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At Postville Raid Anniversary, Religious Leaders Make Mockery of Their Faith & Ethics | NumbersUSA - For Lower Immigration Levels

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At Postville Raid Anniversary, Religious Leaders Make Mockery of Their Faith & Ethics


The intellectual bankruptcy and juvenile morality of trendy open-borders clergy is on an embarrassing public display during events marking the first anniversary of ICE raids of the Postville, Iowa kosher meatpacking plant. 

Many of these are the same clergy who remained silent for years as the meatpacking plant physically endangered its workers and violated child laborers.

Like silent witnesses to pedophilia, these clergy were voiceless for years while the meatpacker workers -- especially children -- were chewed up by an immoral corporation.  Now these clergy have the shameless audacity to blame immigration laws for the collapse of the business and the misery of the workers.

Lutheran, Catholic and United Methodist leaders say the lesson of Postville is that Congress should provide an amnesty to 12-20 million illegal foreign workers and dependents.  In effect, they seem to want to make sure that unemployed U.S. workers don't get a crack at the estimated 8.3 million jobs the illegal workers currently hold.


The open-borders religious leaders say enforcement of immigration laws is "foolish." 

Immigration raids are foolish. They traumatize families and
children. They break families apart. We need a policy that treats
people with dignity and justice.

-- Rev. Steven P. Brackett, pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Postville

That means immigration laws are foolish.  By extension, I suppose these religious leaders believe it to be foolish to protect vulnerable U.S. workers from the free movement of tens of millions of foriegn workers who would surely move to the U.S. and bid down wages and working conditions if the clerics got their wish of open immigration.

For a year, open-borders clerics around the country have used the Postville Raid as a pulpit to proclaim that illegal workers only do jobs that Americans won't do.

In the case of the Postville Kosher plant, that almost is true.

The Kosher management treated its workers so badly in terms of pay, working conditions, safety and benefits, that it would have been difficult to find U.S. citizens who would have put up with the job.


In fact, it was the company's violation of safety, wage and child labor laws -- as well as potentially criminal fiscal management -- that led to the company shutting down, spreading economic hardship over the entire community.

Open-borders advocates constantly claim that it was the immigration raid that caused the shutdown.  But that is not true. The company -- after improving the compensation package -- was actually able to quickly find legal workers and ship them into town after ICE removed all the illegal foreign workers.

I told newspaper reporters Thursday that even if there had been no immigration enforcement at all, the Kosher plant would have been in big trouble based only on safety, wage and child labor violations.  We constantly hear politicians who oppose immigration enforcement say they want to see aggressive safety and wage enforcement.  So do I.  And if you get that kind of enforcement, you will see lots of businesses that hire illegal aliens in big trouble, because most of them break all kinds of laws other than immigration.


I was asked if I feel sorry for the community around Postville based on the economic suffering of losing its biggest employer.  My answer is yes.  But I note that the clerics preaching against law enforcement seem to be suggesting that we should allow corporations to continue to mistreat their workers because making them follow the law might cause collateral economic pain.

I ask the archbishops and bishops:  Should we stop enforcing child labor laws because some community has become dependent on a plant that abuses child workers?

The problem for Postville is not that immigration and labor laws were enforced but that they were enforced too late.

If the Bush Administration had been serious about safety, labor and immigration enforcement earlier, conditions would not have gotten nearly so bad. Adjustments could have been made without the corporation collapsing. But by the time the feds got involved, the Kosher management had so corrupted the whole operation there really wasn't anything left to save. The business was rancid.


I have another question for all the preachers, priests, nuns and religious social workers who are so eager for their moments of fame in the national press by declaring it immoral to arrest workers who illegally enter the country and take jobs from U.S. citizens:

How do you explain your silence over the last several years about the incredible mistreatment of workers -- including children -- at the Postville plant?  Especially those of you who lived in the community.  How were you able to just turn away from the grievous behavior of the employers?  Why didn't you report the criminal activities to the government?

There is no way in a small community that you could have been unaware of what was going on. How do you justify your complicity with the sinful practices of the managers of that plant?


The callous immorality of open-borders theology is beginning to infect local pastors.

I request all of you readers to make sure your own pastor is aware of the solid morality of immigration laws in preventing powerful economic interesests from mistreating the most vulnerable members of our community.

Your pastors are constantly propagandized by denominational publications and leaders who suggest that immigration laws are immoral because they don't follow the Scripture's commandment to not mistreat the stranger.  You don't have to convince your pastor that our position is right as much as you need to convince that the issue is more complex than stating that every stranger should be given amnesty, a job and citizenship.

You should also let your pastors know that millions of dollars have been donated by foundations to organizations to help persuade denominations to endorse amnesty and to side against unemployed U.S. workers in favor of illegal foreign workers getting jobs.

Please don't be combative with your pastor. Share your concerns sincerely and calmly.  I have been around clergy all of my life -- and I talked with hundreds of them during my days reporting on religion. I can attest that most clergy are sincere compassionate people who would never deliberately show a hardened heart to the families in their community that are suffering from unemployment or the threat of joblessness. But they need to understand that illegal immigration is not a victimless crime. Millions of U.S. citizens are out of work today because 8.3 million illegal foreign workers are allowed to hold their jobs.

ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA

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