Migration, “Legal” and “Illegal”

Genesis Illegal Alien cd

Most people never migrate from their native land. It takes more courage, and more resourcefulness, than most people have. It involves risks. Most people avoid risks.

Some rationale moves every migrant. A rationale found on a wide spectrum, stretching from “I must leave this country, or I will perish in the war going on around me,” to “Let me get out of this lawless, desperate land, and seek a home where the streets are safe,” to “I’m bored here. I heard they have nicer weather there.”

Granted, there can be an evil rationale for migrating: “I’m on the run from the righteous law in my own land, so let me get out of here!” Such an evil rationale deserves an evil welcome, so to speak. Extradition. But that rationale accounts for very little of the migration in the world.

So some reason moves every migrant. Many of us can say that our forebears migrated here to the US because their native lands had stultified social structures, poorly organized economies, a hopelessly meager way of life.

flag-mapThey sought the means to travel to the US. They likely did not pause to consider “illegal” vs. “legal” immigration. They simply came here, however they could.

What greeted them? A relatively well-organized and expeditious means of entry, with few technicalities and fewer expenses. Also: a fair promise. Live an honest, hard-working life, and you will be an American.

The USA offered such a welcome to our forebears because she could, and because it served her interests to do so.

We still could; we have plenty of room left. And it still would serve our interests to do so.

In Franklin and Henry counties, Virginia, employers desperately seek able-bodied workers. To the point of calling the priest to help them find people. Many employers in the USA desperately seek workers.

But we do not offer the same welcome that we did in the old days.

The migrants of the past forty years have come for the same general set of reasons as the migrants of the preceding three centuries. They have come with the same hopes, and willing to live the same hard-working, honest lives.

But the USA has not greeted most of the recent migrants with the same well-organized and expeditious means of entry. And instead of making good on the basic American-immigrant compact (work hard, obey the law, and become a citizen) the America of our generation has welcomed a chosen few, while leaving millions to languish in a second-class, non-citizen status.

Not an alien mass, estranged from our social life. To the contrary: the parents and grandparents of many of the friends and spouses of our children and grandchildren.

Migrants migrate, for the reasons that move them to do so. If they migrate imprudently, incorrectly measuring the prospects in the land to which they choose to travel, then they have to live with the consequences of such a mistake.

But if someone migrates for a good reason–somewhere on the wide spectrum mentioned above–to a place where there are good prospects (like the USA, right now), then… Well, only a foolish, self-destructive people would try to shut the door.

As wise teachers like our Lord Jesus Christ, St. Paul, Socrates, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., have taken pains to point out: A higher law determines whether human laws are just or unjust.

The tens of millions of undocumented, law-abiding immigrants, dedicated to honest work, currently living in the US–we cannot in any just sense call them “illegal.”

They took the risk of migrating here for solid reasons, just like the American immigrants of old. And they have blessed and enriched our land, just like the immigrants of old.

They did not receive the welcome that our forebears received, which is our fault, not theirs.

They deserve exactly what we deserve. Equality under law. Basic human rights. The benefit of the doubt. Respect and courtesy.

[I offer this, dear reader, by way of an answer to some questions and comments that I got about my homily at Mass today.]

36 thoughts on “Migration, “Legal” and “Illegal”

  1. I think you are partially right, Father but we have to have a Congress to work together with a voice of common sense. Generations ago we had a work force that was willing to work and no welfare system that some immigrants today rely on and use this system for a reason to leave their country. The
    Scripture explains that Jesus reminded us that work is essential. Complicating the changes in years ago society and today is the family structure – there is little of that structure left. Even in the 70s and 80s I remember a newspaper that headlined “… Come to The land of welfare….”. Our welfare system was defined to be a temporary fix for those in need…it is no longer. It is a lifestyle for millions of people. A system that has greatly ruined many lives, let alone enhancing the disintegration of the family structure.
    We have now complicated solving the immigration system with sanctuary cities. We have seen enough deaths of American citizens due to criminals coming and going from this country. We do have some immigration laws that are not followed as determined by states allowing sanctuary cities.
    The most complicated measure is Congress not willing to work together to resolve this problem….like children constantly fighting…
    Yes, Father, some families may be worthy of entering ..some drug cartel members or gang affiliates are not….some families seeking our welfare system are also not worthy …
    Caravans of immigrants do not organize on their own…they are given promises by organizers to cause chaos…
    Chaos is the key word to the denvelopment of a socialistic state…it is apparent in our educational system which bands free speech and begins to deter religious freedom as well….
    God has his Divine Law and the 10 Commandments but he also warned us of devilish activity. Law and order must prevail in a society in order to survive.
    No socialistic state has ever been successful…our country is a republic that is unique in today’s world and is why many people want to enter.
    And is priests are being asked that people need workers…hopefully the priests will start the process for people to enter the country legally. After all, we have priests all over the world. Perhaps they could come up with a process to help workers,and their families to enter the country legally. Wouldn’t that be wonderful for our church!

