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By Brian Wright
Faithful Catholics across the United States are left scratching their heads: Why do American bishops fight tooth and nail for unrestricted immigration from Mexico while staying silent on abortion and same-sex "marriage"? One could speculate for an eternity, but let's start by examining answers that portray the bishops in a more favorable light.
Suppose the bishops are truly moved out of compassion in supporting illegal immigrants from Mexico. After all, Jesus said in Matthew 25, "For I was hungry and you gave me food ... a stranger and you welcomed me." Viewing the issue through this lens, the bishops are "noble" in their intentions, but what happens after these migrants flood into the country? There is one very possible outcome: Kate Steinle.
Kate was a young professional working for Medtronic in the San Francisco area — that is, until José Inez Garcia Zárate, an illegal immigrant previously deported five times, shot her near Pier 14 in San Francisco on July 1, 2015. Numerous other stories have been brought to light as President Donald Trump continues to bring attention to similar "angel families," those families who have lost a member at the hands of an illegal immigrant.
As if that isn't enough, drugs — in addition to crime caused by cartels — have been allowed to pour across the Southern border for decades. This has especially worsened the situation in America's rapidly deteriorating inner cities. In essence, American citizens suffer from the behaviors brought from Mexico by violent illegals, especially the notorious gang MS-13. Though the majority of illegal immigrants are peaceful, even these non-violent immigrants bring less obvious issues to the country.
Big business loves illegal immigration for one reason: cheap labor. If an employee is not registered with the U.S. government, there is no need to pay that employee minimum wage. Moreover, if an undocumented employee complains to authorities, there is a chance he could be deported. This lowers wages for working-class Americans, especially African-Americans. Having to pay taxes and cover rising costs in everything from health care to groceries, these American workers are unable to work for below minimum wage.
The U.S. bishops choose to speak about this issue with force because they get more money if more migrants pour into the country.
Taking both the economic and criminal aspects into account, the U.S. bishops, though possibly noble in their intentions, just gave support to a policy that could endanger the safety and livelihoods of many Americans. Put that way, it doesn't sound very "charitable." Why give support to such a complex and confusing issue when abortion and same-sex "marriage" clearly damage American society?
Abortion has killed over 55 million American babies since Roe v. Wade, and same-sex "marriage" confuses the youth of our nation concerning healthy sexuality and promotes unions that cannot produce children, a crucial part in sustaining a society. But what do the bishops get from preaching against abortion or same-sex "marriage," besides the peace that comes from preaching the truth? Do they have ulterior motives for supporting illegal immigration so strongly?
From 2012 to 2015, according to The Washington Times, Catholic organizations in America collected $1.6 billion from the government. In fact, Catholic Charities USA, the largest Catholic charity in the world, receives 65 percent of its annual budget from the U.S. government. As the old saying goes, beggars can't be choosers. As Catholic charities take money from the government, they become obligated to do the government's will, and that includes resettling migrants. USAspending.gov cites Catholic Charities and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops as receiving over $2 billion from 2008–2015 to resettle refugees.
It is classic self-interest. The U.S. bishops choose to speak about this issue with force because they get more money if more migrants pour into the country. However, as former Trump aide Steve Bannon has suggested, the bishops may also be motivated by the chance of "packing the pews" once again. Bannon claims, "They [the Catholic bishops] need illegal aliens to fill the churches. It's obvious on the face of it."
According to a 2008 report published by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), only 23 percent of American Catholics attend Mass weekly. By failing to preach the authentic Gospel and actively covering up gut-wrenching scandals, the clergy have driven millions from the Faith. Now they are left scrounging for enough money to stay in business, hoping for continued support from the government and an increase in Mass attendees owing to an increasing number of Catholic immigrants from Mexico. They are looking for a quick fix to a desperate situation they themselves have caused — and it won't work.
Hispanic Catholics too have found the Catholic Church in America ineffective and unfulfilling.
Another CARA survey found only 21 percent of Hispanic Catholics in the United States attend Mass weekly. Hispanic Catholics too have found the Catholic Church in America ineffective and unfulfilling. Every time a bishop preaches about welcoming all immigrants, whether legal or illegal, he misses a crucial role to preach on real, intrinsic evils plaguing our society. Crossing the border is dangerous, so shouldn't the U.S. bishops fight for a streamlined immigration process that allows Hispanics to safely enter the country as legal citizens?
Moreover, many of these immigrants still maintain Catholic morality in their day-to-day lives. Preaching on intrinsic evils will draw these Catholics back to the Church, as it would draw millions of other American Catholics who left the Church over the past 50 years. Immigrants move to another nation to find a better life. If the United States fails to register and keep track of those who enter its borders, many of the problems from Mexico and Central America will simply flow from those nations to ours. To rebuild the Church and maintain the American quality of life, U.S. bishops should do what is hard: Preach the truth and not fold to societal pressures pushed by the liberal mainstream media.