Opinion

Paul Ryan faces an urgent moral challenge

President Trump finishes his first State of the Union address in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol to a joint session of Congress on Jan. 30, 2018, as Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan applaud. (Win McNamee/Pool via AP; caption amended by RNS)

(RNS) — Blues legend Robert Johnson, the story goes, made a deal with the devil and sold his soul on a Mississippi highway to play virtuoso guitar. House Speaker Paul Ryan’s musical tastes reportedly lean more toward Metallica than the Delta blues, but he faces a crossroads of his own that will test whether he will trade in his values to the nativist wing of the Republican Party or do what’s right for young immigrants.

The fate of nearly 800,000 “Dreamers,” immigrants brought to the United States as children, remains uncertain after President Trump rescinded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an Obama-era policy that provided protection from deportation. The president gave Congress until March 5 to find a solution.

This is now the most urgent moral challenge our national leaders face.

More than 100 young immigrants a day lose protection and the ability to work legally. It’s both cruel and reckless to tear immigrants from jobs, families and communities. These idealistic, resourceful and patriotic young men and women contribute to our country. Our future is stronger because of them. As President Trump might put it, they make America great.

Speaker Ryan is now the most important leader in determining their future.

Demonstrators hold up balloons near the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Dec. 6, 2017, during an immigration rally in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and the Temporary Protected Status program. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana; caption amended by RNS)

If the Senate passes bipartisan legislation that provides them with legal status, it’s probable that a majority of representatives in the House would also do so as part of a package that includes border security measures. Ryan would then have to decide whether to allow a vote or cave to extreme, nativist politicians. It’s not only a political test for Ryan, but more importantly a test of his faith and values.

A proud Catholic, Ryan speaks often about his Church, has traded letters with New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan and enjoys name-dropping Thomas Aquinas. But his policy priorities often clash with traditional Catholic social teaching.

Ryan and President Trump are getting an earful from Catholic bishops, nuns and other Catholic leaders. The president’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that protected Dreamers, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote, was “reprehensible … a heartbreaking moment in our history, and a short-sighted vision for the future.”

In a New York Daily News op-ed last week, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn kept the pressure on. “There are times that our elected leaders must act because it is the right thing to do as human beings,” the bishop wrote. “This is one of those times. If the Dreamers are left unprotected, it will leave a stain on our nation’s character for years to come.”

Today, the nation’s largest umbrella group of Catholic nuns (the Leadership Conference of Women Religious), the Franciscan Action Network, the Catholic social justice lobbying group NETWORK, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network and other Catholic advocates will hold a prayer service for Dreamers on the U.S. Capitol lawn.

Catholic university presidents have consistently urged Congress to protect DACA-holders. “Fear has been a constant companion for my students and other Dreamers since the 2016 election,” Patricia McGuire, the president of Trinity University, a Catholic college in Washington, D.C., wrote in The Hill newspaper. “The same politicians who claim to be ardently ‘pro-life’ think nothing of tearing families apart, deporting people to unspeakable violence and poverty.”

Ryan has heard a persistent moral drumbeat in his own district. A few weeks before Thanksgiving, Dreamers and other immigrants — including a parishioner at Ryan’s church who holds DACA status – held a vigil in front of his home in Janesville.

Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore via Flickr

Paul Ryan speaks at the 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. Photo by Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons

If Ryan considers himself a person of faith who cares about family values, he should keep his promises. Last year, during a CNN town hall meeting, an undocumented immigrant mother brought to the United States as an 11-year-old asked Ryan whether she and “many families in my situation” should face deportation. “What we have to do is find a way to make sure that you can get right with the law,” he assured her, “and we’ve got to do this so that the rug doesn’t get pulled out from you and your family gets separated.”

Ryan has also said that Dreamers should “rest easy,” because the GOP-controlled Congress will find a solution.

In a few days, Ryan will be one of many Christians around the world observing Ash Wednesday, a day of atonement and reflection. It’s an especially timely moment for the powerful speaker to examine his conscience — and consider whether his legacy will be about action that leads to justice or mere empty words.

(John Gehring is Catholic program director at Faith in Public Life and author of “The Francis Effect: A Radical Pope’s Challenge to the American Catholic Church.” The views expressed in this op-ed do not necessarily reflect those of Religion News Service.)

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John Gehring

188 Comments

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  • It is obvious that Speaker Ryan has lost any moral compass he ever had. His obvious pandering to an immoral president has made him ridiculous.

  • This is a man who lobbied to essentially tell the elderly and poor to drop dead, to write a big check to the ultra wealthy paid for by those who work for a living, and to loot public resources.

    He had no moral compass to lose. He is going to vote for the wrong thing as usual.

  • I agree with Spuddie and tatoo. Ryan has already lost any honor, integrity, moral compass if he ever had them to begin with!

  • Ryan’s idol is Ayn Rand whose pseudo-philosophy is behind the Tea Party. They would let the poor, children, elders, the disabled, the jobless die in the street and walk by. Heartless, vicious, and sadistic.

  • The biggest moral decision ryan has ever had to face is whether to get up in the morning.
    well, that and whether americans deserve health care that even comes close to what congress gives itself, whether billionaires need more money, whether a government shutdown that wastes billions is a good idea, whether the party of fiscal responsibility has any, whether the party of personal responsibility can continue to fail at governance.
    But those questions pale when compared to getting up in the morning.

  • The GOP appears to have presented the moral solution: provide for the so-called Dreamers, AND finally seal the borders.

