Archbishop Gregory on HB 87

Papists take note. The Most Reverend Wilton Gregory spoke out against HB 87 on the steps of the Gold Dome this Friday.

Georgia’s doyen of political reporting, Jim Galloway, quotes the Archbishop saying the bill is “harsh and punitive.”

He added:

“I’m disappointed because much of the rhetoric — and I think a lot of it is rhetoric — is politically motivated and not related to the actual living situations of those who are here as undocumented residents,” he said. “Whenever you get into political rhetoric, you sometimes bring out the worst in people. You appeal to their least noble qualities…

“I think people are being demonized. Many of the jobs that are being described as being taken were there for the taking before immigrant people arrived.”

Galloway added that we are now in “Stage Two” of the immigration debate.

Gregory (and Bishop Kevin Boland of the Savannah diocese who co-wrote a pastoral letter in March)is, of course, correct–and I don’t just say that because Gregory is my pastoral shepherd. The simple fact of the matter is that immigration debates in the United States (and now, throughout the world) are taking on tones, and adopting policies that de-humanize people and rob humans of fundamental dignity and rights they are owed by by virtue of being human. Sorry for the truism but I just don’t care to get into detail about something that is prima facie stupid and wrong.

This is to say nothing of the sheer impracticality of the bill, something that is exacerbated with a dire economic outlook for the state. Oh, and of course the legislature in it’s infinite wisdom and quest for justice (two thirds of our state motto) approved a bill that will surely go thorough an extended fight in federal courts only to be struck down. (One other thing–please spare me the tripe and BS that HB 87 isn’t targeted towards Hispanics. There isn’t enough disingenuous in the world to help you out with that).

All in all, this is part of the bang-up job done by the General Assembly this year. Your tax dollars at work, Georgia!


  1. Eddy says:

    I predict this rational plea for basic human rights will be met with courtesy and understanding, and that a productive conversation about policy differences will ensue.

  2. macho says:

    I think we are in a real mess on the illegal immigrant issue, and I don’t think we can send 20 million people out of this country overnight. That being said, it really annoys me when people start whining about how awful the US is when it comes to treating illegal aliens with dignity and human rights. Give me a break. I’ve got news for you, when it comes to 1st World Countries, I doubt there is any country out there that treat illegal aliens with a higher level of human rights and respect.

    Citizenship by birth: US yes, England no, France more liberal than England, but not like the US, Canada No.

    How many countries provide free education, food and healthcare to families staying within their borders illegally – probably not many.

    I had a niece work in Switzerland for a year. One month before her Visa expired, a government official was knocking on her door making sure she understood that she was to leave the country in a month.

    I doubt there are too many countries that would allow a bunch of illegal aliens to stop traffic for a few hours, in front of the State Capitol no less, protesting the fact they don’t have citizenship, and then the police pat them on the behind and tell them to “run along now.” If ICE showed up, people would complain about human rights, very bizarre. Somehow, if I snuck into Ireland or Spain, and held up traffic in front of the Capitol, yelling to everyone that could hear me that I was illegal and give me citizenship, I’m sure an immigration officer would be called.

    Nobody is making these folks come over here.

    If the US is so awful when it comes to dignity and human rights, then name some First World Country that is more benign in their treatment of illegals, I’m interested to hear about them. The reason I specify First World countries is lets’s be honest, that’s where the demand is, there aren’t a lot of folks sneaking into Rwanda right now.

    While I’m not sure the new law is practical, maybe it is, just not sure, to say it’s, “prima facie stupid and wrong” is really bold. To get to prima facie, you pretty much have to believe in no citizenship laws and wide open borders. It would seem silly to believe in strong immigration laws and border protection, if you think that if the illegal alien manages to make it through the border obstacle course their reward is free citizenship, without any fear of prosecution.

    The fact is the US bends over backwards for illegal aliens, and makes their lives quite pleasant, which is why millions of them, not just from Mexico, come here every year. We are a human rights mecca.

    • macho says:

      I know, I know, I’m racist because of the previous post. It’s because I don’t like brown people.

        • Calypso says:

          Ed, find your handy dictionary and look up ‘facetious’ as I see you already came across sarcasm. Speaking of facetious, a rational person can only hope your editorial was just that. Alas, I fear you meant it in a more serious vein. Though how someone draws your conclusion is beyond most thinking folks with common sense.

