Catholic World News

Guatemalan bishops’ conference: Arizona immigration law the ‘most shameful’ in history

May 19, 2010

The Pastoral Care of Migrants Committee of the Guatemalan Bishops' Conference issued a statement on May 14 blasting Arizona’s recently enacted immigration law.

Calling the legislation “the most shameful in the history of migration,” the committee said that the law will foster “international violations of the civil rights” of immigrants and will “institutionalize racism, xenophobia, and discrimination against immigrants.”

“The irrational anti-immigrant law will directly affect more than 460,000 immigrants,” the statement continued. “We repudiate the expulsion of more than 100 children of immigrants by the schools of Arizona.”

“Our responsibility as Christians is to not remain silent in the face of inhumane laws and policies that divide families and undermine human dignity.”


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  • Posted by: Thomas429 - May. 24, 2010 7:19 PM ET USA

    Read the law. It is Arizona telling it officers to enforce federal law. Or, maybe we should use the terms of the Mexico statutes. Any country that proposes to provide any level of protection for its citizenry needs to enforce control of its borders. There is no reason we should be different.

  • Posted by: - May. 19, 2010 11:45 PM ET USA

    Well, I'm glad to hear that--next to that--abortion is a more minor issue! :-)

  • Posted by: annemarie - May. 19, 2010 10:55 PM ET USA

    Like the US administration, I'll bet that the Guatemalan bishops haven't read the Arizona law either. Perhaps, the Guatemalan bishops can convince the Guatemalan government to open its borders to all - in the interest of human dignity, of course.

  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - May. 19, 2010 9:47 PM ET USA

    The Guatemalan bishops should examine their own country and their its policies which keep people in such poverty that they flee to Mexico and to the United States to escape it: each year about 200,000 of your 13 million permanently leave. Leave our Arizona alone.

  • Posted by: - May. 19, 2010 7:32 PM ET USA

    My Dear Bishops, Arizona is not worried about "immigrants." She is worried about those crossing our borders illegally and who are by definition, "invaders."

  • Posted by: Jim.K - May. 19, 2010 6:40 PM ET USA

    The Bishops are correct. If the people of Guatemala will simply obey the laws of the U.S. when they enter our Country and while they are here, there should be no problems. And we should do the same when we are in their Country. Surely they are not asking that Guatemalans should be able to enter and live in our Country illegally!

  • Posted by: ltluca7192 - May. 19, 2010 6:32 PM ET USA

    Where is the responsibility of the Catholic Hierarchy when they condemn the state of Arizona when all they are doing are following Federal guidelines that are not doing their job. The country of Mexico who has not done their job of helping their own, are happy to send their people to America, so they can reap the money sent back to Mexico without the hard job of governing. For shame, that these catholic bishops condone ILLEGAL immigration. I said ILLEGAL or don't they know what the word is.

  • Posted by: garedawg - May. 19, 2010 6:22 PM ET USA

    Isn't it Church teaching that people are supposed to obey the law?

  • Posted by: Lilacs2me - May. 19, 2010 6:16 PM ET USA

    Oh please! Does any other country let children of illegals become citizens? We are the most generous country in the world. But every country has the right to protect their boundaries from unlawful intrusion, and this AZ law simply upholds federal law. If the feds had protected AZ from illegal immigrants, we wouldn't be going down this road today. Blame Bush, blame Obama, blame whoever you want. Nevertheless, AZ has paid the price, and it has to stop.

  • Posted by: adamah - May. 19, 2010 6:05 PM ET USA

    I guess that the hierarchy in Guatemala doesn't get out much or study much history.

  • Posted by: - May. 19, 2010 4:38 PM ET USA

    This hyperbole is just nutty. It's becoming a satire of itself. What next?

  • Posted by: Don Vicente - May. 19, 2010 11:25 AM ET USA

    Amazing to me is that the Arizona law repeats almost verbatim the existing US Federal law. As I read it, the law simply authorizes AZ state authorities to enforce federal laws already in force. Where was the international hue and cry when the Feds passed the original legislation? (Some of which goes back to FDR.) Anyone posessing a "green card" is already required to show it to authorities requesting it. Is Guatemala really ready to let just anyone come and stay there? Mexico sure isn't.