Border Security Must Be A Prerequisite For Immigration Reform

The debate on immigration reform continues to move forward in the U.S. Senate, and this continues to be an issue where I wonder what the problem is in coming up with a consensus. Most Americans, regardless of partisan affiliation or ideology, like legal immigrant and want to encourage it, while disliking illegal immigration.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla) penned a thoughtful op-ed in the Wall Street Journal recently, outlining all the tougher provisions in the Senate bill—the path to citizenship for those who broke the law is marked with fines and sanctions. The same goes for employers who undercut the market by employing those who broke the law and got in ahead of those who waited in line. Senator Rubio further invited people to express ways the security provisions could be further strengthened.

For those who are concerned about rewarding law-breakers—the roughly 11 million or so illegals currently here—Rubio correctly responds that we have to deal with reality that people are not going home. We can further add, that they’ve been here so long, many having children that mass deportations would be unjust, in addition to politically untenable.

It’s this focus that has rightly animated Catholic activists on the topic, all the way up to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and its leader, Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Legalization is the only way to ensure migrant workers aren’t exploited.

But in my view, pro-immigration activists have too often neglected the need for strengthened border security as an important prerequisite of any true immigration reform. Dealing with current reality is one thing—allowing the same conditions that created it to fester and doing this all over again 25 years from now is quite another. Furthermore, the very principle of what is just—something touched on by CV blogger Tim Shaughnessy in two good posts here and here—is hindered, when a system doesn’t reward those immigrants who wait in line and do things the proper way.

The following two paragraphs are extracted from the Catechism of the Catholic Church and effectively sum up the Church’s teaching on immigration…

#2241 The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.

Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws (emphasis added) and to assist in carrying civic burdens.

I’ve emphasized the part about obeying the laws, because this is a facet of Church teaching that Catholic activists have too often overlooked—not contradicted directly, but seemingly passed over. It’s time for immigration reform to become a reality, and to take 11 million people and get them “on the grid”, so to speak. But it shouldn’t happen until we’ve taken the necessary steps to ensure this whole illegal mess doesn’t repeat itself. Upholding this facet of immigration laws is woven into Catholic doctrine and an essential part of keeping the whole intact.

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Categories:Catholic Social Teaching Immigration

One thought on “Border Security Must Be A Prerequisite For Immigration Reform

  1. NMS-Khumalo says:

    Dear/s,

    Thank you the opportunity. I would like to voice for many how are inpatiently awaiting for a positive & lucrative results on the Topic “Immigration Reform Bill”.

    Deeply & Understandably, we all acknowledge that among the 11 millions, not all are “esphanic” or Canadan as the Out voiced delay to Pass the Bill is being Focused To secure the USA/Mexican Boarder(s) (Canada). I respect the individual & collective rights. Fact stil remain, Not only Mexicans or Canadans are found to be involved for Immigration Reform Bill status. Ironically the Immigration Reform Bill could be initiated on what i Call “Multi-Task-Project(s)”. Starting with non-Boarder classifications among others would clãssified to finally get started, if their main snag are Boarder Issues. Many seating in those law makers chambers, are immigrantes out come. America’s constitution has safe explainatory for many reasons why people are in this Country. Any where around the global, they are good & bad. But most people that come to América & are found in such situations are from hardworking middle class, who strive to sustain themselves & their beloved. And struggling for sustaining survival for themselves through some injust employers who maltreat them, knowing they have noway for justice. Among the 11 Million, ‘am sure not everyone is willing to take advantage of the Immigration Reform Bill. Immigratio Reform Bill Interviews will speak for it’s self. América needs to surpport immediate families reunification for a better world especially for the generation to come. Many Children each day are separated from their parents or guardians. How will these many Children look on América in future? What does America’s constitution read to the rest of corrupty countries? Why América need to regain, it’s lost portion in the century we Live in? Quoting Susan Rice in – in one of her speaches, “Human Rights has not been transparent enough in the past years)”. This is an American person who openly pointed out the need of improving organizations which are suppose to protect needy & voiceless. Being said só, many come to América with hope to see such for better life style & their loved ones, gaining human digity & hard work. 95% people who côme to America regardless their éducation level, are always very hard workers. Why don’t those Senators fetch thé most productive & lucrative part from the Topic – Immigration Reform Bill & pass? Domestic Violence women & children are among the number, not all honesty DV cases are passed even with presenting the proof. Not all Human Rights cases are approved when after approaching the said or concerned agencies. Sometimes, such agencies are not working hard enough like Ms. Susan Rice acknowledged Human Rights Agency. They lucky adequate board of inquiries in land & overseas. They seat on the papers & close the cases, & what is expected of such people who approached for help to do while in America? And they have been approvals based on false & organized support from in house, which others do not have. Bottomline America is a country for those who want to progress, a country built on good religion & it’s law. Immigrants wants the best for the family, for the country their trust.

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