After terrorism attempt, Trump calls for end to immigration programs

| Rhina Guidos | December 19, 2017 | 8 Comments
Immigration programs after bombing

Police and fire crews block off the streets near the New York Port Authority in New York City Dec. 11. A man with a pipe bomb strapped to his body with Velcro and zip ties set off the crude device in the subway near Times Square, injuring himself and three other people at the height of the morning rush hour. CNS photo/Edward Tobin, Reuters

While many Catholics took to social media asking for the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the life of migrants who have come to the U.S. seeking a better life, President Donald Trump called, on Dec. 12, her feast day, for an end to two immigration programs.

“We’re going to end both of them … we’re going to end them fast,” Trump said as he spoke of ending the diversity visa program, popularly known as the visa lottery, and also a program that grants visa preferences to relatives of U.S. citizens or residents.

Two immigrant men who came legally into the U.S. through those programs have recently been accused of domestic terrorism.

“There have now been two terrorist attacks in New York City carried out by foreign nationals here on green cards,” Trump said, a day after authorities arrested an immigrant from Bangladesh in New York, who police say strapped a pipe bomb to his body and tried to detonate it in a subway station at the height of the morning rush hour in New York.

“Congress must get involved immediately,” Trump said.

Authorities say Akayed Ullah, the suspect in the Dec. 11 subway attack attempt, entered the U.S. in 2011 through a family-based visa program that gives preference to relatives of U.S. citizens and to some relatives of lawful permanent residents.

The second case Trump referenced involves Sayfullo Saipov, a 29-year-old who came to the U.S. in 2010 from Uzbekistan using a diversity visa, and who is now facing almost two dozen federal counts after eight people died and dozens were injured in late October after he allegedly drove a pickup truck down a bicycle path, running them over near the World Trade Center in New York.

Though Trump has made demands to stop the two programs before, Congress has not acted on legislation to end them.

Some have accused Trump of exploiting the attacks to drive up fears among the U.S. population against immigrants as he warns of the dangers of “chain migration,” which the American Immigration Lawyers Association and other organizations call a “pejorative term” used to describe the process of family members sponsoring a relative from their country of origin to the country where the family member resides.

When asked during a Dec. 12 press briefing whether there was any data to support the claim that immigrants who entered the country via the visa lottery were more susceptible to “radicalization,” Francis Cissna, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said “no.” But Cissna said the country needs to be more selective of immigrants allowed to come into the U.S. because otherwise “bad guys can come in.”

Catholic organizations used the feast day as a “day of solidarity” with migrants, many of them calling for their welcome and for laws to help them.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops used the feast day to ask for prayers for migrants and for action, urging others to “voice your support for young people in our communities who are facing an uncertain future because of the recent end (to) the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA),” and contacting Congress, urging action to protect them.

The USCCB also asked that others share Our Lady of Guadalupe’s “message of Christ’s love for migrants and vulnerable people.”

The Ignatian Solidarity Network marked the day by launching its “campaign for hospitality,” inviting Catholics to “promote a culture of hospitality toward those who migrate.”

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Category: U.S. & World News

  • DebraBrunsberg

    I guess I am sort of amazed that anyone could sit and watch what is happening all over Europe with legal immigrants and not want to take precautions to make sure this behavior is not going to become the norm in the United States. Our Bishops seem to turn a blind eye to the safety of us citizens and to also request us to embrace those who have entered our country willingly and illegally. As a worker in social services for thirty six years, I can tell you that you are completely ignorant as to what is happening here with illegal aliens. I am praying our Bishops will spend more time on teaching our faith and bringing people into living the teachings of Jesus Christ and less time on the myriad of political issues. Should we embrace those who have emigrated here, especially when they have lingered for years in refugee camps? Without a doubt. Let us concentrate on those who honestly made their way here.

    • Charles C.

      We have at least four problems with illegal aliens. You deal with the terrorism threat which can be seen by the experiment which Europe is conducting concerning wide open immigration.

      There is also the crime problem. Statistics which were kept hidden during the Obama administration are now being released, at least partially, and they don’t make illegal aliens look good. We now have statistics for federal prisons, states and counties are slow or unwilling to reveal their results.

