I saw on the news yesterday about Catholic Cardinal Mahony defying President Bush and the requirement to verify immigrant status prior to providing services. I have to admit that I think our lack of an immigration policy is outrageous and that something needs to be done to secure our borders.
What I find unacceptable in the current policy is the State’s attempt to shift the burden to the Church. Once border security has failed, and a person has arrived at the door of a charity, Church doctrine insists that help be provided. Threatening to remove tax exempt status is an obvious ploy to subjugate the Church to the State, and make these charities agents of the State to enforce immigration policy that really needed to start at the border.
Two actions need taking: first, the borders need to be secured. Immigrants need to be stopped cold at the border. A second, albeit side issue is that the various Churches in this country need to stop relying on the tax exempt status.
The tax exempt status is a particular peeve of mine because having that status requires the Church to limit its opinions on many important moral issues. The Church should be a moral compass to the government and prohibiting the Church from chiming in on important social issues reduces the Church’s relavence.