President Trump issued executive orders titled, Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States and Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements on January 25, 2017 and an executive order titled, Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States on January 27, 2017.

Regardless of some unjustly harsh criticism, the executive orders are just, lawful and follow Catholic teaching on immigration.  This teaching is found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2241.  There are four points to this teaching.  Each point is the right and responsibility of the public/political authority (in this case, responsibility entrusted to President Trump) and the fourth point is the shared responsibility of the immigrant and the public/political authority.

Here is the teaching on immigration excerpted from Catechism 2241:

The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him. 

“Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions,especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.”

Now here is a breakdown of the Catholic teaching’s four points related to the President’s orders and how his orders comply with each point of the teaching (including immigrant responsibilities in point #4):

    • The first point reads, “The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin.”  Does the President follow this point?  Yes.  In each of the three orders he upholds this point by recognizing the authority of current law that authorizes continued  and conditional immigration.
    • The second point reads, “Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.”  Does he follow this point?  Yes.  Just like the first point he upholds current law which protects immigrants and guests whether they stay and become citizens or are safely repatriated after being given care and protection.
    • The third point reads, “Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption.”  Does he follow this point?  Yes.  In each executive order he recognizes the law which had already set juridical conditions on immigration.
  • The fourth point reads. “Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.”  Does the President follow this point?  Yes.  His role is to make sure that the laws of the land are enforced and through executive order when necessary.  Do immigrants follow this point?  Yes, but some do not.  Many of the immigrants who do not follow this point of Catholic teaching on immigration were/are manipulated by organizations who claim to work for justice for immigrants.  Instead, these organizations show some immigrants how to disobey the just laws of the U.S. and avoid the common civic burdens every citizen shares in.

President Trump’s critics who refer to these executive orders as anything other than just are obliged to actually read them instead of only reading the false headlines by dishonest reporters and dishonest groups who, without judicious reflection, calumniate the President.


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