    As the 1986 Reagan Amnesty demonstrated, doing the first without doing the second is simply making it clear that our immigration laws are meaningless.

    Both the Democrats and the Republicans are sworn to uphold the Constitution and laws of the United States. The unwillingness of some of them to do that is the real moral challenge.

  • Absolutely.

    If Ryan cared about the poor, children, elders, disabled, and the jobless he would support killing them in the womb and avoiding their existence in the first place.

  • As the public letter 90 Catholic scholars at Georgetown University sent to Paul Ryan in April 2012 states,

    “We would be remiss in our duty to you and our students if we did not challenge your continuing misuse of Catholic teaching to defend a budget plan that decimates food programs for struggling families, radically weakens protections for the elderly and sick, and gives more tax breaks to the wealthiest few. As the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has wisely noted in several letters to Congress – ‘a just framework for future budgets cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor persons.’ Catholic bishops recently wrote that ‘the House-passed budget resolution fails to meet these moral criteria.’

    In short, your budget appears to reflect the values of your favorite philosopher, Ayn Rand, rather than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Her call to selfishness and her antagonism toward religion are antithetical to the Gospel values of compassion and love.

    Cuts to anti-hunger programs have devastating consequences. Last year, one in six Americans lived below the official poverty level and over 46 million Americans – almost half of them children – used food stamps for basic nutrition. We also know how cuts in Pell Grants will make it difficult for low-income students to pursue their educations at colleges across the nation, including Georgetown. At a time when charities are strained to the breaking point and local governments have a hard time paying for essential services, the federal government must not walk away from the most vulnerable.”

    So-called “pro-life” Christians love to play the issue of abortion off against concern for people in need of good jobs, just wages, healthcare coverage, solid education — but their animus against all of those goals demonstrates that they are not in the least pro-life. And that they should not be listened to with any credibility when they claim to be “pro-life,” using the, What about the baby in the womb?, argument as a way to defuse meaningful conversations about economic justice, healthcare for all, and so forth. As the Georgetown letter suggests, people using concern about abortion as this kind of pseudo-pro-life tool have no grasp of authentic Catholic social teaching.

    The Georgetown letter is here:

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1JRLM7Jh9PnrxptafWYENXdAmxnXd4gQJMYTu3H4TFHA/edit

  • Nope. Trying to hijack a discussion for your monomaniacal fetus worship is both irrelevant and in bad form.

  • That is useless. They ARE here and we’re willing to put their lives at risk in a quid pro quo agreement with the government to earn their place here.

  • Better that they return to their homelands to aid their own countries in achieving their country’s dreams.

  • There is nothing moral about betraying and punishing people who are have done nothing wrong by their own volition and risked their lives to be willing to serve our country.

    Until conservatives bother to educate themselves on the immigration system and avoid panicky measures concerning it, the problem will persist. Reagan like many presidents did the best under the circumstances when dealing with his own party. One more willing to rile up anti immigrant sentiment than address immigration reform.

    A conservative speaking about upholding the law and constitution rings hollow these days with the numerous attacks on both when the needs suits them.

    There is nothing intelligent or moral about your views here.

  • Why? Because you don’t like their country of origin? This is their own country in any practical sense. Having been raised here most of their lives. Sending them back is an act of malice and waste. Especially since they are proving themselves to be a valuable resource. Frankly anyone willing to take your view is probably not interested in facts or rational conclusions to be made of a course of action.

    It takes a significant level of malice and bigotry to attack these people in the way our Id!ot in Chief has.

  • So they are a valuable resource here but they would not be in their country of origin? Give us a break!!

  • The last signatory is “E. J. Dionne, Jr., D.Phil., University Professor, Georgetown Public Policy Institute”, a political pundit for the Washington Post who lives in a multi-million dollar home in Bethesda, Maryland, with a huge swimming pool. He has never met someone else’s money he doesn’t want to spend to advance his political views.

  • Nope, trying to hide the implications of your search-and-destroy philosophy when the logic of it presents itself in all its ugliness with crocodile tears is evasive dishonesty.

    Would you care for a few of your posts from the past touting abortion as preventative for poverty, excess children, disabled, and unemployment?

    “What then? If he be like to die, he had better do it, and decrease the surplus population. …. Man, …. if man you be in heart, not adamant, forbear that wicked cant until you have discovered What the surplus is, and Where it is. Will you decide what men shall live, what men shall die? It may be, that in the sight of Heaven, you are more worthless and less fit to live than millions like this poor man’s child. Oh God! to hear the Insect on the leaf pronouncing on the too much life among his hungry brothers in the dust!”

  • When the police break down the door, dragging father and mother away for dealing drugs, we don’t talk about “betraying and punishing people who are have done nothing wrong by their own volition” about the children.

    The sins of the father are indeed visited upon the children.

    What undercut Reagan’s amnesty was the complete failure of Congress to close the borders.

    The primary obligation of a member of Congress is to uphold the Constitution and laws of this country in serving their constituents.

    The way to accomplish mercy for Dreamers and to fulfill that primary obligation is an amnesty coupled with a this-time-no-sh-t approach to controlling illegal immigration.

    Anything less is nonsensical.

  • Indeed, if they have valuable contributions to make, aren’t they obligated in justice to make them in their own country among their own people?

  • a deliberate ‘red herring’. Let’s focus on the living breathing people, esp. the children who deserve a home, good food, people who love them, an education in a safe neighborhood, and healthcare.
    NOW that’s Pro-life!!!!

  • he’s a sellout to Ayn Rand ‘economics’–he’s been planning to destroy Medicare since college. What a wimp.

