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An Immigration Manifesto by Sam Rocha and Artur Rosman

Immigration has been reduced to two options: the naïve and ahistorical legal route or the sentimental and anecdotal one. Both approaches and parties argue one side or the other, and the politics and rhetoric generated from that empty strategy are as clueless and predictable as they are terrifying. The terror of the present situation at the border between the United States and Mexico is that it risks becoming institutionalized, branded into the flesh of our collective psyche and imagination. It is an ahistorical, arbitrary, and brutal barrier.

The United States must stop living in a scapegoating lie. Let’s face up to it: Our most basic services (food, farming, building) are provided by people from other countries, especially Mexico. The laws under which “illegal” immigrants live are fundamentally unjust. They are skewed toward corporations that take advantage of a labor force that’s legally captive. The corporations also collude in propagating laws that are designed to keep that labor force legally captive. We then have the temerity to impute the label illegal to these people whom we clearly need.

The “border” itself is suspicious, especially when we consider the fact that our way of life in the United Stated is already built on the presumption of cheap, exploitable labor, for which the border is simply risk absorbed by those already exploited. We would venture to say that Mexican hands cook most of the restaurant Italian food in this country. The more important point is that, besides the covert and hidden ways we collectively profit from undocumented labor, there is the economic principle that is invoked on both sides of the U.S. political establishment: global capitalism. The idea, made concrete in NAFTA and countless political speeches and policies, by which goods and capital can move as freely as possible across borders, with little to no restraint, whereas people and their families are glued to their geopolitical and temporal conditions, is a perverse and inverted reversal.

The perversity behind these double standards approaches what the British did to the Irish. We live off the fat of exploited Mexican cheap labor, then like Trevelyan we moralize at the workers for not educating themselves, for not speaking English, for being moral retrogrades. One can’t imagine the pressure on undocumented workers (essential to our economy) when one’s own parents, legal immigrants, could barely find time to learn English (especially if one had to call welfare and Social Security for them as an eight-year-old). These same parents would sometimes wander off walking around the neighborhood randomly because they couldn’t take the pressure anymore. You can’t even begin to imagine how many times, as a legal, one hears good Americans (many, if not most of them, Christians) tell you to go back where you came from. Something needs to be done and we, the authors, must say we’re proud to see the bishops sticking their necks out on this very unpopular life issue. Unjust laws should be opposed.

Of course, the demands we make on Mexican immigrants ignore the obvious fact that there are millions of Mexicans who are not, and never have been, immigrants. Some of our ancestors, for instance, are mestizos of Hispanic origins, yet never crossed a border to enter the U.S. Quite the reverse, the U.S. border literally crossed them. It is difficult to think honestly about the geopolitical history of the southwestern United States and not find deep and real solidarity between the Mexicans who were crossed by the border and the ones who it missed. After all, it only takes a simple geography lesson to see how Mexican the U.S. side of the Southwest still is; just listen to the names: Los Angeles, Santa Fe, Las Vegas, San Antonio, San Diego, Las Cruces, Sacramento. It is also no coincidence that these are all religious, Catholic nomenclatures. Don’t forget the Irish (and Italians and Poles): There is something deeply protestant and anti-Catholic in the nativist sentiments that surround Mexican immigrants. Unlike the Catholic immigrants from Europe, Mexicans suffer from a double bind when the colonial implication of their relationship to the U.S. is ignored willy-nilly.

This is why the Catholics need to look beyond national loyalties on this issue and many others. In 1960, when John F. Kennedy promised the Southern Baptists that he wasn’t going to be taking orders from Rome, he was telling them that he wouldn’t take the Vatican hardline on supporting the Civil Rights movement. Where has this gotten Catholics in American public life? Nowhere.

It is a religious and political dead end. The Republicans hold the Catholic right hostage over abortion, while the Democrats hold the Catholic left hostage over healthcare. In the end, both politicized sides of American Catholicism lose out by acknowledging an authority higher than the Vicar of Christ. They become Protestantized by refusing to see the issues in a more (both in the lower case and the capitalized sense of the word) catholic way. It is high time we roll back the Kennedy promise in order not only to regain relevance but to recover our very identity as children of God. If not for ourselves, then at least so we can come closer to treating the outcast, widow, and foreigner as a child of God.

