Politics, Economics, and Morality
In this short article, a continuation in our series entitled Point and Counterpoint (see www.asthma-drsprecace.com, The Involved Citizen), we attempt to provide a framework by which we can stimulate a dialogue among the Faithful regarding this vital subject.
First a few definitions and authoritative statements. “Immigration: The coming into the country of foreigners for the purposes of permanent residence; “Alien: A foreign born person who has not qualified as a citizen of the country; but an alien is a person within the meaning of the due process clause of the U.S. Constitution to the same extent as a citizen” (Black’s Law Dictionary). Immigrants: Duties to and of…. “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…Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens….Access to employment and to professions must be open to all without unjust discrimination: men and women, healthy and disabled, natives and immigrants.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church – Second Edition, 1994, Imprimatur by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger). Chinese character for Crisis: the characters for danger and for opportunity.
Next, some history. We are all immigrants, including those who came to North America over the Bering land-bridge eons ago. Every tribe or peoples that came after the original immigrants subjected or eliminated the earlier groups in one way or another, including the tribes that Columbus encountered in 1492, the embrace by American colonists and later citizens of slavery, our motivations for the Mexican War of 1848, the depredations of Manifest Destiny, our own attempts at colonialism during the early 20th century, and the racism and classism that each successive wave of European immigrants had to endure. This is not a new story.
Next, some facts. Latinos reportedly account for about 14% of the American population…and increasing. The Asian population is increasing dramatically. By contrast, African-Americans make up about 9% of the population…and decreasing. Herein lies one of the political flash points in the on-going controversy over Immigration Reform. There are reportedly over 12 million undocumented / illegal immigrants in this country right now. The reported cost to Americans of services to these people, including welfare, health care, education, incarceration of criminal illegals, and suppressed American wages is estimated to be over $338 billion dollars per year. The estimated cost of total deportation would be about $45 billion dollars annually over a five-year period.Now, some opinion and proposals. We believe that the vast majority of these people are honest, hard-working family members who want to become part of the American dream. We must establish effective control over our borders, and jail all criminals for effective periods of time. And we must provide an effective Federal means of assimilation…on political, economic and moral grounds. Your comments?
Peter Moore, PhD George A. Sprecace, M.D., J.D.