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Catholic bishops end border trip by suggesting alternative to family detention

Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville meets with children and families at the Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, Texas, during a recent delegation trip. Photo courtesy of Ashley Feasley

(RNS) — A group of prominent Catholic bishops concluded a two-day fact-finding visit to the U.S.-Mexico border on Monday (July 2), capping an emotional trip that included ministering to migrant children at a detention center who are separated from their parents.

But Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said his group came away energized to push elected officials for immigration reform and alternatives to detaining families at the border.

Specifically, he suggested the administration replace family detention with “family case management” that includes cooperation from Catholic Charities and other groups.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, speaks at a news conference Nov. 13, 2017, in Baltimore during the USCCB’s annual fall meeting. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

“We have to petition Congress,” DiNardo said Monday evening during a news conference at the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle in San Juan, Texas. “We have to talk to them, and we need to make it really intense — not nasty, but really intense.”

Intensity was not present at the border, which they framed not as a protest but as a “pastoral” mission. The bishops, who reportedly asked immigration reform activists not to bring protest signs, remained critical of the policies that brought them there but were careful to say there were “no villains” involved, including U.S. Border Patrol agents.

It was a stark contrast from the bishops’ spring meeting in Florida in June, when the USCCB and several member bishops spoke out forcefully against the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” detention policy and the idea of a delegation to the border was first suggested by Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, N.J.

In Florida, Tobin said such a trip would offer a “sign of our pastoral concern and protest against the hardening of the American heart.” Another bishop suggested invoking “canonical penalties” against Catholics who helped implement the policies, leaving open the possibility of sanctioning border agents.

Instead, DiNardo and five other bishops, including the USCCB’s vice president, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, kicked off their visit with Mass on Sunday evening at the San Juan basilica, a famous pilgrimage site for immigrants.

Accompanying DiNardo and Gomez on the trip were Bishop Joseph C. Bambera of the Diocese of Scranton, Pa., and Bishop Robert J. Brennan, auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, on Long Island. They were joined by bishops from the local Diocese of Brownsville, Daniel E. Flores and his auxiliary, Mario Alberto Avilés.


RELATED: Catholic bishops rebuke Trump’s asylum changes, suggest ‘canonical penalties’


They went on to visit Catholic Charities’ Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, Texas, which provides meals and shelter to immigrants after they are processed by the government; a nearby detention center constructed in a former Walmart Supercenter; and a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing center.

The respite center was launched in 2014 in response to the surge of primarily Central American immigrants who were crossing the border to escape widespread violence in their home countries. The director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, Sister Norma Pimentel, has since received accolades from the University of Notre Dame and Pope Francis himself for her efforts.

The bishops said the vibe at the respite center, which was housed within a nearby church until 2017, was almost heartening.

“There was a sense of relief, and I picked up a sense of hope,” said Brennan. He added that when he spoke to people there about their future, “people really seemed to light up.”

The clerics said their visit to the detention center, where they held Mass for more than 200 boys who either crossed the border alone or were separated from their families by the U.S. government, was very different.

“There was a sense of real seriousness, a stoic, somber kind of look,” Brennan said. “It was very clear that they were well cared for, that the people who were working with them treated them well. But also, you are looking at children without their families.”


RELATED: Faith-based agencies open doors to kids separated at the border


DiNardo was careful not to demonize border agents, and he praised President Trump’s recent decision to sign an executive order that calls for ending the separation of families along the border. But the bishop also bemoaned the alternative — detaining families together — and offered a possible solution.

“We have some concerns about family detention,” he said. “In the past there was an alternative to detention — family case management programs.”

The Family Case Management Program was developed in January 2016 as a way for families who cross the border to be closely supervised by social workers while they wait for their cases to be decided. Immigrants received help with housing, health care, school for their children and legal assistance to navigate the immigration court system. Family case management is touted as significantly cheaper than family detention, as well as more humane.

As of April 2017, the program was caring for 630 families in Chicago, Miami, New York, Los Angeles and the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. area, according to The Associated Press.

