Neighbors Near and Far

Because Congress failed last year to pass comprehensive immigration reform, 2008 began with a patch quilt of state laws and local ordinances that reflect a national confusion about dealing with immigration. On the one hand, Lake Havasu, Arizona, like a number of other cities, struck an agreement with federal agents to train local police to interrogate and detain all undocumented immigrants for deportation. Conversely, Detroit, with its anti-profiling ordinance, prohibited police from questioning people about their immigration status. These contrasting examples, together with the nearly 250 immigration laws passed in 46 states last year, highlight the nation's perplexity over a unified policy for undocumented immigrants.

Approximately 12 million undocumented immigrants reside in the United States, and many live in stable families that include legal residents as well as native-born and naturalized citizens plus their children who were born citizens. Polls confirm by a margin of 58 percent to 35 percent that Americans support "a program giving illegal immigrants now living in the United States the right to live here legally if they pay a fine and meet other requirements."

Ironically, most research indicates that tougher border enforcement by more border patrol agents, more walls and more electronic sensors has actually boosted the undocumented population. Because crossing the Mexican border has become increasingly dangerous, many workers who frequently shuttled back and forth now stay in the United States and eventually send for their families.

The "why" of immigration is explained by push-pull arguments. Poverty pushes people to emigrate. Economic globalization pulls them, because globalization exacerbates the inequalities among nations, encouraging the skilled and desperate from a poorer country to cross boarders to a wealthier one. Additionally, the labor demands of a wealthy country like the United States pull the semi-skilled and unskilled workers from less developed countries. A push comes from free trade agreements favoring transnational corporations that create a harsh climate for local businesses forcing workers to emigrate for employment.

 Case in point: the United States encouraged the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico. Since ratification of NAFTA in 1994, Mexico's economy grew disappointingly with increases of decent jobs at only a third of the millions needed. Average factory wages in Mexico have fallen by more than 5 percent under NAFTA, and unskilled workers are paid only $5 a day. Already U.S. and Canadian agribusiness corporations with their subsidized crops have underpriced local markets forcing 2 million Mexican peasant farmers off their land. Today 19 million more Mexicans live in poverty than when NAFTA was passed. In a real sense, the economic policies of the United States draw immigrant workers to the employment opportunities here, but the woefully small number of visas available for workers entices them to come illegally.

Demographers predict that, eventually, questions about undocumented workers will fade as the Mexican birthrate declines and Mexico's surplus labor force shrinks. In the next decade, millions of skilled baby boomers in the United States will retire creating a shortage of workers that will probably beg more immigrant workers.

Meanwhile, people of faith have a unique opportunity to reach out to immigrants who worship with them weekly. They can reject the simplistic argument about who's legal and who's not, because they can develop a relationship through compassion and hear the stories of the people in the pew beside them. The faith community can help integrate newcomers dreaming of a dignified life for their families. To people of faith, the categories of alien, illegal or undocumented pale in comparison to "neighbor" — and some neighbors are closer than others.

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  • Guest

    We are a nation of laws.  I guess the immigration laws are too simplistic for some to evaluate within the context of rule by law.

    Fling open the gates, a billion people are waiting to enter the despised USA.

    Oh! And Fr Rausch, maybe you could evangelize the Mexican people regarding your approach.  I'm sure a lot of folks from El Salvador would appreciate it. 

  • Guest

    Sorry Father.


    The REAL purpose of illegal immigration is to destroy the national identity of the United States and replace it with a loose confederation of Canada, America and Mexico with the common denominator being the weakest nation,Mexico.


    THe drug cartels and criminals have thrived from our open bourders.


    YOu failed to mention the orgin of this migration is corporate greed and these immigrants are pawns to achieve this goal. 


    YOu failed to mention illegals bring diseases that were seldom seen here, like TB, into the country.  Legal imigrants were screened for these conditions.  Where is the concern from religious and advocates of illegal imigration for Americans who succomb to these diseases.


    And we all know illegal imigrants lower the wages of American workers.  Again, no concern for Americans.


    Illegals are bankrupting our health system by obtaining, in many cases free health care. 


    Charity does NOT mean bankrupting the nation and working against the common good.


    Advocating illegal imigration mocks my father, grandfather ald the millions of Americans who immigrated here, legally.  THey waited theior turn, were screened for deadly diseases and then helped make our country strong.