  • E.J. Dionne is my kind of Christian. Compassionate and active in unmasking the utter cynicism and Dominionist views of people like you.
    You got a computer. You got an online connection, you can speak for the poor and homeless but you, perversely, do not.
    Hypocrite.

  • I know someone who worked at a high end department store and Ayn Rand would come in in tatters and extreme poverty, a sad lady with no friends. See what her ideology got her.

  • when women are forced to continue a pregnancy that could kill her for your kind of rightwing ideology, that’s murder as surely as Trump going out in the street and killing someone. Your ideas are skewered.

  • irrational. Get a grip. Shall we turn away refugees who would and DO get killed if they are sent back. Heartless goober.

  • Resorting to crappy analogy not even close to to the facts is demonstrating your ignorance on the subject. The children are the ones subject to the punishment for the offense.

    You are ignoring that these people came out of hiding and subjected themselves to government scrutiny as part of an agreement. If you must use an analogy use one with reneging on an immunity deal. The government has acted immorally and unethically here.

    If the Dreamers were subject to criminal law and penalties they could never be charged because of their infancy (in the legal sense) at the time of offense and lack of volition in the acts. But immigration law isn’t criminal law. It has far less due process.

    “What undercut Reagan’s amnesty was the complete failure of Congress to close the borders”

    Bullcrap. Border security is a chimera. There is no such thing as a perfectly sealed border. Ask the former Iron Curtain counties how well those efforts worked. So it will always be used as a bad faith way to avoid discussing immigration reform.

    Conservatives are more intent on exploiting illegal alien labor and demonizing immigrants for cheap political points than they are in addressing problems with our immigration system.

    “a this-time-no-sh-t approach to controlling illegal immigration.”

    50 years of doing so have nothing to show for it. It’s about time people stop thinking pouring more money into catch and deport tactics are going to solve the problem.

    We need to rethink the system. My suggestion manual labor visas and stiff fines for non violent, non criminal law immigration violations. 8th amendment considerations in immigration law.

    Frankly I think the Dreamers should not get amnesty. I think they should earn their place here with government service. They are willing and there is the need. Amnesty means scott free. I am thinking more of a work release.

  • I dominate your syntax and force you to make nonsensical retorts. Kneel before your dear intellectual superior who rules your thoughts!

    So your malicious desire to attack the personhood of women extends to malice towards people seeking to earn their place into this country. You made it clear moral thinking takes a backseat to the desire to attack others in one form or another.

    William Lindsey already called out your nonsense in his long post. I can’t add more to that. 🙂

  • Nope. We made them valuable. We need them a heck of a lot more than we do most of the ignorant cretins who want them deported.

  • I hope you realize that ” your malicious desire to attack the personhood of women extends to malice towards people seeking to earn their place into this country” makes you sound like a moral nit.

    Reading your stuff all I can find consistent is that you know what you like.

  • Since we don’t have 50 years of doing so, and have spent next to nothing even trying, there is not much to support “Border security is a chimera. There is no such thing as a perfectly sealed border.”

    In point of fact, it worked very well for the Iron Curtain countries, or those countries would have emptied.

    What say you get some facts to go along with your bald-faced opinions?

  • I certainly would agree that E. J. Dionne is your kind of Christian.

    He shows his compassion by living in a very nice, huge, multi-million dollar home with security fences and a huge swimming pool while writing articles about how we should take care of others.

    In short, a hypocrite.

  • Well read from the script.

    Of course if we had a list of the reasons you’ve set forth for abortion on-line over a period of time, the hypocrisy would be rather apparent.

  • Get over yourself first.

    You addressed him, not a “typical anti-abortionist/forced birther”.

    And the use of the phrase “typical anti-abortionist/forced birther” indicates you’re not a serious commentator.

  • oy. You sound like an anticapitalist. As Spuddie said, perhaps you have a “malice towards people seeking to earn their place into this country”.

    And with more and more wealth going to the obscenely wealthy (Steve Wynn raping his women employees and running his casinos), it seems hypocritical to point to E.J. Dionne’s pitiful wealth–which pales by comparison.

  • You’ve had the anti-Catholic background of “Americans United”, and your personal identification with that agenda, described in some detail on-line within the last few weeks.

    Would you like another recap of it?

  • dream on. You stand outside a clinic with the anti-abortionists shouting and spitting on women trying to access a LEGAL procedure and then tell me about the Effed up ideology of these rosary bead hucksters.

  • You sound like someone who is flailing in multiple directions.

    E. J. Dionne’s “pitiful wealth”?

  • anti-catholic is what the hierarchy called The Boston Globe just before the whole sexual abuse scandal by priest broke. The Globe was regularly reamed out.

    Go watch the movie Spotlight or read the book. The Globe was heroic and the namby-pamby Cardinal Bernard Law, who regularly shuffled priests around got a plum retirement at the Vatican and never had to face any legal repercussion.

    You can thump your missal all you want but the Roman Catholic Church has ZERO moral authority these days.

  • You are right, we have a few decades more of doing so. I just started at the point when our immigration laws was revised to our current form. Border security has zero to do with what to do with illegal aliens who have already gotten here.

    The whole “open borders” retort is what conservatives bellow out when they want to ignore immigration law reform and shift the focus to irrelevancies. Beefing up the border patrol isn’t even addressing the issue and ignores how illegal immigration has gone in the last 50 years. (It has been a cycle with ebbs and flows depending on domestic demand and economic stability)

    “In point of fact, it worked very well for the Iron Curtain countries, or those countries would have emptied.”