But the Trump administration abruptly shuttered the program that same year while seeking a $1.6 billion increase to expand detention and removals.

Ashley Feasley, director of policy at the USCCB’s Migration and Refugee Services office, said reinstating the program — which she noted had a 99 percent compliance rate — could help all parties in the long run.

“The first focus is reunifying the families,” Feasley, who served on an advisory board for the program, said. “But when we think longer-term about how to deal with the families that are coming, how to make sure they are complying with immigration proceedings … (this) could provide a reasonable way forward.”

At the border, the bishops said that changing how the United States deals with immigrants is both necessary and feasible.

“It is possible to address the needs of immigration reform. We just need to make the decision that we can do it,” Gomez said.

About the author

Jack Jenkins

Jack Jenkins is a national reporter for RNS based in Washington, covering U.S. Catholics and the intersection of religion and politics.

111 Comments

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  • I’m pleased to see the Catholic bishops finally finding their voice in opposition to a Republican administration. That’s a first. But I suppose it’s no accident that the three bishops cited, those from Houston, Newark, and Los Angeles, hail from cities with large immigrant populations, so they know a thing or two about the place of immigrants in this country.

    I have to wonder, however, if the bishops’ decades-long obeisance to Republican power in exchange for conservative policies and judges will be rewarded in this case. I’m guessing not. For Donald Trump, loyalty is a one-way street and favors only extend in one direction – toward himself.

  • The Catholic bishops have taken issue with both Democratic and Republican administrations in the past.

  • Spuddie is going to be disappointed. I didn’t see the words gulag, beatings, starvation or rabid dogs in the story anywhere.

  • THe bishops’ umbrage has a pricetag. “Families”?…How many are paid “immigrants” who grab a few kids and a pretend wife for political exploitation AND the big payout from Moveon.org? After all , the bishops lost funding (to the tune of $250 million) from Obama and the Muslim “immigrants”. Sure don’t hear about them anymore…

  • Sure. “Fact finding” and “ministering.” That ‘s what they were up to. Gravy train on federal money didn’t even cross their minds.

  • You have no idea what you’re talking about. None. “Obeisance to Republican power in exchange for conservative policies and judges?” That is laughable on it’s face.

  • Are you kidding?? The Catholic bishops, by and large, are no different than operatives of the Democratic Party.

  • Does anyone think the bishops would give a cr-p if the refugees were Muslims, Hindus or Buddhists ?

    They’re on a recruiting mission – they need pew warmers and their CASH !

  • Neither the pope nor any bishop has criticized Trump by name. In fact, “There are no villains” said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the USCCB, after visiting both government and charitable facilities housing immigrant children separated from their parents. He said there were “complications” in the government’s efforts to reunite separated families and that “It’s a complex problem, you don’t solve this overnight.” Archbishop Jose’ Gomez, USCCB vice president wrote that “politicians on both sides” were responsible for our cruel immigration policy.
    (https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/2018/07/03/bishops-see-no-villains-in-complicated-border-crisis/)

  • I don’t think Trump would be interested. His goal is to discourage illegal border crossings and is purposefully using draconian measures.

  • End all free money/entitlements etc., etc. and heavily fine any business hiring illegals and problem solved.
    And make “Refugee Resettlement” VOLUNTARY. If Lutherans, Jews and Catholics want to house and feed non-Americans, let them pay for it.
    Let’s see who is truly charitable. Easy to be charitable when you are using someone else’s money.

  • –In Florida, Tobin said such a trip would offer a “sign of our pastoral concern and protest against the hardening of the American heart.””–

    If the hearts of Americans are hardening, it is more likely and sadly against so many liberal Bishops with political ambitions who are like leftist democrats in clerical garb. Your protests are mere propaganda and used like third world leaders to manipulate and threaten. It seems you refuse to see the truth of the situation. As a nation we have the absolute right and the God-given authority and responsibility to protect our citizens with secure borders. Please read what St. Thomas Aquinas says on immigration and how far off you are as Catholic leaders.

