U.S. bishops oppose federal enforcement of immigration laws

Matthew 22:15-21

The Pharisees went off
and plotted how they might entrap Jesus in speech.
They sent their disciples to him, with the Herodians, saying,
“…Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?”
Knowing their malice, Jesus said,
“Why are you testing me, you hypocrites?
Show me the coin that pays the census tax.”
Then they handed him the Roman coin.
He said to them, “Whose image is this and whose inscription?”
They replied, “Caesar’s.”
At that he said to them,
“Then give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
and to God what belongs to God.”

“Sanctuary” is a name given to a city, county, or state that shelters illegal immigrants in violation and defiance of federal immigration laws.

While there is no universal legal definition of a sanctuary jurisdiction, those that describe themselves as sanctuary have some public policies of leniency regarding enforcement of federal immigration laws. Typically, a sanctuary city/county/state forbids its police or other government employees (such as schools and community health care centers) to inquire about an individual’s immigration status.

On January 25, 2017, five days after his inauguration, President Trump signed an executive order vowing to strip some federal funds from sanctuary jurisdictions that “willfully violate federal law in an attempt to shield aliens from removal from the United States,” because sanctuary cities “have caused immeasurable harm to the American people and to the very fabric of our republic.” (Source: whitehouse.gov)

The Trump administration and opponents of illegal immigration say that sanctuary cities make it easy for violent individuals and gang members, who are not supposed to be in the country to begin with, to evade detection by federal immigration authorities. The critics point to several highly publicized incidents where illegal aliens have committed horrific crimes of murder, rape, shootings, armed robberies and assaults, including the murder of Kate Steinle by illegal alien Jose Zarate in San Francisco, a sanctuary city since 2008.

Kate Steinle: Killed by an illegal alien.

President Trump followed his executive order with a Feb. 16 news conference in which he:

  • Vowed to launch a “crackdown on sanctuary cities,” announcing that a “nationwide effort to remove criminal aliens” had begun.
  • Ordered an end to the “catch-and-release policy” that allows apprehended illegal aliens to go free while awaiting a court hearing;
  • Announced the creation of “a new office in Homeland Security dedicated to the forgotten American victims of illegal immigrant violence, of which there are many.”

According to the Center for Immigration Studies, there are 4 sanctuary states (California, Colorado, Connecticut, New Mexico) and 165 sanctuary cities and counties across America, mainly clustered in the Northeast, the Midwest and the West Coast.

A considerable part of the sanctuary movement is occurring in California, which became a sanctuary state on October 5, 2017, despite being warned by the Trump Department of Justice that it could lose more than $18 million in federal funding. A snapshot of the scope of the California situation was provided in a brief released in late April by the Education Trust-West advocacy group:

  • 1 in 13 California residents is an illegal alien, comprising 20% of all undocumented persons in the U.S.
  • About 12% (or 750,000 students) of all students in California’s K-12 schools have an undocumented parent.

Brian Faga reports for National Catholic Register, May 11, 2017, that U.S. bishops have spoken out against President Trump’s plan to reduce sanctuary cities/states’ federal funding.

Even before President Trump’s executive order, the Catholic Church in the United States, as represented by the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), already had made clear their refusal to support the federal government’s enforcement of immigration laws. As an August 2013 document posted on the USCCB’s website puts it, “The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) opposes ‘enforcement only’ immigration policies and supports comprehensive immigration reform.”

President Trump’s executive order drew sharp rebukes from Church leaders, including:

