Dr. Jeff Mirus of Catholic Culture wrote a piece a few days ago entitled "Illegals Are not Immorals". He elicited a large amount of criticism, much of it deserved. In the wake of the criticism, he released this piece today entitled "More on Immigration: A Contemporary Case of Corban". It seems that he still espouses two troubling positions.
He seems to think that national boundaries are mere conventions. That simply isn't correct. Just from a Biblical view, we read from Acts 17:26 (Paul preaching to the Athenians) "from one man He made every nation of men that they should inhabit the whole earth, and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live."
I too will quote Section 2241 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, with some emphasis: "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."
If national boundaries are a mere convention, the "welcome" is rather superfluous, is it not? No one needs to welcome me to walk on the public sidewalk for I do not require a "welcome" to be on property in which I have just as much ownership/stake as anyone else. I'd like us to recall the situation last weekend in Kansas, when an "immigrant advocacy" bunch called Sunflower Community Action imperiously paraded onto the property of Jeff Kobach. In reflecting upon this, it is no stretch to see how those folks could trespass upon a family's private property if they hold that such boundaries are mere "conventions". Do we see the moral hornet's nest that arises when we start allowing sloppy thinking about boundaries?
But let me touch upon Mirus' second mistake which I think to be more troubling. It is most evident in the first paragraph of the first article. I quote: "Many Americans, especially conservative Americans, tend to be selective legalists. Despite their recognition of the falsity of some anti-life laws, they hold that the law confirms a sort of territorial moral exclusivity on citizens. This is one of many values which can arise from being culture bound. It typically creates a huge blind spot on immigration." I don't know in what kind of circles Mr. Mirus travels, but I've never encountered that among my friends. I will say this, though. I for one am tired of being judged as being "hateful" or "xenophobic" or "having a blind spot" every time we suggest that our southern borders be secured; I know people in Texas who have suffered at the hands of the Mexican drug gangs who cross the borders with impunity, endangering their families.
When folks utter lines such as "we don't owe illegals anything", I suspect that they're speaking of benefits and social services that law-abiding citizens support with their hard-earned tax dollars while struggling to support their own families. The statement might be artless and poorly worded, but it's uttered by people who frankly are being shafted by progressives and then being berated when they dare to raise protest. They're frustrated and burdened, Dr. Mirus! Will you please cut them a little bit of the slack that you demand that they cut to those who break our laws and add to their - our - burden? At the very least, to accuse good people of "loving their own comfort and dominance" and "believing in Manifest Destiny (whatever the hell that is)" is unacceptable. If you must spout condescension like that, please know that we will take exception. Thank you.