      Immigrants, legal and illegal, account for about 14-15% of the American population, and about 21% of federal prisoners. About two-thirds of the immigrant prison population have had their immigration status determined, the rest are still being investigated.

      Of the immigrant prisoners whose status we know, 94% are illegal. Keep the illegals out, and crime falls sharply. At a minimum, 13% of federal prisoners are illegal aliens (and the number may well climb to 20%).

      There is also a culture problem. This gets more complicated, but again, turn to Europe.

      And there is still the financial problem. The best estimates i have found indicate that the cost to the country from illegal immigration is between $85 – $115 Billion annually. (I’m including the cost of children born in the US to illegal immigrants.)

      Oh, and why do we keep failing to mention that the DACA program has been ruled unconstitutional and only keeps existing because the current administration is trying to find a way to reach an agreement on the issue short of just shutting it down entirely.

  • tschraad

    “Our Lady of Guadalupe’s “message of Christ’s love for migrants and vulnerable people.”

    Doesn’t that just makes your heart cry? Does that also mean that the USCCB believes that our precious Mother does not love citizens of the United States and working men and women? Does it also mean that these illegal law breakers need not abide or follow the 7th and 10th commandments of our Lord? What about the Catholic Church in the countries that these people leave. Does the Catholic Church encourages them to break up families, send their children on a dangerous journey so that these selfish people can latch onto our welfare system. These people who are a major drain on our society are “stealing” our resources for their personal gain. This is fundamentally wrong, yet the Church is encouraging this illegal process.

    • Charles C.

      Dear tschraad,

      I’ve been trying to understand the bishops on this issue and this is the best I can come up with.

      Perhaps the bishops are saying that it is so important for people to be able to live in peace and prosperity that there should be no hindrance to their attempts to reach that goal. A law which prevents anyone in need from entering the country in search of a better life is an immoral law which need not be followed.

      I can’t think of any other explanation for “sanctuary churches” and some rather striking comments.

      Any thoughts?

      • tschraad

        Charles C. –
        I start with “render to Caesar what …

        Mary and Joseph follow the secular law as noted in our bible. Jesus also make a distinction as I noted above.

        St. James said “those who do not work should not eat.”

        The second greatest commandment reads “love of neighbor” I do not believe that illegals should “steal” what does not belong to them. Should we deprive our children, who we conceived, the best chance for success? Do we need 28 translators so we can help illegals and we bear this cost? Would we expect to live in Russia and demand that they speak to us in english?

        How can our Church in these countries allow these illegals to sent their children on a dangerous journey so they can follow later?

        We now know that a Federal Judge permitted or demanded that an illegal must be given an late term abortion because it is her right to have us pay for the killing of her child. Now the flood gates are open so that any illegal can come and have a free abortion. Is that what our Church believes is right?

        Sorry, my rambling just got out of hand.

        • Charles C.

          Dear tschraad,

          Believe me, I understand rambling.

          Mind if I quote Matthew 22?

          37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

          I notice that the second is “Love your neighbor as yourself.” That “as yourself” part is interesting and can lead to some speculation.

          Does loving myself include expecting myself to obey the laws of the land and to accept punishment when I break them? Does it include expecting that I work, if at all possible, to earn my food, clothing, and shelter?

          There are aspects which I think the Church ignores or dismisses cavalierly. I wish the Church would offer a more thorough analysis than “There are miserable people in the world, we have to take care of them at any cost.”

          • tschraad

            Charles C.

            “as yourself” in today’s world is questionable. You may notice I did not use these words as our Deacon Jim as hammered this home in his homilies the past two months. But I believe, love of neighbor, would keep us from sin and with the greatest commandment, we do not need any other information on how to gain eternal happiness.

            As I side note, I do appreciate your written comments on .

          • Charles C.

            I have to agree that regularly growing in love of neighbor is a valuable and necessary trait. It is an essential to the Christian individual. I’m not as clear where that fits in to priorities of any country at any time. That’s a difficult issue for me, as Christ was speaking to people and not to governments which have other priorities as well. But that gets complicated.

            To your side note. You appreciate my comments on ” ” Was that a hint that I should be changing my style or approach? (Smiley face)