There is much that is praiseworthy in the pastoral letter of the bishops of Colorado on the issue of immigration reform. But, at times, it seems to be challenging the previous statements of the U.S. Bishops' conference and trafficking in conservative, largely discredited ideas, about the health of society. One passage is specifically worrisome because it seems to channel the writings of the late Samuel Huntington whose book "Clash of Civilizations" was filled with anti-Catholic bias and whose later work, "Who Are We? Challenges to America's National Identity"was virtually nativist in its arguments. The Colorado bishops state:
"Experience shows that when a society is too ethnically and culturally diverse it can give rise to political instability. Therefore, when politicians make decisions about immigration policies, the question of integration cannot be overlooked."
What experience shows that?Yes, integration is a key issue, but one of the reasons, one of the conservative reasons, to support immigration reform is that America's culture needs the distinctive, family-oriented values that Latinos bring with them. I hope that in the process of integration it is the gringos who change, not the immigrants!
There are other troubling comments in this letter. Suffice it to say, Archbishop Gomez, who heads the USCCB Committee on Migration and who was once a bishop in Colorado, should call his office.