  • Bishop Joe Vásquez of Austin, Texas, the chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Migration, released a Jan. 26 statement where he said the President’s executive order risked injuring local relationships between migrant communities and law enforcement and would force local jurisdictions to accept a “one-size-fits-all” approach to immigration policy. “I have enormous respect for and value our federal law enforcement agents who risk their lives every day to enforce our immigration laws. I also recognize that there may well be situations where local governments feel they need to foster a relationship with their communities by working with the victims of or witnesses to crime without instilling a fear that, by coming forward, they or their family members will be handed over to immigration authorities.”
  • Bishop Joseph Kopacz of Jackson, Mississippi, issued a statement on Feb. 15 opposing a bill that would prohibit cities and universities from declaring themselves as sanctuaries for immigrants without legal documents. Kopacz calls the bill “flawed and not needed.”
  • The Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops condemned a new Texas law passed in late April that punishes local police officers if they do not cooperate with detainer requests issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), as well as enables local police to inquire into the legal status of anyone arrested or detained.
  • Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, who is also President of the USCCB, called the Texas law inhumane: “Immigration law should be enforced in a way that is targeted, proportional and humane. This bill does not meet the standard.”
  • Ned Dolejsi, executive director of the California Catholic Conference, said California bishops support S.B. 54, a state bill that would prohibit local and state law enforcement agencies from using their resources to help federal immigration enforcement. Dolejsi said, “From the Catholic Conference’s standpoint, we want the undocumented people [i.e, criminals] protected. We don’t want mass deportations to occur here. We’re trying to accompany people and provide legal services, support and encouragement to folks. At the same time, we recognize that it’s important to remove serious violent felons and the need for some type of relationship between local law enforcement and ICE. How we get there is going to be an interesting struggle.”
  • Lorena Melgarejo, an immigration advocate for the Archdiocese of San Francisco, said that “undocumented immigrants” are feeling more anxious than ever that they or their loved ones will soon be rounded up and deported, although she admitted to not having seen any actual signs of stepped-up immigration enforcement by the federal government. “The only thing we can do from a pastoral standpoint is to walk with people in this moment, provide information, connect them to resources and take that as an opportunity to engage and encounter people in dialogue, not just with immigrants, but also with other Catholics who are asking themselves: What is their role in a moment when our communities feel targeted?”
  • Christy Williams, an advocacy attorney with Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc., said, “If [illegal] immigrants know there is a standing policy that local leaders have taken time to implement, a policy to respect their civil rights, to promote practices that treat them in a humane manner and with dignity, I think they tend to feel welcome, and I think that’s the most important thing.

Marguerite Telford, a Catholic and a spokeswoman for the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank that supports a stricter national immigration policy, told the National Catholic Register she does not agree with the approach of bishops and other Church officials who emphasize assisting illegals over border security, national sovereignty and public-safety concerns. She said:

“I care about the victims [of illegal alien criminals], and I’ve met a lot of the victims of these crimes, and I almost never hear my church talk about the victims of criminal aliens — almost never. I don’t understand why the bishops don’t have a heart for those impacted by the United States having open borders, with no vetting, and allowing people to be in this country whom we know nothing about.”

This is the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ explanation of Matthew 22:21:

“Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar: those who willingly use the coin that is Caesar’s should repay him in kind.”

St. Thomas Aquinas, a Doctor of the Church considered by the Catholic Church to be the greatest theologian and philosopher, respected a country’s laws governing immigration and would gravely disapprove of illegal “immigrants”, much less their brazen demands for special treatment in the U.S. today. So prudent and concerned was he for the well being of the host country that St. Thomas recommended that even legal immigrants be granted citizenship only after 2 or 3 generations. (See “St. Thomas Aquinas disapproved of illegal immigration and expected all immigrants to assimilate“)

In their opposition to the U.S. government’s enforcement of immigration laws approved by Congress, U.S. bishops precisely go against not only what St. Thomas had recommended, but also what Jesus Himself had instructed — that we who “willingly use the coin” that is the federal government’s should “repay in kind” by observing the government’s laws.

And since the bishops are picking and choosing which federal government law to oppose and ignore, does that mean we get to pick and choose which of God’s commandments or church law/doctrine to ignore as well?

See also:


34 responses to “U.S. bishops oppose federal enforcement of immigration laws

  1. Arrest them, deport them, problem solved.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. ““The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) opposes ‘enforcement only’ immigration policies and supports comprehensive immigration reform.”

    Well, none of us peons have the luxury of not abiding by any laws. I may oppose policies – doesn’t give me the right to not abide by laws. Selective enforcement doesn’t make for a civil societyl

    Liked by 5 people

    • “Selective enforcement doesn’t make for a civil society!” SUPER point, congrats. It is the very antithesis of conservatism, albeit quite satisfactory for a proto-fascist ruling elite and ‘progressive’ ideation.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Joseph . . . Excellent conclusion! Any civilized society must adhere to ONE SRANDARD OF LAW FOR EVERYONE who resides within their boarders. The Progressives do not give one whit, that all these illegals are sucking the vitality out of our governmental coffers . . . nationally, on a state level, and in local areas.

