with a program description of “Refugee and Entry Assistance.”

Last year, the Catholic Charities Diocese of Fort Worth received $350,000 from Department of Homeland Security for “citizenship and education training” with a program description of “citizenship and immigration services.”

Between September 2010 and September 2013, the Catholic Charities of Dallas received $823,658 from the Department of Homeland Security for “Citizenship Education Training” for “refugee and entrant assistance.”

From Dec 2012 to January 2014, Baptist Child & Family Services received $62,111,126 in federal grants from Health & Human Services for “Unaccompanied Alien Children Program.”
- See more at: http://www.libertynews.com/2014/07/exclusive-hhs-bankrolled-catholic-and...

 

Additional information on Catholic Relief Services Funding:

As Breitbart News recently reported, the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) states that it is “the largest resettlement agency in the United States.”

According to MRS, “upwards of 90,000” young illegal immigrants were projected to arrive between October 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014.

Additionally, MRS shows a total budget of approximately $71 million, of which nearly $66 million – or about 93% – has come from federal grants and contracts.

When the U.S. bishops recently denounced as “unprecedented and extreme” President Obama’s executive order banning companies that receive a contract from the federal government from discriminating against LGBT employees, their concern comes from the reality that MRS is essentially a federal government program that is being operated through the bishops’ conference.

That program would likely collapse without federal contracts and grants......
http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/07/31/Catholic-Bishops-Say-...?

The breaking news you’re about to read is ten times bigger, because the following proves the Obama administration was bankrolling America’s churches back in 2010. And the tens of millions were flowing in to prepare for the invasion currently underway.

The following is a small taste of what’s out there in grant records. This is just the tip of the iceberg, folks.

Between Dec 2010 and Nov 2013, the Catholic Charities Diocese of Galveston received $15,549,078 in federal grants from Health & Human Services for “Unaccompanied Alien Children Project” with a program description of “Refugee and Entry Assistance.”

Last year, the Catholic Charities Diocese of Fort Worth received $350,000 from Department of Homeland Security for “citizenship and education training” with a program description of “citizenship and immigration services.”

Between September 2010 and September 2013, the Catholic Charities of Dallas received $823,658 from the Department of Homeland Security for “Citizenship Education Training” for “refugee and entrant assistance.”

From Dec 2012 to January 2014, Baptist Child & Family Services received $62,111,126 in federal grants from Health & Human Services for “Unaccompanied Alien Children Program.”
- See more at: http://www.libertynews.com/2014/07/exclusive-hhs-bankrolled-catholic-and...

 

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