One of the interesting things we have seen in our immigration debate is the corruption of language.
Suddenly the words “Illegal immigration” is not allowed even though the person is clearly breaking the law thus doing something “illegal” and the law this person is breaking is the law on “immigration”
Suddenly a Somali immigrant who settles near St. Paul Minnesota who is on trial for terror becomes a Minnesota Man
But the most amusing term of the lot, the term that we heard over and over in the primary season and one I suspect we will run into a lot during the election year is “Path to legal status”.
To the speaker using the phrase the purpose is to differentiate position of the person using it from “Amnesty” which is entirely different but the reality is the actual purpose of this phrase is to keep the listener from understanding that a “Path to legal status” is in fact amnesty.
So problem, how do you explain to the person being spun by the words “Path to legal status” that this is in fact Amnesty.
My solution? The Doctrine of Purgatory.
For those not familiar with Catholic Doctrine Purgatory is the place the temporal cost is paid for sins whose eternal cost have been already been forgiven, it’s where a soul is perfected for heaven.
Once that cost is paid and the soul has reached that state of perfect love either by either by indulgences earned during life, prayers or indulgences offered by the faithful for them after death, or through the purification process of purgatory then the soul is ready for Heaven.
Is this not the same thing as the “path to legal status” promises?
A “Path to legal status” by definition earns that a person is not currently legal. So the person has violated the immigration law, and through a process that might involve the paying of a fine and back taxes, which can be paid by either the person or someone else, and/or the waiting for a period of time, they at last achieve full legal status.
Why is this important? because every single soul is purgatory, no matter if they spend a single hour or till the end of time in Purgatory, those souls are saved, they have accepted the cost Christ paid in blood for their sins and sought the mercy he offers for their offenses.
Thus the souls in Purgatory have received the Amnesty that Christ has given them.
And that what the Path to Citizenship is, no matter how large the fine, no matter how long the wait, in the end the person is forgiven for their legal offenses.
Thus the persons who have received a “path to legal status” have received amnesty that the government has given them.
No amount of linguistic trickery will change it.