  • Guest

    I can't believe what I am reading.  Not only is it isolated protectionism gone wild, but my normally God fearing friends have turned what I consider the wrong cheek in this human rights/economic issue.  But as a believer in a capitalisit democracy .. I welecome most any free trade agreement.  As for immigration, I agree, put forth a workable plan and police it. 

    From op-ed columnist Fromma Harrop (who I don't always agree with), this past Saturday she writes:

    "NAFTA knockers who fear sounding anti-Mexican often argue that free trade has been bad for Mexico, as well. They offer vivid examples, such as the peasant farmers protesting the end of tariffs on U.S. corn. Corn production is easily mechanized and relies on abundant water. That gives U.S. farmers a com petitive advantage.

        But NAFTA has opened the enormous U.S. market to Mexican avocado growers, who now call their fruit “green gold.” For avocados and other produce that requires picking by hand and therefore much farm labor, Mexicans have an advantage. In fact, Mexican farm exports to the United States and Canada have tripled since 1994.

        Mexico’s gross domestic product has doubled in the past 10 years, poverty is down, and the march to social liberalization continues. Mexico is no longer a very poor country — it just seems so next to us." 

  • Guest

    Congress didn't fail to pass anything. The bill was stopped by massive appeal from the American people.

    The article fair? It's the typical left-totalitarian mindset whereby laws I disfavor, do not apply. This article is a joke.

  • Guest

    This country was a much better place when men like Frank Hamer patrolled the southern border dispensing justice to criminals with a studied indifference. It was truly a rising power on the international scene, and could protect the world from tyranny. 

    Fr. John Rausch looks lovingly towards a future where we become another Brasil, where kidnapping and other forms of violence in the supposedly Catholic country are rampant. 

  • Guest

    As I have posted before, Fr Rausch's syndicated column runs in my diocesan newspaper.  Almost everything he writes supports a socialist agenda.  He's down right scary!  What's worse is that he gets to pass off his marxist views as Christianity.  And THEN it can lord it over us with comments such as,

    "Meanwhile, people of faith have a unique opportunity to reach out to immigrants who worship with them weekly. They can reject the simplistic argument about who's legal and who's not, because they can develop a relationship through compassion and hear the stories of the people in the pew beside them. The faith community can help integrate newcomers dreaming of a dignified life for their families. To people of faith, the categories of alien, illegal or undocumented pale in comparison to "neighbor" — and some neighbors are closer than others."


    Well, let me go eat my homemade pizza, crust included.   Pizza making is a skill I learned from my legal immigrant Nona. 

  • Guest

    Treating immigrants with respect and finding a workable plan does not mean working against the common good or financial ruin.  We are called to charity above all, and I believe that as a Catholic community we need to treat all persons with dignity.

    From the CCC: 1823 Jesus makes charity the new commandment.96 By loving his own "to the end,"97 he makes manifest the Father's love which he receives. By loving one another, the disciples imitate the love of Jesus which they themselves receive. Whence Jesus says: "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love." And again: "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you."

    Gosh, Jesus suffered and died for us – are we truly loving as He did when we talk about denying people healthcare?

  • Guest

    Sorry Beate,


    When illegal imigrants find employment in the USA, the wages of American workers go down because the Mexican workers work for less.  Look @ what happened to the meatpacking industry in Iowa.


    And is it fair that we house illegal people who might be carrying diseases that harm us?  If someone wants to come into the country, isn't it fair they be screened  for diseases like Tuberculosis? Is charity a one way street or are there responsibilities imigrants have to uphold too?

    And you don't address illegals taxing an already overburdened healthcare system. 20 million people entering the country does tax the social structure of the country at the time when many states and municipalities cannot pay for services for American citizens.


    And please remember that many illegals want to return the southwest USA back to Maxico. That's not charity.


    Yes, Jesus dies for us but immigrants still better come into our country legitimately

  • Guest

    Hm…so you are of the mindset that once someone has broken a law they no longer should be treated with dignity and respect?  Or if someone is not charitable, you have no obligation to be charitable in return.  An eye for an eye….

    I live in an area that is predominantly populated by Hispanics yet have never actually met a single one who suggested returning this land (which was questionably begotten) back to Mexico.

    The laws governing entrance into this country are woefully inadequate for the labor needs of the U.S.  The vast majority of immigrants who are here are here to work, and they work hard.  They deserve protection from unscrupulous business owners.  Perhaps we should go back to the days when people entered the U.S. without paperwork and were screened (quite quickly) once they got here.  All before computers!