    All nations have an identity which is given by God, but as one of the few fearless and outspoken archbishops, Athanasius Schneider, recently noted concerning the same migrant situation throughout Europe, the goal is a deliberate one:

    “The phenomenon of this so called “immigration” represents an orchestrated plan, prepared for a long time by the international powers to change radically the Christian identity of European populations. These powers are using the enormous moral potential of the Church and its structures to achieve more efficiently their anti-Christian and anti-European objectives. Towards these ends, the very concept of humanism and even the Christian commandment of charity are being abused.”

    This is all being done by the one-world people who want a one -world government, a one-world religion and a one world order. Whose side are you on, dear Bishops?

  • Does “family management” include making sure the 84% of adult illegal immigrants that fail to show up for their last hearing actually show up, so that the 90% plus of those that fail to show up that are ordered deported can actually BE deported?

  • Not accusing Jim of the following, but last week I saw a media photo of one of those anti-Trump immigration protests. One guy was carrying a big sign saying “Open All Borders.”

    THAT, is actually what the Democratic Party and the Libbie Media are selling as the solution. It was surprising to see it stated openly, but THAT is the solution offered by the anti-Trump folks.

    Simply allow sincere mothers and sincere MS-13’s, to walk in. Equal access for Mexican children and Mexican cartels. Families fleeing killer gangs, AND the killer gang members too. Open borders for all.

    (Yes, this is what the Catholic bishops are selling too, unless they really ARE prepared right now to spend an endless gold mine of their OWN money, to cover an endless immigration situation.)

  • There is no debate that the Catholic Church is a beneficiary to the Government mammary.

    To sanctify the recommendation (and following actual work) suggested by the Bishops, the Church should do the work entirely for free, not taking one cent of government money.

    The extent of our charity is the limit of our gift, our own sacrifice, not the forced sacrfice of the tax payers.

    We need to “purify” our words, recommendations, and intentions, and later our actions.

  • But those suggestions run counter to the administration’s goals of:
    1. Treating people of color inhumanely to appeal to white supremacists.

    2. Deliberately frustrate asylum claims and due process rights. As expected the family separation policy was intended to ransom children in exchange for coercing parents to waive asylum claims.

  • Except they aren’t illegal if there is a valid asylum claim. Of course Trump doesn’t trust rule of law or due process to find out. It’s telling that even prosecutors are dropping or dismissing illegal crossing charges like crazy due to the obvious problems with burdens of proof. Trump would not be ransoming children if there was any respect for rule of law.

  • I saw a media photo of one of those anti-Trump immigration protests. One guy was carrying a big sign saying “Open All Borders.”

    Is that like when Trump saw people celebrating the 9/11 attacks in New Jersey?

    Nobody supports open borders. It is what conservatives say when they want to avoid all criticism of the bigoted and malicious policies of the administration. A nonsense label to shut down a discussion and excuse bad behavior.

  • “How many are paid “immigrants” who grab a few kids and a pretend wife for political exploitation AND the big payout from Moveon.org”

    None.

    You made that up (or someone on talk radio made it up for you). We have a system already for evaluating asylum claims through USCIS. But evidently due process, evidence and treating people like human beings are beyond the capabilities of the administration. Lying, holding children hostage and abusing legal process is not.

  • Those stats came from where. Because according to studies on the subject, between 90-95% of the people who filed asylum claims abided by due pprocess. Which included meeting with USCIS asylum administrators and being deposed.

  • Like you would object if it was being reported? They could be executing them there for all you care.

    Of course not. Lying bigoted cretins would make a lame excuse, probably starting with “but Obama….”

    BTW they are already holding the children ransom to coerce families into giving up asylum claims. You support taking kids hostage.

  • “an orchestrated plan, prepared for a long time by the international powers to change radically the Christian identity of European populations”

    Could anyone Nazi who is supporting these measures?