  2. Nancy, none of your comments change the complete truth of what Fr. Mark has written in this post.

  3. Thank you Nancy, so well said, I think I’ll leave your comment to stand on it’s own. I do have a couple of questions though. Why do we lock our churches? Why do we lock our homes? Why do we lock our cars when not in use? Why do we have guards around our Federal Buildings? Why must we go through security before boarding an Airplane?

  4. I am no longer attending mass at St. Francis. My Sunday mornings will be spent in front of the TV watching CNN or MSNBC. I can get my fill of intellectually dishonest b***s**t from them without having to tithe

  5. Nancy and Joe, the crime rate among undocumented immigrants is significantly lower than in the general population, and undocumented immigrants do not have access to welfare benefits like US citizens do.

    Re: your suggestion, Nancy: The Church’s refugee resettlement networks are extensive and have facilitated many thousands of entries into the US. I am always happy to provide job referrals, but as you mentioned, it’s up to our elected representatives to change the law so that the large number of eager and able-bodied undocumented workers around here can seek and obtain jobs, just like everyone else.

    I would be glad, Sheila, if you would point out exactly what is intellectually dishonest in what I have written. I would also be glad if you would not use obscenities here.

  6. I feel the heat and it may be from the obscenity. Obviously, no need for that here.
    Fr. White – I do not think that statistics are important when it comes to who did more crimes. When criminal illegals get sanctuary or return time after time and commit grievous crimes, we have an unworkable system. We do not disagree that we have a very bad system that is causing mass chaos.
    Disagree with your statement about welfare. Women with children, speaking no English and are not capable of working get state welfare – not federally but paid by the state. Welfare roles up significantly.
    And Sheila – if you don’t go to St. Francis, please try Mass on EWTN – you will be missing the Eucharist of course, but it is a much better alternative to CNN, etc. Ask the Lord about that!

  7. I would suggest that you tell the people who live along the border in Texas, Arizona, California, and New Mexico about how crime rate statistics compare between undocumented immigrants and the general population. The mother who may have lost a child through murder by an undocumented immigrant would surely be comforted to know that. Could the difference be that the general population is so much greater than the undocumented population. The caravan (s) were well organized, charter buses, portable toilets and other accouterments necessary for a horde of people to move from Hondorus and other countries through the entire nation of Mexico. Who paid for all of that? Was it the church? If so couldn’t it have been spent on the immigrants basic needs, What does undocumented immigrant mean? Is it like an undocumented shopper? Whose statistics?

  8. I have no idea what the political ideology or bias of this group is, but I really tried to find the latest available data on the subject. If someone has later data from an unbiased source I’d really like to be enlightened.

    NEW RESEARCH: The impact of illegal aliens on crime rates, data codebook and “do file”
    17 JAN , 2018

    The Crime Prevention Research Center is proud to reveal new research that analyzes unique newly released data on crime rates by illegal aliens. Please download a copy: available here.

    The data as a STATA file is available here. See also the codebook and the “do file” (also a STATA file).

    From the abstract:

    Using newly released detailed data on all prisoners who entered the Arizona state prison from January 1985 through June 2017, we are able to separate non-U.S. citizens by whether they are illegal or legal residents. This data do not rely on self-reporting by criminals. Undocumented immigrants are at least 142% more likely to be convicted of a crime than other Arizonans. They also tend to commit more serious crimes and serve 10.5% longer sentences, more likely to be classified as dangerous, and 45% more likely to be gang members than U.S. citizens. Yet, there are several reasons that these numbers are likely to underestimate the share of crime committed by undocumented immigrants. There are dramatic differences between in the criminal histories of convicts who are U.S. citizens and undocumented immigrants.