    I'd suggest you really read some of the vast Church documents on this topic with an open mind.

    God's Peace be with you ~

  • Guest

    How come the bishops aren't working to end the injustice in countries of origin? 

    Also, why is there a bias to one immigrant group over another?  There are literally millions of Chinese who would come here in a heartbeat if allowed.  However, if 50 Chinese are found in a shipping carton they're returned home post haste.

    In order for a policy to be rational, it needs to have the ability to be applied universally.  The current method can never work.  Therefore, the law as it stands now must be enforced until a better one in enacted.

    Citizens deserve the charity of their nation first, then guests….it's only the common sense you apply within your own family every day…..

    Of course, human dignity always stands… and they should be returned back home in air conditioned buses…well, they don' t have a/c buses in my personal experience… give them cold water and other necesities. 

  • Guest

    Speaking of illegal immigration, we need to question the moral justice of our immigration laws.  ALL human beings, including illegal immigrants, have GOD-given rights that the state has NO RIGHT to infringe upon.  In other words, any man-made law that attempts to deny basic human rights to any human being for any reason is presumed to be contrary to God's commandments.  In that case, attempting to enforce such a law is morally EVIL, and it was also morally EVIL to pass such a law in the first place.  It would therefore appear that attempts to crack down on illegal immigration are EVIL, plain and simple, because of the human rights violated.  As far as respect for the rule of law is concerned, God's commandments ALWAYS come first.  Arguments over illegal immigration usually ASSUME that our man-made laws are just laws.  However, at least a few Catholic bishops have expressly said otherwise. 

    More generally, the rule of innocent until proven guilty requires all poor people to be presumed deserving when we are not sure.  In addition, laziness and illegal immigration, even if they are wrong, cannot possibly be serious enough to justify capital punishment.  Of course, the deliberate denial of the basic necessities of life to someone is a form of capital punishment.  (Opponents of capital punishment, take note.)  In other words, welfare reform unjustly presumes guilt without adequate proof, and unjustly imposes capital punishment for actions that cannot possibly be serious enough to deserve it.  Such unjust laws ought to be challenged in court.

     The tax dollars that we spend on jail sentences for criminals prove that we as a nation CAN AFFORD to provide welfare to everyone who needs it, and prove that we as a nation CAN AFFORD to accommodate all the immigrants that we are getting.  Therefore, there is absolutely no excuse for failing to do so.  This is especially true given that we spend tax dollars to actively prevent prison inmates from committing suicide.  A genuine lack of sufficient resources to provide for the poor or illegal immigrants would, by definition, necessarily mean insufficient resources to provide for convicted criminals as well. If welfare for the poor and providing for all immigrants were honestly unaffordable, we would have death sentences for almost all crimes, since we would not be able to afford the taxpayer cost of long jail sentences either.  This is especially true given that in the absence of other types of welfare, more people would commit crimes in order to take advantage of the tax dollars spent to provide for jailed criminals.  If jailed criminals have more right to the basic necessities of life than the poor, there is an incentive for those in need to deliberately commit crimes specifically in order to ACTIVELY FORCE the taxpayers to pay the costs of supporting them in jail.

  • Guest


    do you believe in property rights?  The Pope does, as did Pope John Paul II. 

    Do you believe in the right of nations to have and defend borders?  The Pope does.

    Your arguments regarding welfare are ridiculous.  And where does it end?  There are a billion poor in the world.  Communism has been tried and failed.  Why should anybody work if everybody is entitled to welfare?

    I'm not saying the immigration laws are perfect. Few laws are.  We are a nation of laws, which is why people move here in the first place and why we're a prosperous economy. Until the law changes, it must be obeyed by those who want to participate in the US society.

    By the way, do you lock your doors at night?  Do the bishops?  If so, why? 

  • Guest

    Blue8064, what country are you posting from, Somalia? Surely you don't live in the US of which you know so little.

    If you do live in the US then you are guilty of imposing capital punishment on someone in the third world just by virtue of your citizenship. Are you willing to relinquish your "EVIL" US citizenship for an "undocumented immigrant"? You could either exchange places with him/her or just go to jail and get all the freebies.

    As I understand the rules of posting; our comments don't have to make sense, they just have to be clean.