        Liked by 2 people

    • DCG . . . Bravo! You have brought out the real crux of the matter . . . illegals want more “rights” than are afforded those who were born in this land, of parents, whose parents have been here for decades. Many of us can trace our ancestry back to colonial days. I am dumbfounded that these Catholic Bishop’s disregard the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas, whose views on this matter seem so intelligent, so reasonable, actually divinely inspired. To some degree, I trace this back to monies flowing into the coffers of various Catholic organizations that handle and sponsor these illegal immigrants, and no doubt they also want to increase the number of persons attending Mass. This is a very poor reason to throw the baby out with the bath water, so to speak! This is just not right, regardless of what the current Pope’s views are on this matter.

      Liked by 3 people

    • “Selective enforcement doesn’t make for a civil societyl”
      That brings about Anarchy,doesn’t it?

      Liked by 2 people

    “Within twenty years this country is going to rule the world. Kings and Emperors will soon pass away and the democracy of the United States will take their place…..When the United States rules the world the Catholic Church will rule the world…… Nothing can stand against the Church. I’d like to see the politician who who would try to rule against the Church in Chicago. His reign would be short indeed.”

    Roman Catholic Archbishop James E. Quigley (October 15, 1854 – July 10, 1915) Chicago Daily Tribune, May 5, 1903

    You are duly warned:

    The relentless approach of global feudalism:

    “In addition to these pragmatic goals, the powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basle, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations.”

    Prof. Carroll Quigley (Tragedy & Hope)

    “The interests behind the Bush Administration, such as the Council on Foreign Relations, The Trilateral Commission – founded by Brzezinski for David Rockefeller – and the Bilderberger Group, have prepared for and are now moving to implement open world dictatorship within the next five years. They are not fighting against terrorists. They are fighting against citizens.”

    Dr. Johannes B. Koeppl, Ph.D., former German defense ministry official and advisor to former NATO Secretary General Manfred Werner (2001)

    “The technotronic era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date complete files containing even the most personal information about the citizen. These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities.”
    Zbigniew Brzezinski.

    The JESUITS were performing Plays, in England, before Shakespeare, and made fun of the REFORMATION.
    Forget the THEOLOGY, concentrate on the FREEDOM, Luther brought to Europe!
    The JESUITS were founded to DESTROY that FREEDOM.

    Google: The RED Mass and The BLUE Mass.
    Google: 6 Roman Catholic Judges and 3 Jewish Judges on the Supreme Court
    Now you will see how the PAPACY rules America!
    Google: THE RULERS OF EVIL: by Tupper Saussy.


    Liked by 2 people

  4. Pingback: U.S. bishops oppose federal enforcement of immigration laws — Fellowship of the Minds – NZ Conservative Coalition

  5. U.S. Bishops should stick to molesting altar boys and STFU about government policy. We have a separation of church and state, and yes under the First Amendment they can be heard, does anyone care what they say? The socialist pope is no different.

    Liked by 2 people

    • JCscuba . . . That is a point well taken! Leaders from any church should not feel they have the right to be heard on a national level. You are right “yes under the First Amendment they can be heard, doe anyone care what they say?” NO! We do not care what their opinion is when it comes to matters of national government, and The Constitution of the United States of America.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Saints and lamia

    There are ulterior motives to the immigration agenda being used by the global elite to change the face of nations who were always dominated by European Christians and their descendants. The immigrants are the pawns in their game. Let’s not be fooled. The Catholic Church is looking at the human aspect, not immigration policies of respective countries. The affected people have been dispossessed and are casualties of unjust wars that once again are manipulated by the global elite. Criminals should be brought to justice in any situation whether they are in a country legally or illegally. There are many layers to this issue. It’s somewhat hypocritical that a nation of immigrants be anti-immigrant. The true indigenous people of North America are native Americans. Everyone else’s ancestors came from foreign lands.


    • I think that’s right. As a Catholic I’m always happiest when the clergy address religious matters and leave civil and legal matters where they belong, with the laity.

      The Church had a bout of this in the’80’s with “Liberation Theology”. Eventually it was suppressed, and rightly so. Generally the rule has been not to offer political solutions. Their role is to remind the faithful of their Christian obligations and what those are based upon. Unlike some Protestant churches, I have never been to Mass and heard a political opinion suggested or position recommended. That is not the role of the hierarchy.

      Of course, as many have recognized, the present Pontiff seems at odds with that tradition. Nonetheless, they can have their “opinion” if they like. It has no impact on me.