    Young convicts are especially likely to be undocumented immigrants. While undocumented immigrants from 15 to 35 years of age make up slightly over 2 percent of the Arizona population, they make up almost 8% of the prison population. Even after adjusting for the fact that young people commit crime at higher rates, young undocumented immigrants commit crime at twice the rate of young U.S. citizens. These undocumented immigrants also tend to commit more serious crimes.

    If undocumented immigrants committed crime nationally as they do in Arizona, in 2016 they would have been responsible for over 1,000 more murders, 5,200 rapes, 8,900 robberies, 25,300 aggravated assaults, and 26,900 burglaries.

    A copy of the study is available here.

  9. Migration, McCarick, Cupich, Riots, are symptom rather than cause, eg, Cold Hearts devoid of love for Holy God! Our country ceased being a Republic in 1872 when Congress made Washington City a Corporation to secure its debt to “The Money Changers” abroad to pay war debt. Federal Government put itself beyond the law, its ‘Agents’, so called ‘public servants’, could then act with impunity. Two other City States of Note are, London, and Vatican City. their agents beyond the law as well. Military – Financial – Religious power centers. What ever has controlling influence of these three owns humanity. Anyone hear of “The New World Order”? We begin reading of it in Genesis with Adam’s Fall and continues through the Prophets, Gospels, and New Testament. It is very naïve to emote we can fix our problems with our wisdom and strength, especially when we have made feeble (at best) effort to examine ourselves in the Light of Divine Justice. Effort at this rigorous honesty with ourselves allows inner healings and some wisdom too. Open Boarders, like No Fault Divorce, like Contraception and Abortion are mantras of the LEFT – the palliative code-word for Atheistic Communism, some of the errors Our Lady warned of in 1917 at Fatima.

  10. Wish I had done a better job of checking out the Crime Prevention Research Center. I now know that it is far right, which probably calls into question the validity of their statistics. I renew my request for the statistics that support the claim that undocumented immigrants account for far less crime when compared to the general population. Still waiting for answers to my questions about why we lock things up. like churches, homes, cars etc.,

  11. Joe, the Cato institute debunked the study to which you refer.


    The concluding paragraph, my emphasis added:

    Lott’s controversial empirical findings regarding the high admission rate of illegal immigrants to Arizona prisons, A FINDING THAT CONTRADICTS VIRTUALLY THE ENTIRE BODY OF RESEARCH ON THIS TOPIC, stems from his simple misreading of a variable in the 1985-2017 ADC dataset. Lott thought that “non-U.S. citizens and deportable” describes only illegal immigrants but it does not. There is no way to identify illegal immigrants with precision in the 1985-2017 ADC dataset and their population can only be estimated through the residual statistical methods that Lott derides as “primitive.” Using another variable in the June 2017 ADC dataset that Lott did not analyze reveals that, at worst, illegal immigrants in Arizona likely have an incarceration rate lower than their percentage of that state’s population.

  12. We lock, secure, etc. to deter crime. Doesn’t apply to immigration; immigrants are not criminals de facto. They are no more likely to be criminals than anyone else. So you’re in the apples and oranges realm.

  13. Nancy, please provide some documentation to support your “suggestion” that statistics don’t matter.

  14. No statistics matter, is my opinion. One police officer dead this week due to a migrant deported several times who shot and killed this officer on Christmas .Eve day. The killer and 8 others arrested who were trying to get him back to Mexico. What if it were your son, the father of a 5 month old, your first grandson. Would you think differently? Many other examples – look them up. There are bad people everywhere and whoever is crossing our border should be vetted. Let the good in and the bad out.

  15. Okay apples and oranges aside, I reference an excerpt from Page 2241 Catechism with which I’m sure you are well schooled. I don’t think the Catechism anticipated or condones hordes of immigrants in organized caravans intended to overwhelm the border authorities of the potential hos country. It seems to place certain obligations on the potential visitors as I it does the host country.

    Per the Catechism, U.S. authorities also have a responsibility to protect immigrants — presumably from threats like exploitation, human trafficking and anti-immigrant violence.

    The Catechism goes on to state: “Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.”

