Immigration questions require prayerful consideration

I read with interest the touching article on the plight of the family who immigrated from Mexico and the uncertainty regarding the status of a member who entered the country illegally. While it is regrettable that the family finds itself in such a precarious position, wasn’t this the result of a personal decision to violate the laws of our country? According to the article, the husband has had no trouble finding jobs “and his bosses just paid him under the table.” Is it reasonable to assume that tax returns were never filed nor taxes collected?
To suggest that our immigration system is broken and needs to be reformed evades the crux of the issue. Rather, it is our country’s immigration laws that are being broken with impunity that need to be enforced. Illegal immigration poses innumerable moral, social and ethical questions for our society and Church, requiring clear and concise responses. Do we not have a responsibility to reiterate to all those desirous of entering our country the need to first obey our laws? Is it fair to allow those breaking our immigration laws priority and legal standing over those that have complied? What are the costs associated with providing goods and services to the estimated 20 million illegal immigrants living in the country, and how do we fund these costs? To what extent do competitive pressures for jobs, housing and social services impact our nation’s poor living here legally? Such questions require a great deal of thought and prayerful consideration.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.