The archbishop of Miami has said that immigrants are “the best and the brightest in our country” while calling President Donald Trump “Archie Bunker without the charm.”
Responding to Trump’s reported comments that Haiti, El Salvador, and certain African nations are “shithole countries,” Archbishop Thomas Wenski, who has been described as “a leading voice in the Catholic Church on refugee and immigration issues,” told Catholic media that the president is “channeling Archie Bunker without the charm.”
Following accusations by Democrats that Trump had used the expression “shithole countries” during a closed-door meeting with them, the president denied having employed the term, though he acknowledged having used “tough” language.
In an interview with the online news outlet Crux Friday, Wenski called Trump’s alleged remarks “disappointing” while lauding the outcome of the president’s meeting with members of Congress since it will return the DACA issue to the U.S. Congress, where he believes it belongs.
“By rescinding DACA and ending TPS, he’s basically thrown the ball back into Congress, which is where the solution has always lied [sic],” said Wenski.
“Both DACA and TPS were temporary solutions forcing people into limbo,” Wenski said. “If Congress acts—and acts in a right way—the DACA people and TPS people will end up in a better position.”
Calling Trump an immigration “restrictionist,” Wenski suggested to Crux that the president’s words reveal “the true motivation of those that want to close the doors of our nations to immigrants.”
The archbishop also praised the contribution of immigration as an unmitigated benefit for the host nation receiving them, asserting that the best citizens of a country are those that emigrate.
“As Emma Lazarus’s poem on the Statue of Liberty suggests, these are precisely the immigrants that become the best and the brightest in our country,” he said.
“I think he has to understand that countries have, historically, brought us the best because they come looking for the promise of America and are ready to seize the opportunities that America offers, he added.”
On Thursday, a Vatican official defended Pope Francis’s emphasis on the topic of immigration, accusing the pope’s critics of being “obsessed” with national security and secure borders.
Asked in an interview with Italian media whether the pope is not “obsessed” with the immigration question, Jesuit Father Michael Czerny, undersecretary for the Vatican’s office of Migrants and Refugees, responded that it is not Pope Francis who is obsessed, but rather his critics.
Many would say that the modern “obsession with borders and national security to the detriment of the rights and dignity of refugees and refugees” is excessive, the priest declared. And for many others, “the media predilection for sensational stories that feed xenophobia and isolationism is also excessive,” he added.
Citing the secretary general of the United Nations, António Guterres, the priest said that “the rise of nationalism and xenophobia must be counted among the new dangers for global peace and stability.”
For his part, Guterres has insisted that mass immigration is a net good for all. In an op-ed in the UK-based Guardian newspaper Thursday, Guterres echoed billionaire immigration agitator George Soros in his full-bore encouragement of increased migration.
The benefits of migration are “often lost in public debate,” Guterres wrote. “Migrants make huge contributions to both their host countries and countries of origin.”
“They take jobs that local workforces cannot fill, boosting economic activity,” he said. “Many are innovators and entrepreneurs. Nearly half of all migrants are women, looking for better lives and work opportunities.”
The UN chief also argued that migrants make “a major contribution to international development” by sending remittances to their home countries, to the tune of about $600 billion.
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