  • Really??! Read on: But Democrats’ response on the hot-button issue of immigrants being allowed to remain in the United States if they make it to the border was stunning. The pollster asked, “Do you think that people who make it across our border illegally should be allowed to stay in the country or sent home?” Sixty-four percent said illegal aliens should be sent home and thirty-six percent said they should be allowed to stay. A staggering 53 percent of Democrats polled, however, believe that any immigrant that makes it to America’s borders should be allowed to stay.
    But despite Democrats saying they are against open borders, the majority of their base says otherwise.
    From June 2018 Harvard/Harris monthly poll

  • Like all those evangelicals and faith based relief programs, go figure

    For people who attack the separation of church and state, who look for government endorsement and subsidy of sectarian beliefs, you are awfully selective there. It’s not like you oppose such measures for churches which you support.

    I guess this is why people who value religious freedom do not let the state get entangled with any church. Not just the ones you like.

    What you are saying is true. But you are not one who has any business saying it. As you do not oppose all churches doing such things.

  • You are only proving that your average person is uninformed about how our immigration system works. You are also deliberately pretending one view means another thing entirely. No link to the poll means I am not taking your claim at face value anyway.

    When conservatives use the term “open borders” they are conceding facts do not support their view and are just making a strawman argument to tar and feather opponents. You can’t name a single political leader who claims to support open borders.

  • You seem prone to quick judgment, and it weakens all such tainted comments.

    You have no idea that I don’t oppose all churches from such things. But that’s their business. I don’t need to make universal statements on all such matters.

    Why must you control everything?

    And, why must you continue to distort and de-contextualize points of others until you find something to disagree over? What’s with that?

    I think you truly like disagreement, and you’re not happy until you find it, even if manufactured or imagined.

    A good retreat would start to surface causes for these sorts of defects….tendencies toward pride (the king rat vice), tendencies toward vanity, tendencies toward over-love of comfort?

    Anger and control issues typically sift out to be pride issues.

    Placing our security in what others think of us tend to be vanity issues.

    Placing our security in the senses tend to be “love of comfort” issues.

  • Pack up the illegal immigrants, give them nice accommodations in transit, and fly them home They can be deposited at a Catholic Church in the country they came from and give the Church the opportunity to clean up the mess it so heavily contributed to over the last 500 years in Latin America. Finally, make their American employer pay for the full cost for returning the illegal home.

  • Dude, I just backed up what you said in your comment.
    What’s interesting is that the Democratic Party continues to move left and now openly endorses socialist candidates. It will be interesting to see how many more candidates feel emboldened to show their true colors.

  • Yep. They all WANT open borders, but they won’t openly admit it because most Americans want a secure border. Even minority’s want a secure border. Americans by and large believe in fair play; they are fine with immigration as long as the established rules are followed. Nothing seems more unfair then to see people claiming over a fence and giving the finger to American citizens.
    I do have a serious question though- for all the self righteous non-bigoted progressives that are pushing open borders… what happens in 50 to 75 years when the USA is majority Latino? Does whitey get what’s coming to them? Is that the plan? I wonder if people realize what they are asking for.

  • That’s what you called that. OK. Whatever. What is funny is how you have to make crap up about what liberals/democrats say because you are apparently afraid to discuss facts on hand.

    What you call “socialist” apparently means anyone who isn’t a prag of the ultra-wealthy, supports the growth of the middle class, and economic development for the nation and is against corruption. Essentially capitalists, as opposed to oligarchists.

    But on the bright side, Republicans have wholly embraced white supremacy and given up dogwhistle appeals to bigotry, for more open and honest expressions of it.

  • “You have no idea that I don’t oppose all churches from such things. But that’s their business.”

    Actually its all of our business since we are talking about the entanglement of church and state. The government of all of its people.

    The rest is denialism and not taken seriously.

  • Why do you care if a church gets a contract to serve food to the poor, or the Lion’s Club?

  • Because we have the Establishment Clause. The separation of church and state protects the integrity of both.

  • Glad you asked. I know ICE officers and any separation os to determine who’s a legit family and who’s smuggling. Pretty good article at National Review on this without all the faux emotion.

  • Nothing in the establishment clause restricts commerce with a religious organization. Nothing.