Not all immigrants are created equal. One reason that German immigrants, for instance, came “legally” is because they came from Germany. In other words, when crossing the Atlantic Ocean, as opposed to the Rio Grande River, material conditions create their own set of rules and processes. A German immigrant has a different sort of claim to make when immigrating to the U.S. as opposed to the Netherlands. This ought to be obvious enough, and all obfuscation of the material conditions that unite and separate the U.S. and Mexico, especially in the Southwest, is rooted in ideology instead of elementary geography and political history. We are all children of God, and we are also inhabitants of common places and spaces with real temporal conditions. Real families and people from Mexico have a unique claim on these lands, in a way that is asymmetrical because of the imperial status of the United States. To ask for “equal treatment” is to ask for the treatment that lost the Southwest in the first place.

The United States was founded by anarchic British Protestant immigrants, who oppressed and in many cases killed the local people, with a native claim to this land. This act still cries out for justice and even for mercy and reconciliation. There is a fragile solidarity between the plight of the Indigena and the Mestizo, the Navajo and the Mexican, the native and the other one living on the other side. May we, as Catholics, guided by the message of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas, stand and pray and even act in a way that gives voice to those who suffer in fear and pointless despair.

Who are you going to side with? O’MalleyOr Weigel?

Please share with your local church and state officials and affix your name below, in solidarity.


Readers are invited to discuss essays in argumentative and fraternal charity, and are asked to help build up the community of thought and pursuit of truth that Ethika Politika strives to accomplish, which includes correction when necessary. The editors reserve the right to remove comments that do not meet these criteria and/or do not pertain to the subject of the essay.

  • Sean Bannion

    “We then have the temerity to impute the label illegal to these people whom we clearly need.”

    As difficult as this may be to understand, we call them that, because they’re here illegally.

    It’s quite simple, actually.

    I agree that “the laws under which those people live are fundamentally unjust” (a curious use of the phrase “those people” given the topic here), however this does not change the fact that they are here illegally. So by all means, let’s change the laws under which corporations opearate to make this labor arrangement look less like chattel slavery. Let corporations pay a fair wage, and make working conditions as safe as humanly possible. Let all of us who call ourselves “Christian” not look down upon someone trying to escape desperate poverty, only to discover a marginally less disagreeable poverty in this country.

    Let us not also confuse the issue by assuming that people who are willing to break the law to be here, as opposed to immigrants who do not break the law to be here, are virtuous simply by the nature of their country of origin. Because that is exactly the implication in this article and that, in and of itself, is a pernicious type of racism.

    • Let’s change the laws by all means.

    • How can those disobeying an unjust law, which is no law at all, be considered illegal?

      • $51060174

        crazy stuff here. way to left of Obama

      • P.B.

        Our immigration laws have unjust results but they are not unjust in themselves.

    • Elena Muller GArcia

      This is not racism. The emphasis on Mexico here is because the border in question is the border between the United States and Mexico and the history of that border.

  • Steve Jalsevac

    I have a lot of problems with what the bishops are doing. The reality is that every nation must have immigration laws. In today’s climate of massive drug cartels operating across borders and terrorists infiltrating into target nations it is more important than ever that US Immigration laws be respected and enforced.

    However, there does appear to be a serious need for revisions to the current legislation and for more humane ways of dealing with illegal, yes clearly illegal and legal immigrants and consideration of their circumstances on a case by case basis.

    Still, what the bishops appear to be doing is dangerously encouraging a type of anarchy regarding law in general and encouraging everyone to completely ignore the current immigration laws. This is very bad.

    I suggest there are very many Catholics scratching their heads and wondering what on earth the bishops are doing wandering so heavily into this area of immigration law and policy and pretending to be able to make expert determinations and broad condemnation of US immigration legislation. That is NOT their charism.

    Also, there is a strongly leftist bias to many of the statements in this article that is deeply concerning. There are sweeping accusations and pronunciations so typical of the dissident “social justice” Catholics who have been more concerned about matters of this world than they have for spiritual evangelization, which is far more needed in our time. These political, ideological, economic charges and pronouncements are disturbing to me. I have relatives and friends in large corporations who do not remotely, nor do their companies remotely, fit the stereotypical ideologically constructed devilish molds that this article seems to place many of them in. Very many of these national and international corporations have ethical Christians working in them who follow ethical business practices.