    • “The affected people have been dispossessed and are casualties of unjust wars that once again are manipulated by the global elite.”

      Pray tell of which “unjust wars” are Mexican illegal aliens “casualties”?

      How interesting it is that you, who call yourself “Saints and lamia,” use an anonymized IP address and a non-existent, i.e., fictitious, email address.


  7. No such thing as “undocumented” – the only undocumented people are those who having immigrated legally have lost their documents, in which case they can and should be replaced. If the immigrant, his family, children, dog and parakeet, whoever, are in the USA illegally, then they broke the law and they are breaking the law. Identify, arrest and deport. As for the catholic big guys, sorry, but until they resolve their pedophilia addiction, and what not, they should just crawl into a rat hole and stay there – the company fits the rats.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Exodus 22:21
    Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt.


    • I do not appreciate you using the Bible to equate the ancient Hebrews in Egypt with ILLEGAL aliens in the U.S. and, in so doing, imply that Americans who object to persons who violate U.S. laws and sovereignty by entering the U.S. ILLEGALLY, are anti-foreign xenophobes.

      The U.S. welcomes millions of “foreigners” who came here — and continue to immigrate here — via LEGAL means, in observance of our immigration laws. What part of the word “illegal” do you not understand?

      I’ll let St. Thomas Aquinas rebut you:

      “Man’s relations with foreigners are twofold: peaceful, and hostile: and in directing both kinds of relation the Law contained suitable precepts.”

      “…when any foreigners wished to be admitted entirely to their fellowship and mode of worship. With regard to these a certain order was observed. For they were not at once admitted to citizenship: just as it was law with some nations that no one was deemed a citizen except after two or three generations, as the Philosopher says (Polit. iii, 1).”

      “The reason for this was that if foreigners were allowed to meddle with the affairs of a nation as soon as they settled down in its midst, many dangers might occur, since the foreigners not yet having the common good firmly at heart might attempt something hurtful to the people.”

      Liked by 3 people

    • Would the biblical reference be related to legal or illegal foreigners? Be sure to check in the original Hebrew.

      Liked by 3 people

  9. I grew up in Texas and New Mexico and I could tell a lot of stories about the people crossing the border, ruining the pasture land, killing the cattle, and occasionally murdering the ranchers or their workers in South Texas. Even in the seventies, the women at a hunting lease we frequented were never allowed to hunt without males in the party accompanying them. These were women who were armed and knew how to shoot, yet it was not safe for them to be out on private property without men. And the men never traveled alone on their own land.

    Although I love coming home to the Catholic Church after growing up as a Protestant, I am appalled at the attitude of some Catholic bishops toward immigrants. Is everything that generations of farmers and ranchers built up and cared for to be destroyed by criminals with the help of the church and our own government? Does our patrimony mean nothing? Do our lives and livelihoods not matter?

    Sorry to rant, but this is painful to me. Feel free to delete, if you wish.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Pat Riot, I entered the United States legally, don’t believe that story of lost documents, all of us that have entered as I have, guard our documents with our life, is the only legal identity we possessed, illegals are not welcome anywhere and they should not be trusted or else they would not break the law no matter what dire situation they are going through, sorry, they MUST GO. As for the clergy they have committed so many crimes against children some of us brought in the Catholic Church have been staying away -no matter what I will be a catholic until my last heartbeat. GOD FOREVER AND EVER, Amén!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. docfnc
    David Olen Cross writes on immigration issues and foreign national crime

    Oregon Department of Corrections: Foreign National Homicide Report September 2017

    October 28, 2017

    Data Compiled By David Olen Cross

    Information obtained from the Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) indicated on September 1, 2017 that 137 of the 971 foreign nationals (criminal aliens) in the state’s prison system were incarcerated for homicidal crimes (various degrees of murder and manslaughter), 14.11 percent of the criminal alien prison population.

    Using DOC U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) immigration detainer numbers, the following table reveals the total number criminal alien inmates along with the number and percentage of those alien inmates incarcerated on September 1st in the state’s prisons for homicidal crimes.

    Month/Day/Year DOC Total Inmates W/ICE Detainers DOC Number of Inmates W/ICE Detainers for Homicidal Crimes DOC Percent of Inmates W/ICE Detainers for Homicidal Crimes
    September 1, 2017 971 137 14.11%
    Source: Research and Evaluation DOC Report ICE inmates list 01 September 17.

