After the Paris terrorist attack, House Speaker Paul Ryan declared that the United States cannot turn away the hundreds of thousands of Islamist migrants now being approved for visas to enter the United States. Ryan declared that it is not “appropriate” to consider the religious attitudes of would-be migrants seeking admission.
After the San Bernardino terrorist attack, Ryan echoed President Obama in condemning what was described as Donald Trump’s “religious test.” However, a Breitbart News investigation now reveals that while Paul Ryan wants no ‘religious test’ for who gets admitted into America, Ryan sends his children to a private school that uses a “religious test” in its admissions process.
Ryan sends his children to a Catholic school connected to the parish where he was an altar boy as a child.
Breitbart News reached out to the school as a perspective applicant and obtained a copy of the school’s 2015-2016 registration papers and tuition contract. The document inquires specifically into the applicant’s religious background — in particular, it asks whether the applicant is a parishioner at the associated Catholic parish. The school recruits through the parish by offering a tuition discount to those who have been baptized and are members of the parish.
The registration form defines what qualifies as a parishioner:
A ‘parishioner’ as defined for the purposes of this contract and the attached Addendums is a person who:
- Is officially registered at… [this] Catholic Parish
- Has had their children baptized;
- Fulfills the Sunday Mass obligation and other Holy Days of Obligation;
- Offers consistent financial support (whether weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually) through the church offertory envelopes or direct deposit for a minimum of $800 per calendar year;
- Volunteers service to the parish; and
- Participates in parish ministries when asked, or if they feel called to share their talent of time.
Instead of doing an explicit ban on Muslim students, Ryan’s school applies a religious tax on non-parishioner students — thereby creating a two-tiered system for students and their families depending upon whether or not they are parishioners. The registration form explains that “the cost to educate a child at [this] School for the 2015-2016 school year is $4,673.00.” The school charges non-parishioner families a rate that is higher than the cost of educating the child: “For families who do not have at least one parent or guardian who is a parishioner, a minimum of 4,900 tuition per child will be expected.”
By contrast, parishioners pay less than the cost to educate one child — paying only “a minimum of $1900.00 tuition per child” plus an additional parish contribution of $800 — i.e. a total of $2,200 less per year than what is owed by non-parishioners. Parishioners even receive the recruitment incentive of free pre-kindergarten.
By signing the contract, parents agree that the tuition they pay “is considered an investment in the Catholic education of my child.”
As the registration forms explain, the school exists for the express purpose of helping to foster Catholic children:
[This] school is a Catholic School established and subsidized by the members of [this] Parish, Janesville, Wisconsin for the purpose of assisting Catholic parents in fulfilling the responsibility to raise their children in the Catholic faith.
Therefore, as the school’s website explains, the “school primarily serves children of parish families” and non-parishioner families are welcome “as space allows.”
While Muslim students could presumably get into Ryan’s school, the school’s reliance on the parish as a recruiting center and the above-cost tuition fees would, by definition, function as a mechanism for screening them out. When Breitbart News spoke to a school representative about the school’s religious diversity, the representative said that no student currently enrolled wears a headscarf, even as Paul Ryan’s migration policies increasingly introduce this new element into other families’ schools.
Moreover, in addition to the school’s religious tax in the form of higher tuition for non-parishioner students, the school also requires a certain degree of assimilation from its non-Catholic students: namely, if a non-Catholic student is admitted, she must participate in the school’s religious functions, which include regular faith-based courses.
If the U.S. had an immigration policy that resembled the admission policy of Speaker Ryan’s school — i.e. it recruited migrants from churches and synagogues overseas and offered discounted migration to people who attended churches and synagogues — although a Muslim migrant could theoretically get in, the effect would be to substantially reduce Muslim migration and increase Christian and Jewish migration relative to it — a policy which Ryan finds reprehensible for the country, but ideal for his kids’ school.
While Ryan chooses to insulate his children in an academic environment that considers religion in its admissions process, he has been adamant that the American people are not entitled to be similarly selective about who comes into their country to live as their neighbors, receive their tax dollars, fill public university slots, demand affirmative action, or potentially radicalize against their own country.
Days ago, Speaker Ryan even announced that he could not yet support Donald Trump against Hillary Clinton, after Trump became the presumptive GOP nominee selected by Republican voters. Several candidates — Lindsey Graham, Jeb Bush, John Kasich, and Marco Rubio — all ran on Ryan’s platform and lost by immense margins. Similarly, Mitt Romney also ran on the Ryan platform and lost in a landslide, as did Eric Cantor in his own Congressional District.
Reports have previously noted that one of Ryan’s central disagreements with Trump stems from Trump’s pledge to enact a temporary pause on Muslim migration — a policy Speaker Ryan publicly denounced even though, according to exit polling data, seven in ten GOP Wisconsin voters support Trump’s plan.
Trump’s proposal “is not what this party stands for. And more importantly, it’s not what this country stands for,” Ryan said in December.
In the next eight months, the U.S. will issue more visas to Muslim migrants than the number of GOP voters in Ryan’s district.