  • Guest

    I'm with Zephyr and the others.  I think Beate and Blue ought to move to Cuba or some other Socialist country to live out their dreams……IF they are allowed to BY THE GOVERNMENT they so idolize.

    With Zephyr, I worked–hard!–to defeat the Great Amnesty Giveaway!  I'm still working, and have every intention of continuing to work against it.  If anyone (with the exception of Congress-persons) were to break our laws as flagrantly and consistently as the ILLEGAL immigrants, they'd be put in prison, not given FREE health care, FREE education, FREE food-stamps, FREE welfare! 

    I have NO PROBLEM with LEGAL immigrants: I'm happy to help them in any way I can.  ILLEGALS VAMOOSE!

  • Guest

    It is so sad to see this two-toned argument at a fever pitch. “Open your arms to our poor Catholic brethren, never mind how they got here,” on the one hand. And “shut the gates and batten down the laws,” on the other.

    To the former, I have to make this set of observations: It is easier for a Mexican with a job in Mexico to found a new business in the United States than in Mexico. Why is this so? Keep in mind that it is not the poorest who come here; emigrants tend to be drawn from a population pool that is making ends meet in Mexico… barely. The fellow who leaves Mexico to come here already has a job, but that job offers no promise for any reasonable future. To begin his business, he examines his prospects in Mexico and then embarks upon the following sequence of events. He quits his job; makes an arduous journey to the United States; finds another job, possibly lower than minimum wage; works at that job for a few years; saves some capital; and finally, founds a business here. Why must he do this? Frankly, it’s because Mexican society and culture urge him to do so. It is easier to pawn these cases off onto a northern neighbor than it is to make necessary changes at home. Though Mexico has made great strides in providing economic liberty over the past fifteen years (and it was NAFTA that forced them to), the nation routinely ranks around 50th or so among nations in terms of economic liberty. This is because government bureaucracy at home stifles innovation. Official corruption shuts down businesses that don’t pay appropriate bribes to minor officials. And the twin monopolies of PEMEX and TelMex prohibit all competition in two economic sectors that have been among the most dynamically competitive in the United States. The result: would-be Mexican entrepreneurs head north, and Mexico buries its head in the sand, raising it up only long enough to blame us for problems caused in Mexico.

    Why is this so? Because Mexico does not wish to change. Because Mexican government employees (a massive part of the total workforce) find it easier to level false charges of racism to the north than to open up the decrepit government institutions to real privatization and economic innovation. Because it is easier to dehumanize and blame a faceless enemy than to work for real change that might create the environment in which fellow Mexicans can start and successfully execute small business plans at home. Mostly, however, it is because shuttling all these folks off to a foreign land reduces the internal social pressures for just changes to occur. And so justice fails, even as Mexico has failed its emigrants.

    Moreover, to the bishops: do you really want to be on the side of promoting the one activity (immigration) which, almost as much as contraception, constitutes the root cause for the destruction of the Mexican family? And even moreso than contraception, emigration from Mexico destroys towns. There are entire towns and villages in Mexico where the only working age men are all sick or injured. The rest have gone, leaving broken families behind. Is this justice? I agree that many (I actually believe most) immigrant families in the U.S. have both documented and undocumented members. It is wrong to push for the separation of these families in the U.S. However, it is just as wrong to support patterns of behavior which separate and destroy these families in Mexico. Is a better job really more important than having daddy at home on a regular basis? Why one set of advice for the well-off American family man whose job takes him on the road every week (i.e. tone it down and spend time at home), and then another for the poor Mexican worker who leaves his family behind because there is little or no hope for him to build a small business at home? Are we really favoring the poor with this sort of rhetoric?

    But the fact remains that insomuch as the principle of subsidiarity requires the Church to submit to national laws that are in accord with the Natural Law – including the U.S. immigration laws – the same principle requires those national laws to recognize the legitimate role of families, even if they are foreign and even if some of their members lack papers. It cannot be so simple as we suggest, that if only we will shutter the border and enforce our laws, then all will be well. All will not be well. For one thing, one of the most common situations for a family of Mexican immigrants in the U.S. is that one parent is here legally, another not, perhaps one grandparent legal and another not, perhaps one child legal and another not. The root causes I have already explained above, but we cannot possibly be so heartless that we would impose our laws strictly without accounting for the family. This principle cuts both ways.

