Action Alert!

Immigration: would the archbishop accept any limit?

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Feb 01, 2012

Archbishop Niederauer opposes a federal drive to deport illegal immigrant who have been convicted of crimes. “We cannot allow the pain of family separation and the fear amongst our communities to continue,” he explains.

OK, let’s take an extreme case: An illegal immigrant is convicted of a heinous felony—murder, say—and sentenced to life in prison. So he will be separated from his family in any case. Would the archbishop then accept deportation as an option?

In other words, is there ever a case in which the archbishop would accept deportation? If not—if he is really arguing that anyone who lives in the US should be allowed to continue living in the US—then he isn’t arguing for a liberal immigration policy; he’s arguing for completely open borders. Clarity on that point would help us to assess the force of his arguments.


Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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