    The Catechism envisions an orderly process of immigration, subject to legal requirements — not the chaotic, dangerous, uncontrolled situation we have now.

  16. I appreciate this discussion. But it seems like we’re talking about multiple things at once. So how about breaking it down like this…

    1. Over ten million undocumented immigrants currently residing on US soil deserve a smooth path to citizenship. As you point out, Joe, they need to be protected from exploitation, to which they are prone, without the rights of citizenship.

    The proposal to build the wall says to these people, “You don’t belong here. You never should have been able to get here.” This is not the right thing to say.

    2. Currently more people are migrating from the US to Mexico than from Mexico to the US. There is no large-scale border-control problem when it comes to Mexicans right now. Rather, both Mexico and the US are contending with large numbers of refugees from Central American countries.

    Dealing with that crisis requires co-operation with the Mexican government. That means we need friendly diplomatic relations. But the idea of unilaterally building a border wall poisoned that relationship before the president was even elected.

    The border towns of Texas, NM, AZ, and CA are bi-lingual, integrated, and largely peaceful. They are not clamoring for a wall. A wall could have disastrous unforeseen environmental effects, which have not been studied adequately.

    The fact is that building a 2,000-mile wall is not really practicable, and it does not address the actual problems that we have. It is a rhetorical symbol. I’m not an expert, by any means. But it seems to me that what would serve our national interests much better would be: a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently living here, and improved diplomatic relations with Mexico.

  17. 1. Would this include the multiple offenders who are deported and re-enter the USA and in the meantime kill innocent victims and who are protected by sanctuary cities? What is the solution here?
    2. Really, Father. So many issues remain controversial that you describe. What happens to the immigrants from Central American countries. Here’s a question. No wall, open borders and then what happens? Do you want to wait for that to happen? Even Jesus let Judas fend for himself – he didn’t welcome him back to the fold.
    Largely peaceful border towns? Not so.

  18. I agree that we are discussing multiple issue, and that is because it is a multi faceted, and emotional subject . Frankly my sense is that no one is going to have their mind changed as a result. The Bishops wont solve the abuse/homosexual problem,and I doubt that we will reach any kind of consensus on the immigration issue.

    No one else is a defacto criminal either, but we still secure our property. Just like an individual secures their property, the Country has the right to secure it’s borders. Simply because Mexico was either unwilling or unable to secure it’s southern border where they have some sort of physical barrier, is no reason for the United States to abandon its responsibility to secure its border where the hordes are trying to storm the border. Just as the church has a right to have rules and procedures for becoming catholic, the United States has the right to have those seeking citizenship to do it according to our rules.

    The number of illegals in the country is closer to twelve million, and they have been here since Reagan’s days in office. I disagree that the proposal to build a wall or physical barrier says anything to that group, other than your lucky you got here when you did. More importantly, what does it say to those who immigrated to the United States according to the immigration laws currently on the books? It’s like saying sucker, look what we did.

    As late as 2013 there was comprehensive legislation passed in the Senate with the support of some of the very same people that are at odds with one another now (politics). Shame on John Boehner for not even bringing it to the floor of the House of Representatives.

    For the eight members of US Congress who are briefed on classified intelligence matters by the
    In the United States of America, the Gang of Eight is a common colloquial term for the bi-partisan group of eight United States Senators—four Democrats and four Republicans—who wrote the first draft of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013.[1] The group was also instrumental in bringing comprehensive immigration reform back to the legislative branch in early 2013.[2]

    In June 2013, the immigration bill passed the Senate with a strong majority—68–32, with 14 Republicans joining all Democrats. The United States House of Representatives under Speaker John Boehner did not act on the bill, however, and it expired at the end of the 113th Congress.[3]

    Over my sixty four years of driving I have had the misfortune to be hopelessly stuck in mud, snow, and sand . I’ve been stuck in cars , trucks, and buses, and I can tell when the wheels are spinning and there’s no traction. The wheels are spinning, good luck on finding a solution.

    There is a solution though. As I’ve told Father several times give Californian, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona back to Mexico as we are told that we obtained all of that land by force. Then we can give back all of the land appropriated in the same way from the Native Americans. When we’ve accomplished all of these things, we can start over with New Jersey.

    Time to call a tow truck.