        • seenbetrdayz says:

          I don’t know if there was much idiocy in his post. Have you ever tried to get citizenship in Switzerland? The people in the community you intend to move into must get together and vote on whether or not to even allow you into their country.

        • macho says:

          No intellectual response, just emotional outbursts and name calling, much like most of the folks who want wide-open borders.

    • Ambernappe says:

      I am joining you as an idiot. You expressed my sentiments almost verbatim. I have lived in other countries and you have not exagerated at all. Open borders will go a long way toward the “New World Order” dreams (nightmares) of the United Nations.

  3. Bill30097 says:

    1. Apparently doyen = left wing old fart. Galloway is as impartial as Dan Rather.
    2. This leftist editorial shows that the left only yells “Seperatio of church and state” when a churchman actually goes in favor of the bible instead of against it like these Catholic gentlmen.
    3. If you think this is a rational plea then you have no clue as to what rationality is. So if I come home from church tomorrow to find someone has broken into my home then I need to give them a bedroom and feed them 3 meals a day? Not!

    • Eddy says:

      If only Jesus had said something regarding strangers in your home. Oh wait, he did.

      31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

      34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

      37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

      40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

      But that’s just leftist drivel, not the -true- word of the Bible. Give me a break, man.

  4. saltycracker says:

    It’s a sad mess caused by the Feds inept oversight of immigration policies.
    The U.S. is overrun by 20 million illegals as the exploiters benefit from their plight with subserviency and/or profit. Taxpayers are burdened and good people’s values are compromised.

    The Feds will not overhaul the program to recognize those that have jobs, sign them in, get them on the tax roll, let them exist without fear of or obligation to the exploiters and ship the rest home. Until they do, the least Georgia can do to serve its legal citizens is to push illegals to sanctuary cities and states or somewhere else. Fine the employers, priests, landlords, charities and anyone that enables them. Most of all……the Feds must fix the immigration processes.

    Open borders or amnesty solutions and a lack of enforced immigration standards is tearing at our fabric.

    • Harry says:

      That’s a thoughtful and well-expressed statement. Once again, the federal government shows itself wholly incapable to address and fix an issue. 150 years after the Civil War it’s now appropriate to discuss applicability of federalist principles and constitutional states rights – while not turning back the clock on civil rights.

  5. jstjoan says:

    As a life-long Catholic, this is exactly the reason I have stopped attending Catholic Mass and have found elsewhere to practice my faith. I am sick to death of the Church coddling to the Hispanic community with separate Hispanic services, separate Hispanic bible study, separate Hispanic music groups, and the list goes on. The Catholic Church and Hispanic Catholics make no attempt to assimilate themselves into the rest of the Catholic community (or any community for that matter) and the Church promotes this regardless of the fact they are here ILLEGALLY.

  6. The left wants “the rich” to pay extra for taking advantage of this country’s resources, but illegal aliens should be rewarded for doing the same.

    The difference is that “the rich” are citizens or at least legal residents.

    For those of us who believe in the law as opposed to what’s convenient, being called racists by people who think they can ignore laws and principles is an expected, if disappointing, reaction. As a counterpoint, I note that there is little, if any, concern over legal Hispanic immigrants. This is using logic and will; therefore, likely be ignored.

  7. Bill30097 says:

    Maybe the Roman Catholic church should use some of its $$$Trillions of ill-gotten gains to help these people back in their own countries. In Mexico there are hundreds of towns and cities with grand expensive cathedrals in the midst of the poverty of the people who gave those riches to the Roman Catholic church

  8. ZazaPachulia says:

    Has anyone sent this link to Matt Ramsey yet? HB 87 is an insulting heap of steaming banality.

    The Bishop and Ed are right.

    I haven’t been around here too much lately, but I’m glad I returned to see Ed’s post.

    The reason I’ve been quiet on the PP front is because I picked up a new job… In my new gig, I’ve had the privilege to meet, talk to and dine with some pretty big names in GOP politics. Colin Powell, Condi Rice and a handful of top economists (Ian Goldin, Nouriel Roubini, Roger Brenner) that I’ve had the chance to meet have all said the same thing: Our reactionary immigration policies are stupid, racist and short-sighted. The economists say we need immigrants to put food on our tables and take care of our old folks. Condi and Colin both say immigrants are our future.