    There is of course a real problem and a need for change, but the way the Church has been responding to all of this has me alarmed. For one thing, it is so similar to that of the diabolical Obama administration. How can that be? Who has convinced the bishops to so strongly support the Obama administration’s agenda (which they have not yet been able to fully implement because of political opposition)? I am really uncomfortable seeing that they are allowing themselves and the entire Catholic Church establishment to be used as a lackey for Obama’s clear goal to transform American laws and culture to the point of creating a new socialist state in America.

    • Alexander S Anderson

      Well, these guys aren’t dissidents. If you read the rest of their work, you will see that both of them are reliably, dynamically orthodox. Saying that somebody’s arguments “sound like” some arguments of dissenters is not an answer to their points. Not in the Catholic Church, at least. We are governed my dogma, not prejudice.

      • Steve Jalsevac

        Yes, but what they don’t appear to comprehend is the troubling messages that their actions unintentionally convey to America, one of which is flout the law and secondly that Obama has the right idea about all of this. Not good at all.

        • We are concerned with following the difficult teachings of the Catholic Church first. We do not particularly care how these fall on either side of the secular political spectrum. The political spectrum does not register in our considerations.

          • Dan Esquivel

            Do the teachings of the Catholic church apply universally, across all borders, or only in the United States? That is to say, is Mexico responsible for obeying Catholic teaching, or do these teachings only bind the United States? Do your arguments (presumably based upon Catholic teaching) also apply to the immigration laws of Mexico?

          • Marthe Lépine

            Seems to me they apply universally, and that your argument goes the way of: Let’s wait for Mexico to apply Catholic teaching before we will consider that Catholic teaching applies to all Catholics, e.g. to “us” as well as “them”, not to “us” only if and when “they” listen…

          • Elena Muller GArcia

            That is exactly the way it should be.

        • Guest

          Fuck Obama.

    • Hezekiah Garrett

      It wasn’t Sam Rocha who said a dromedery would have an easier time squeezing thru a sewing implement, now was it?

      • SamRocha

        Yes, I totally said that.

  • Christopher Hall


  • John Médaille

    I think we have to acknowledge our own complicity in the problems of Mexico. Two examples come to mind: NAFTA and the American appetite for illegal drugs. NAFTA is supposed to be “free trade,” but this is nonsense. What it did was to put highly subsidized American corn in competition with “free market” Mexican corn. The Mexican farmer could not possibly compete on those terms and lost his livelihood, and lost it in an economy that could not otherwise absorb his labor. And there is no doubt that the American appetite for drugs has destabilized, indeed criminalized, the Mexican economy. And these are just two examples, but sufficient to show our own complicity in the problems of Mexico.

    As one Mexican president put it, “Poor Mexico: so far from God and so near the United States.”

  • Jesse

    Wouldn’t it be best for the US to invest money and resources in Mexico as a nation, that way Mexicans would actually want to keep living there? Why should people be forced to abandon their culture in order to thrive? Why should the citizens of the US be forced to abandon their language and culture in order to aid those who need it?

    • Jesse

      “The fastest way to destroy a culture may be to simply supplant it with one that doesn’t speak its language. When men cannot communicate with their neighbors, we have slipped from an elevated society back into barbarism. This is a battle for our shared culture more than our common language, but our common language is a key ingredient of our cherished American culture and deserves a stout defense.”

    • Steve Jalsevac

      Well one huge problem is the plummeting US birthdate that mandates large scale immigration to keep the economy going.

    • Elena Muller GArcia

      No one is asking the US to abandon its language and its culture. And yes, it is also good to cooperate with Mexico so that people can thrive there. This is not an either or issue.

    • Suitcase Jefferson

      Or the U.S. could police its border adequately, enforce its immigration and labor laws, and stop letting the Mexican government use the United States as a safety value.

      Mexico continues to be dysfunctional in part because the smart, talented, and hardworking people who are fed up with the system leave rather than change it.

  • Victoria Tim Cronin


  • Alexander S Anderson

    I thought the name San Diego was German.

  • BOOM!!! Amen,amen, AMEN,

  • knowledge > ignorance

    I have a question, do you have a similar view on the Spanish? Wars were fought within tribes, cultures and nations. There were winners, losers, consequences and affects. Every people everywhere can keep asking for things to be “made right”. But I never seen or heard someone with the point of view you have, as it pertains only to Mexicans, speak about what the Spanish did and how that has affected the Culture, Nation and future of the same peoples that you speak of.

