Earlier this month, a scant 400 people marched in the Los Angeles Labor Day demonstration in support of illegal immigrants, a dramatic decline compared to the 400,000 who attempted to bring downtown Los Angeles to a halt in May. Still, this didn’t keep Cardinal Roger Mahoney from joining in and proclaiming to tell parishioners at the opulent Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles that “without this immigrant population, this state would be bankrupt.”
To the contrary, Mahoney has it backwards. Unless this illegal immigrant invasion is stopped right now, the state of California is certain to go bankrupt, and soon.
While writing our new book, “Minutemen: The Battle to Secure America’s Borders,” we attempted to interview Mahoney. Sadly he refused our request. We were able to speak with Kevin Appleby, director of migration and refugee policy for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, D.C. Mr. Appleby asserted to us that the church’s solution is “different from the Minutemen’s solution,” which he characterized as “to build a wall and seal the border.” Instead, Appleby argued in support of a “guest worker program,” which he refused to categorize as an amnesty.
When pressed, Appleby shifted ground, arguing that the United States has a “moral obligation” not to its own citizens, but to open our borders to Mexicans who want to live and work here. “With the U.S. being the greatest economic power in the world,” he explained to us, “we would have some obligation to help Mexico solve their problem of poverty.” He then insisted that legalizing Mexican here illegally would allow the church to make sure they are hired at or above minimum wage, with benefits.
In other words, the real agenda of Mahony and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is to get the millions of illegal aliens currently in the U.S. a virtual guarantee of citizenship and therefore “rights” to which they are not now entitled. Illegals following the “roadmap to citizenship” would get minimum wages and full benefits—likely to the economic detriment of existing union workers. And as an added plus for the Catholic Church, these new citizens would conveniently be looking to the church, not the U.S. government, as their benefactor.
Of course, complete access to taxpayer-funded welfare payments, entitlement programs, social services, free education for children, and free health care would be thrown into the package. Then, as these new “citizens” approached retirement age, taxpayers would be expected to extend Social Security benefits, no doubt overlooking the fact that many had used false Social Security numbers for years, if they had paid any taxes into the system at all.
California hospitals are already going bankrupt trying to meet the legal requirement to provide ER and other health services to millions of illegals. Schools are overcrowded with the children of illegal aliens, budgets strained by the need to educate these children in Spanish, a language in which many are illiterate to begin with. And yet Mahoney’s apparent belief is that all the illegals who manage to enter the U.S. be not only allowed to stay, but given benefits and ultimately citizenship—on the American taxpayer’s dime.
Of course, Mahoney is crafty enough to recognize that “amnesty” is a word most Americans won’t buy. So his approach is to appeal to citizen and legal immigrant pocketbooks, arguing that without illegal aliens, businesses in California wouldn’t be able to operate. And yet California’s economy has been one of the largest in the world for many years. Exactly what did businesses do to survive before the illegal alien invasion started?
We are both Catholics, so it pains us to have to rebuke Mahoney and the church in such a public fashion. But they are wrong to assert that everyone who finds a way to sneak illegally across our porous borders has a right to the benefits of U.S. citizenship. Demanding that honest taxpayers bear the brunt of such “generosity” does not seem like a very ethical solution to us.
If, as we suspect, Mahoney’s true agenda is to build his base of parishioners, then we wish he’d say so directly. We also wish Mahoney would have earmarked some of the $200 million used to build the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, not to mention funds from Catholic charities, to provide some of the benefits illegals already here are demanding.
But this will never happen. Mahoney is confident that he can push the costs onto the taxpayers of California, all the while asking, “What would we ever do without all these poor illegal immigrants here to work for us?” That’s one question we’d be happy to answer, if the cardinal would only bother to take our calls.