Trump, the Church and Immigration

by Tech Knight | August 18th, 2016

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Trump, the Church and Immigration

Don­ald Trump deliv­ered a rather com­pelling speech on Mon­day about ter­ror­ism and pro­tect­ing our coun­try from those who would do us harm. As usual, the media, who praised Trump dur­ing the pri­mary as an icon­o­clast who refused to play by the tra­di­tional rules, are now cast­ing him as a lunatic who refuses to play by the tra­di­tional rules. So, typ­i­cally, they have ignored the sub­stance of the speech, which is that Hillary Clin­ton and Pres­i­dent Obama have objec­tively made our coun­try less safe by their mis­han­dling of inter­na­tional rela­tions, espe­cially in the Mid­dle East, and tried to make Trump sound at the very least unhinged when he spoke about estab­lish­ing cri­te­ria to decide who gets to immi­grate here.
Here’s what he said:

We should only admit into this coun­try those who share our val­ues and respect our peo­ple. Those who do not believe in our Con­sti­tu­tion, or who sup­port big­otry and hatred, will not be admit­ted for immi­gra­tion into the coun­try. Only those who we expect to flour­ish in our coun­try – and to embrace a tol­er­ant Amer­i­can soci­ety – should be issued visas. (via politico)

In other words, the government’s pur­pose for “establish[ing] a uni­form Rule of Nat­u­ral­iza­tion” (the Con­sti­tu­tion, Arti­cle I, Sec­tion 8) is to improve the safety, secu­rity and gen­eral wel­fare of its cit­i­zens. Let’s be clear: non-​citizens do not have a right to become U.S. cit­i­zens, nor do they even have a right to enter our coun­try unless we decide to let them.
As I men­tioned in my first arti­cle, I am a Catholic and a Con­sti­tu­tion­al­ist. I try my best to be a good Catholic and try to make sure that my Con­sti­tu­tion­al­ist instincts fit within that frame­work. For­tu­nately, in the case of immi­gra­tion, this is not that dif­fi­cult. The Catholic posi­tion is described in the Cat­e­chism of the Catholic Church (clause 2241):

Polit­i­cal author­i­ties, for the sake of the com­mon good for which they are respon­si­ble, may make the exer­cise of the right to immi­grate sub­ject to var­i­ous juridi­cal con­di­tions, espe­cially with regard to the immi­grants’ duties toward their coun­try of adop­tion. Immi­grants are obliged to respect with grat­i­tude the mate­r­ial and spir­i­tual her­itage of the coun­try that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in car­ry­ing civic burdens.

Thus, accord­ing to the Church, the gov­ern­ment has the right to estab­lish con­di­tions “for the sake of the com­mon good” under which some­one may immi­grate. Of course, the immi­grant also has the duty to “respect the her­itage” of the U.S. when they come here. (One could argue that the rea­son we now have to press 1 for Eng­lish is that immi­grants since the pass­ing of the 1965 Immi­gra­tion and Nation­al­ity Act have failed to live up to this oblig­a­tion, but that’s a sep­a­rate dis­cus­sion.) In short, they should be com­ing here to become Amer­i­can. So what’s the prob­lem with vet­ting peo­ple who want to come here from regions of the world where Islamic ter­ror­ism is ram­pant and exclud­ing those found unac­cept­able?
Putting aside for the moment the prac­ti­cal­ity and logis­tics of such an effort, is there really a prob­lem with estab­lish­ing an immi­gra­tion pol­icy like what Trump described? It is cer­tainly Con­sti­tu­tional, and it appears to be Catholic as well. There’s just one lit­tle wrin­kle. The first part of the clause I quoted from the Cat­e­chism states:

The more pros­per­ous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to wel­come the for­eigner in search of the secu­rity and the means of liveli­hood which he can­not find in his coun­try of origin.

Thus, the Catholic posi­tion would be that a blan­ket ban on immi­gra­tion from cer­tain coun­tries or regions would be unac­cept­able because we must allow the truly per­se­cuted refugee to come to our shores out of com­pas­sion. So where do we draw the line? All I can say is that by call­ing for “extreme vet­ting” – which would allow for admit­ting the truly per­se­cuted – and tem­po­rary holds, Trump appears to be closer to the Catholic posi­tion than Clin­ton who seems to be ignor­ing her Catholic respon­si­bil­ity of focus­ing on the com­mon good of Amer­i­can cit­i­zens, by whom she is hop­ing to be elected.