  19. Why New Jersey. I agree with your statement,Californian, Texas,New Mexico, And Arizona back to Mexico,Plus Native Americans.This way the rest of us can go to Hell in a hand basket.Thanks Joe.

  20. Joe, you are incorrect when you write “Largely peaceful border towns? Not so.”

    The violent crime rate in Texas border towns is lower than the Texas average:


    Of the 23 counties along the Mexico border, 21 have lower crime rates than the national average:


    The security expert of the Texas Border Coalition: “The US side of the border is quite safe. We are not in a war zone.”


    …Seems that we agree on this: We would be in a much better place right now if the comprehensive immigration reform bill of 2013 had passed and become law. You, me, the Spanish-speaking parishioners of St. Joseph, St. Francis of Assisi, and St. Gerard’s in Roanoke, and Hillary Clinton. We agree on that much. The failure of that law amounted to a national tragedy, from which we have not recovered.

  21. Please Father, I was feeling you until you included Hillary Clinton in you last paragraph.. I note that the comment from Ann White re: Not voting for Trump again has disappeared. I have tried diligently to find a source in the middle of the spectrum of liberal vs conservative. I’ve know since I was teenager that the Washigton Post is a leftist leasing publication, as is PBS. I note that the date of this report is four years old. If the situation has improved, could it be that the border towns have seen a significant increase in Border Patrol, and other law enforcement presence which would serve as deterrent for crime. Not unlike community policing in the United States.

    DOJ Report: Nearly Half of Fed Crimes Near Mexican Border
    AUGUST 05, 2014

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    Crime is so high along the Mexican border that nearly half of all the criminal cases filed by federal prosecutors in the United States last fiscal year were concentrated in a handful of districts located in that region, according to the U.S. government’s figures.

    It’s not as if this is new, but to see it spelled out in a government report with a detailed breakdown is truly alarming. The statistics illustrate that the Mexican-border region is a cesspool of crime that’s costing American taxpayers a chunk of change not to mention loads of grief. There are 94 federal court districts in this country and the five located near the southern border see a large portion of criminal cases, according to the Justice Department’s annual report on criminal prosecutions. The five federal districts also have the biggest number of defendants actually convicted of federal crimes.

    Of the 61,529 criminal cases initiated by federal prosecutors last fiscal year, more than 40%—or 24,746—were filed in court districts neighboring the Mexican border. This includes Arizona, New Mexico, Southern California, Western Texas and Southern Texas. The two Texas districts each had more than double the convictions of all four federal court districts in the state of New York combined, according to the DOJ report. The Western Texas District had the nation’s heaviest crime flow, with 6,341 cases filed by the feds. In Southern Texas 6,130 cases were filed, 4,848 in Southern California, 3,889 in New Mexico and 3,538 in Arizona.

    Not surprisingly, most of the offenses were immigration related. In fact, 38.6% of all federal cases (23,744) filed last year involved immigration, the DOJ report confirms. Nearly 22% (13,383) were drug related, 19.7% (12,123) were violent crimes and 10.2% (6,300) involved white-collar offenses that include a full range of frauds committed by business and government professionals. This is hardly earth-shattering news in fact, the nation’s southern border region has for years been known for its high crime rate compared to the rest of the country.

    However, the problem has escalated at an alarming rate in the last few years. Last spring Judicial Watch reported that violence in the region has gotten so out of control that both Mexican and American journalists have largely stopped reporting it out of fear that drug cartels will retaliate against them and their families. Around the same time a small town paper in Reynosa, the twin borer city of McAllen in south Texas, bravely ran a story describing the fear and panic that filled the streets during a three-hour firefight between rival drug cartels.

    Years earlier JW reported that federal agents guarding the U.S.-Mexico border had been ordered to stay away from the most crime-infested stretches because they’re too dangerous and patrolling them could result in an international incident of cross border shooting. This shocking information came from a law enforcement official in an Arizona county located along the Mexican border. The official, Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever, has testified before on Congress on many occasions about the steady increase in border crime. Violence related to drug and human smuggling has risen sharply in the last decade, the sheriff told Congress a few years ago, and local law enforcement agencies like his are severely undermanned to handle the crisis.

