February 27, 2017
The Honorable John F. Kelly, Secretary,
Department of Homeland Security
United States Government
Washington, DC 20528
Dear Secretary Kelly,
I am a lay Catholic who loves his faith and his nation. I noted with concern the letter you received on 24FEB2017 by approximately 15 Catholic Religious Leaders. It is my opinion that these Catholic leaders do not speak for the majority of voting Catholics in the US. First the numbers of Catholic religious orders active in the US are very hard to come by, but there are many. Although diocesan bishops are not religious orders, it is worth noting that there are 269 active Catholic bishops active in the United States.
If voting patterns are any indication many, many faithful Catholics do not see President’s Trumps recent Executive Orders on immigration nor your minimal actions to date as “…sowing seeds of conflict between our nation and our churches…threatening our religious freedom…” as stated in this letter by these Catholic leaders. President Trump ran a campaign very clear on deporting all people who entered or remain in our nation by breaking our immigrant laws. President Trump won the so-called “Catholic vote” by 52 percent compared to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s 45 percent. It is my belief that this letter represents a minority opinion of Catholics concern with the illegal migration of peoples into these United States.
One of the Catholics who understand that a nation has the right to fully enforce their immigration laws that do not conflict with God’s divine principles is Pope Emeritus Benedict. While encouraging nations to help those in need, Pope Emeritus Benedict said in his Message for the 97th World Day of Migrants and Refugees (2011) “…At the same time, States have the right to regulate migration flows and to defend their frontiers, always guaranteeing the respect due to the dignity of each and every human person. Immigrants, moreover, have the duty to integrate into the host Country, respecting its laws and its national identity. The challenge is to combine the welcome due to every human being, especially when in need, with a reckoning of what is necessary for both the local inhabitants and the new arrivals to live a dignified and peaceful life.” This letter by Catholic leaders is silent on the rights of States to regulate their migration flows, or for immigrants to respect the laws of this nation as stated by Pope Emeritus Benedict. Many, many Americans including those who are Catholic understand that unlimited migration of peoples is a much higher threat to “…religious liberty…” than enforcing our immigration laws and defending our national identity.
The number of immigrants who entered our nation by breaking our laws is hard to estimate. Your Department, DHS in 2003 estimated 8-12 million aliens who have broken our immigration laws reside in the United States and that 700,000 new migrants enter each year and remain in the nation. This does not count the estimated 300,000 immigrants who enter on a legal visa but then overstay that visa.
A very interesting and potentially much more accurate study conducted Bear Stearns Asset Management estimated that the number of illegal immigrants in 2005 could be as high as 20 million. “Their figures were based on an analysis of the large discrepancy between official census estimates and growth in indicators such as remittances to the countries of origin, school enrollment and building permits.” If you include the nearly 1 million people who enter this nation by breaking our immigration laws, or who overstay their visas with the potentially more accurate Bear Stearns number, this suggest the number of immigrants in our nation today who do not obey our immigration laws is closer to 30 million people or nearly 10% of this nation population and growing by 1 million migrants every year. The letter from these 15 Catholic religious leaders expresses no concern on the incredible impact to the local inhabitants and national identity by such as massive uncontrolled migration of people.
While the vast majority of Americans feel concern for immigrants escaping poverty and non-functioning governments all over the world, many Americans have experience the horrid cost of non-enforcement of our immigration laws. Simply put we cannot continue as a financially solvent and safe nation with an unlimited migration of peoples who ignore our immigration laws.
In the letter it notes that Cardinal Archbishop of Boston, Sean O’Malley says “When this church was built, all the faithful were immigrants…” Please remember much of the Catholic Church leadership apparently has endorsed many priorities closely identified with progressives and the liberal causes and actively opposed the free and fair election of President Donald Trump while the majority of Catholics supported President Trumps immigration plan. For example leaders of the Church endorsing climate change without speaking with any scientists who have different opinions, church leaders questioning capitalism or refusing to allow persecuted Catholics potentially undergoing the worse genocide since Rwanda to migrate into their cities from the Middle East. Even Catholics leaders in Mexico accusing President Trump and your office of “terrorism” for suggesting Mexicans should live in Mexico. Even with this one sided expression such a knowledgeable Cardinal as Cardinal O’Malley obviously sees the difference in uncontrolled migration of people who ignore the laws of the host nation and earlier immigrants, who for the most part, were immigrants who obeyed the immigration laws.
I note that this letter does not mention with any charity the many Americans visiting graves populated by family members who were put there by criminal or terrorist immigrants. This letter from these 15 religious orders completely ignores the incredible costs that have been inflicted upon the American people by uncontrolled migration of peoples. The vast majority of Americans including practicing Catholics I meet are deeply concern about the fate of immigrants looking for a better life. However many Americans, including Catholics are very concern about the significant cost of immigrants who do not respect our laws.
We have been here before. Many Catholics hope you remember that after liberals and progressives struck a deal with President Ronald Regan so long ago no effective enforcement was ever enacted. After massive migration of people who do not respect our laws, innumerable criminal acts and many terrorist acts perpetrated by immigrants or the children of immigrants Americans voted at great cost for a different approach.
Many, many Catholics hope and pray that you will remember your oath to defend this nation from all enemies foreign and domestic. Unlike the liberal and progressive leadership of the Catholic Church I encourage you to meet with Catholics on both sides of the immigration issues.
Please help this letter get to Secretary Kelly by sharing it as much as possible. Hopefully he will see this letter and understand there are more than one side to this illegal immigration debate.