Recently-fired Trump adviser Steve Bannon (Mr. alt-right, Mr. Breitbart news) says the Catholic Church opposes ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program because, otherwise, its pews would be empty.
In an interview with Charlie Rose scheduled to air on CBS’s “60 Minutes” on Sunday Bannon said it was “obvious” why the church wants DACA to remain intact.
He told Rose, “They need illegal aliens to fill the churches. The Catholic Church has been terrible about this.”
He’s got it backwards.
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) September 7, 2017
I come from an immigrant family.
My grandparents arrived in the United States early in the last century without money, without a working knowledge of English, without any understanding of American ways and without any guarantee that their long ocean voyage from Italy would pay off.
What they had, however, was faith.
Their refuge was the Catholic Church.
Churches of many faiths and many denominations have been – and still are – the refuge for millions of immigrants.
It is often the only place they feel safe and welcomed.
Does the Catholic Church have a vested interest in protecting the immigrant community? Yes. Sure. But it’s also a church. It preaches a moral obligation to those who are most vulnerable. And who is more vulnerable than those at risk for deportation?
Bannon speaks of being a Catholic but, if so, he must have nodded off during the catechism lessons many of us attended.
Throughout our history it hasn’t been any one church that has needed immigrants.
It’s been immigrants who have needed the church.