    The Obama administration has dealt with this crisis by pretending it doesn’t exist. The president’s first Homeland Security Secretary, former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, spent a great deal of her tenure proclaiming that the Mexican border “is as secure as it has ever been.” In the meantime, the Justice Department’s National Drug Intelligence Center, shut down by the Obama administration in 2012, confirmed that Mexican drug cartels do in fact “control access to the U.S.-Mexico border” and the “smuggling routes across it.”

    In one of its last reports before getting axed, the National Drug Intelligence Center concluded that the “unprecedented levels of violence in Mexico” will continue for years. Inevitably the crimes have spread north because cartels—including Sinaloa, Los Zetas and Juarez—have joined forces with U.S. street gangs that operate in more than 1,000 cities throughout the country, the report said. This sort of “collaboration between U.S. gangs and Mexican-based” criminal organizations will continue to increase, facilitating wholesale drug trafficking into and within the United States, the three-year-old report said. It seems that nothing has changed.

    Those undocumented that are fleeing the so called violence in their home countries, in many cases appear to be bringing with them the very same violence that say they are escaping.

    Happy New Year

  22. Clarification to a Reply noted as : Sheila Kaeser on December 31, 2018 at 9:55 .This was entered by my Husband Stephen – I am not of the nature to be so rude with language nor am I of any Mind to leave my parish. As I have not had time to read all on this matter – my response will be delayed should I even decide to respond. But since 2 of my parishioners asked me at St Andrews this morning if I was coming back to St Francis I was befuddled until my hubby told me of his entry which went in under my name. Peace to us all with God’s grace. (The real Sheila K)

  23. Dear Sheila, Bless you and thank you for the clarification. Hope to have the chance to talk things over with Stephen.

    Joe, I’m sorry to have to point this out, but you have done it again. Judicial Watch was discredited in 2014 for publishing a false report about an ISIS camp in Mexico. But the article you posted here at least has some facts in it, which demonstrate the distortion involved in its own assertions.

    It’s a tautology to say that the border is a high-crime area, if you count immigration-enforcement arrests. The feds prosecute large numbers of immigration infractions, because that is a crime under federal jurisdiction. Meanwhile state and local enforcement focuses on crime as we generally understand it–thefts, murders, etc. The article you reproduced for us moves from acknowledging that the high crime rate at the border is due to immigration arrests, then lists national statistics for other types of crimes, then suggests that these other types of crimes occur more frequently at the border. But there’s no evidence for that last connection. Yes, there are more immigration-related arrests at the border than there are elsewhere. Of course that is the case.

    But this is precisely the issue that we are debating here, the degree of justice involved in the way that that the US is governing the border, when it comes to otherwise perfectly law-abiding immigrants. The point I have been trying to make all along is this: We have no right to impede law-abiding Mexican people from moving back and forth across that border. It does not serve our national interests to do so, and it causes totally unnecessary distress to many Mexican people we know and love.

    The honest distinction we all need to make here is between criminals, who have no right to commit crimes anywhere, in the US or Mexico, and law-abiding immigrants, who have every right to cross the border freely. For a Mexican person to cross that border is not in and of itself a crime–that is my point. It seems to me that if we could all grasp that, then we could easily see that a wall will not solve our problems. A path to citizenship for the honest people, and enhanced communications between US and Mexican law-enforcement authorities to catch criminals, is what we need.

  24. Tautology or not, I can’t find a source that is unbiased on the subject. I guess I’ll just cut to the chase and ask if you are for open borders, or no borders at all? It seems to me that the moment an immigrant crosses any of our national borders at locations other than points of entry they have by definition broken our immigration laws as described below. You either agree or disagree with existing law.

    (a) Improper time or place; avoidance of examination or inspection; misrepresentation and concealment of facts
    Any alien who (1) enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers, or (2) eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers, or (3) attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact, shall, for the first commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both, and, for a subsequent commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18, or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.

    (b) Improper time or place; civil penalties Any alien who is apprehended while entering (or attempting to enter) the United States at a time or place other than as designated by immigration officers shall be subject to a civil penalty of—
    (1) at least $50 and not more than $250 for each such entry (or attempted entry); or
    (2) twice the amount specified in paragraph (1) in the case of an alien who has been previously subject to a civil penalty under this subsection.
    Civil penalties under this subsection are in addition to, and not in lieu of, any criminal or other civil penalties that may be imposed.
    (c) Marriage fraud
    Any individual who knowingly enters into a marriage for the purpose of evading any provision of the immigration laws shall be imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or fined not more than $250,000, or both.