    • Elena Muller GArcia

      Our broken immigration system does not pertain only to Mexicans. Undocumented workers in this country come from many other places as well. It is the whole immigration law that needs to be changed, not just Mexican immigration. In this article Mexico is emphasized because the focus is one specific event at the U.S. Mexican border.

      • Suitcase Jefferson

        And by “changed,” what you mean is “completely scrapped and replaced with nothing,” right?

        Let’s not dance around it, okay?

  • Utlander

    The principal victim of our immigration policy is the American working class which must compete with imported cheap labor and also overseas labor making what used to be made in America thanks to “free trade” treaties. A country of 315 millions with a chronically high unemployment rate and declining incomes for those who do work needs no immigrants.

    • One of the problems with the labor many immigrants are doing is that it is back breaking and dangerous. We use pesticides that kill the workers and their families. Even paying minimum wage with benefits, many Americans would not take the jobs. Case in point, Hatch Green Chili in NM tried to hire legal pickers, they quit within a week.

      The other issue is what US corporations are doing south of the border in manufacturing with cheap labor. They have helped create a system where women and children’s lives are of little value. Plants do not have safe conditions, pay is bad.

  • Dan Esquivel

    There is so much wrong with this article one hardly knows were to begin. First, you say, “The idea, made concrete in NAFTA and countless political speeches and policies, by which goods and capital can move as freely as possible across borders, with little to no restraint, whereas people and their families are glued to their geopolitical and temporal conditions, is a perverse and inverted reversal.” Are you saying we should allow “people and their families” to cross our borders “with little or no restraint?” Do you have no concept of national sovereignty?
    Second, the argument that “the border crossed them,” is weak and tired. This is made clear by pointing out that in the world of the 21st century, the same argument could be made in every corner of the world! Name the country that subsists within aboriginal borders. The borders of nearly every country have expanded and receded across population centers, yet it is apparently only we who must freely incorporate whomever chooses to cross ours, even illegally. No Mexican family has any claim on US soil, despite the American conquest of the Southwest, any more than a British family has a claim on the former British colonies, or a Spanish family has a claim on Mexican land.
    Third, to say that illegal labor is essential to our economy is nonsense. If every illegal immigrant worker were to leave tomorrow, our crops would still be harvested, and our restaurants would remain open. There might be a few days of adjustment, but the vacuum would be filled with legal workers. You overlook that companies are in business to make money, and if the apples aren’t picked and sold, the company goes out of business.
    Fourth, the illegal immigrant worker is breaking more than just the one law of entering illegally. He has encouraged others to hire him illegally (a crime and a sin). He is being paid illegally (a crime and a sin). He is also not paying taxes on his wages (a crime and a sin). By not paying taxes he is stealing from the United States (a crime and a sin).
    Finally, to make excuses and somehow justify the illegal entry of persons into the United States is to miss the logical conclusion of the argument. The next step of your argument must be to call for a “living wage” for those performing menial tasks. Any economist will tell you that this would destroy our economy, for to pay a man $50K a year to pick apples or wash dishes would quickly put apple companies and restaurants quickly out of business.
    Perhaps your attention should be equally focused on the immigration laws of Mexico. Maybe just to make things equal we should treat illegal immigrants to the United States the same way Mexico treats illegal immigrants to Mexico!

    • SamRocha

      It may surprise you to know that I lived in Mexico as an illegal immigrant for two years. But I do appreciate that you, unlike others, engaged critically with the actual content of the post. I do find the equivocation of the legal realm with the moral one deeply problematic, all things considered.

      • Elena Muller GArcia

        This is a crucial point and I wonder if you could elaborate. On the one hand Catholic morality teaches that a man can steal food in order to feed his hungry family if there is no other recourse. It seems that many Catholics either ignore that or have forgotten it. On the other hand it is perfectly legal in this country to kill a preborn child if the mother so chooses (or, as it happens most of the time, if the mother is forced to so choose by parents, boyfriend, or social circumstances). So that in this instance one can follow the law and commit an objectively immoral act. Although ideally the law should be in accordance to morality, in reality it is not always the case. So yes, it is very important to distinguish these two realities.

