Alabama’s Immigration Law

A few days ago, I came across this editorial in The New York Times about Alabama’s newest immigration law. Four religious leaders, including Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi of Mobile and Bishop Robert J. Baker of Birmingham in Alabama, have sued to stop this law.

Here is an excerpt:

The law, which takes effect Sept. 1, is so inhumane that four Alabama church leaders — an Episcopal bishop, a Methodist bishop and a Roman Catholic archbishop and bishop — have sued to block it, saying it criminalizes acts of Christian compassion. It is a sweeping attempt to terrorize undocumented immigrants in every aspect of their lives, and to make potential criminals of anyone who may work or live with them or show them kindness.

It effectively makes it a crime to be an undocumented immigrant in Alabama, by criminalizing working, renting a home and failing to comply with federal registration laws that are largely obsolete. It nullifies any contracts when one party is an undocumented immigrant. It requires the police to check the papers of people they suspect to be here illegally.

You can read the whole editorial here.

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8 Responses to “Alabama’s Immigration Law”

  1. Chris Adams says:

    What is your opinion of it Bishop?

  2. Irene says:

    The National Catholic Reporter provided more extensive coverage of the bishops’ lawsuit. A federal judge put a temporary hold on the law while she reviews the challenges.

    Archbishop Rodi says “For the state to tell us who we can baptize and who we can’t is unacceptable.” According to the article, the Archbishop goes on to say that the church is not the entity that controls the borders and once immigrants are in the midst of Catholics, we have a “moral obligation to treat everyone in a Christ-like fashion”.

    I think it very praiseworthy that the two bishops and the other faith leaders are standing in opposition to this law.

  3. Joyce says:

    Dear ArchBishop Dolan,
    I’m sorry, but I have to disagree. Their papers should be checked and rechecked. I’m sick and tired of illegal’s coming into this country without the proper papers and getting benefits. Its WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.


  4. Amber says:

    So the Catholic Church now supports breaking the law? An illegal immigrant is just that, here illegally. By being here ILLEGALLY they are breaking OUR LAWS. The church is equating ENFORCING our laws with being MEAN? This makes absolutely no sense at all! If the Catholic church starts picking and choosing which laws can be broken by relying on emotion, we can expand the meanspirited clause to almost every law on our books. How dare the church support breaking the laws of the United States. What about all the Europeans, or Asians, or Africans who are DENIED entrance into our country because there are QUOTAS? Should they start breaking the laws? How about all of the HOMELESS and already UNEMPLOYED AMERICANS who are living here in squalor because an illegal is holding their job? What about Americans? When will we say enough is enough. Our country cannot support the people who ALREADY live here LEGALLY. Sorry, this is an outrage.

  5. Gary Miller says:

    I’ve been known to compare The Angel with the Small Scroll, Rev. 10:1-11, to the Statue of Liberty. The statue is copper and over time turned the bluish color of CuSO4. Liturgical blue for Advent and Hopefulness. The small scroll could be the New Colossus by Emma Lazarus and the fact that the prose has been a sweet sound reading it for so many, the words have become sour, for they appear not to apply for the Hispanics (mostly Catholics) who try to immigrate to this country.

    My 1st deer hunt was @ age 6 mos in TX. (My dad carried me up in a blind) Therefore, I have very early memories of illegal migrant workers from Mexico. My parents taught me to take care of the less fortunate: To feed, to cloth, to shelter if need be & provide direction. I carried my parent’s teaching through to time I lived on a farm in SE TX, through 2003. I fear our country is heading toward a new Mason Dixon line, but this time its the “haves” and “have nots” and carrying over into politics, and more troubling, religion.

    I hope you and I get to meet. I saw you on 60 min. (I now get it on my IPAD!). You appear to be someone who make a great Pope one day.

    Take care.