    (d) Immigration-related entrepreneurship fraud
    Any individual who knowingly establishes a commercial enterprise for the purpose of evading any provision of the immigration laws shall be imprisoned for not more than 5 years, fined in accordance with title 18, or both.

    (June 27, 1952, ch. 477, title II, ch. 8, § 275, 66 Stat. 229; Pub. L. 99–639, § 2(d), Nov. 10, 1986, 100 Stat. 3542; Pub. L. 101–649, title I, § 121(b)(3), title V, § 543(b)(2), Nov. 29, 1990, 104 Stat. 4994, 5059; Pub. L. 102–232, title III, § 306(c)(3), Dec. 12, 1991, 105 Stat. 1752; Pub. L. 104–208, div. C, title I, § 105(a), Sept. 30, 1996, 110 Stat. 3009–556.)

  25. Bless you, Joe. But “you either agree or disagree with existing law” is not a true statement; it is not a simple either/or. I’m sure that you and I both agree that the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment is a good and valid law. But neither of us agree with the Supreme Court that the due process clause of the 14th amendment protects a woman’s “right” to an elective abortion.

    The immigration laws you quote are perfectly reasonable in the abstract. The question is whether they are justly applied when it comes to law-abiding Mexicans who crossed a border that was unlawfully established in the first place. My answer to that question would be: We would serve our national interests much better if we did not try to enforce that law in this instance, and provided a path to citizenship instead.

  26. So, Father, we should just let the Mexicans through? All this makes no sense to me. Would Vatican City open their walls to the needy Africans? I know I’m getting a little far out there but there has to be laws and regulations. Forget the Trump excuse and votes for the Democrats. There has to be a system and I’m afraid our government cannot common sense reason anymore. Corruption in our Church and corruption in our government does not help either situation. Can we change the subject and wait for a Cardinal O’Malley blog.

  27. Bless you as well. I asked you whether or not you agree with the existing immigration law, not whether you agree that it is justly applied. Once again you are attempting to introduce the abortion issue into the discussion of immigration. Whether or not you and I agree with the Supreme Courts decision re; The Due Process Cause, and a woman’s right to choose does not change the fact that it is the Law of the land until it is changed through the lawful process. Can we protest that law? Of course we can, and we have every time we stand in front of the Abortion Facility, or attend the March For Life. Suppose I think some one arrested for burglary is being unjustly prosecuted, is it lawful for me to hide them from law enforcement? Am I free to decide for myself what laws to obey and which to obey?

  28. Seems to this man of limited patience that we have officially reached the going-around-in-circles stage. For some reason I find it implausible that the US gov’t will successfully deport 11+million people, or that a wall built across a remote, un-patrolled river valley or desert would actually hinder much migration, other than that of the local deer. But maybe I’m the one living in the fantasy world, rather than the ignorant, bloviating man in the White House.

  29. OMG in heaven. Better start looking upward, Father White, instead of in the pits. Joe won. Thank you, Joe. The one that becomes totally frustrated is usually the loser. I told you to change the subject, Father – too bad you didn’t listen instead of embarrassing yourself.

  30. Nancy, take your moralizing somewhere else. I myself am embarrassed for anyone who is so obtuse that he or she cannot see the human suffering that the president’s immigration nonsense has caused.

  31. Good for you father mark… too bad too many Catholics think to be a good catholic you have to vote republican no matter what. Thankfully it appears there will be some rewriting of the uscc documents about voting in this country…. I’m so sorry joe and Nancy think your blog posts are up for debate and that there was a winner. Then again, I tend to agree with you, it’s a shame what this country is turning into….Its also a shame how some seem to think family and friends should be protected but anyone not in my inner circle isn’t afforded the same. Christ never said love some of your neighbors, but only if it’s convenient, but that’s what many have done, and it’s a shame.

  32. So, in the upcoming 2020 election, if a candidate is for open borders and also just happens to be for aborting the unborn…it is ok to vote for them? Want to make sure I am making a good Confession.

    1. Confession, as you know, involves past sins. For instance: carrying on like an obnoxious, obtuse crank. Take your nonsense to some other blog, please.

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