Cardinal Mahony, Archbishop of Los Angeles, throwing another wrinkle in to the health care debate, believes that illegal immigrants are entitled to health care as the bill moves through Congress.
Unlike most on the conservative populist side of the isle, Mahony maintains that illegal immigrants are not a burden and the only people who think so are talk show rabble. Of course he wants comprehensive immigration reform as well.
In many conversations with people around the country, I have found that the dreadful anti-immigrant rhetoric that dominates talk shows does not represent the views of a majority of Americans, who do not reject immigrants out of hand as a burden. Instead, they want to find a way for these people to emerge from the shadows and to begin down a path to legal status.
To deny our immigrant brothers and sisters basic health care coverage is immoral. To allow people’s basic health needs to be trumped by divisive politics violates American standards of decency and compassion. We should pass health care reform that provides access to all, in the interests of the common good. We must also enact comprehensive immigration reform that better balances our country’s need for a stable work force with the orderly flow of immigrants to help bring greater prosperity to all Americans.
Otherwise, in our country there will remain a permanent underclass left standing in the waiting room, asking for a doctor’s visit that will never come.
Mahony in wrong on the abortion issue (though correct to say it doesn’t belong in the health care bill). He’s also wrong on immigration and doesn’t care to look at some of the economics of it.
I have a set of questions for the Cardinal: Is it moral to confiscate beyond the need to raise revenue for legitimate state functions, the fruits of one’s labor? How much taxation should we endure? How many immigrants can we absorb? Does a nation have the right to define itself by borders, language and culture? And is the church interested in building its flock at the expense of the U.S. taxpayer.