    LOL! Because nobody ever collaborated or worked well in those regimes! I have always noted that the anti-immigration position has a passing adoration with autocracy. 🙂

    “What say you get some facts to go along with your bald-faced opinions?”

    The next time you provide facts with be your first time. 🙂

  • Funny how I served thousands of Catholic families and patients as a Hospice Chaplain. They saw me as pro-Catholic. Of course, they were ‘good Catholics, who lived the Faith without trying to force women to live according to the Dictates of jerks like you.

  • Border security has a lot to do with what to do with illegal aliens who have gotten here since 1986.

    You’re still spouting sans facts.

  • “Jerks like you” more or less summarizes your approach to “discussion”.

    Say hello to lokionline.

  • it was a very popular movie and people saw the perfidy of the US Catholic hierarchy. Timothy Dolan and all that as they try to subvert democracy. Ordinary people distrust the Hierarchy more and more, esp. when the pope rails against survivors of priests molesting them in Chile last month.
    The Vatican has done NOTHING to stop the ‘soul murders’/rapes of innocent children. Don’t try to deny that!!!!

  • I would not bother trying to insert any facts in between your rants.

    Constant experience indicates that it would like addressing a Panzer with a BB gun.

    So, rant on, rant on.

  • Your remark doesn’t make the least bit of sense. Border security is border security. Amnesty does not affect it one way or the other. Those people already had gotten past it.

    I guess you are laboring under the ignorant delusion that such a thing acts as an incentive to come here illegally. That is one of those things conservatives take as a matter of faith, but makes zero sense. Their ignorance on the subject is practically required for arguments here.

    There is virtually nothing we can do in this country which can make conditions worse than the ones most of these people fled from to come here illegally. Illegal aliens come and go through this country depending on the demand for their labor.

    Immigration reform is not linked to border security. They are separate issues entirely and handled differently. Moreover it misses a key point that a good % of our illegal alien population didn’t sneak across the border either, but came here legally at first. Plus we have vigorous commerce between the US and Mexico and Canada.

    The more sensible solution is manual labor visa to let them come work here and travel across the border. Plus ceasing using deportation as the sole remedy for immigration violation.

    But lets face it, people who are already howling for the blood of DREAMers aren’t interested in sensible solutions.

  • Please don’t feed the troll. Their fetus worship is just part and parcel with the malicious attitudes they have towards all people. All it shows is how little they regard anyone but themselves.

  • Nope. There is no justice in what the government is doing in reneging its agreement with them to avoid prosecution here. Especially given it was a quid pro quo for being documented and willing to serve the US. The interests of justice are served by upholding one’s own agreements especially when one party has already relied on it to their detriment.

    Btw people who are ignorant of the laws in question as you are, should not be talking about rule of law and justice. You are couching your arguments in such vague generalities to cover up how little of the facts you want to discuss.

  • Perhaps all you say is true, “José.” I don’t know.

    What I do know is this: E.J. Dionne has the courage to sign his own name to statements.

    You do not.

    As a result, you have absolutely zero credibility.

  • I understand how much you like to get personal, to make lists of enemies on your blog, go on and on about your personal assessments of them, and otherwise avoid substantive discussion in favor of declaring who you think is swell and who you do not.

    E.g.:

    “It suddenly hits me who that Olmstead is, Xxxxxx. When you have mentioned him previously, the name went over my head: that Olmsted. The one who excommunicated Sister Margaret McBride for agreeing with a decision of her hospital ethics committee (I seem to recall it was a unanimous one) to abort when it was determined that the mother, who had several other children, would almost certainly die if she carried the child to term.”

    “The Olmsted consecrated by the notorious Fabian Bruskewitz, among others.”

    “The Olmsted who has denied communion to an autistic child.”

    “The Olmsted who did all but stand on his head to assist in promoting legislation attacking LGBTQ citizens in Arizona with proposition 12.”

    “The Olmsted who attacked Notre Dame for inviting President Obama to speak there.”

    I chose that one because some of the other ones go after posters, and we have enough of that already.

    I am just helping you avoid the near occasion of sin.

    I notice on your own blog anonymity is the rule. One would never know who the mind maven in East Helena, Montana is without a scorecard.

    And you have zero credibility because you have no coherent arguments.

    Have a nice day.

  • The government did not enter into an agreement. The last Administration instituted a policy, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, with a speech in the Rose Garden of the White House on June 15, 2012. As soon as that president left office, the policy also left.

    It was a political move, undebated, unagreed to by the Congress, simply a speech.

    No one was bound by it, it is not enforceable in a court, it is not a law – speaking, of course, to someone who is ignorant of the law.

  • Now you are just lying here.

    DACA was more than just a speech. It was a program set up so the government can get the benefit of documenting these people, the benefit of their service to the country and ensure they stay out of legal trouble. In exchange the members of the program subjected themselves to government scrutiny at their own risk. It was a quid pro quo agreement. Government and Dreamers benefiting from cooperating with each other above board. Akin to an immunity deal. One avoids prosecution in exchange for helping the government.

    Now here is the thing for someone who is making noise about morality, rule of law or justice? Does an agreement, one where both parties enter into for mutual benefit, suddenly become void because one party changes their mind? No. Especially when one party has relied on such agreements at their own personal detriment. Its the concept of estoppel. One is prevented from capitalizing on the benefits of one’s own bad actions in a formal agreement.

