James Todd over at Pewsitter has an interesting post up today on illegal immigration. He poses some good questions at the end:
Catholic bishops studied moral theology in the seminary; I have not. I admit that I may be ignorant on this topic and am very much willing to be educated about the moral imperatives of this subject. To that end I have a few questions to ask Your Excellencies. The answers may help me understand your moral opposition to this law.
- Is it moral for a state or the federal government to impose controls on immigration?
- Is it moral for the government to enforce such laws?
- Does the government have the moral right to deport people that have entered the US illegally?
- Does the government have the moral obligation to give illegal immigrants amnesty?
- Is it immoral to ask people to document or prove they are in the U.S. legally? If so, how is that different than a foreign government asking me to show my papers/passport and prove that I am in their country legally?
- Is it immoral for a government to deny FREE medical coverage to illegal immigrants for non-life threatening conditions.
- Is it immoral to deny illegal immigrants and/or their children access to our FREE public school system?
I have a couple questions of my own. First, isn’t this something that the Catholic lay faithful are to be engaging in, and not the bishops? Wasn’t one of the big points of the Second Vatican Council to explicitly encourage (dare I even use that curiously 20th century workhorse “empower”) us to engage the world with the gospel and use the ordinary means of grace to become Saints? Second, shouldn’t these bishops be focusing on what is going on internal to the Church, leave the details to us, the laity, and correct and counsel individuals if they go too far afield?
These are not rhetorical questions. I invite answers in the combox to all nine questions.