San Diego's Catholic leadership must be getting an earful from the faithful on its illegal migrant-enabling operations
At Mass late yesterday, I was kind of astonished at the video played to encourage support from the Annual Catholic Appeal, the San Diego Diocese's annual fundraising effort for the good works it does around its Church mission.
They played this Church-produced video for the local parishioners (which can also be found here):
At the 2:33 minute point of the 4:27-minute video, the narrator stated this:
The agency welcomes and assists newly arrived immigrants and refugees, primarily women and children. They are legally in the country and need a helping hand, to reach their final destination or to settle in the region.
That curious disclaimer about the migrants being "legally" in the country, implicitly all of them, stated right up front with emphasis, seemed to be a new one, and certainly was a departure from the usual pitches about it being a good thing to help the poor and welcome the stranger, which no believing Catholic opposes.
Why did they bring up the legal status of the migrants in the pitch? Obviously, they were attempting to tell that to the parishioners, whom they were pleading with to donate money.
I have not seen that argument before from the Church, but I certainly have heard it from open-borders activists. "Legal immigrants," they shriek, because Joe Biden, after all, has let them in under his catch-and-release policy, permitting all comers to enter the country so long as they say they are claiming asylum.
That's not exactly legal as most people would recognize it, particularly since it involves an illegal border crossing. After that, the illegal border crossers/asylum seekers "need" assistance to get to their final destinations, as the Catholic Charities group says it provides, which rather suggests that yes, indeed they are helping out today's border surgers as part of the vast migrant pipeline to America which has done so much to profit and empower Mexican cartels.
That would be the same pipeline of NGOs which coach migrants in what to say in order to dishonestly be able to claim asylum even if they have no legitimate basis, which most don't.
That's what bothers Americans, the fact that Catholic Charities and a vast network of government-funded NGOs are becoming handmaidens to the Mexican cartels so that they can make the cartels rich from migrant "crossing fees," and Mexico, our neighbor to the south, a living hell, which seems to have already begun. The cartels wouldn't be able to do it without that vast network of NGOs there assisting them every step of the way.
That's what the video seemed to try to assuage which obviously means that they are getting phone calls from angry parishioners, upset at this distorted interpretation of the law about legal immigrants.
More to the point, they have probably seen funds witheld as a result of this Catholic Charities migrant activity, enough for them to insert in that line about all these migrants they are helping being legal migrants, as if they wouldn't dream of helping an illegal one -- which they actually should do and would have to do if any person needed food, water or bodily needs served, as described in the Bible. Why did they bring up 'legal'?
We can accept that they have adopted that Biden stance as their definition of legal so that they can justify what they are doing to the people they want money from.
But the whole thing seemed like a gaslight to donors. For one thing, it was a remarkably short statement on their migrant work given the size of that operation they run as compared to many of the others they featured in the video. Maybe they didn't want anyone to think about this too closely.
It also seemed a little misleading since the local Catholic Charities website says it focuses on getting legal status for the illegal border crossers, with the justification that migrants "need" these services same as they need food and water and shelter. The latter are all legitimate charity functions described in the Bible under the corporal works of mercy -- feed the hungry, slake the thirsty, give clothing to the naked, visit the imprisoned, but I didn't hear the part about Jesus saying hand out the U.S. green cards to those who break U.S. border law, let alone demand U.S. citizenship as an entitlement. Aid, after all, can be given to the poor in their own countries and you can bet that if it were, it would go a whole lot further than it does here in the states (assuming it doesn't go to consultants and other useless chiselers).
What are the services Catholic Charities of San Diego offers to immigrants?
Their website says this:
OUR PROGRAM PROCESSES THE FOLLOWING IMMIGRATION APPLICATIONS AT NOMINAL FEES:
Adjustment of Status
Family Visa Petitions
Domestic Violence Cases (VAWA)
Legal Permanent Resident Card Renewal
Affidavit of Support
T and U Visas
Citizenship and Naturalization
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – DACA
Detained Clients in San Diego and Imperial Counties
Which right there means they aren't here legally, as the aid video says.
Some of those activities in fact look mighty unpopular with the public, such as halting deportations of child rapists or drunk drivers or muggers or killers, all of whom fight deportation, but who are being deported for good reason. Deportations, of course, rarely happen under Biden, only the truly bad cases get deported any more, so who are they helping? As for helping each illegal border crosser claim asylum, well the Fresno Catholic Charities branch points out that most are here because they live in bad neighborhoods, want to join someone here (who may be here illegally, too) or above all, come for economic reasons:
The majority of the immigrants that abandon their native country are fleeing in search of safety, family reunification, and/or economic opportunities.
Which makes the asylum claims fundamentally dishonest, and any operation to create phony asylum claims fundamentally dishonest.
That puts parishioners who are inclined to give to the annual appeal in a bind -- they want to support the good works of the annual fund, but they know that there's a part of it that they abhor, wouldn't pay for if they could help it, and view as antithetical to their faith because the official Catechism of the Catholic Church commands the faithful to obey the laws of their country. How does one donate to that appeal other than to write on the check that "no money for incentivizing illegal immigration" which they won't pay attention to anyway?
It sounds like some just said no.
As for Catholic Charities' attitude toward parishioners with this concern, well, the Catholic Charities website effectively declares that they are all racists and xenophobes, not people with concern about the agency's incentivization and enabling of illegal immigration on an industrial scale, or the breakdown of rule of law in this country, or the enabling of cartel human traffic and profits. They have a whole page on that disrespectful claim, with "so why are some people so scared of the stranger" as the nut graf, as if five million unvetted illegal immigrants couldn't possibly include a bad one, and opposition to illegal immigration is all based on "fear" instead of valid concerns about what's going on right now. There are no valid concerns to these guys, anyone opposed to illegal immigration is just a Trumpy racist, and the agency is simply refusing to address what the problem is because it's easier to smear opponents -- although they are canny enough to know that emphasizing legal status suggests some interest in rule of law.
Bottom line here is that they are trying to spin their message, and we can see what they are doing. I'm not saying people shouldn't donate to the appeal as most of the work done is good work, but they do need to keep the pressure up on the migrant-enabling branch of Church operations as that has little to do with the authentic charity works seen elsewhere within the Church's good works. As the video demonstrates, they're hearing from at least some of them.
Image: Screen shot from ABC video, via YouTube