  • Democratic Socialists of America wish to abolish capitalism; therefore they are not capitalists. They are however Statists-which essentially want to run your lives; and eventually take away your freedom incrementally as they provide more and more state services.
    So you are wrong already.
    Ultra wealthy- pelosi, Kerry, Biden, Warner, Bloomberg, bezos, zuckerberg, Clinton, gates, buffet, oprah, and most of Hollywood. All democrats who want to keep their money but take ours away.
    Corruption? Debbie wasserman Schultz and the missing IT team; Clinton and her emails and the whole DOJ mess.
    #walkaway

  • More nonsense strawman points from your fevered mind. I guess its much easier to make up stuff about people than respond to what they say. Saves you the trouble of thinking or taking in facts which make your head hurt.

  • Which part?
    I responded to each of your points.
    Your arguments collapse under examination.

  • When have you stopped making up positions for people? Its pretty much been your entire shtick.

  • If lying bigoted cretins would make a lame excuse, probably starting with “but Obama….”, your post would have begun “but Obama….”.

  • There seem to be some differences of opinion:

    https://thefederalist.com/2018/06/20/4-things-media-wont-tell-border-crisis/

    “Statistics from 2016 show that ‘non-detained aliens,’ which include those who were never detained and those who were released on bond or their own recognizance, failed to show up for court hearings in 39 percent of completed immigration cases ….”, also pointing out a few problems the Obama administration had which you like to disregard.

    The source for the percentage is Justice itself:

    https://www.justice.gov/eoir/page/file/fysb16/download

    https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/ICE-Many-Immigrants-Skip-Court-Hearings-265634251.html

    “About 33 percent of immigrants released by U.S. Customs and Border
    Enforcement (ICE) does not show up for their immigration hearings,
    according to immigration court officials. ….”
    “If the respondent does not show up to court, they will be put on the removal list. It is up to ICE’s Fugitive Operations Teams to find them.”

    “To illustrate the scope of the problem, ICE was looking for more than 469,000 people in 2012. This included immigrants who didn’t show up to court, those ordered to self-deport and those wanted for violating the terms of their immigration.”

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/report-90-of-illegals-skip-immigration-court-appearances-135-000-will-go-missing

    “Ninety percent of the mostly-teen illegal immigrants flooding over the Mexico-U.S. border won’t show up for their immigration court hearing, meaning at least 135,000 of the youths will simply vanish into the country this year alone, according to a key House committee chairman.”

    “House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, who on Wednesday held a hearing to raise national security concerns about the new wave of illegals, revealed Thursday that many of the teens are placed with relatives, including parents who are in the U.S. illegally, and then ignore court orders to appear for immigration hearings.”

    “Once they are picked up by immigration officials, ‘they are given a court date, expected to return, a year or more later,’ said the Virginia lawmaker. ‘The overwhelming majority of them, more than 90 percent, do not return for their hearings and as a result we have a problem,’ he added.”

    https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/immigration/article144893699.html

    “Mark H. Metcalf, who served as immigration judge in Miami between 2005 and 2008, says in the report Courting Disaster, that there are almost one million immigrants with final orders of deportation who may not have left.”

    “‘American immigration courts have the highest failure to appear rates,’ says Metcalf in the report released last month by the Center for Immigration Studies, an academic research group in Washington that seeks tighter immigration controls and is accused by some immigrant rights activists of being anti-immigrant.”

    “‘The point of the [report] is to show how U.S. immigration courts are not functioning right, in the interests of the United States as well as the interests of the people who appear before the courts,’ Metcalf said in a telephone interview this month. ‘The findings are that over the last 20 years, 37 percent of all litigants who were free pending trial failed to show up for their hearings.’”

    What seems to be missing in action is one study, let alone “studies”, supporting that between 90-95% of the people who filed asylum claims showed up for their hearings.

    Do share with us your source(s).

  • Since the current Administration does not have a policy of “(t)reating people of color inhumanely to appeal to white supremacists” or “(d)eliberately frustrat(ing) asylum claims and due process rights”, is this an attempt at humor or are you actually that partisan?

  • That’s been tried and disposed of.

    Do you EVER actually get any facts on legal issues?

  • He’s busy making them up.

