December 17, 2006

Archbishop Chaput Questions The Timing Of ICE Raids

We question the timing--as in why has this not happened earlier, and more frequently?--
Catholics should "vigorously question the timing, manner and focus" of the Swift raids, Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput said Wednesday, adding that the tactic won't solve the immigration problem.

"Staged on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe and barely two weeks before Christmas, these raids have disrupted hundreds of families in the immigrant community and frightened many thousands more," Chaput said in a statement.
. . .
Chaput questioned whether the raids were really to stop identity theft.

"Most of the real criminals - the people who steal and sell false identities so that undocumented immigrants can find work - were not among those arrested," he said.

The archbishop also repeated what he has said in his church-sponsored immigration forums: The Church "supports our nation's right to regulate immigration and secure our borders for the common good of all citizens."

However, the raids aren't serious reform, he said.

"Dramatic, get-tough arrests of more and more average workers will not solve our immigration crisis," Chaput said. "In fact, such actions often engender more confusion and bitterness, and they don't strike at the root of the real issue: an immigration system that seems disconnected from the human and business realities of the American economy."

Raids "put a human face on the flaws in our immigration system."
Had these raids been conducted at any other time of the year, the timing would still have been "questioned". Offering a feast or Christmas as a reason to oppose such raids is really misleading, as immigration advocates reject any attempts to enforce the law anywhere and at any time. Platitudes about a country's "right to regulate immigration" is only intended to deflect the concern of those who see these raids as nothing more than law enforcement completing a raid/investigation/sting on criminals. No one flinches when a meth lab is taken down, or a prostitution ring eliminated. Targeting child porn is ok, but enforcing laws on immigration, and arresting identity thieves is not allowed?

Also, having Chaput cast the issue as one of Catholic solidarity especially grates. There is surely a wide range of stances on immigration held by a diverse body of Catholics across just this state alone, many who support enforcing immigration laws and encouraging those here legally to assimilate (which does not mean leaving their own culture/religion/language behind). The archbishop should not expect Colorado Catholics to simply fall in line with the amnesty position.


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