  6. Larry says:

    Your Excellence, the Catechism of the Catholic Church makes it clear that nations have the right to regulate immigration for the common good, and that immigrants have the obligation to obey the laws of the host country and respect its culture. The exact details of immigration policy constitute a prudential matter upon which good Christians and even Catholics may debate and disagree. Also as a prudential matter, it lies within the province of the laity and outside that of the clergy, especially of the Magisterium, whose members are tasked with teaching and safeguarding Catholic doctrine and the moral law, not with interfering in the laity’s business regarding prudential questions. If you and your fellow bishops insist upon straying into areas outside not only your technical competence but your Divine mandate, then I must point out that you are no longer functioning as Archbishop Dolan, head of the Church in New York and successor of the Apostles, but rather as Citizen Tim Dolan, American politician. It is Archbishop Dolan, not Mr. Dolan, who holds a claim on the moral conscience of his fellow Catholics. It is Archbishop Dolan, not Mr. Dolan, who has a right to my respect and attention. It is Archbishop, not Mr. Dolan, whom I’m willing to follow, whose pronouncements I’m willing to second. I should add one more thing: Mr. Dolan at the end of his earthly life is going to have to answer to Our Lord for the time he spent distracting Archbishop Dolan from the far more vital tasks of restoring respect for Catholic dogma within the Church and for the moral law of God within both the Church and secular society (i.e. abortion, unisex marriage, widespread disregard of chastity by Catholics, reception of Holy Communion while in mortal sin, and so on.) Mr. Dolan will also have to answer for having vitiated Archbishop Dolan’s moral authority in the world by mixing personal politics in with eternal dogma and doctrine and confusing the public as to which was which. It’s something to think about. We all have to play our assigned roles, not someone else’s. I am not a priest or bishop. You are not a laymen. Let’s all remember who we are and who we are NOT.

  7. Gerardo says:

    Declaration of Independence 1776
    He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
    Saint Augustine, states, “an unjust law is no law at all.”
    Leviticus 19:34 The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
    Luke 10:27 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.
    Matt. 5:43-44 You have heard that it was said, ‘you shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy’. But I say to you, love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you.
    Romans 13:8 Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.

    Romans 13:10 Love does no wrong to a neighbour, therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
    Romans 12:13 Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.
    Acts 10:34 Then Peter began to speak to them: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.
    Revelation 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them.”
    3 John 1:5 Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the friends, even though they are strangers to you; they have testified to your love before the church. You do well to send them on in a manner worthy of God; for they began their journey for the sake of Christ, accepting no support from non-believers. Therefore we ought to support such people, so that they may become co-workers with the truth.
    Hebrews 13: 1 Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.
    Collossians 3:11 In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all.
    Matthew 25: 35 I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.
    Matt. 25:40 Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of my brethren you did it to me.

    Let us not be ignorant to the message of the Gospel and of our Lord Jesus Christ, to love another so that everyone may know that we are his disciples.

  8. AndyP/Doria2 says:

    I’m as orthodox as they come. I believe the biggest enemies of His Church are bishop’s conferences, esp. those in Europe and in the Americas. I came this [] close to looking for a local Society of St. Pius XII parish until I met two of the greatest Priests I have ever known right here in Yonkers, NY and have been in their Parish ever since. That was about 10 years ago.

    But I must admit, I’m really torn on this one. Yeah, yeah, I understand the logistics about possibly tens of millions more illegal immigrants coming up from south of the border and I await the day when Americans have the collective mind to do something about it but I’m seeing parishes being rejuvenated after fifty years of being torn asunder by bishops and priests preaching modernist Bible study, social justice in the place of Gospel teaching, clergy who have Protestantized the mass of the ages, and the absolute fear in our leaders of preaching as the saints did, saints who died horrible deaths for the truth.

    Our leaders today fear the media and a few demonstrations by non believers and even Catholics who have fallen through the cracks because they were never taught true Catholic doctrine.

    I’m seeing immigrant Priests from India, Africa, and Poland coming to this country because we can’t grow our own. I’ve seen Confession lines disappear while Communion lines grow exponentially.

    These immigrants are enlivening our parishes. They volunteer, they teach the kids, they clean the Churches, and they even march in procession like we Europeans immigrants used to do.

    Yeah, I hope and pray that a solution can be found and I pray even more that our beloved Holy Father continues to choose good, orthodox, young bishops to take over for the many many (not all) old timers that have failed us.

    The gates of hell WILL NOT prevail.

    PS – I speak as an immigrant myself who was born in the middle of the ocean while my mother was coming over to meet my father who was aleady here. I was born on a ship enroute. My nickname above will give some you ol’ timers a hint as to my birthplace. I guess i was illegal too. ; )