Last night, Pres. Obama announced that he would unilaterally take action to grant everything short of citizenship to 4-5 million undocumented people.
By his own multiple prior admissions, Pres. Obama lacks the authority to do this. In attempting to justify his actions, he even invoked Scripture. Evidently it was so urgent for him to do this now, he could not even wait for the new House and Senate to convene in January and work with them to pass legislation. And yet, when Democrats controlled both houses of Congress and the White House, Pres. Obama did nothing on immigration reform.
To make matters worse, the USCCB released a statement “welcoming” the President’s action:
Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, M.Sp.S., auxiliary bishop of Seattle and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Migration, welcomed the news today that the Obama administration will defer deportations for many undocumented immigrants and their families.
“We have a long history of welcoming and aiding the poor, the outcast, the immigrant, and the disadvantaged. Each day, the Catholic Church in the United States, in her social service agencies, hospitals, schools, and parishes, witnesses the human consequences of the separation of families, when parents are deported from their children or spouses from each other. We’ve been on record asking the Administration to do everything within its legitimate authority to bring relief and justice to our immigrant brothers and sisters. As pastors, we welcome any efforts within these limits that protect individuals and protect and reunite families and vulnerable children,” said Bishop Elizondo.
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, archbishop of Louisville, Kentucky, and president of the USCCB said, “There is an urgent pastoral need for a more humane view of immigrants and a legal process that respects each person’s dignity, protects human rights, and upholds the rule of law….
Neither Bishop Elizondo nor Archbishop Kurtz acknowledge the fact that the president’s actions overreach his legitimate authority and violate the rule of law.
In Catholic moral teaching, the ends do not justify the means. Period.
Even if what the president did was good, the way he chose to do it is wrong, and bishops ought to be saying so.
Just because they happen to like what they foresee as the result, it does not justify supporting or welcoming this action. Lest we forget, we still have two more years to go under this president. It is no secret that Pres. Obama took this unprecedented action to bring the spotlight back on himself and appease the left-wing of his party. What’s to stop the president from abusing his authority to push for more taxpayer funding of abortion, more erosion of religious liberty, or more coercion of private consciences when it comes to redefined marriage in the coming 24+ months? How will bishops or pastors criticize future abuses when they are silent about what has just happened?
Even on the merits, there is strong reason to question what the president has done. Incentivizing illegal immigration by retroactively pardoning those who engage in it, promotes further illegal immigration, which we know is inherently dangerous to those who attempt to enter our country illegally. Illegal immigration fuels sex trafficking and a host of human abuses. It rewards criminal enterprise, not just of those enter the country illegally, but for criminals and organized crime that take advantage of the circumstances.
Laws protect the weak and vulnerable. Our founding fathers and veterans have sacrificed so much to preserve our system of laws. It should come as no surprise that a country might be tempted to do what seems like a little wrong to achieve a greater good. But this is always how evil presents itself — as the good.
This article details the heads of numerous Catholic groups joining the USCCB in praising the president’s actions.
Praising politicians who break their own promises, violate their oaths of office and erode the foundations of our society isn’t just bad practice, it’s negligent and shortsighted pastoral care.