    The 1980 law is so vague no one knows what valid reasons are.

  • You write “Nobody supports open borders”, and yet you oppose every single effort to enforce the border, are immigration laws, our processes, call for the abolishment of ICE, and are basically a running dog for the Powers of Immigration Darkness.

    Ergo YOU support open borders.

  • Gee, I found that poll easily — wonder why Tater doesn’t know how to use a search engine?

    It also demolished his careless remark that “no one supports open borders.” Evidently 46% of liberals polled support exactly that.

  • I respond to what you write my friend. You seem a bit off today. Probably still recovering from yesterday’s Statue of Liberty climb… 🙂

  • Hmmm…you made me change my mind. I thought you were able to think for yourself…guess I was wrong. Following the leftist agenda makes one insane. Good luck to you, friend.

  • Yep. I told him he must be having an off day. I think he’s still recovering from yesterday’s Statue of Liberty climb.

  • Ben may well be a paid hack. I don’t think anyone would pay for Tater’s stuff —even libs like to get their money’s worth, unless it’s somebody else’s money of course.

  • Because he has billions and billions of dollars, nothing else to do with his time, and he hates America even more than the Trumpanzees do.

  • You made ridiculous sht up and expected to be taken seriously? Riiiight.

    Maybe you should switch to a different glue to huff before posting. OK you have nothing of value to say. I will just treat you with snark.

  • Actually it does if one if the religious organization is doing commerce with the US government. It makes it government sponsored sectarian religious belief.

  • Soros! Everybody drink!

    Do you look for George Soros under your bed before you go to sleep?

  • Yes you should walkaway from fascism. But you love it so much.

    I guess conservatives enjoy holding children hostage.

  • Soros is the only oligarch who’s public with his hatred. He’s quite open about his agenda and who and what he funds. Every civil unrest, umbrage, liberal cause is funded. He is the sugar daddy of all this. Saul Alinsky, though a little more subtle, was nontheless open with his agenda. Destruction and anarchy is their goal. No big whoop.

  • Until it is determined that the adults the children are with are their true parents and not coyotes, children must be separated. Been going on for many decades. Otherwise, there poor, poor, smugglers will dump these kids on the street as soon as they’re paid and it’s clear. Then the kids will become wards of the state with no family. That’s the reality we have to deal with. Common sense and safety of the kids are first and foremost.

  • You are full of crap here in every sense of the word.

    We already have procedures in place for that and they do not involve or need forcibly separating children from their parents nor trumping up criminal charges on parents which can’t be effectively prosecuted.

    These FAMILIES are putting themselves under scrutiny already by USCIS when they are filing asylum claims. The child separation is being used to strong arm those families into giving up due process rights and waive asylum to be reunited. If the kids were being smuggled, this would have no effect on the parents. Nor would there be the plethora of requests to get the kids out of the detention centers

    “Common sense and safety of the kids are first and foremost.”

    So you lock them up in concentration camps, get bent.

    You are looking for excuses for actions which are inexcusable. So you have to lie like a cheap rug to justify it.

    BTW you completely made up this entire story or are repeating the fiction coming from wingnut pundits.

  • Soros is the all purpose boogeyman for right wingnuts. He has more junk made up about him to scare fools and derps than he could possibly be doing.

    “Alinsky” Drink again. Another name check of people who you look for in your closet at night.

  • How many court cases have shown you’re wrong? Many and often.

    The courts have consistently found the opposite of your mere opinion, going back as early as 1899 with Bradfield v. Roberts. Later in Agostini v. Felton.

  • Not at all.

    Courts have been pretty cagey about the subject. Keeping tax money away from religious indoctrination efforts and purely sectarian aims. If they could find a mundane, non religious element to the action, they use that.

    Its funny how you went from attacking the church involvement with the government to supporting it generally. It really is all about your sectarian prejudice. You just don’t want that church to do it. Which is precisely the reason we have separation of church and state. To prevent obvious sectarian discrimination under color of law.

  • That’s funny.

    So now it’s cagey…before there was certainty in your writing.

