Tuesday, March 07, 2017

It Couldn't Wait (CCC, 2241)

Here's the Catechism, specifically on immigration. These are a challenging couple of paragraphs. But I understand that by the use of the words "natural right" in the first paragraph that it is ordinarily not morally licit to deny entry to a foreigner, absent evidence of a concrete threat to the common good. That is, the mere fact of being a foreigner does not make one a threat to the common good.

Moreover, if all people possess the natural right to emigrate from one place to another, then it cannot be morally licit for a government to forcibly remove an immigrant from its territory, for no other reason than he or she is in a country "illegally."

It is morally acceptable or licit to treat citizens and non-citizens unalike, provided that the natural right to move to a new country and make a life is not unduly impeded. I do not make any bold claims that any Catholic who happens to be wrong about this does not love Christ or the Church. But I can say for certain Jesus won't check party membership cards at the end.


Lindsay Stocker said...

I think it seems clear that if a group of people are not following laws, and the common good is in danger, then a govt has an obligation to protect it's citizens over foreigners. It seems clear in the paragraph that you quoted.

Jason said...

Hey Lindsay,

Yes, governments have a right to protect their citizens, and to remove anyone who threatens them. But my argument was that because emigrating somewhere in search of a better life is a natural right, the entire category of "illegal immigrant" is made up, and therefore, removing people on that basis alone would be unjust.