4 Responses

  1. Marthe Lépine says:

    A question, if I may? I don’t live in the US, therefore it is even more difficult for me to understand such laws. But according to your article, it seems to me that the treatment of those people who were brought into the US by their parents is, to say the least, problematic. Or, why is it not possible, and someone has said never possible, for these people to become citizens? In my country, if I am not mistaken, almost any person who has been in Canada at least 5 years is allowed to apply for citizenship. Therefore, whether or not their parents entered the US legally and brought their children with them, in our country those children would automatically have a right to apply for citizenship. Why not in the US?

    • Mike Lewis says:

      I am not an expert in immigration policy in the US, but we basically have a system in great need of reform, and an insurmountable amount of gridlock due to the 2-party system. One of the items on the table is “a path to citizenship” for people in these situations, which doesn’t exist at the moment.

      Maybe someone with more expertise can chime in about the specific hurdles.

  2. Christopher Lake says:

    For many years, the Republican Party (speaking here of the Party as an entity, not of individual members of the Party) seemed only too willing to allow businesses to financially benefit from the labor of “illegal” immigrants, while doing very little to solve the many problems within the broken American immigration system. With the election of Donald Trump as President, the Party, as a whole (again, not speaking of individual members of the Party here) has taken a very sharp turn away from this previous policy, and towards harshness re: “illegal” immigrants, while *still* not doing much to address the serious problems of American immigration policy. This is one of many factors that has led me, as a Catholic, to be less and less willing to publicly identify myself with the Republican Party– and this is after many years of being a loyal Republican. Yet I still cannot bring myself to vote for many (most?) Democrats either, as many Democrats are openly opposed to various Catholic teachings on other serious matters, such as abortion, euthanasia, religious freedom, and marriage. Basically, living here in the Maryland/DC area, where one is, seemingly, societally expected to either be a vocal, enthusiastic Democrat or Republican, I find that I can be neither– precisely *because* I am a Catholic who takes *all* of the teachings of the Church very seriously.

    On the subject of immigration, Pope Francis has recently made some very radical statements (“radical,” by contemporary, comfortable, Western standards, that is, although not so much by New Testament standards!). He has clearly spoken of Americans being willing to welcome immigrants into their communities– and, to my mind, significantly, he hasn’t spoken of this welcoming being only for “legal” immigrants. As a Catholic, I take his words seriously. The particular region of the U.S. in which I live (in Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C.) is very heavily populated by immigrants. As a white, only-English-speaking guy who moved here, years ago, from an almost-all-white region of Alabama, I won’t deny that I have experienced culture shock to some degree. Yet I remind myself that my ultimate citizenship (and the ultimate citizenship of all Christians) is in Heaven– and in the meantime, I am not called to any form of easy cultural “comfort” (0r comfortability!) here on Earth, but to *holiness*, however that may manifest itself. In terms of shared values and concerns, I may well have more in common with many “illegal” immigrants who are Christians than I have with many contemporary, “secular” American citizens. In any event, I pray that the broken American immigration system is reformed, seriously, and soon. In the meantime, I find myself alienated, in different ways, from both the Republican and Democratic Parties, but happily Catholic, and thankful to God for the “radical” Catholic Christian witness of Pope Francis!

  3. Daniel says:

    A helpful analysis. I think it would benefit from a discussion of international law as well. There’s an intermediate step to jumping to natural law, which is international law. I and many others would argue that US immigration law violates international law and therefore isn’t itself legal.

    I’m just not willing to concede that this is simply a positive law versus natural law issue.

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