    And there is a pragmatic issue here: most Mexicans are pro-life. Abortion is still illegal there. Those who emigrate tend to bring with them very conservative principles when it comes to family and life issues. We could win them to the pro-life cause in the U.S. But we fail. By failing to see the bigger picture, we wind up sending a great many immigrants into the open arms of the culture of death. And while many of these immigrants bear responsibility for the advance of abortion in their absence (the same absence which eases the pressure for economic change also opens up new avenues for Mexico’s own abortion supporters), we could find ready allies if only we weren’t so abrasive in our rhetoric.

    I know most of you disagree with me on this. But I don’t care. When it comes to saving lives in the womb, we should be willing to sacrifice other, lesser principles, even if those lesser principles were first trampled upon by another. For the fact remains that we are losing immigrants and their children to the culture of death. And we don’t have to be.

  • Guest

    Nfpdad, what you said about Mexico is true.  Where you began pressing your argument in favor of concessions for illegals, becomes scattered, in my humble and not fully informed opinion. 

    I know hispanics are beign targeted by the abortion industry.  However, I think eradicating legal abortion in this country and stemming the tide of illegal immigration are two distinct issues.  Also, as of this posting illegals can't vote.  When the Democrats succeed in giving non citizen, illegal aliens that right, they will vote their economic interests, as the majority of people already do (few are as issue driven as the posters on this site).  They left their family for money and they'll vote politicos in who will provide "free" health care, etc–their right.

    At this point I should say that you probably rubbed elbows with Mr and Mrs Government at the local Piggly Wiggly this week.So, when the Marxists start howling for government handouts and the right to this or that economic good, what they're really saying is, "Give me access to your ATM card, fellow citizen."  There is no government "honey pot" except for the money extorted from hard working citizens who create wealth for this country. 

    WE are Mr and Mrs Government.  I hate to break it to Fr Rausch, but the Money Tree was sealed off in the Garden of Eden.  Now we ALL must toil for our daily bread.  From the tone of many posters, who believe it is their right for others to pay for their housing, food, and health care, I fear Carl Marx has won.  (I even heard a female college student, who was part of a focus group, own up to the fact that she voted for Democrats because they voted for programs, funded by Mr and Mrs Government, since she is a beneficiary of such programs.  Shoot!  I'd rather be mugged for  my handbag than have Jane College Student use her agent, the IRS, to wipe out my bank account.)

    Now, as to breaking up immigrant families.  That is not my  problem.  They created their own situation.  They also have "Anchor Babies".  Yes, bearing children in the USA is a goal of many.  Discipline hurts.  Folks can choose to return home with their family intact, or separate for a time.  Nobody is forcing "Ancho Babies" to remain here.

    Beate: you said annexing SW USA is not a goal of the Mexicans.  You are both right and wrong.  "Juan" crossing the border for a job isn't thinking about that issue–yet.  However, the "intellectuals" sure are!  There is plenty of information online regarding this.  Once the intellectuals start fomenting–remember the recent rallies with Mexican flags waving– the common man will believe it is his right to "reconquista".  Here is a link to confirm what I say is true.


    Liberation Theology has been discredited as not of the Church.  Just because people scream "Charity" does not mean it is.  Socialism sounds good on paper to some, but take a look at the reality of its implementation. Maybe Fr Rauch should get a job and support a family  Maybe then he'd understand  about the IRS.  Maybe then he's care about handing down the America given to us by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, et al.

  • Guest



    If you break the law, you go back to Mexico.  If you come in illegally, you go back to Mexico.

  • Guest

    Homeschool Dad, as I read you, you're saying that we're going to advance the pro-life issue in this country with the Hispanic immigrants, legal or otherwise. Hmm…..interesting!

    I don't know that statistics bear this out, especially because the increase in broken and disfunctional families also increases the likelyhood of irresponsible sexual behavior which includes contraception and abortion.

    On the other hand the fine, upstanding and economically comfortable families have given us a healthy abortion industry up to now.

    There are parables in the Scriptures about the less likely person or group actually advancing God's will better than the chosen ones.

    I would not dismiss this paradoxical logic but the legality issue still has to be handled correctly to preserve the achievements of a civilized society and the rule of law.