A note to read­ers: It’s get­ting down to “crunch time” for Da Mag­nif­i­cent Prospects, so I’d really appre­ci­ate it if you could share this arti­cle and my oth­ers with your social media friends. My other arti­cles are:
The “Final Five” Show Us How It’s Done
The Left is Wrong About Rights
Ends, Means and Democ­rats
Don’t for­get to hit DaTip­Jar, and thanks for your support!


A note from DaT­e­chGuy: I hope you enjoyed Tech Knight’s piece. Remem­ber we will be judg­ing the entries in Da Mag­nif­i­cent try­outs by hits both to their post and to DaTip­Jar. So if you like Tech Knight’s work, please con­sider shar­ing this post, and if you hit DaTip­jar because of it don’t for­get to men­tion Tech Knight’s post as the rea­son you did so.

Nor­mally i’d link to his pre­vi­ous pieces but he’s already taken care of that.




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Donald Trump delivered a rather compelling speech on Monday about terrorism and protecting our country from those who would do us harm. As usual, the media, who praised Trump during the primary as an iconoclast who refused to play by the traditional rules, are now casting him as a lunatic who refuses to play by the traditional rules. So, typically, they have ignored the substance of the speech, which is that Hillary Clinton and President Obama have objectively made our country less safe by their mishandling of international relations, especially in the Middle East, and tried to make Trump sound at the very least unhinged when he spoke about establishing criteria to decide who gets to immigrate here.
Here’s what he said:

We should only admit into this country those who share our values and respect our people. Those who do not believe in our Constitution, or who support bigotry and hatred, will not be admitted for immigration into the country. Only those who we expect to flourish in our country – and to embrace a tolerant American society – should be issued visas. (via politico)

In other words, the government’s purpose for “establish[ing] a uniform Rule of Naturalization” (the Constitution, Article I, Section 8) is to improve the safety, security and general welfare of its citizens. Let’s be clear: non-citizens do not have a right to become U.S. citizens, nor do they even have a right to enter our country unless we decide to let them.
As I mentioned in my first article, I am a Catholic and a Constitutionalist. I try my best to be a good Catholic and try to make sure that my Constitutionalist instincts fit within that framework. Fortunately, in the case of immigration, this is not that difficult. The Catholic position is described in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (clause 2241):

Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.

Thus, according to the Church, the government has the right to establish conditions “for the sake of the common good” under which someone may immigrate. Of course, the immigrant also has the duty to “respect the heritage” of the U.S. when they come here. (One could argue that the reason we now have to press 1 for English is that immigrants since the passing of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act have failed to live up to this obligation, but that’s a separate discussion.) In short, they should be coming here to become American. So what’s the problem with vetting people who want to come here from regions of the world where Islamic terrorism is rampant and excluding those found unacceptable?
Putting aside for the moment the practicality and logistics of such an effort, is there really a problem with establishing an immigration policy like what Trump described? It is certainly Constitutional, and it appears to be Catholic as well. There’s just one little wrinkle. The first part of the clause I quoted from the Catechism states:

The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin.

Thus, the Catholic position would be that a blanket ban on immigration from certain countries or regions would be unacceptable because we must allow the truly persecuted refugee to come to our shores out of compassion. So where do we draw the line? All I can say is that by calling for “extreme vetting” – which would allow for admitting the truly persecuted – and temporary holds, Trump appears to be closer to the Catholic position than Clinton who seems to be ignoring her Catholic responsibility of focusing on the common good of American citizens, by whom she is hoping to be elected.

A note to readers: It’s getting down to “crunch time” for Da Magnificent Prospects, so I’d really appreciate it if you could share this article and my others with your social media friends. My other articles are:
The “Final Five” Show Us How It’s Done
The Left is Wrong About Rights
Ends, Means and Democrats
Don’t forget to hit DaTipJar, and thanks for your support!


A note from DaTechGuy: I hope you enjoyed Tech Knight’s piece. Remember we will be judging the entries in Da Magnificent tryouts by hits both to their post and to DaTipJar. So if you like Tech Knight’s work, please consider sharing this post, and if you hit DaTipjar because of it don’t forget to mention Tech Knight’s post as the reason you did so.

Normally i’d link to his previous pieces but he’s already taken care of that.




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