Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Bishops' letter on the DREAM Act

Is here.  Bishop Gomez observes:

Under the DREAM Act, deserving immigrant youth can adjust to permanent resident status provided that they entered the United States before age sixteen, have been physically present in the United States for not less than five years, demonstrated good moral character, have no criminal record and do not threaten national security, and have earned their high school diploma.  This bill also offers students a fair opportunity to earn U.S. citizenship if they commit to and complete at least two years of college or two years of honorable service in the military. 

Importantly, this legislation will apply to students in both public and private education, including those attending Catholic schools.

It is important to note that these young persons entered the United States with their parents at a young age, and therefore did not enter without inspection on their own volition. We would all do the same thing in a similar situation. The United States is the only country that they know.  They have incredible talent and energy and are awaiting a chance to fully contribute their talents to our nation. We would be foolhardy to deny them that chance. . .

In my view, it is unfortunate and unhelpful that the political base, and leadership, of the Republican Party seems (for now, in any event) to have (in contrast with the approach taken in the past by, e.g., President Bush and Sen. McCain) set itself against this measure, and others like it.  That the support for measures like this offered by some might be cynical and calculating, they (the measures) still strike me as sound and humane steps to take.

(Oh, dang.  I went off-script.  We conservative-leaning Catholics are supposed to be -- or so I am told by those who contribute to and comment at many religion-and-politics websites -- hackish tools of the Republican Party.  Oops!) 


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I thought conservative "catholics" were the ones who bad-mouthed brother Christians beliefs about the Church. Does it have something to do with supporting a lawless approach to political community too?

Posted by: Pensans | Dec 9, 2010 9:34:20 AM

I much admore the wise and courageous advocacy on this issue by the Catholic Church. The pain of the native European and African Americans is nonetheless palpable. They see their native society in collapse -- not so differently from European societies -- and the replacement of their population by Latino and Asian immigrants. The Church has also taken the lead in defending the native culture against the culture of death that threatens it, but the people have not made the conection yet.
The Church would be wise to make more explicit the connection between the defense of marriage and family and the defense of our native culture. Otherwise, support for the so-called Dream Act can come off as simple advocacy for displacing the native culture.
The incredible waves of immigration that are sweeping the world represent a shattering reappraisal of culture on all sides. For those who leave their native cultures, the wrenching change in unmistakable, but equally for those whose traditions seem to be disapearing under the flood of alien cultures the change is hard to take. That is especially true when the native culture is visibly failing and leaving the natives without the comfort and support of their own traditions and communities.
Waves of immigration seem as unavoidable as Wikileaks, and in the end they will undoubtedly work for the good. That doesn't however make Oswald Spengler any more of a popular hero.

Posted by: Joel Clarke Gibbons | Dec 9, 2010 10:19:20 AM

Rick, at the next meeting of the VRWC, I will ensure that your apostasy will be noted, and you will be excluded from the beer rounds.

Posted by: Jonathan | Dec 9, 2010 10:35:10 AM

Are you trying to make Michael Sean Winters' head explode, Professor?

Posted by: Mike | Dec 9, 2010 3:13:41 PM

"in contrast with the approach taken in the past by, e.g., President Bush and Sen. McCain"

And in contrast with the approach taken in the *present* by John McCain.

Posted by: David Nickol | Dec 9, 2010 4:44:18 PM

David: too true. Sigh.

Posted by: Rick Garnett | Dec 9, 2010 4:58:41 PM

Rick, perhaps your apparent dissent from Republican opposition to the DREAM Act is merely a sophisticated ploy whereby you establish the bona fides necessary to implement the odious Republican agenda on a deeper level? ;)

Posted by: WJ | Dec 9, 2010 6:24:44 PM