  • Andrew Lowden

    To call border’s “ahistorical” is seems to miss the history between the United States and Mexico. The border is historical – it is perhaps irrelevant, since it does not separate two separate nations or two separate cultures, since the US is cultureless, but “ahistorical” is nevertheless an inaccurate term.

    If you wish to make the call for Christians to act as Christians before they act as Americans, help them find an identity. That is America’s curse – that is why “Americanism” was marked as a heresy. If you want to find common ground with the Mexicans, then do as they have done and build a truly national church – not a church which surrenders to the secular state, but one which transcends it. America has never had Cristeros, never a group willing to die with ¡Viva Cristo Rey! on their lips. Perhaps the time has come. But until America builds a truly national church, and not just a progressive, paraprotestant, melting pot congregation, the call for justice vis-à-vis the immigration question is nothing but a smokescreen. There is no church without an tribal or local identity – Catholicism has its heartland in tradtional Vendée, not in cosmopolitan Paris. Meet the Mexicans on their own ground – have a culture – then you will be able to understand them and their concerns and their needs, and the way in which they encounter the American Empire. Roman Catholics like to pretend that Christianity is a religion of the multinational, cosmopolitan Roman Empire. It is not: Christianity is realised in its highest form among the Barbarians.

    The Mexicans are the barbarians. In a godless Empire, let Roman Catholics choose accordingly.

    • SamRocha

      I like your style, Andrew. I really do.

  • Claudius Aelianus

    cute and stupid, worst part is socialism is being marketed to the lowest stratas while tax burden goes to the middle strata and anarcho-capitalism above the law and states gloablists who wants no borders one world govt or at the very least a bigger power structure than the US assimilated a bloc, are the sponsors of our whores politicians, while simultaneously anyone and everyone is justifying immigration. Its as if they dont get the concept of property, limited resources, monetary system quantifying debt, kept afloat only because oil is priced in USD isnt crippling and in fact asymmetrical warfare to destroy the west from within. Get a fucking clue. Apply thermodyamics where you thought it wasnt possible before tool. And he ponders not connecting all the dots that this is the era of more and more tolerance, individual rights, without rationale is why power is flowing to fewer and fewer hands, yes dude reverse colonization, way to go “claim on these lands” lmao,

  • Guys,

    An excellent post, seriously. I think your home-run point (from the perspective of historical re-writing) is the fact that the border crossed so many native (and in the case of the South West native hispanic) peoples. In the end, I only have a few problems, but even those make almost complete sense based on your starting point (that the American Bishops of the RCC have begun this).

    Your dig at Protestants and the protestantization of the thought of thinkers like Weigel is well founded, but it still hurt a bit as a quasi-Protestant to have the word used so pejoratively (though again, that’s really Protestants’ fault and not yours).

    The other issue, however, still deals with history. You rightly note the hispanic names of much of the South West (even briefly commenting on their Catholic nature), but fail to mention that they are so named (or the people even so hispanic and Catholic) is because of Spain, another colonizer and just as often abuser of the indigenous people as the British were in the North and the French were first in parts of the South and Midwest. Now I’ve read too much to think that all Spanish interactions were bad, there are stories of Spanish monks who fought hard for the rights of the indigenous peoples, but we can’t ignore (not that you are ignoring it, per se, just not emphasising it) it.

    These issues, however, are secondary to my agreement with the main thrust of the article which is that all Christians need to stand with immigrants and immigration reform and that the Mexicans and other Latin Americans who come into this country are coming from Neighbouring countries. Now if only I could remember what it is Christ said concerning our neighbours….

    • SamRocha

      Very fair point on Spanish colonialism. I take that point very well.

      • Yeah, and it isn’t as though I want to absolve my own ancestors of any crimes they did or may have committed, I just think a larger understanding of what happened to the indigenous peoples can help us have a more profound understanding of precisely why we need these changes.

        • SamRocha


      • P. McCoy

        Societies created by rape, how Christian. At least the Protestants brought their Wives. You should be asking about the draconian laws that Mexicans enact against their illegal immigrants, Catholic in the main. You support the anhiliation of the United States by unassimilated terrorists whom just like at home want to exterminate Protestant culture and Blacks, who are mainly Protestant as well.

    • Look at the make up of Mexicans. What you see is a mix of Aztecs and Spanish, mostly the former. Why? Because Spanish colonialism wasn’t hellbent on genocide of the native populations as the British and its American heirs were.