    Trump is treating this like he has any agreement and contract he has ever come across. He weasels his way out of any obligations or breaches it to the detriment of others. It is why his reputation as a business person is non-existent and he is currently the laughingstock of the developed world. It is why anyone with any professional integrity and ethics in the Executive branch has been distancing themselves from the president. About the only contract he has ever honored to the letter was the one to pay Stormy Daniels for sex.

    Your desire to discard these people is immoral, bigoted and despicable. It has nothing to do with upholding our laws, morality or justice. It is malice incarnate and a sign of the cretinous untrustworthiness of our president.

  • Your remarks don’t make the least bit of sense.

    If we have learned nothing else from the 1986 amnesty it is that folks come here illegally believing that additional amnesties will follow.

    Most of the illegal immigrants did not flee from terrible conditions, they fled from substandard economies. As citizens of those countries they are duty bound to help their own countries and their fellow citizens.

    Immigration reform is certainly linked to border security – it is ridiculous to even speak of immigration reform if the borders are porous enough to allow millions of people to get here with no paperwork and in violation of American law.

    But let’s face, you’re just mouthing the propaganda of your pack, cult, party, sect, or whatever it is that you belong to.

  • I’m flattered you’re reading my blog and even the comments thread there, “José.” How nice of you to do so, and to publicize it in this way.

    Have a great day.

    P.S. There’s a huge difference between hiding behind a screen name to belittle, attack, demean, lie about people and to engage in meaningful conversations about important topics while not revealing your identify for understandable reasons.

    In case you are in doubt, you belong to the first and not the second category.

  • You are talking nonsense. One is not logically or factually related to the other.

    “is that folks come here illegally believing that additional amnesties will follow”

    As I thought. A compelely fact free and incredibly stupid association. They waited 30 years for the next one to come around? How does that make the remotest sense? Immigration ebbs and flows with our economy.

    No, you fool. The thing which encourages illegal immigrating is our economy. There are no measures where we can make life in America more unpleasant than where they came from. Both you and Jose are so full of crap with this one.

    “Most of the illegal immigrants did not flee from terrible conditions, they fled from substandard economies”

    Grinding poverty is not a terrible condition? The more you post here the more ignorant you sound.

    “it is ridiculous to even speak of immigration reform if the borders are porous enough to allow millions of people to get here with no paperwork and in violation of American law”

    Bullcrap. Because you are never going to have security at a point you will feel sufficient. It’s a way to dodge any discussion of immigration reform. It’s like saying unless until we stop the flow of illegal drugs, we can’t deal with addicts or drug law enforcement. A fantasy goal to forestall reasonable discussion.

    You have no clue what you are talking about. Like all conservatives, you talk a big deal about immigration and know absolutely squat about it.

  • It was not a law.

    It was the implementation of an executive order, read as I noted in the Rose Garden, one which was undergoing multiple legal challenges when it was voided.

    If it was a quid pro quo formal agreement, it was between a president and whoever fell for it, and they should show up at his home in Washington, DC, and complain.

    A president cannot make laws, or treaties, without the Congress.

    Every president voids executive orders of his predecessor.

  • Speaking of belittling:

    https://disqus.com/home/discussion/bilgrimage/bilgrimage_two_stories_snapshot_of_who_we_have_become_in_trump_era_price_gouging_diabetes_patients_w/#comment-3747912858

    “William D. Lindsey (Mod) > 1yRolandoOFS0″

    “This is excellent, Rolando. I’m hoping the hateful anti-immigrant, anti-black, anti-Latino, anti-LGBT troll who has indicated to me in the comments threads at RNS that he’s lurking obsessively on conversations here reads this. I’ll say a hello to him (he uses a cartoon-character name): ‘Hi, José Carioca.’”

    “What Rolando said, José.”

    Anti-black?

    Like I wrote: “I understand how much you like to get personal, to make lists of enemies on your blog, go on and on about your personal assessments of them, and otherwise avoid substantive discussion in favor of declaring who you think is swell and who you do not.”

    Thank you for constantly and obsessively proving me right.

  • I would certainly entertain your suggestion that we need them more than you if it would get you deported.

  • It would be great to have a generation with a conservative about immigration who was well informed on the subject and wasn’t using it as an excuse to act maliciously in a publicly acceptable form. But alas I am always disappointed.

  • That is your excuse here, because we can. That is pathetic. Especially given your initial pretensions of a moral and just position.

    An agreement where both parties benefit is one that just be honored if one has any notion of rule of law and justice.

    Your excuses come pretty thick here. Trump is treating this like any other agreement or contract. He craps on it.

    We brought those people out of hiding for our benefit. To attack them is just immoral malicious crap. Ita not what a responsible government does. You demonstrate on numerous occasions you support immoral and malicious crap.

    I know there is no possibility that you will look at the situation in a well informed manner, sanely, reasonably or honestly. So I could not care less what crap cones out if you for a response here.

  • Prom my perspective, not biblical justice. Perhaps legal but never thought of even legal justice as being purely black and white.

  • Irrelevant that my grandparents were immigrants, too. Unlike then, the lifeboat is now full. We have crumbling bridges to fix, so let’s boot the illegals, take the billions we’d otherwise spend on them, fix our infrastructure, THEN we can talk about immigration.

  • I’ve decided to take a new approach with your posts.

    First, I am going to direct to you everything which I excise from the post to which I am responding:

    You are talking nonsense.

    As I thought. A compelely fact free and incredibly stupid association.

    No, you fool.

    Both you and Jose are so full of crap with this one.

    The more you post here the more ignorant you sound.

    Bullcrap.

    You have no clue what you are talking about. ….. you talk a big deal about immigration and know absolutely squat about it.

