CCC Paragraph #2241 Would Solve Immigration Problems

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“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 and to assist in carrying civic burdens.” 1

We often make situations more complicated than they need to be. Immigration is an unfortunate example of this.

With constant tropical storms of political agendas swirling around us, it’s easy to forget that immigration is a two-way street.  Better off nations have a moral obligation to do what they can to help those non-citizens in need, without surrendering the right to protect their sovereignty.  Those desiring a new country may certainly seek help, provided they abide by the laws and respect the customs of their prospective new home.

Protecting a nation’s sovereignty does not include having procedures which delay non-criminals from entering in a timely manner. 2  This hurts both immigrant and receiving country.

On the other hand, not opposing caravans of immigrants which attempt to sidestep reasonable border policies is neither fair to existing citizens nor wise for everyone in the long run. 3  The infamous “catch and release” policy at U.S. borders encourages illegal border crossing. 4  Finally, giving the vote to non-citizens, who have not committed themselves to this country, even “only” for school board issues, is illogical. 5  Given human nature, more nonsensical privileges will follow.

Applying the wisdom of paragraph 2241 would get us back on track.

1 – Paragraph 2241 from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, twenty-fifth printing, November 2013.

2 – “Waiting in line: Why legal immigration can take decades, by Zach Quinn, 11/28/2016, https://cronkitenews.azpbs.org/2016/11/28/waiting-turn-long-line-legal-immigration//

3 – “The Caravan Expose the Democrats, by Michael Brendan Dougherty, 10/26/2018, https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/10/migrant-caravan-democrats-border-enforcement-immigration-debate/

4 – “Illegal immigrant families exploit ‘catch and release’ loopholes , surge over borders at record levels, by Stephen Dinan, 9/12/2018, https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/sep/12/illegal-immigration-soars-families-spot-holes/

5 – “San Francisco To Allow Noncitizens To Vote For School Board, 10/23/2018, https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2018/10/23/san-francisco-noncitizens-vote-school-board/

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How a Citizen Should Deal With Injustice

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“I am a citizen of this country — and that is no little honor.”

So said the actor Frank Morgan (1890-1949) in the 1943 movie, “A Stranger in Town.”  He played the part of a Supreme Court justice who was on hunting vacation near a small town where no one knew him and he became aware of the corrupt political machine which controlled the townspeople.

Without revealing his identity or elevated position of responsibility in the justice system, he set out to help those who were trying to right things.  Near the end, he gave his reasons for becoming involved even though it wasn’t where he lived.  The quote was only a small part of his reply and summarized his civic philosophy.

If we truly appreciate what our citizenship means, we will fulfill our duties by targeting  with what needs to be corrected directly.  We won’t waste energy on mere public displays of how offended we feel, but apply our efforts to acquiring the means to accomplish necessary changes.  The focus is on the injustice, not us.

This another case where we must learn from those who have gone before us.