      • Claudius Aelianus

        Spanish didnt bring their women

      • Suitcase Jefferson

        Shorter Augustine: “Repartimiento? Encomienda? Is that the thing with the corn tortilla and the beans?”

  • Claudius Aelianus

    More news for you tard. I was raised Catholic, but Protestants founded this nation escaping the tyranny that had corrupted the crown. Moreover the reformation was a response to the corruption that had infiltrated the church. You get zip zero say on this issue regardless. The modern day church is infected with Progressivsm. You dont fight it, you adapt like babies.

  • Claudius Aelianus

    Youre either ill informed of the big picture or a charlatan whore of globalists

  • Claudius Aelianus

    Borders are there because of might is right, not feelings without rationale. European imperialism has always brought prosperity for all involved, even the conquered, and youre view of the past is effete.

    • SamRocha

      “European imperialism has always brought prosperity for all involved, even the conquered…”

      Tell that to the millions of indigenous peoples of the Americas who no longer exist.

      • Claudius Aelianus

        I know “noble savage” you arent in tune with reality, its cute

  • Claudius Aelianus

    Yippee skippee, Pope and bankers colluding for globalism, dissolve nation borders all tied together with a cute ribbon. People see through you who are aware

    • Damn those mackerel snappers and their romish popery!

  • $51060174

    I think this is all the white mans fault. Mexico is a wonderful place to live. I hope the US becomes more like Mexico.

  • Texan Army
  • Greg Walgenbach

    Thanks to Sam and Artur for this provocative piece. I do think that the situation is complicated by the colonialism of the Spanish. Archbishop Gomez’s Immigration and the Next America helpfully pushes beyond Kennedy and Jamestown to Florida and California, a missionary history. Yet the specter of colonialism looms large.

    I live in Anaheim (CA) which, before it was colonized by Disney, was “settled” by German immigrants as a “Home by the (santa) Ana river,” etc. Nextdoor, the City of Santa Ana, today 80% Latino, was part of the vast landholding of Jose Antonion Yorba, sergeant in the Spanish army who was “given” large swaths of land; that and surrounding Mexican-owned land were all spoils of the Mexican-American War. Of course, before all of this–including the Anaheim chapter when the KKK ran the city council, or that time when the Santa Ana city council literally burned down its Chinatown–the Tongva and Juaneño/Luiseño nations inhabited these parts.

    Along with our declarations and manifestos (with which I am largely in agreement), along with this truth-telling about history and borders, we (Catholics) desperately need repentance. That’s why the emphasis on Protestantization to a degree misses the mark: while we absolutely must move beyond Kennedy and nationalism, and the brutality of British Protestants was different from that of the Spanish Conquest/Mission, one mode of scapegoating will not be overcome by another. I don’t think that’s what the authors are trying to do, but that’s the vicious cycle that we seem to be in around this debate, which is as much about the fundamental American struggle with racism, as it is about economics or religion. As the authors point out, these are all intertwined; so their conclusion that we must stand in the places of suffering and death and with those who are suffering our capitulations to the power of death is exactly right.

    Lent is about the sacrifice of sacrifice, as we come to know Jesus who is the end of sacrifice. How can we refuse to scapegoat even as we refuse scapegoating? How can we find a way out of our refusals of Jesus’ freedom from and overcoming of death? There is no better week to think about these things and I thank the authors.

  • Claudius Aelianus

    You want to see how people develop see how they were in isolation and what they created, and continue with your “environmentalist” nonsense that isnt rooted in science but feels. Bringing the 3rd world people tends to bring the 3rd world dunce. The idea that evolution only occurred from the neck down is where you are guided from. For every bright one that sprouts forth via our education ( which increasingly needs to standardized to do so) the cost is amazingly high for americans. Grow up, the world only progresses with people leading it who make the tough decisions, not effete surrogate lesbians like yourself. Youre seduced to your line of thinking by people who dont even share your non heriditarian views but rather seek to consolidate more power. If youre line of thinking lead civilization wed be living i grass huts. So he comes up with nonsense built upon what preceded it, the foundations, that lead to the ease of his existence. No different then al the other progressive movements.

  • Suitcase Jefferson

    Of course, the demands we make on Mexican immigrants ignore the obvious
    fact that there are millions of Mexicans who are not, and never have
    been, immigrants.