Yet, not only does Ryan oppose the temporary migration pause, he has pushed to expand Muslim migration. Ryan has a two-decade long history to pushing to expand immigration rates and has championed legislation that expanded Muslim migration. Last December, Ryan ushered his omnibus spending bill through Congress, which funded visa issuances for nearly 300,000 Muslim migrants, temporary and permanent, over a 12-month time span.
In an interview with Sean Hannity in November, Ryan said that he does not support any kind of “religious test” for determining who is admitted entrance into the country — even if the would-be migrants believe that “women can’t drive [and] can’t be seen in public without a male relative.”
“I don’t think a religious test is appropriate. That’s not who we are,” Ryan said. “I don’t think it’s the appropriate test.”
However, as Andrew McCarthy has previously explained, the U.S. law does, in fact, require a religious test when it comes to making considerations about visa issuances.
Ryan grounded his attack of Trump’s plan to pause the admission of Muslim foreign citizens on the first amendment right of U.S. citizens. “Freedom of religion is a fundamental Constitutional principle. It’s a founding principle of this country,” Ryan said.
However, as Sen. Jeff Sessions has explained — contrary to a previous declaration Ryan has made — the role of a U.S. lawmaker is to represent U.S. citizens, not foreign nationals living in foreign countries. As such, Sen. Sessions explains that our first amendment protections extend to U.S. citizens, and not to foreign would-be migrants all around the globe. In his remarks arguing against an amendment offered by Sen. Patrick Leahy and supported by Senate Democrats that would move towards creating a global right to migrate, Sessions said:
There are 7 billion people in the world. Choosing who can immigrate into the United States is, by definition, an exclusionary process. The goal is to select immigrants for admission based on the benefits they provide to society… In the United States, we have protections against discrimination by religion, age, disability, country of origin, etc. We have freedom of association. Rights of due process. Now imagine extending these as part of our immigration system. The logical extension of this concept results in a legal regime in which the United States cannot deny an alien admission to the United States based upon age, health, skill, family criminal history, country of origin, and so forth… If we say it is improper to consider religion, then that means it is improper for a consular official to even ask about a candidate’s religious beliefs when trying to screen an applicant for entry. It would mean that even asking questions of a fiancé seeking a visa about his or her views on any religious matter – say on the idea of pluralism vs. religious supremacy – would be improper, because if it is improper to favor or disfavor a religion, it is improper to favor or disfavor any interpretation of a religion… Are we really prepared to disallow, in the consideration of tens of millions of applications for entry to the United States, any questions about religious views and attitudes? A U.S.-born citizen who subscribes to theocratic Islam has a freedom of speech that allows him to give a sermon denouncing the U.S. constitution or demanding it be changed. But… [by extending these protections to foreign nationals] a foreign religious leader living overseas could demand a tourist visa to deliver that same sermon and claim religious discrimination if it is not approved.
Although Ryan’s school doesn’t prohibit Muslims from entering it, its identity as a Catholic school and its recruitment program through the parish, by definition, means that it is an environment imbued with a sense of religious identity that Ryan says cannot be applied to the more consequential decision of who gets to live in your country. The school’s commitment to maintaining a strong Catholic community and culture is further evidenced by the fact that if a non-Catholic student were to be admitted, she would be required to participate in the school’s religious functions.
“All students regardless of church affiliation, are asked to participate in the religious functions of the school,” the school’s website explains.
As the school’s principal explains in a letter to the student’s parents:
At [this school], religion isn’t just a class. It’s infused into everything we do, say, and teach. Children pray in the morning and before meals. They attend Mass each school week and celebrate their Catholic faith in special ways like weekly Benediction, May Crowning, stations of the Cross during Lent, Catholic Schools Week, and more. From the earliest grades they learn how to be “Christ-kind” to others and participate in service to help those in need.
“Religion is taught in every subject,” one parent wrote in a testimonial promoted on the school’s website.
As the registration form states:
The School believes that education should deal with the whole person but understands that each student is a unique individual created in the image and likeness of God. Catholic education adds the dimension of a value system with Christ as a model. The School shall seek to create an atmosphere of faith, community and caring. Frequent prayer, participation in liturgies, encouragement of academic excellence, and the development of a student’s potential are the essence of the School’s philosophy.
While Ryan apparently enjoys the luxury of sending his children to a school that selectively determines the faith and values of the families admitted into its community, millions of Americans do not have such options.
This is not the first time Ryan has advanced open borders policies for America, while giving his family the protections he denies the American public.
As Breitbart News reported last December, Paul Ryan has a border fence around his property even though his omnibus spending bill did not provide funding for the mandatory completion of a 700-mile double-layer border fence that Congress promised the American people nearly a decade ago when it passed the 2006 Secure Fence Act. Ryan’s tall personal border fence is reinforced by high bushes — ensuring both privacy and security. The fence is also manned by an on-duty agent who guards his property’s perimeter.
The U.S. admitted 59 million immigrants between the Kennedy-LBJ immigration bill in 1965 and 2015, remaking America politically and demographically and reversing the middle class gains experienced by African-Americans.
Only 7% of GOP voters, according to Pew, favor more immigration. Paul Ryan, the lead champion for more immigration in Congress, is the highest-ranking Republican official in the land.