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Sensible immigration reform

Does this, from a Catholic Bishop in Oklahoma, qualify?

It is the clear teaching of the Catholic Church that sovereign nations have the right to control their borders; but the corollary of this teaching must also be upheld: when our nation's demand for labor attracts a massive number of potential immigrants, the United States must do what it can to establish an orderly process whereby needed workers can enter the country in a legal, safe and dignified manner to obtain jobs or to reunite themselves with family members.

However in recent years, the federal government has neither protected the sovereignty of our borders, nor has it provided a realistic means for workers to enter the country legally. Instead it has allowed millions of immigrants to enter the country illegally for the sake of our economy; while leaving it to state and local governments to deal with the resultant chaos of millions of valuable workers who have no legal identity, no automobile insurance (and are unable to obtain it), no health coverage (with no funds to pay for it) and no means of acquiring legal residency.

These workers are not unknown to us. They live in our neighborhoods and pray with us at Mass. We benefit every day from their labor in framing and painting our houses, roofing our office buildings, finishing new cement for us, harvesting and processing our food, and serving us in our restaurants. These men and women broke the law by entering the country illegally; but they did this with the tacit permission of the federal government and most have since become part of the fabric of everyday life in America.

Without detailing the deficiencies either of the new law in Arizona or of the proposed legislation in Oklahoma, let me propose five principles which might serve to guide our work in implementing comprehensive immigration reform:

• First the Federal government must find a way to protect its borders;
• Some way must be found to give the 11-12 million undocumented workers presently in the country some form of legal status. This need not include citizenship and should exclude anyone convicted of a felony;
• The creation of various avenues for migrants to enter the country legally based on a formalized agreement between employers and the immigration office.
• The restoration of due process protections for immigrants; and
• A bi-partisan, non-political approach to the problem which avoids the political temptation of promoting immigration reform in such a way as to gain political advantage over one's political opponents.

What say you?

H/T W&W.

Crossposted at Brutally Honest.


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Comments (26)

When unicorns fly...<... (Below threshold)
sam:

When unicorns fly...

Every actor in the illegal immigration drama - employers, illegals and their advocates, political parties - have perverse incentives to "game" the immigration policies.

As they have gamed current immigration process and laws, they have the same incentives to game future immigratin laws.

Take employers, for example, whose whole incentive is to attract and maintain cheap labor pool, preferably in other countries so as to minimize compliance with US labor laws. Once the current pool of illegal immigrants is legalized, the same incentives for employers to obtain even cheaper labor still exists.

You can go through the list of all stakeholders in the illegal immigration drama, map out each group's incentives, and you will that the incentives not to enforce any immigration laws - current or future - continue unabated.

For a start, I would work w... (Below threshold)
dnb:

For a start, I would work with it. However, the devil is in the details. Point 2: How long have specific illegals been here? How many are legally waiting to enter this great country? Many, many, many questions here.
Point 5: This bi-partisan stuff would definitely exclude the Catholic church. Just check out Just Faith Immigration and all the hispanic ministries offered (Joliet and Chicago Dioceses) versus any other immigrant group. I'm Catholic. I would love to be part of a forum of open minded people on this subject. There is a lot of gray in the middle.

Note: Just on Fox, a spokesman for the AZ law pointed out that this is definitely against illegals, not immigrants. This should be made clear every, single time the subject of immigration comes up.

RACIST pure and simple!... (Below threshold)
914:

RACIST pure and simple!

"Some way must be found ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"Some way must be found to give the 11-12 million undocumented workers presently in the country some form of legal status."

Much as I'd like to say "Kick the bums out, and put 'em at the back of the line for LEGAL immigration", I realize that's unlikely to happen.

So maybe this would be better...

1. Establish a "Limited" immigration status. They could qualifty for that after going through a background check, and paying the estimated taxes for the period that they were in the country illegally. Don't have the money? You can BORROW it from a government-owned bank at 10% on a 5-year note, and missing ONE payment gets you expedited out of the country - never to be allowed in again. And no paying it off early - that's not allowed.

Don't want to pay? Have a nice day, don't let the border hit you in the back as you go.

During this time, you will NOT be allowed to bring in any family members illegally. They MAY be allowed in on 30-day visas - but if one of them overstays the visa, both you AND them get the boot - never to be allowed in again.

If, after 5 years, you've paid it all back, are current in your taxes as a LEGAL worker, and are fluent in English - then you can apply through the INS for regular immigrant status.

But my guess any immigration reform is going to be predicated on two qualifications:

1. Are you alive?

2. Are you going to vote for the Democrats, now and forever?

#1 being open to waiver, depending on the answer to #2.

"Sensible immigration re... (Below threshold)
914:

"Sensible immigration reform"


Well that takes Barry and half of the country out of play.

Unfortunately, in the real ... (Below threshold)
Tsar Nicholas II:

Unfortunately, in the real world, "sensible immigration reform" is an oxymoron. Democrats are too irrational to do anything sensible. Republicans are well-intentioned on this topic, but are saddled with the John Birch Society types, which negatively affects their ability to govern and to obtain public offices in the first instance.

It's a vicious cycle of status quo.

Let me know when we actuall... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

Let me know when we actually address the bishop's first suggestion about securing our own borders.

Then let's talk. Otherwise, it's just lip service, yer Emnince.

The biggest problem with im... (Below threshold)
sam:

The biggest problem with immigration "reform" is - why would any "reform" (which presumably includes some sort of amnesty to the 10-11 million illegals already in the country - not be just the second of more, serial amnesties? Remember 1986 amnesty?

And, saying that there would be better enforcement of immigration laws in the future, including better border security, is not credible.

Nobody has shown that the government and politicians have either the will or the resources to enforce current immigration laws. And they will have neither the will nor the resources to enforce future immigration laws.

As soon as amnesty to current 10-11 million illegals is granted, there will be the next batch of 20-25 million lined up for the next amnesty.

The current beneficiaries of illegal immigration (employers, illegals, politicians) will continue to have the same incentives ((cheap labor, vote bank etc.) to not enforce future laws.

The problem with amnesty is... (Below threshold)

The problem with amnesty is that sends the clear message that we will not enforce our own immigration laws and rewards law breakers. Why should any would be immigrant obey our immigration laws if they are going shuffled behind those that break the law? Ronald Reagan was wrong to grant amnesty, and amnesty is still wrong.

I reject the majority of th... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

I reject the majority of the premise.
The US has in place multiple forms of VISA for immigrant and non immigrant. These include temporary work visa, VISA for medical and we also have serveral types of help for people in refuge and fearing political persecution. Much of the process is not costly in fact one would find that the process is much cheaper than price paid to coyotes.
Simple

1. Enforce the law already on the books.
With existing laws in Place hire more Border patrol agents.
Build the wall with the money that has already been allocated for it.
Increase the Size and update the computers of ICE so that that an enforce the law and process the legal immigrants.
Start the process of depurations of people who have over stayed visa.
Verify status of people in the US on work and student Visa.
RAID know places of illegal immigration.
Provide emergency services and then start deportation.
Everyone on social services most appear in person get fingerprinted and provided documentation. (IN NY you can call in to get social services no verification needed)
Fine and prosecute employer that violate the hiring laws. Also for each illegal that was hire by the company they will need to pay back all pay roll taxes that they under reported. They will also have fully pay money to the Legal holder of any SSN that was used. ( Make the cost of using illegal so probative that companies will pay Americans to do jobs)
Have the IRS verify status of people with TIN.
Because of the damage done with identify theft and Social Security Numbers it time to attach hard penalties for those that provide it and those that use it.

Enforce the penaities for people that are found in the country illegally and penaties for those that repeat.

We have heard that many illegals have fleed the country because of not being able to find work and the serval thousand have fled Az because of the new law.

Well let turn the light on everywhere and reduce the insetive of coming here illegally.
Many will leavel on thier own.

The US has multiple polices for legal immigration.

Herein lies the great dilem... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

Herein lies the great dilemma of immigration reform: most recognize that only some comprehensive plan can work, but there are activists on the left who will oppose vehemently any attempt to control the borders (see for reference Arizona right now), and those on the right who will oppose with equal fervor any plan for a "path to legality" for the illegals already in-country.

There are any number of issues in between, but these are the intractable positions which prevent reform.

Having been burned twice in the past by "amnesty now, enforcement later" plans, in which enforcement never arrived in any effective sense, those concerned with border security will insist that issue at least be begun to be addressed before any normalization process can be implemented.

Meanwhile, politicians make the problem worse by inflaming passions on both sides for purely political benefit. I despair a solution is possible in this environment.

However, as with most of the vital problems facing our country, we need to take the first step and get Obama the heck out of office.

I would also like to add th... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

I would also like to add that in the interest of family. If you are deported your entire family goes with you.

The only exception is of service members family and people who have married and they sponsor dies before the 18 month period. It is amazing to me that spouses of people who go through the process legally are kicked out but sneak in and we do not care one wit about you. Now if the Bishop will speak up for those people maybe I would have more trust.
It could be that

Jim Anderson,Curre... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

Jim Anderson,

Current law provides a path to legality. It whoever has fines, penalties and in some cases the requirement to return to ones country.

The issue is that people are not asking for fair treatment under the law. They seek favorable treatment for breaking the law.

The cathechism is clear tha... (Below threshold)
Don L:

The cathechism is clear that immigration is the business of the laity and lawbreaking (entering illegally is a sin - no evil means to a good end) The exception would be the persecuted/politically being starved etc.

I say to accept modified amnesty with penalties and no full citizenship - the missing right must be "losing the right to vote peermanently unless military service is accomplished -no anchor babies."

Then watch the compassionate democrats and RINO politicians drop this issue like a hot potato. This leave no human justice complaints only political loss which they give away. Any caught working for political ends or voting are immediately exported!

Speaking about laws on the ... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

Speaking about laws on the Books.
So if BHO really wanted to help AZ he would send in ICE agents.
If he wanted to make sure AZ was doing right he would send them down to help train officers.

The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 added Section 287(g), performance of immigration officer functions by state officers and employees, to the Immigration and Nationality Act. This authorizes the secretary of DHS to enter into agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies, permitting designated officers to perform immigration law enforcement functions, provided that the local law enforcement officers receive appropriate training and function under the supervision of ICE officers.

The cross-designation between ICE and state and local patrol officers, detectives, investigators and correctional officers allows these local and state officers necessary resources and latitude to pursue investigations relating to violent crimes, human smuggling, gang/organized crime activity, sexual-related offenses, narcotics smuggling and money laundering. In addition, participating entities are eligible for increased resources and support in more remote geographical locations.

I just read that unemployme... (Below threshold)
Oldflyer:

I just read that unemployment among men 25-54 years old is about 20%. The jobs that would be available to these men; i.e., those requiring limited education are taken by illegals--because they are cheaper.

The Catholic Church, and all others, who argue for compassion for one group do so at the expense of another. Do not doubt that.

FDR purged illegal and legal temporary immigrants during the depression when unemployment was (guess what) about 20%. Truman did it again when the GIs came home from WWII looking for jobs. It is ridiculous to say it cannot be done. It only requires the will.

Meanwhile, corrupt countries to the South of us continue their disgusting ways because we provide a safety valve. Could Mexico exist as it does if the desperate poor, and the criminal elements were trapped in that country? Of course not. We relieve them of those problem people--and the fat cats stay fat. The drug lords use our porous borders to become obscenely wealthy. Our border states are under siege. And we sit on our butts and talk about "comprehensive reform", as though we are the problem.

Living in a border state I ... (Below threshold)
Deke:

Living in a border state I can tell you the problem is out of control. The issue is 3 fold;

1: Republican politicians are beholden to certain big money interests, ie., farmers and contractors, that require the near slave labor force to garner huge profits.

2: Democrats see a potential HUGE voting block of people dependent on public services.

3: Complacent middle-class sheeple who enjoy the $15 lawn mowing service, cheaper than the NE housing market and fast food establishments that stay open 24 hours.

There was a time when McDonalds closed at 10 pm and teenagers worked there and mowed your lawn, learning a valuable lesson, not so much at this time.

Shutting dwn the border and instituting some kind of guest worker program really isn't that hard and would be a HUGE boom to the economy, through lower taxes and less burden on public service but until the people wake up and put pressure on politicians, we will continue to pay lip service and leaders will continue to bluster w/o doing anything.

Here's a novel app... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:


Here's a novel approach---let's try ENFORCING THE EXISTING LAWS and see where that takes us.


Or is that too logical?

Or is that too logical?<... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Or is that too logical?

Too much like work. After all, the laws are already there, yet nobody's paying attention to them. Therefore, the laws must be the wrong laws, so we need to layer the right laws on top of them. If we just word the laws properly, then they'll be self-enforcing and we can get rid of the INS agents.

What? You mean there's not some magic number of laws, or some precise wording that makes people voluntarily obey the law?

Hmm. Maybe that's worth thinking about. You mean the laws NEED to be enforced? What an odd concept...

In some areas the Catholic ... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

In some areas the Catholic Church is made up of large number of immigrants. As with most people they do not distinguish between legal and illegal immigrants. So they fear if the laws were enforced they would loose a source of contributions.

Their is also a radical element in the Church. One precept of Communism is atheism. However in South America where Catholicism had deep roots they needed to adapt so Libration Theology was born.

The off shoot of which is Rev Wright Black Liberation Theology.
White Man greed kills a world in need!

So the USA a bunch of greed bastard should have open borders so all the wealth can be shared.

The real issue, the real qu... (Below threshold)
betw:

The real issue, the real question for Americans is:

Do we want to be flooded with half of Mexico's (and Central America's) population?

This "replacement of the US population" by the political class of course, favors politicians, as poor, lowly educated foreigners, are much more susceptable to social programs that politicians create (think Obamacare). They are also much more likely to become liberal Democratic voters if and when they become citizens.

But once again, the real issue is, do you want to be a bi-lingual, bi-cultural nation, with much of the Western US being almost exclusively Latino (Mexico North)?

Enforce the law. Many, many illegal aliens will self-deport. Lower legal immigration for 10 years. Rebalance the scales toward native born, American citizens.

Bishop Slattery is wrong in... (Below threshold)
Dodo David:

Bishop Slattery is wrong in more than one way.

First, the USA isn't a Roman Catholic theocracy. Thus, it isn't true that the U.S. government "must" adhere to a Roman Catholic teaching.

Second, an alleged "demand" for labor in the USA does not mean that the U.S. government "must" let immigrants in to the USA in order to fill job openings. (Considering the current high national unemployment rate, where is the "demand" that Slattery is referring to?)

Third, contrary to what Slattery says, the U.S. government has "provided a realistic means for workers to enter the country legally."

Fourth, the U.S. government hasn't "allowed millions of immigrants to enter the country illegally" for any reason. Instead, the U.S. government hasn't prevented illegal entry into the USA by foreigners who are determined to enter illegally. [Suppose that a criminal was determined to break into your home and managed to do so despite the fact that you had all of your doors and windows locked. Would the commission of such a crime imply that you allowed the criminal to break into your home?]

Fifth, Slattery is wrong when he says, "These men and women broke the law by entering the country illegally; but they did this with the tacit permission of the federal government." Illegal immigrants didn't receive permission from the U.S. government to enter the USA illegally. Such a claim by Slattery is a weak attempt to justify illegal immigration.

Slattery is famous for speaking against anything that would hinder and/or discourage illegal immigration. I cannot think of one time when Slattery openly condemned illegal immigration as being unjust and sinful.

FWIW, I often wonder if Bishop Slattery would be defending illegal immigrants if the majority of them were Protestant.

By the way, nowhere in his ... (Below threshold)
Dodo David:

By the way, nowhere in his commentary about illegal immigration does Bishop Slattery say that illegal immigrants should receive some kind of punishment for breaking the USA's immigration laws.

I say "go home". I think r... (Below threshold)
Judith:

I say "go home". I think reconquista is real and in focus for these folks. When we had most of our immigrants from Europe many brought skills and/or ability to learn same and contributed heavily to our development as the best country on earth. These 11-12 million are mostly unskilled and bring little to the table except cha cha cha. They are pure and simple the same kind of political pawns as the African Americans have become. Votes and nothing more. This country is going to the few supporting the many and it needs to go the other way. Go to Walmart some night about 1 am. and check out the shifty eyed brown skinned people. Race is not the prime driver; economics is. If doctors, lawyers, and technologists were leaving Mejico by the millions to come here, it would be a different story and many of us would feel welcoming. But then immigration should not be dominated by one race which has one agenda...give us back our territory now that it is a nice place. We do not need reform; we need enforcement of laws. GO ARIZONA!

Everyone who advocates immi... (Below threshold)
Ken Hahn:

Everyone who advocates immigration "reform" wants to protect the illegals already here from any penalty ( except some minor inconveniences ) for breaking the law. This undercuts everything else they say they want. I say simply "no amnesty"! I'm told we have to provide a path to citizenship. Okay, I'll propose two. You can apply for political asylum and follow the regular procedures from there. And if it's denied then theres the other path. Go home, get in back of the line and wait your turn. And if you enter illegally, you get deported. If you reenter you go to jail.

I'm told Mexico is a great country. I'm sure it would benefit from the hard working, law abiding people we're always told the illegals are.

We might be able to be call... (Below threshold)
tyree:

We might be able to be called a "nation of laws", but if so, we are a nation of laws enforced in discriminatory fashion by a governement more interested in their poltics than the safety and welfare of it's citizens.




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