    If they’re on the American side of the border and were born here, they’re not “Mexicans,” any more than American citizens of Irish, Chinese, or Tahitian ancestry are Irish, Chinese, or Tahitian. The only way you get to call them “Mexicans” is if you’re interested in making blood-and-soil racial appeals. And really, that’s all you have because as much as you’d like it to, the Catechism doesn’t state and the Church has never taught that national borders are per se immoral, or that immigration laws are per se unjust. Racial appeals don’t become any less repugnant when you turn them around and use them in service of open-borders arguments and announce that they’re in accordance with Catholic teaching.

    It is difficult to think honestly about the geopolitical history of the
    southwestern United States and not find deep and real solidarity between
    the Mexicans who were crossed by the border and the ones who it missed

    Only if you’re making racial appeals, and you really shouldn’t be doing that. Mexicans in Juarez don’t obtain additional moral rights to come to the United States because other members of their race are here. But if you insist on talking race, it’s intellectually dishonest to call the indigenous people of northern California “Mexican.” They’re genetically and culturally very different from the indigenous people in Mexico. What makes them all “Mexican” is that they were both colonized by Spain. But the similarities end there. It’s politically helpful for you to pretend that everyone in the Americas is part of La Raza, but it doesn’t work that way.

    Real families and people from Mexico have a unique claim on these lands,
    in a way that is asymmetrical because of the imperial status of the
    United States.

    No they don’t. A family in Oaxaca doesn’t have a “unique claim on” Sacramento or San Francisco simply because Spaniards also colonized those areas and gave them Spanish names. And if that were true, then we could also say that Mexicans don’t have any special right to be in Massachusetts or Delaware, but you’re not going to make that argument, are you? I’ll make you a deal: show me someone in Chiapas that has an actual family connection to a family that has been in San Franscisco for generations and I will happily say that they can emigrate to SF, no questions asked. I’ll save you some time: you can’t. The best you can do is say that there are Mestizos in both places. So what? That’s like saying that I have a special right to emigrate to Canada because there are white people on both sides of that arbitrary border. Remember that nice stuff you wrote about us all being “children of God”? Stick to it, and stow your race-based arguments.

    I hate to skip over the hilariously ahistorical implication that Spanish colonialism was all sunshine and hugs, whereas English colonialism was all genocide and rape (Encomienda? Repartimiento? Never heard of ’em! Spanish New Orleans being the biggest African slave market in the New World? That’s news to me! Conquistators? More like Conquistadorables!), but I only have so much time. What I will note in conclusion is that this is yet another example of open-borders advocates whose livelihoods are not in any way challenged by immigration. No immigrants are coming after Rocha or Rosman’s teaching gigs. They can tell us how it’s our moral duty to open the borders to all comers, while not having to worry that immigration will depress their wages or put them out of work. But poor blacks who have to compete for wages with Mexicans? They need to be more charitable.

    • SamRocha

      I’m moving to Canada, to take their jobs.

  • re. free flow of labor. Under Bush Junior, free flow of labor in North America was on the table for a while. It would have required standardization of deductions, which would have been difficult given the different levels of social benefits in the Canada, the USA, and the Mexico. It might have been worked out, painfully, but I think that 9-11 put the lid on any talk of open borders.
    Free flow of labor would have addressed a problem behind so-called free trade. Without free flow of labor, the big shoe factory can go to where the action is, but the small shoemaker cannot. So, the big get bigger, and the small disappear. The world would not end, and it would not spell the end of the nation-state, if people could seek work between the countries.
    A small elephant in the room is that while Mexicans risk their lives to cross a border to pick fruit, the blacks in the ghetto are kept in a permanent demoralized condition with low employment, bad education, and food stamps. Some have political interests in perpetuating both situations.

    And… legal movement of people would not be more conducive of crime than illegal movement of people.

  • Angelus77

    This article ignores the fact of the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, in which the United States paid several million dollars to the Mexican government for land, and the residents were given the choice to move or become US citizens. Most chose to remain. Though that must have been a difficult choice for the residents, that also means that their government sold the land. Their claim is with that same government, not the United States.

    • SamRocha

      I’d agree that Mexico has a unique responsibility to bear and I by no means want to imply that the routinely corrupt Mexican government is without fault. But I think the US’s role is not diminished by acknowledging it.