  • OK, you admit the hypocrisy and sectarian prejudice here I originally stated. So how you have snark in response.

    Like many conservative Christians you clearly believe religious freedom only applies to your sect.

  • There’s a 1967 Firingline interview that will change your mind on Alinsky. There’s also a 60 minutes interview that will do the same. Not my words, his. If you call that “drinking” its all on you.

  • awwww, Shawnie! I’m duly, truly flattered that you think I make money off of this. My husband certainly wishes I did. We were just talking about it last night.

    Unless it’s someone else’s money? Tax cuts for billionaires, brought to you by the Republican Party, a wholly owned subsidiary of the religious right, or Vice versa, adding trillions more to our out of control debt? Whose money is that, exactly? Your children’s? your grandchildren’s?

    congratulations! You may officially consider yourself part of the unhinged right wing. You must, however, travel to BobWorld to receive your official Golden Pruning of the Vine Award. This will have to be at your own expense, as Mr. Soros does not provide bus tickets to either the mendacious or the mendicants, regardless of his popular image. He told me so himself, right before he gave me my orders for the week. And my check! That beautiful, beautiful check! so many zeroes on it! so many!

    Speaking of zeroes, that reminds me: as I have said before, I can respect your general intelligence and learning. You’re a pretty smart person, probably the smartest person on BobWorld. (Sorry, Mouth of Bob, she’s even smarter than you. That must, errr, ummm, SMART. Too bad). But Every once in a while, you let the real you show.

    Really! a paid hack for Soros, as if the spew of despite, malicious intentions, and evangelical wet dreams isn’t sufficient motivation. Not that I ever had the slightest bit of doubt, but as with your comment last week, about gay people being “disordered” being to blame for the problems that gay people experience, which you then walked back and hid behind Catholic “theology”… as if you and your ilk have hands as clean as Pontius Pilate’s…well, we both know what you really meant. And yes, I will allow myself to read your mind. It’s not difficult, and never has been. You’re just better at concealing the despite than the rest.

    And you have proved it once again. What a world you people live in! How’s the weather in “Whited Sepulchers”?

    I’m reminded of Michelangelo’s Last Judgment. He placed one particular sinner in one particular compositional place, the lower right intersection of the lines of thirds he used for composition. There is a reason it’s there. Anyway, It’s too bad you don’t use your superpowers for good. As I said once to Sandimonious, and will say to you now once again. It’s almost really too bad your particular and peculiar theology has nothing to do with reality.

    I’d give worlds to see the look on your face when Jesus Goes all Matthew 7:21 on you.

  • I’m glad you’re flattered, since nothing makes you glow like a complimentary pat on the head. As I’ve always said, you are obviously possessed of some intelligence and education. What you do not possess is expertise in scripture or theology, or a reason for anyone to take you seriously on such subjects. Asking questions, therefore, would become you more than pontificating.

    And thanks but I knew Bob knew his stuff on those subjects back when I saw that he understood the Noahide underpinnings of the decisions reached by the Jerusalem Council. It’s very rare today in our reading-challenged society to find someone who does.

    Also, if you insist on replying to me, would you be so kind as to pare it down to a substantive point or two? I do not have the time or the patience to read through reams of affectation and grandstanding, much of which we have all seen many times before.

  • Not likely. You guys are a fairly panicky and dishonest lot. Love to demonize, hate to rely on facts or common sense.

    Conservatives love to invoke boogeymen like Alinsky and Soros so they have a name to put to their paranoid fantasies. Both are frequently invoked by neo-nazi types as well so they can recycle “Zionist conspiracy” theories and pretend it is just against a specific individual.

    Face it, an “Alinsky” or “Soros” reference in an online conversation is a sure sign one is talking to a wingnut.

  • “Flattered” was sarcasm. All the rest is decoration.

    As for your request, you always have the option of a) not reading it, and b) blocking me. But, as with BobWorld, will your ego allow it?

    As for your last line, I actually don’t wish harm to you, just realization. My ideal scenario would be Jesus saying, “nah. just kidding. You’re a sheep, not a goat. I’m not Whom you imagine Me to be. And neither are you.”