    Using DOC ICE immigration detainer numbers, the following table reveals the number and percentage of criminal alien inmates incarcerated on September 1st that were sent to prison from the state’s 36 counties for homicidal crimes.

    County DOC Number of Inmates W/ ICE Detainers by County Incarcerated for Homicidal Crimes DOC Percent of Inmates W/ ICE Detainers by County Incarcerated for Homicidal Crimes
    Multnomah 39 28.47%
    Marion 22 16.06%
    Washington 21 15.33%
    Umatilla 11 8.03%
    Clackamas 7 5.11%
    Jackson 6 4.38%
    Lane 5 3.65%
    Klamath 3 2.19%
    Linn 3 2.19%
    Yamhill 3 2.19%
    Benton 2 1.46%
    Josephine 2 1.46%
    Lincoln 2 1.46%
    Polk 2 1.46%
    Clatsop 1 0.73%
    Coos 1 0.73%
    Douglas 1 0.73%
    Gilliam 1 0.73%
    Hood River 1 0.73%
    Jefferson 1 0.73%
    Malheur 1 0.73%
    OOS (Not a County) 1 0.73%
    Tillamook 1 0.73%
    Baker 0 0.00%
    Columbia 0 0.00%
    Crook 0 0.00%
    Curry 0 0.00%
    Deschutes 0 0.00%
    Grant 0 0.00%
    Harney 0 0.00%
    Lake 0 0.00%
    Morrow 0 0.00%
    Sherman 0 0.00%
    Union 0 0.00%
    Wallowa 0 0.00%
    Wasco 0 0.00%
    Wheeler 0 0.00%
    Total 137 100.00%
    Source: Research and Evaluation DOC Report ICE inmates list 01 September 17.

    Using DOC ICE immigration detainer numbers, the following table reveals the self-declared countries of origin of the 137 criminal alien inmates by number and percentage incarcerated on September 1st in the state’s prisons for homicidal crimes.

    Country DOC Number of Inmates W/ ICE Detainers by Country Incarcerated for Homicidal Crimes DOC Percent of Inmates W/ ICE Detainers by Country Incarcerated for Homicidal Crimes
    Mexico 107 78.10%
    Cuba 4 2.92%
    Canada 3 2.19%
    Vietnam 3 2.19%
    Cambodia 2 1.46%
    El Salvador 2 1.46%
    Guatemala 2 1.46%
    Laos 2 1.46%
    South Korea 2 1.46%
    China 1 0.73%
    Costa Rica 1 0.73%
    Japan 1 0.73%
    Mariana Islands 1 0.73%
    Marshall Islands 1 0.73%
    Nicaragua 1 0.73%
    Nigeria 1 0.73%
    Peru 1 0.73%
    South Africa 1 0.73%
    Turkey 1 0.73%
    Total 137 100.00%
    Source: Research and Evaluation DOC Report ICE inmates list 01 September 17.

    Criminal aliens from 19 different countries have committed homicidal violence against residents in the state of Oregon.

    David Olen Cross of Salem, Oregon writes on immigration issues and foreign national crime. This report is a service to Oregon state, county and city governmental officials to help them assess the impact of foreign national crime in the state. He can be reached at docfnc@yahoo.com or at http://docfnc.wordpress.com/


    Liked by 2 people

  12. These are far less people of G*d than far left political activists.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Of course the Catholic Bishops are against stopping illegals, refugees, immigrants, etc. The Catholic church is making a bundle from the government for resettling these people and accepting them into their communities. There is a whole United Nations department that does nothing but coordinate the transfer of people groups from one country to another and makes the destination country pay for it. Sadly our Congress does nothing to stop this, but then again our Congress does nothing about anything.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. These ‘bishops’ haven’t been able to comprehend doctrine for the last 65 years, since the 2nd Vatican Council, but they want to pretend to comprehend immigration laws? Interestingly, Jacob Javits and the gang “opened the floodgates” (his words) at just about the same time the ink on Nostra Aetate was drying.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. would Trump feel the same if the illegals were from European countries


  16. Wanna get them to change their minds? Revoke their tax exempt status for 1. breaking the law & 2. becoming involved in politics. Problem solved.


  17. Catholic and Lutheran churches have been paid millions to settle the illegals into our country. Many were allowed to jump the lines and were even allowed citizenship at records speeds. Thus the mess we have now.
    They might be trying to cover or justify their actions.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society: Tell Congress we need more $$$ for refugees


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