  • Guest
    LOL, now believing in the social doctrine of the Catholic Church makes one a socialist/communist.  That accusation has certainly been bandied about before – generally by anti-Catholics.  I suppose I'd have some excellent company on that flight to Cuba ;-).  Do I get to sit next to JPII or Papa Ben?? Okay, I'll settle for Archbishop Chaput or Archbishop Gomes 😉
    Mary Ann Glendon wrote an excellent article on principled immigration, which addresses many of your concerns:
  • Guest


    do you have any policy suggestions to go with your sound bite?

    Beate: what comes out of the mouth of a bishop here or there doesn't quality as social doctrine of the Catholic Church. Wholesale amnesty has already failed and open borders is creating chaos in regions around the country.

    Also, Mother Theresa described the USA as one of the poorest nations on earth.  She was refering to spiritual poverty of course.  Given that the US bishops have been unable to meet the pastoral and spiritual needs of the children within their own diocese, how can they care for the children of another bishop?  Do we thrown away the firstborn for the foster child?  This is a point that truly infuriates me as our parishes explode at the seams and a priest doesn't even know the names of my children after 10 years of membership in a parish.  Yet that same priest must now minister to hundreds of illegal spanish speakers:  down to finding rides to work! 

    What we need are real political solutions in this country and countries of origin. They should be made under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I believe the Church teaches one must obey the laws of a nation. Defining and defending ones border is a matter of national security and a right recognized by both popes mentioned by you.

  • Guest

    Word of caution to ladybugmaria, when elkabrikir takes the bait, you don't have her, she has you. (All in good fun.)

    You're looking for more civility and I'm looking for more stridency, which means the tone of this thread is just about right.

  • Guest

    Goral, please don't use words I have to look up! (JK)

    Ladybugmaria, please answer my question…it was a serious one; and you dodged it.

    The rule of law exists because we are all created in the image and likeness of our creator.  It protects the very dignity of all individuals.

    Regarding firstborn vs foster child, please read the sentences that follow that comment.  It is a zero sum game and the Church in her wisdom has set up geographic regions as parishes within a diocese  in order to more effectively minister to the faithful.  (In the Arlington Diocese, when I lived there 20 years ago, illegal parish jumpers weren't even allowed to receive CCC or sacraments in a parish outside their neighborhood boundary.)

    Finally if you want a civil discussion, please don't bait me.  I'm usually a sleep deprived lunatic….and Goral is my only friend in the world, so I'm glad he posted again…..I'm looking for an invite to the Platinum Wedding of his daughter…….for me and my brood!


  • Guest

    Neighbors Near and Far to borrow Fr. Rausch's title is what we are to each other, elkabrikir.  Friendship is an honor that we bestow upon each other. Christ said to his Apostles: "I have called you friends". Look me up on our website – and leave a contact if you want a semi-serious wedding invitation.

    Lonely are the Brave was a movie and perhaps a book, no doubt that applies to you. 

    I certainly welcome the immigrants to our fold. I just don't want to find my neighbor sitting at my kitchen table, with the cubbies open when I get home from work. Wasn't it the mother of soul, Aretha Franklin who sang R-E-S-P-E-C-T?

  • Guest

    Ladybugmaria, the definition of strident is loud, strong and urgent expression or behavior. Disregard the loud, I don’t use upper case or bold letters in my comments. They are not absent of compassion or charity. Some people have preferences for tea-time comments. My preference is for D-day comments, both are necessary.

    I love ladybugs by the way. I refuse to vacuum them up. At this time of the yr. I just let them walk on the ceilings and the fixtures. They are a gardener’s best friend.

    Disregarding illegality will position all of us in a Mexican Standoff.

  • Guest

     Ladybugmaria I read it. Thanks for the discussion.  I'm sure we'll meet in another forum

  • Guest

    One more post (even though I wasn't going to say anything else). I try to understand my true motivations for my thoughts and actions.

    I believe my concern about mass immigration, especially of the illegal and unregulated variety, is driven by fear.

    I am afraid that the USA will become like the countries of origin in which I have lived: Brasil, Chile, and Mexico none of which I want to become a citizen.

    The immigration level is so high and quickly pace that I am not seeing integration into our culture (laws, language, educational priorities). Nor do I see the desire by the Church or other institutions to force the issue of full participation in society as something more than needy victims (see Latinos in the linked essay).

    Further, I think that it's an injustice to encourage people to leave their homeland and culture.  Both things the church and others within and without the USA promote.

    It is irrational to shift millions of people from one patch of land to another.  Each country needs to function for its people and that includes  the Latin American ones.