Caravan Demands $50k Each to Go Home. Vatican Wants Global Agencies to Decide.
Surprise, surprise! Pope Francis’ Vatican supports the Global Compact for Migration. Even the Compact’s thinly veiled support for abortion isn’t enough to put the Vatican off. Thankfully, the Trump administration continues to follow the actual Catholic Catechism. That guarantees nations the right to regulate immigration unilaterally. You know, for the common good of the citizens who actually live in them.
I’m tempted at this point simply to echo the brilliant Yoram Hazony. He argues in The Virtue of Nationalism that a global, imperial impulse is baked into Catholic political culture. We believe that a single, centralized Church should rule men’s spiritual state. So why not prefer that a single, uniform power emerge as a global State? Even the otherwise sober Pope Benedict XVI fell into this temptation, in his encyclical Caritas in Veritate. I criticized him for it at the time. His plan in actual practice could only yield planetary tyranny, from which there would be (quite literally) no escape on earth.
Learn to Love Big Papa
The Vatican also supports global economic austerity for the sake of “the climate.” That would put every citizen’s economic activity under the micromanagement of unelected, often foreign bureaucrats. Likewise, the goal of the Global Compact on Migration. That’s to wrest the power to decide on immigration questions out of the hands of voters. The only principle which guides the Vatican now? It seems to be the same one stirring the dying hulk of the European Union. That is: fighting populist nationalism, whatever the cost.
For instance, the cost in lives. The recent jihadi attack on a Christmas market in Strasbourg, France was just the latest example of Islam in action. The bishop of that city didn’t wait for the blood on the streets to dry. He warned his flock not to dare link the influx of millions of Muslims with Islamic terrorism. As he told a reporter:
I would like to say to Europe not to connect the migration issue – that seriously involves all European Countries – to the wave of Islamist terrorism, for it could trigger violent, sovereignist and populist drifts. It’s a risk. I have already read statements in this respect, on behalf of far-right and far-left men and women politicians.
You see, the greatest threat is not the slaughter of citizens by strangers. No, it’s the voting behavior of citizens. Without elites like bishops and EU commissioners to guide them, they might get “violent.” They might decide to limit the influx of strangers. And strange ideas like sharia, with the willingness to kill for it.
Our Money, Their Decision
For America, so far, the cost of open borders has mostly been financial. The Center for Immigration Studies did the math.
51 percent of immigrant-headed households used at least one federal welfare program — cash, food, housing, or medical care — compared to 30 percent of native households….
The average household headed by an immigrant (legal or illegal) costs taxpayers $6,234 in federal welfare benefits, which is 41 percent higher than the $4,431 received by the average native household.
The average immigrant household consumes 33 percent more cash welfare, 57 percent more food assistance, and 44 percent more Medicaid dollars than the average native household. Housing costs are about the same for both groups.
At $8,251, households headed by immigrants from Central America and Mexico have the highest welfare costs of any sending region — 86 percent higher than the costs of native households.
Illegal immigrant households cost an average of $5,692 (driven largely by the presence of U.S.-born children), while legal immigrant households cost $6,378.
In another report, CIS estimates that within 10 years, an effective border Wall “would save taxpayers nearly $64 billion — several times the wall’s cost.”
The Caravan’s Ransom Note
But why crunch so many numbers? The migrant Caravan has actually saved us the time. Its leaders named their price for going home. It even delivered a ransom note to U.S. diplomats.
As The Washington Examiner reported:
Led by one Alfonso Guerrero Ulloa, these 100 individuals went to the U.S. consulate in Tijuana on Tuesday with a letter demanding “that the Trump Administration pay them $50,000 each or allow them into the U.S.” This is justified, Ulloa says, because “it is a small sum compared to everything the United States has stolen from Honduras.” Solis reports the “letter criticized American intervention in Central America. They gave the U.S. Consulate 72 hours to respond.”
Ulloa is suspected in the 1987 bombing that wounded six American soldiers in Honduras. Not that should bias us against granting him asylum, or paying him off, mind you. Fifty grand each might be a bargain. Compare it to the millions in legal costs it will take the U.S. to beat the lawyers vote-thirsty George Soros and the soul-hungry U.S. bishops hire for these false asylum seekers. Not to mention the decades of welfare afterward — much of it sluiced through Catholic nonprofits via federal contracts. Forty percent of the U.S. bishops’ income last year came from that source.
Let Anyone Decide, Except the People
No Vatican employee has commented on whether the U.S. ought to cough up that $50,000 for each Caravanista. But an enforceable global pact on immigration would take that out of our hands. Forget American officials responsible to the voters. A global immigration authority would do the negotiating for us. Insulated from the outrage of taxpayers, it might demand that we pay. And our government, constrained by treaty, would have to do it. You know, the way Great Britain now cringes before the EU’s commissars.
Catholic teaching on government still pays lip service to subsidiarity. That is, the solemn duty not to transfer authority further away from the people than is absolutely necessary. But after decades of bishops sharing hot tubs and Davos conference rooms with Eurocrats? That principle is little more than a fig leaf. For this Vatican, as for the EU, every decision (from immigration policy to the proper weight of cheeses) belongs with unelected bureaucrats. Power belongs almost anywhere but the grubby hands of the people.
John Zmirak is co-author, with Al Perrotta, of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration.