Tuesday, May 4, 2010

10 Dumb Things Said About Arizona's Immigration Law & 8 Smart Things About Catholic Teaching on Immigration

It will be a while before, if ever, Arizona's immigration law will be actually lived under. Lawsuits will quickly seek injunctions. There is also talk of a referendum to put it on the ballot (AZ requires 76,000 signatures by July 1). Can a state take such authority in immigration policy which is normally a Federal jurisdiction? In principle, I don't see why not? The principle of subsidiarity teaches that problems should be solved at their most local level. While immigration policy is a national concern, illegal immigrants funneling themselves through Arizona is clearly a state concern. If the greater authority fails, then why shouldn't the lesser authority, step in. The moral right to rebel against unjust civil authorities can probably be used to argue against refusing to defer to incompetent civil authorities.

Recently I commented briefly on how hostile comments by Cardinal Mahoney and Az. senator Russell Pearce won't help remedy the Arizona crisis over illegal aliens.  Byron York lays out some of the dumbest things said about Arizona's immigration law. 

Catholic teaching on immigration is fairly commonsensical:
1. There is a right to migrate. Illegally crossing a border to seek work is not an intrinsic evil like rape or murder.
2. That right is not absolute.
3. A nation-state has a duty to protect its citizenry and that entails controlling its borders.
4. That responsibility is to be carried out by moral means not by any means necessary.
5. The affluent have a moral obligation to aid the needy.
6. All have the responsibility to work so that they may share with others.
7. A host nation has the responsibility to determine how many immigrants it can welcome without impoverishing itself.
8. A Biblical people remember that they were once slaves in Egypt and should be accomodating to the stranger in their midst. Biblical people should be respected for their hospitality.

I found this quote in my notes unsourced:  "Affluent societies that do not welcome babies will have to welcome immigrants if they hope to maintain economic vigor and commitments to the health and welfare of their populations. The issue is not who will do jobs that Americans don’t want. The issue is who will fill the ranks of a labor force that the retiring generation failed to replenish."

1 comment:

  1. I agree with the 8 points that have been laid out here, but what of a nation's right to protect its borders from illegal invasion, its economy from overwhelm and justice to those who have broken the law? No other country is so tolerant to their borders being invaded. Mexico is not so tolerant, you'll get 2 years in jail and they even limit the number of migrants based on maintaining ethnic ratios.

    Yet the United States gets all of the intense criticism and accusations of racism, because we want to have safe and legal immigration. Other nations who do not have half the track record of compassion towards others, and at the same time are pointing accusatory fingers at us.