Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

Is the Catholic Church pro-human trafficking?

Jerry Stratton, February 19, 2020

No sanctuary without walls

Last August, the Deacon at our church gave the sermon, and in a list of bad things, he included “immigration control” and immediately followed it with “human trafficking”. Both were things we need to fight and pray against.

This is very common among Church officials today. Bishops ask us to oppose human trafficking, and then in the next interview—or the next breath—ask us to let everyone cross the border without any questions or barriers, and disparage attempts to verify that those crossing the border are who they say they are and are not human traffickers.

This is obviously, completely, crazy. There is no getting rid of human trafficking if we don’t control it at the border. Being against immigration control is necessarily being in favor of allowing human trafficking to flourish within the illegal immigration community. How can any law be enforced at the border without immigration control? How can a lack of immigration control, or twisting immigration control to require no proof of parenthood, age, or persecution do anything but encourage human trafficking, sex offenders, and persecutors to cross the border and continue harming their victims?1

This is not a Holy Mystery. It’s dangerously close to a pagan belief in the power of good intentions, a magical thinking that if you appease the spirits of the world you have acted sufficiently.

The wide road is easier to walk; the narrow road requires judgement. But we are being asked by the Church to take the wide road. That even though human trafficking is bad, showing judgement about who is and is not a human trafficker is worse. That even though refusing sanctuary is bad, showing judgement about who needs sanctuary and who causes the need for sanctuary is worse. That is the wide road. The narrow road requires judgement.

Sanctuary is a Catholic word, but the Catholic Church seems to have forgotten what it means. It isn’t sanctuary when you let in the persecutors with the persecuted. It isn’t sanctuary when you release children into the hands of human traffickers. It isn’t sanctuary when you reward and encourage rapists and others who prey on the vulnerable.2 It is insane that the Catholic Church, long the source of sanctuary in the world, would redefine sanctuary to mean its opposite.

Sanctuary requires hard choices, and there is no evidence that Church officials, or the border charities that the Church supports, are making those choices.

It’s easy to provide things. It is much more difficult to provide sanctuary. Food and water are not sanctuary. Sanctuary requires choices. It requires deciding—who is truly seeking asylum? Who is instead a predator, a human trafficker, hoping to game the system and keep abusing their victims?

What will these Catholic border charities do when they discover that a man is not the father of the child that he brought with him? There was a fascinating segment on Full Measure on CBS October 6 about a Catholic Charity that takes in asylum seekers, and a woman on it said that men used her disabled child to avoid being detained. She presented it benignly, and it was accepted benignly by the reporter and charity official, as if it’s something that happens every day.

It would be the height of irresponsibility to claim to provide sanctuary and then ignore evidence of predation. But no attempt was made to investigate, to ensure that the child wasn’t being abused as part of being used in this way. That is sadly what we’ve come to expect from the worldly press, but it cannot be what we expect of the Church.

If an asylum seeker is actually a predator hoping to gain access to a vulnerable community of asylum seekers it is wrong to give them that access. If the child they claim is theirs is instead being used, it is wrong to release the child into their custody. And yet the Church today opposes taking the time to verify such claims, and pretends that this is the sanctuary that the vulnerable need.

This sort of one-dimensional good intention is why we say that the road to hell is paved with them. If good intentions mean ignoring predators in the midst of people you’re trying to help, how good can your intentions truly be? You are condemning people to the same life they tried to leave, all in the name of a magical thinking that is not Christian charity but rather a barbaric, pre-Christian paganism.

In response to Nobody wants immigration reform: “Immigration is not a problem to be solved.” A confident and successful electorate could understand that issues are more important than who you hate. Unreasoning partisanship, however, is a problem that often seems as if it has no solution.

  1. Even during the DNA testing pilot program, 15% of children turned out to be with a non-relative. How many children were being used before DNA testing started?

  2. This distinction is burned into Catholic Mass during the Gloria: et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis, “and on earth peace to people of good will”. A peace brought about among people of good will is qualitatively different from a peace brought about among people of bad will. The latter is likely to be a hell on earth, the good forced to acquiesce to the whims of the evil.

  1. <- Global barbarism