Before reading, please listen to this video, which has no graphic images at all, so that you can read the article as an informed and intelligent person.
At EWTN/CNA news, Bishop Flores speaks about the “child migrant crisis at the U.S-Mexico border.” It is indeed a crisis. It is interesting that the people in America, including Catholics, who are most actively working (and voting) to end abortion are not exactly on the same page with the Catholic bishops when it comes to this crisis. Is it really because the Catholic bishops know more about human dignity than the activists do? I don’t think so.
Let’s take a look at what Bishop Flores is saying in regard to the migrant/border crisis and ask ourselves: What if the Catholic bishops responded to abortion the way they do to this crisis?
“As a Church, our first focus is that we are assisting members of our human family in need.”
“The Catholic response has to be compassionate, and must recognize the human faces within this issue.”
On both points, I agree. I am, after all, a pro-life activist. I see the hidden human faces of the unborn. Therefore, I can also see the human faces of the child migrants who are being used as pawns by pro-abortion politicians for changes that would be disastrous to our country.
Jill Marie Gerschutz-Bell, a legislative affairs specialist in Catholic Relief Services’ D.C. Office, said the situation is a “refugee crisis” due to “violence, insecurity and displacement in Central America and Mexico.”
“Refugee” is a political term. If someone is labeled a “refugee,” it means that they have the right to full protection from our government. What if the bishops responded to abortion as a crisis and demanded full, legal protection for the unborn here in the United States? They do speak out against abortion, but they do not count it as a “crisis” and they do not go to these lengths to save the unborn. By the way, I agree that these migrants today merit refugee status. Unlike the bishops, though, I demand that our forces already in Honduras and other countries be given the resources they need to do their job as expressed by the U.S. State Department – fighting the violence there.
“The gangs which are terrorizing young people and their families here initially got their start on the streets of Los Angeles,” [Gerschutz-Bell] said. U.S. deportation of young people to Central America in the 1990s helped the gangs “flourish” due to the lack of jobs and easy access to weapons in the receiving countries.
In this statement, America is being blamed for the violence in Central America. The fact is that U.S. citizens cannot be deported. They did not “get their start” in America. They got their start in Central America. If you come to America, you should respect our laws. If you do not, you should be deported. Again, I support our country’s currently stated mission to fight violence in Central America. I wonder why the bishops are looking to blame America for the violence instead of the people committing the violence. It is like blaming motherhood for abortion, which is essentially what the anti-patriarchy movement in America is about. America is a good country, not a bad country, and our laws against violence are a good thing, not a bad thing that get in the way of a poor migrant’s dreams. Laws against murder must be upheld. I would include abortion in that.
“Today Honduras and El Salvador are among the most violent countries in the world, and parents are willing to do whatever it takes to bring their kids to safety,” said Gerschutz-Bell.
Certainly a lot of parents simply want their kids to be safe, but not all parents are like that. I mean, if they were, there would be no abortion, right?
The current crisis is a result of “desperation” in Latin America, according to Erica Dahl-Bredine. She has served as Catholic Relief Services’ country representative in El Salvador since 2010.
I agree that this is the case for a lot of people, but it isn’t the only thing. And again, I support our country’s policy of having troops in Central America to fight the violence. Why don’t the bishops call for our country to actually do that? Could it be that fighting back against murderers isn’t as high a priority to the bishops as it should be?
The U.S. bishops’ conference is backing a Senate bill that would include $300 million to address “push factors” that encourage migration from Central America, including violence, economic deprivation and family disintegration.
The Senate is led by Democrats. The bill referred to is the Democrats’ bill. House Speaker John Boehner very rightly calls the bill an “attempt to exploit this crisis,” and he calls the attempt to ram this bill through “nutso.” He also rightly calls the crisis “one of the president’s own making.” There are two things the American people want from our civil law: secure the border and speed the return of illegal immigrants to their home countries. While the Church has a duty to care for all migrants’ basic needs, the civil authorities have a duty, through the civil law, to secure the border and to speed the return of illegal immigrants. Those two things require a lot of resources, including the addressing of “push factors,” but there is no public support for increasing the pull factors through civil law.
John Boehner is, by the way, a faithful and pro-life Catholic. He is the one man at the center of this issue who is striking a balance of sanity between the irrational ideologues on both sides of this issue. The bishops’ support for the Democrats’ bill is, unfortunately, due to their decision to address “push factors” only while massively increasing the “pull factors” included in the Senate bill. Boehner says the bill would “make the crisis even worse,” and he is right. I agree also with Boehner that the president is “sealing the deal on his legacy of lawlessness” with this legislation and with attempts to ram it through. What I see, and what a lot of other people see, is that the bishops are participating in, and encouraging, lawlessness and pull factors that make the problem worse.
As Boehner expressed, the Senate bill will not become law as the House will never approve of it. It is an exercise in futility. It is important that our bishops understand that characterizing opposition to the Senate bill as being an affront to human dignity is irrational, wrong, and jabs a spear into the wounds that need to be healed in our country….the wound of resentment and the wound of lawlessness. Characterizing people who are at the forefront of defending unborn human life as enemies of human dignity does nothing but drive resentment.
The bishops are clearly not interested in making return a priority. They seem as willing to place a child with an extended family member in the United States as to sending the child back to his parents in Central America.
“Once children are in Border Patrol custody, the Department of Health and Human Services seeks out family members either in the United States or in their home countries, and makes sure these claims are authentic,” he said. “Ninety percent of children are successfully reunited with their families.”
In this, the bishops undermine the importance of children being with their parents, which is something that conservatives feel very strongly about. For a conservative, and for any faithful Catholic, the best place for a child is with his biological parents. This ethic of the parent-child relationship is important, also, in the abortion debate. Why do the bishops ignore it in the immigration debate?
I believe that there is a child migrant crisis that must be addressed in a compassionate manner. John Boehner agrees with that, too. No one should be sent to his death. No child’s sufferings should be ignored. But the fact is that the Democratic party is exploiting children for political purposes even as they do with abortion. There is a child migrant crisis, in large part due to the “pull factors” being increased by the Democrats and by the “push factors” being ignored. The bishops are joining with the Democrats in exacerbating that crisis, while largely (not completely, but largely) ignoring the abortion crisis, also made possible by Democrats.
Listen once more.