    I see comparisons to Europe in this comments thread. Can any nation in Europe hold a candle to our economic output? The U.S.’s openness to immigration puts us at an advantage (or it did… until Matt Ramsey and his buddies pushed this garbage)

      • Three Jack says:

        “HB 87 may be the best bill passed in GA in years. Now we have to get rid of the 10 employee limit”

        ‘yea, let’s punish all businesses with more government regulation. that’ll teach ’em for hiring them damn foreigners.’

        simple question bill…how do you expect a state government that is barely making ends meet to enforce hb87 with all of it’s new regulations? local police and sheriff depts are already laying off people due to budget constraints. now here comes another unfunded mandate put forth by a vote seeking politician and his mindless colleagues.

        hb87 is one of the most unnecessary bills in the history of georgia…right there with making sweet tea the official drink and some green toad the official tree frog. but i guess it worked because simple minded voters like you bill jump right on to celebrate it’s passage while heaping praise upon rep. ramsey. you represent the vote buying target of this legislation well.

        • Bill30097 says:

          “that’ll teach ‘em for hiring them damn foreigners.’” No Bozo – that will punish the for breaking the law. Legal foreigners are OK. Do you not know the difference, hick?

          • Three Jack says:

            hey bill, how about answering the question about enforcement. or are you just another one of those dupes who don’t care about government regulations, mandates and spending as long as it is targeted toward something you support?

              • Three Jack says:

                ‘self enforcing’, really, that’s your answer. have you even glanced at hb87? obviously not with answers like that.

                  • Three Jack says:

                    in az? they passed a law that may or may not be unconstitutional. a lawsuit was filed and a stay issued. so if you are paying attention, you would know nothing has happened in az as a result of their get tough immigration law because it is under a court ordered stay.

                    beyond that, arizona is a border state, georgia is not. hb87 was written to attract reactionary fringe voters like yourself….obviously it worked. it will do little to stem illegal immigration…in fact, the downturn in our housing market has done far more than any legislation ever could. this is a waste of time and money, but hey, at least situational conservatives like yourself and those who voted for it can feel good that you imposed new regulations on small businesses.

                • macho says:

                  I don’t think the GA law is really all that different than the Federal 287(g) programs that Gwinnett, Hall and Cobb are participating in. While the programs haven’t eliminated the problem, I believe law enforcement in those counties would tell you they are happy to have the tool.

                  • Three Jack says:

                    macho, it is absolutely appropriate for law enforcement to enfore the law as happens with 287(g). where i have a problem is when government imposes enforcement responsibility on private business after the same government failed to enforce the law. that is the case with hb87.

        • macho says:

          What do you do about all the folks who have paid money and waited to come into the Country legally. It would seem inequitable to punish the ones who followed the law, through legal fees and wait time for citizenship and reward those that broke the law.

          If we choose some sort of amnesty program, which I feel is somewhat inevitable, I think there has to be a fine associated with it, otherwise it sends a disincentive to foreigners to obey our immigration laws.

    • Calypso says:

      Hey Zaza, I noticed you very conveniently left out the word “ILLEGAL” in front of every mention you made of the word immigrant. I doubt anyone here has a problem with immigrants. It is lawbreakers that we have trouble abiding and their apologists such as you, Ed and Eddy.

      Your pseudo concern for illegal immigrants and lack of it for those who go through the process is nauseating.

    • rightofcenter says:

      I have wondered where you have been. I’ve been waiting for your review of Nathan Deal’s first few months in office. Most give him good marks – as one of his biggest critics in the lead-up, I wonder what say you now?

  9. jiminga says:

    “Sorry for the truism but I just don’t care to get into detail about something that is prima facie stupid and wrong. ”

    Just because you disagree with long standing federal and state LAWS doesn’t make them stupid and wrong. People are granted rights by God, not governments, and I fail to find any reference in the Bible about being forced by government to support people here illegally. If you want to support them you are free to do so on YOUR dime, not mine.

    • ChuckEaton says:

      The irony is that “stupid” is usually not a word utilized in laying out a prima facie case. There tends to be just a little more evidence required.

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