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When America's Catholic bishops met in Fort Lauderdale last week, their confab quickly turned into a political rally. Their target? President Donald Trump and his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions. The issue? Illegal immigration.
For years, our bishops have ardently supported amnesty for illegal aliens. In doing so they have often depicted their critics in language that is curiously lacking in two vital virtues — prudence and charity. For our shepherds, Americans who disagree with them are simply "nativists," "racists," "xenophobes" and "bigots."
The fact that President Trump has turned out to be the most pro-life president in recent history hasn’t dampened our bishops’ ire one iota. Some fifty million Catholics have left the pews since Vatican II. The Church is clearly in crisis. What is to be done? Or, to put it another way, "what do the bishops really want?"
If you take them at their word, their long-term goal is a "Next America."
As many of our bishops see it, Trump stands in their way. So, in the face of popular support for the president's enforcement of immigration law, they upped the ante in Fort Lauderdale.
As Joshua Gill reported last week, Bishop Edward Weisenburger of Tuscon, Arizona, was as bitter as he was blunt. The bishops, he suggested, should consider making a "prophetic statement" — translated: a thinly veiled threat — to impose "canonical penalties for Catholics who are involved in this."
And what is "this"?
Some background: I have worked with Mexican immigrants for over fifty years. Here’s a little known fact: Illegal immigration is a business. In Mexico, criminal drug gangs, called "Coyotes," charge some $5,000 a head to smuggle prospective customers across the U.S. border. Twenty years ago, most of those customers were adult men. They would work here as illegals, and wire money to their family back home. Under Obama, however, astute Coyotes recognized that the market was changing. Assuming that they survived the perilous journey, the customers who brought their children along had a better chance of being released by U.S. authorities if they were captured.
Read the rest at The Stream.