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News Analysis: For Church Teaching, Brawl Over Immigration Order is a Side Skirmish

The White House

Mark Stricherz - published on 11/21/14 - updated on 06/08/17

and criticized Republicans as obstructionists. “Tonight, the President will outline his plan to help fix our broken immigration system and secure our future – showing strong leadership where Republicans have failed to act.  But all House Republicans know is distraction, obstruction and dysfunction, so their reaction to the President’s immigration actions shouldn’t come as a surprise …  It’s time to act, and we welcome President Obama’s meaningful, courageous and imminent action,” Pelosi said in a statement.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid struck a more conciliatory note toward Republicans and praised Obama for helping millions of immigrants. “We have a very broad program that I understand will allow some 5 million to have their status readjusted. That’s pretty good,” Reid said. “So, it’s easy to say this wasn’t done, that wasn’t done. I’m satisfied that a lot was done, and I’m very happy,” Reid said.

“It’s too bad he had to do this because of congressional foot dragging," said a top Congressional aid who spoke on condition of anonymity. The aide, whose boss worked on the Senate reform bill, said the executive order "won’t be permanent or as broad" as that bill would have made immigration reform.

One orthodox Catholic did not share Reid’s cheer. John Zmirak, co-author oThe Race to Save Our Century: Five Core Principles to Promote Peace, Freedom, and a Culture of Lifecriticized his co-religionists who support the executive order and comprehensive immigration reform, saying they overlook the harm loosened-up immigration laws will have on the country’s working class.

“Too many Catholics react to the immigration issue by succumbing to sentimentality instead of genuine compassion, which is always informed by reason. Mass, unskilled immigration into America may aid the individual migrants, but it suppresses the wages of the working class (especially black and Latino Americans), and imposes many costs on struggling communities —while largely benefiting the wealthy, investor class by driving down wages,” Zmirak said.

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