    ***

    That doesn’t leave a whole lot to respond to.

    Yes, a porous border and illegal immigration are logically and factually related to the other.

    When the National Border Patrol Council, which represent 16,500 agents who actually do the job, endorsed Trump they said, among other things:

    “America has already tried a young, articulate freshman senator who never created a job as an attorney and under whose watch criminal cartels have been given the freest border reign ever known.”

    “There is no greater physical or economic threat to Americans today than our open border.”

    The illegal immigration did not wait 30 years, it has been ongoing since well before the last amnesty. If “immigration ebbs and flows with our economy”, what does illegal immigration ebb and flow with?

    We have Border Patrol agents getting killed and injured every single day.

    Whether our economy encourages illegal immigration or not, the fact remains that a secure border is the only defense. To hear your rant one would think a depression would be the cure.

    Citizenship and living here are property, just like one’s home. Any member of Congress who does not protect this country’s citizens’ property should be removed from office.

    I don’t believe for one microsecond that Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer gives a sh-t about illegal immigrants.

    And since we have never secured the border, it’s nonsensical to say we cannot get security to an acceptable point. It’s never been tried.

    Exactly why do we need in the way of “immigration reform”? Is amnesty for illegals “reform”?

    You have no clue whatsoever about what you are talking about.

  • Zzzzzzz

    Get back to me when you get a clue. Or better yet don’t get back to me. I am not the one who usually initiates these conversations.

    You are talking ignorant nonsense.

    A border which is not as tightly sealed as North Korea is a given for any developed country with rigorous international trade and travel. You are speaking purely in fantasy conditions.

    Border patrol is it’s own agency separate from immigration and with different duties. Their work is not contingent on the acts of USCIS nor visa versa. The amnesty of 1986 did not nor has affected their job. You are making an ignorant and fact free correlation here.

    “If “immigration ebbs and flows with our economy”, what does illegal immigration ebb and flow with?”

    Same answer Learn to read.

    “Citizenship and living here are property, just like one’s home. Any member of Congress who does not protect this country’s citizens’ property should be removed from office.”

    Silly analogy demonstrating ignorance of the subject. You want to demonize people who were brought here as children. That is just malicious repugnant crap.

    Of course you need analogy here. Discussing the issue on its own facts would reveal your panicky bigotry here and acknowledge total ignorance

  • I can see why someone could complain you are a raging bigot. Your response here is very snowflake behavior.

  • what a liar you are! You both advocated for death of poor women just to save the fetus. You and Jose truly are scum of the Earth

  • These two trolls, Jose and Bob advocate death for women, to save the fetus, many times on other threads. I and others already marveled at what dirty scum blatantly say. Just so you know.

  • Your analogy is crap. Immigration is what keeps our economy from stagnating.

    If you want to fix our crumbling infrastructure, the first thing to do is NOT GIVE A TRILLION DOLLARS OF PUBLIC RESOURCES TO THOSE WHO DONT NEED IT AT THE EXPENSE OF EVERYONE ELSE

  • It’s nice to see you’ve dropped any pretext of decorum and politeness, Alinka. It makes dealing with your vacuous slogans and contempt for human life a lot easier.

  • ZZZZ. Get back to me when you get a clue.

    The United States Border Patrol is a federal law enforcement agency. Its mission is to detect and prevent illegal aliens, terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering the United States, and prevent illegal trafficking of people and contraband. It is the uniformed law enforcement arm of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a component of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

    Since the topic is illegal immigration, it is more relevant, and its experience more relevant in protecting the border from illegal entrance, than the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a sister agency in DHS of the Border Patrol.

    https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-16-465T

    “The southwest border continues to be vulnerable to cross-border illegal activity, with DHS apprehending over 331,000 illegal entrants, and making over 14,000 seizures of drugs in fiscal year 2015.”

    https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-17-474

    “As DHS has increased the security of overland smuggling routes, transnational criminal organizations have adapted their techniques to smuggle drugs and humans through alternative methods. These methods include cross-border tunnels, ultralight aircraft, panga boats, and recreational maritime vessels. While these methods account for a small proportion of known smuggling, they can be used to transport significant quantities of drugs or for terrorist activity.”

  • At least we’ve settled it’s not a law.

    There is no possibility that you will look at the situation in a well informed manner, sanely, reasonably or honestly.

    To call a political ploy “an agreement where both parties benefit” is just silly.

    Your girl lost, get over it. Her predecessor had eight years to convince Congress it made sense.
    If it is a wonderful idea where both parties benefit, it will survive a debate and become an actual law.

    If it is scam perpetrated by politicians adding to their base California by buying votes, it will remain a voided executive order.

  • Silly argument. It’s an agreement. Practically a contract. It’s good to know your sole moral or ethical argument is, “because it is possible”.

    People who are not scum like our president generally are bound ethically by agreements. Especially ones where one party has already delivered what was promised. Even ones they didn’t make, but benefitted from.

    Not much more needs to be said. The president and by his authority is not someone who can be trusted to honor agreements of any type. The man maliciously used the Dreamers for political bargaining chips. Not even his own staff trusts his word.

    It’s telling that even the his party is not playing along here. McCain already proposed a bill to allow the Dreamers to stay with none of the provisions Trump wants. The wall is fantasy. If Republicans took it seriously it would have been funded already and passed like that abomination of a tax plan.

  • Yeah I always found that weird…it’s like people like Ryan did not realize Rand was an atheist? Although my team doesn;t want her either!