    Clear and concise enough for you?

  • Figured you’d understand that. You can’t have an adult conversation so put your mommy’s phone down before she finds out

  • Better.

    I do not know what ego has to do with blocking — in my own case it is mainly about convenience and I only block those who both (a) are clearly unintelligent and/or mentally unbalanced and (b) consistently produce nothing substantive to discuss. You do not fit into either category although you certainly have room to improve wrt substance.

    Not wishing harm … 😝. Not buying it, but don’t care to explore it, either. Your ideal scenario lacks any connection with anything communicated by the gospels, so I’ll let that lie as well.

  • Exactly what I feel about the gospels.

    As for ego and blocking, review your soulmate bob’s comments and threats to block. Then do the math.

    Concise enough?

  • I have no intention of reading back through Bob’s comment history, nor do I care about his reasons for blocking. I have my own, thank you.

  • Speaking of factual assertions, you wrote “Because according to studies on the subject, between 90-95% of the people who filed asylum claims abided by due pprocess.”

    There seem to be some differences of opinion:

    https://thefederalist.com/2018/06/20/4-things-media-wont-tell-border-crisis/

    “Statistics from 2016 show that ‘non-detained aliens,’ which include those who were never detained and those who were released on bond or their own recognizance, failed to show up for court hearings in 39 percent of completed immigration cases ….”, also pointing out a few problems the Obama administration had which you like to disregard.

    The source for the percentage is Justice itself:

    https://www.justice.gov/eoir/file/1061531/download

    https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/ICE-Many-Immigrants-Skip-Court-Hearings-265634251.html

    “About 33 percent of immigrants released by U.S. Customs and Border Enforcement (ICE) does not show up for their immigration hearings, according to immigration court officials. ….” “If the respondent does not show up to court, they will be put on the removal list. It is up to ICE’s Fugitive Operations Teams to find them.”

    “To illustrate the scope of the problem, ICE was looking for more than 469,000 people in 2012. This included immigrants who didn’t show up to court, those ordered to self-deport and those wanted for violating the terms of their immigration.”

    https://www.washingtonexamihttps://www.washingtonexaminer.com/report-90-of-illegals-skip-immigration-court-appearances-135-000-will-go-missing

    “Ninety percent of the mostly-teen illegal immigrants flooding over the Mexico-U.S. border won’t show up for their immigration court hearing, meaning at least 135,000 of the youths will simply vanish into the country this year alone, according to a key House committee chairman.”

    “House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, who on Wednesday held a hearing to raise national security concerns about the new wave of illegals, revealed Thursday that many of the teens are placed with relatives, including parents who are in the U.S. illegally, and then ignore court orders to appear for immigration hearings.”

    “Once they are picked up by immigration officials, ‘they are given a court date, expected to return, a year or more later,’ said the Virginia lawmaker. ‘The overwhelming majority of them, more than 90 percent, do not return for their hearings and as a result we have a problem,’ he added.”

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/report-90-of-illegals-skip-immigration-court-appearances-135-000-will-go-missing

    “Mark H. Metcalf, who served as immigration judge in Miami between 2005 and 2008, says in the report Courting Disaster, that there are almost one million immigrants with final orders of deportation who may not have left.”

    “‘American immigration courts have the highest failure to appear rates,’ says Metcalf in the report released last month by the Center for Immigration Studies, an academic research group in Washington that seeks tighter immigration controls and is accused by some immigrant rights activists of being anti-immigrant.”

    “‘The point of the [report] is to show how U.S. immigration courts are not functioning right, in the interests of the United States as well as the interests of the people who appear before the courts,’ Metcalf said in a telephone interview this month. ‘The findings are that over the last 20 years, 37 percent of all litigants who were free pending trial failed to show up for their hearings.’”

    What seems to be missing in action is one study, let alone “studies”, supporting that between 90-95% of the people who filed asylum claims showed up for their hearings.

    Perhaps when you come for air from telling other people they don’t have the facts, you’ll share with us your source(s)?

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