  • Michael Blissenbach

    I sign this manifesto in solidarity with my brothers in Christ Artur Rosman and Sam Rocha, and in solidarity with my brothers and sisters in Christ who are being exploited and treated inhumanely by my fellow Americans. This exploitation needs to stop, and it needs to stop now.

  • Craig

    Terrible, absurd and not even worthy of any reply or response…no offense Dan Esq…. (still shaking my head….)

  • John

    As a white male, I also welcome the genocide of my race. Life isn’t worth living, as Mr. Rosman has so poignantly demonstrated. Why should I want to bequeath children to the world? I couldn’t think of a more fitting punishment for violent/stupid non-white immigrants than to allow them their heart’s desire and eliminate all whites. Some say Idiocracy is their future. But I think we have much more to look forward to than that. With any luck, we’ll find a revival of the institution of human sacrifice in the Americas.

    • SamRocha

      You’re pretty weird, man.

  • Paul S.

    I understand Sam and Artur are aiming to be the real deal, trying to be Catholic without thought for whichever teaching is considered “right” or “left.” But to ignore the political implications of such actions is folly. The pro-illegal-immigration stance of the Bishops only makes me think that this is an “easy” stance for them, compared with the alternative. The alternative being, less focus on rallying for illegals’ rights and more focus on teaching Catholic family dynamics and openness to life.
    The problem with the Bishops is this: for years they’ve allowed the Church’s teaching on contraception to be ignored through ignorance or outright rejection. Holding the line would would get a lot of flak in the media to be sure (unlike this issue). So they’ve essentially allowed the size of the American Catholic family to shrink. Numbers-wise, they need more Catholics. Its simple. So this is the easy way out. So I just hope you see what’s happening out there from a different perspective. I saw Mr. Rosman mention having more children than he can afford. That openness to life is not going to be promoted in the same way as this issue by the Bishops, since this is solving their problem.

  • P.B.

    Your essay would be far better if you simply eliminated the silliness about the Mexican-American war and the rapaciousness of America’s founding colonies. One can make justice claims for Mexican migrants without re-fighting centuries old battles. In addition, the idea that Mexicans have more of a legitimate right to emigrate to the United States than Germans is absurd. Our culture is far more German than Mexican, and it is entirely appropriate that we should prefer German neighbors. We are all Children of God, as you keep saying in place of an argument, but that doesn’t mean we all need to live in the same place.

    In short, stop reading Howard Zinn and start appreciateing the fact that we do not owe everything to everyone.

  • Claudius Aelianus

    Resources arent infinite you tools… all you are is duped by globalists to destroy our resources so they can offer a solution to a problem they created…GMO

  • James_Locke

    “Unjust laws should be opposed.”

    Agreed. So why not mention a few of them? Simply asserting it is really not good enough.

    10 million non-immigrant visas (8 million non visitor visas) are granted every year in this country (Visa office report of 2013). On the other hand, 500,000 people are given permanent residence of some kind or citizenship.

    You seem to be saying that for those 8 million people who come to the US on work visas or student visas, they should be granted citizenship because Christians are not divided by borders spiritually, therefore they should not be divided by citizenship either. You are, in effect, saying nationality means nothing. That strikes me as being a bit strange. How can a government remain stable when the populace is so ever changing. To echo Aristotle, democracies are already bad enough because people’s passions fluctuate, how can it be just to empower millions of new people every year while avoiding massive swings in legislation?

    As someone who has worked in immigration for many years on the non-immigrant visa side of things, I can say, without a doubt that there are massive issues in the system, like absurd wage requirements, native recruitment requirement, etc. On the immigrant side, having some countries be preferred over others (pace geopolitical foes to the USA) is unjust for the purposes of naturalization. But to label the entire system as unjust seems lazy to me.

    If it were up to me, I would pass an amnesty that would create a new category for those individuals who have not be convicted of any felonies or misdemeanors who have committed the CIVIL offense of being in the country illegally since, say, 2010 that would grant them permanent residence *without the possibility of becoming a citizen*. No fines, no restrictions on travel, no restrictions on employment except for the Federal Government. A punishment for them, but not their children, but one that is fundamentally just for the families and their children who will be born with citizenship, just as I was when I was born here to two immigrants 25 years ago.