  • Oddly enough..the article mentions Ryan’s Irish Catholic heritage. Guess who people said “should not be here in the first place?” Yup Irish Catholics.

  • They are disgusting and everywhere these days. The anti-abortion movement is a Death Cult=death for women.

  • or put to the sword (or made slaves since the OT says we can make slaves of people from other nations).

  • I guess I just don;t care what the RCC thinks about this. We’re a secular nation..not a Catholic one.

  • “AND finally seal the borders”

    which is what the status quo of the 19th century said about the Irish and Scots ancestors of the current bunch of politicians (especially Irish Catholic Ryan)

  • The geographical differences between Western Europe and North America makes that an apples to oranges analogy.

  • like any corporation, and the Roman Catholic Church is one of them biggest, it wants to maximize its profits. It’s that cynical. And like slavery, where the plantation owners didn’t have to pay wages to the slaves, the RCC doesn’t care who it hurts. And don’t get me started on the pope.

  • Different time , different circumstances. And which of scalping , ownership tribes arrived first from Siberia? And did not the first Indian own all of the Americas? Please pay your back rent.

  • It is not an agreement. It is not a contract. I am not bound morally or legally by political theater staged by Barack Obama, nor is the Congress, the Nation, nor the People.

    He’s an attorney and he knew better.

    You’re not an attorney and apparently don’t know better.

    I believe the President is going to force this situation to the conclusion that Obama did not. If the Dreamers get a deal, the rest of us get the border under control.

    Tit for tat, quid pro quo, you do not get something for nothing.

    McCain and his sidekick Flake have barely managed to contain the revolt in the Arizona Republican party against him and the Romneyites who managed to grab control of the party apparatus. He’ll be gone soon and so will aptly named Flake.

    I am enjoying the additional income from the tax cut.

    So, have a nice day as you rant on, and on, and on, and on about things you know absolutely zero about.

  • A policy ≠ agreement, unless it’s an insurance policy.

    A policy is a course or principle of action adopted or proposed.

    It exits with the election of a new leader, in this case a new president.

  • see, the difference between you, Spuddie, and Bob (and Jose) is that you have a sense of humor and they are grim and harsh.

  • Still not getting to the point where it is ethical, moral or just to attack people who came out of hiding at their own detriment, for the benefit of the government, in exchange for the consideration of deferred or avoided prosecution. This has all the makings of an immunity deal. Except for the part where the government does not hold up its end of the bargain after receiving a benefit from the other parties.

    Yes I get it, we have a president who has no regard for agreements of any kind and you have zero problems with such lack of ethics.

    Trump is angling to use the DREAMers as a political bargaining chip to get his stupid wall funded. The one his own party doesn’t want. He also has been trying to use them to push his white supremacist inspired attack on legal immigration as well. Hoping Democrats trade the DREAMers for drastically reduced family based immigration and the elimination of diversity visas. Its sick cynical leverage.

    Even McConnell noted the main roadblock to a deal has been Trump’s scatterbrained approach to the situation. Especially after the president nixed the last deal.

    “I am enjoying the additional income from the tax cut.”

    That $1.50 a month Ryan touted for his own staff. 🙂

    That “tax cut” runs out in a few years. Unlike the big checks you and I have written to the uppermost wealthy. In the meantime our entire system is starved for money. A massive tax cut followed by looting of public resources is a recipe for economic disaster. If you work for a living and supported that one, you are beyond any rational discussion.

    “He’ll be gone soon and so will aptly named Flake.”

    To be replaced by Democrats.

  • do you really think they are anything but convenient Christians, with lip service to the Fundagelicals? The Christian Right gets smirked and laughed at by GOP behind closed doors. Complete dupes.

  • they love Paul Ryan when he cuts benefits for women and children and supports the worst of the worst pro-lifers/fetus worshipers.

  • You’re certainly entitled to your opinion, as unsupported, zany, and left-wing as it is.

    “This has all the makings of an immunity deal. Except for the part where the government does not hold up its end of the bargain after receiving a benefit from the other parties.”

    I suppose the former president should have granted them immunity, or pardons, or something instead of beating it out of town to earn big bucks on a speaking tour.

    Since there was a poorly conceived ploy, not an agreement, not a law, I can’t agree that the current President has no regard for agreements of any kind.

    But since you know so much, volunteer to represent these folks if deportations begin.

  • For all your nonsense is at least the concession that this is meant to intentionally attack people and serves no real purpose for government.

    We get it, Trump is not one who honors agreements unless they involved cash for sex.

    “I can’t agree that the current President has no regard for agreements of any kind”

    Mostly out of ignorance or delusion. There are literally thousands of lawsuits against him by contractors, partners, investors… for his inability to abide by terms of contracts.

  • Possibly, but it is probably more of a Honey Crisp apple to Granny Smith apple comparison.

    Take a look at the borders of the former Soviet Union both in terms of size and terrain, and it was capable of protecting its borders rather effectively.

  • Is that your official opinion as Hospice Chaplain and Grand Poobah of the Massachusetts Religious Coalition to Belittle Everyone We Disagree With? Or simply as an anti-Catholic?

    On the positive side you believe he was a joke. No one will ever accuse you of being amusing.

  • Right!! Let’s NOT have California for instance spend 3 billion dollars each year on health care for illegals!

  • Rather be spending 5-6 billion on public health hazards caused by people without access to emergency care?

    You are receiving the benefits of their efforts as well. Of course it would be far less of an issue if we just owned up to the fact we value their labor and institute manual labor visas. Let them do work here and freely go back to Mexico.

