Please click on 2008, then November and the November piece on Mexican gangs will be right there on the 30th. Why? Because I want to draw a correlation between the gangs, illegal immigration and the clergy of all faiths in the southwest, especially Cardinal Mahony.
We in the Midwest were oblivious to the growing problem of illegals during the late 80s. After all, hadn't we given amnesty to all those who were here illegally a few years back? And didn't we think that the border security would be improved and the problem solved?
But what of the clergy (and others) who watched the problem take root and start growing again? They did the Christian thing in asking parishioners to feed the hungry and shelter the homeless. And they offered sanctuary. But did they do anything to really help these people economically? Did they alert the rest of their brethren throughout the United States and potentially the world? No. Could they have? Yes. I'm not sure of the structure of all churches but the Catholic Cardinals and Bishops wield much influence. And I know that by not talking about it, they were encouraging Mexicans to break our laws and Americans to aid them. Does anyone remember "Render unto Caesar?" I think it has something to do with obeying the laws of wherever one lives.
What would have been the result had they brought the problem to the attention of the rest of us? We have all kinds of envelopes in our packets for specific projects and problems. Missions of all kinds are funded with dollars which when multiplied by the numbers of good folks who care, amount to really, really big bucks. Had there been effort made to gather together the funds, hire folks to administer projects which might include cottage industries for women and families much as Heifer International does and help develop small businesses and industries for men and women perhaps those who now carry the label "illegal" would be living proudly and making decent livings in their home country.
And to carry it a little further, there is the chance (albeit a small one) that those families would be contributing to making Mexico a first world country and economy where running drugs would not be as attractive as it is. Now we have this major problem for both countries. Mexico has lost millions of energetic, hard working people who could be assets to their country but instead have become an economic hardship for states such as California who are going bankrupt due in part to having to take care of non-legal citizens and sometimes at the expense of their own citizens and taxpayers plus others across the country.
I could write more, but I've always promised that you could spend just a couple of minutes on this site and go away with food for thought. This is the tip of the iceberg. Most of you can write your own finish.