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No, I'm not Bill Maher

By Michelle Malkin  •  April 19, 2008 09:48 PM

The other day I criticized Catholic church leaders for their long-standing, radical, open-borders policies.

Some are now calling me “anti-Catholic” and likening me to left-wing Christian-hater Bill Maher.

Oh, for heaven’s sake.

I was raised Catholic. I benefited immensely from my Catholic high school education. I have deep respect for many Catholic leaders and intellectual leading lights. I continue to be inspired by Catholic pro-life activists.

But yes, I oppose the US Conference of Bishops’ unrelenting push for illegal alien amnesty and the Vatican’s subsidizing of illegal alien shelters for southern border-crossers, and the continued vocal opposition from Catholic officials to overdue immigration enforcement measures.

And no, I’m not a bigot for calling attention to their sovereignty-undermining agenda.

Despite the arguments I’m hearing from some Catholic conservatives that the Pope did not send an open-borders message during his visit this week (see Matthew Balan), pro-amnesty Catholic leaders are not backing down and they interpreted his remarks as an endorsement of their anti-enforcement, sanctuary-promoting activism:

…some members of the Catholic hierarchy said they were shocked that on the same day that Benedict and President Bush affirmed in a joint statement the need for a policy that treats immigrants humanely and protects their families, federal agents were conducting raids at five chicken plants. They arrested more than 300 immigrants accused of being illegal workers.

The timing was coincidental, immigration officials said, and it was not clear whether the pope had known about the arrests when he met with Mr. Bush.

But the raids surprised some American Catholic leaders, who are often on the forefront of advocacy for immigrant rights.

“I was stunned,” said Cardinal Roger Mahony, the archbishop of Los Angeles, the nation’s largest Roman Catholic diocese and one with many Hispanics. “I just feel these raids are totally negative. I thought it was very inappropriate to do it in such a blatant way when the pope was coming, when he has been so outspoken in defending the rights of immigrants.”

The American bishops have been consistently outspoken in favor of legislation to give legal status to illegal immigrants and expand legal avenues for immigrants to bring their family members from abroad.

They and other Catholic activists were among the most visible supporters of a broad bill, supported by Mr. Bush but not enacted by Congress last year, which included a path to legal status for 12 million illegal immigrants.

They took Benedict’s statements last week as affirmation of their work. For while the immigration theme has been overshadowed during Benedict’s trip by his denunciations of the sexual abuse scandal in the church, it was the second issue after the abuse cases that he addressed on the plane from Rome, when he responded to reporters’ questions that were submitted in advance and picked by the Vatican.

The separation of families “is truly dangerous for the social, moral and human fabric” of Latin and Central American families, the pope told reporters aboard his plane. “The fundamental solution is that there should no longer be a need to emigrate, that there are enough jobs in the homeland, a sufficient social fabric,” he said. Short of that, families should be protected, not destroyed, he said. “As much as it can be done it should be done,” the pontiff said…

…The pope also dwelled on the negative impact of family separation. Several bishops took that as a direct reference to the impact of previous immigration raids and deportations, in which illegal immigrant parents were separated from spouses and children who were United States citizens or legal immigrants.

Look. “Keeping illegal immigrant families together” is not the paramount constitutional duty of our government. There is nothing stopping illegal alien deportation fugitives, for example, from keeping their families together and taking them all back home if and when the law finally catches up with them.

Speaking of compassion for families torn apart, I still haven’t heard anything from Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony about Jamiel Shaw’s murder and the permanent separation Shaw’s family suffered at the hands of the illegal alien gang member who murdered their young son, have you?

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