    Besides, I was referring to legal immigration as well. Something President Chucklehead is attacking as well.

  • i think we need a common sense approach to immigration that both ensures freedom loving people in other countries who wish to improve their lot get the same consideration as my Irish, English and German ancestors did.

  • A policy is a tacit agreement.this is a brute fact. When my employer issues a new policy, I am tacitly accepting it as an agreement by continuing employment.

    In fact…most organizations ask their parties to sign a new policy..signifying (drum roll) an agreement.

  • I readily concede you have absolutely not a clue about what you’re going on about.

    The individuals in question are here illegally. It always serves a purpose to enforce the law.

    Yes, yes, we know about his corporations. You wrote about them extensively in 2016.

    I would suggest you write your favorite congressional critters and tell them you are so concerned about the Dreamers it’s time to get reasonable over 30 years later, bite the bullet, and secure the border as a condition of cutting a deal.

    Everybody wins.

  • Jealousy suits you, although I don’t think Freud styled it “weenie envy”.

    It is poor substitute for intelligence, though.

  • No, a policy is NOT a tacit agreement. Your employer can issue an order and call it a “policy”, but it is an order.

    Yes, the President can bind those who report to him as Chief Executive with an order.

    No, he cannot pass a law or bind his successor with a policy.

    Period.

  • Make up your wish list and write your congressperson.

    I personally have not heard of groundswell of support for more Irish, English, and Germans but we may live in different parts of the country.

    The issue before us is not immigration but illegal immigration and what to do with the illegals already here.

  • Sigh…..I was referring to the historical immigration of these peoples.

    Our current laws of establishing too onerous a barrier for citizenship is what makes the laws which label an illegal as such …stupid.

  • Now you are just flinging poo. Your entire argument is “because he can”. Not “he should” or “this is a good idea because…”

    The individuals here did not done by their own volition. Talking about enforcing laws without consideration of the facts is an empty gesture used by those who are either ignorant or have an ulterior motive. Only people in dictatorship are expected to follow laws without knowledge of them and blindly. You are trying to distance yourself from discussion of the facts, because it can’t be reasonably justified.

    You have essentially acknowledged there is no basis in morals, ethics or even a sense if justice in your position.

    A better suggestion is that you educate yourself about the facts of the situation. All you have done is repeat ignorant brain dead arguments which only serve to avoid reasonable discussion.

  • I think what you meant to write was that the crazier you are, the more you post.

    And we’re all used to it.

  • No, you’re flinging poo. That’s what you do when you have no facts.

    Nobody is suggesting these individuals be imprisoned.

    The enforcement of a law is justice. These individuals are not citizens and do not belong here.

    It is reasonable to suggest some way of permitting them to remain here while the individuals responsible who are still alive are deported, IF at the same time steps are taken to ensure that we won’t be doing this again 10, 20, or 30 years hence by finally closing the borders to illegal penetration.

    If you won’t agree to that, you want something for nothing, and I see nothing to discuss.

  • And the result indicates that if they had done the right thing, they would been better off.

    So, why advocate we follow their example?

  • LOL. You talk about laws you know nothing about because you can’t discuss the matter on its own facts. You started talking about morals and justice, but it’s obvious none exist in what the government is doing here.

    Your sole argument is “we can treat these people like crap because we have the power to do so.”

    Any pretension you have here of a rational, legal,moral or ethical point to make is an utter joke.

    Now you are trying to save face with nonsense strawman statements. Whatever.

    “The enforcement of a law is justice”

    No it isn’t. Even you don’t believe that. There are many laws whose enforcement you oppose. Even our constitution says that is not the case (see 4th and 8th amendments). Laws are just when reasonable and proportional in penalty. When they are not arbitrary in nature. You are just giving me lazy nonsense.

    “finally closing the borders to illegal penetration”

    A fantasy condition f or any developed country with international trade and travel. No matter what is done at the border it will happen. So you will use it as an excuse never to discuss immigration reform. A dodge to avoid the issue and do more of the same counterproductive but politically useful nonsense.

  • I assume that while chanting “la-la-la…what nonsense” you normally place your palms on your ears.

  • Sure I can discuss “the facts”.

    You want to look the other way at illegal acts. These illegal acts are a result of your predecessors also wanting to look the other way at illegal acts, and refusing to spend the money to make our borders actual borders.

    Advocating sealing the borders is characterized as irrational, illegal, immoral, and unethical.

    Enforcing the laws on the books is to “treat people like crap”.

    You’re against enforcing the laws as written rather than advocating for new laws or the repeal of existing laws because you know you can’t win that fight. This despite the fact that laws are all that stand between us and chaos, this being a nation of laws not men.

    I may not like one or more laws but I obey them, not for my good but for the common good.

    The Soviet Union closed its borders to illegal penetration, so the only fantasy is yours that it can’t be done with a much smaller border.

    A reasonable person would scratch his head and wonder why an elected representative would not want to protect his country’s sovereignty and citizens. Then he’d look over Nancy Pelosi’s shoulder and realize that the supermajority in California for her favorite party was bought with political stunts like the one you’re peddling.

    So, now you discuss the matter on its own facts.

  • Oh ..we’re doing insults? OK..then please go and f*ck Paul Ryan’s punchable face, human turd

  • The right thing would be for you stop posting on the topic and find something worthwhile to do with your time.

  • “Our current laws of establishing too onerous a barrier for citizenship
    is what makes the laws which label an illegal as such …stupid.”

    was yours to which he responded in like manner, speaking of human turds.

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