Fr. Peter Daly
April 4, 2006
According to my father, I am descended from illegal immigrants. At least on my father’s side.
family was from
families, Dalys and Murphys,
came into the States via
generations later, some of the descendents of the same people who came here,
sometimes illegally, from
Mexicans are not the first people to enter this country illegally in large numbers. After all, the epithet hurled at Italian Americans for years was “WOP”, which for many was an acronym for “with out papers.”
In the 19th century, when many Irish immigrants arrived by the boatload, there was a xenophobic movement in this country. (Xenophobia is “fear of foreigners.” Xeno in Greek means stranger or foreigner.) The nickname of these xenophobes was the “Know Nothings.” They even became a political party for a little while. They existed to keep out the tide of immigrants, mostly Catholic, that threatened the way of life of mostly Protestant America.
Today we have new xenophobic groups, like the Minutemen. They are the spiritual heirs of the “Know Nothings.” And like their spiritual ancestors, they know just about nothing about history, culture, religion, justice and economics.
people migrated across the Bering Sea and down from what is now
Our goal should be to create a legal way for people to enter our society, without criminalizing their quest to improve lives.
The immigrants in our area are wanted by the people who live here.
words, two-thirds of the people around
The immigration bill which recently passed the U.S. House of Representatives would make it a felony to hire or assist anyone who is this country illegally.
like many other Catholic Churches has been helping immigrants for many years. We
do not ask if someone is here legally or illegally. Most of these people are
We are not going to stop our assistance. That would be a violation of God’s law to welcome the stranger and defend the rights of the alien among us.
I hope the House bill does not become law. If it does, I will just have to commit civil disobedience.
I owe it to the hardworking, good, gentle people who come to my door. I also owe it to my ancestors who came here the same way.