Today I came across an article referencing a letter written to President Obama by the Catholic Hierarchy of Central America, pushing for immigration reform.
This letter called upon the president to "open a serious and profound dialog concerning a just and integral immigration reform, one with a human character, to benefit more than 12 million persons without documents who live and work in the United States....persons [that] have placed their hopes in the change that you have promised. They expect a new proposal from you to the Senate and to the Congress (sic) from you about their status."
Now, my feelings on the illegal immigration problem are complex. I often straddle both sides of the issue, depending on the particulars of the discussion. I have sympathy for people who want a better life, and I am disgusted by people who seem to forget that illegal immigrants are first and foremost HUMAN BEINGS. On the other hand, I do realize that this country simply cannot continue to absorb the huge amounts of illegal immigrants who come here, receive free medical care and benefits, take jobs, and send the money out of the country. Unfortunately, the United States is no longer a country flowing with milk and honey that can take care of all of its own poor, let alone the poor from other nations. While that is a cold, cruel fact, it IS, indeed, a fact.
However, there is one point upon which I am not conflicted; my anger over the amazing hubris shown by the Church in demanding that the United States has a duty to benefit people who have come to this country illegally. I am also disgusted by the unnecessarily sarcastic and ironic reference to the president's message of "hope and change". I want to know why it is that for 2000 years poor people have placed their trust in the Catholic Church's own promise of "hope and change", and yet in these 20 centuries, there has been very little of either; there are more poor people than ever before. Why is it the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States come from latin American countries where the vast majority of the population is Catholic? I want to know where 2000 years of donations, ostensibly collected for the poor, have gone? I want to know why, in a country like Mexico, where there are more Catholic churches than libraries, the church hasn't done anything to help ease poverty and the need for people to flee the country of their birth for an uncertain future in a foreign land?