Illegal Immigration and the Catholic Church: Follow the Money

Is the Church enabling criminality and facilitating the oppression of the immigrants we are hoping to help?


October 16, 2023

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The love of money is the root of all evils. (1 Timothy 6:10)

The open border and uncontrolled influx of millions of people have devastating consequences. It is a true crisis.  

Over the last two-and-a-half years, over 7 million illegal immigrants have entered the United States. That number does not include those who escaped detection and are not in any official counts. By the end of 2024, it is projected that well over ten percent of the population will be here illegally.  

The results of President Biden’s decision not to enforce border laws and the massive illegal immigrant flow takes various forms. Challenges include drug and human trafficking, child abuse, sexual exploitation, indentured servitude and other labor crimes, environmental crimes, gang violence, assorted welfare frauds, national security concerns, money laundering, homelessness and squalor on the streets of American cities and towns, and the corrosive effects of flaunting the rule of law.  

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Yet, the above categories of crime are sterile. There are countless very real and horrific examples of injury, death, heartache, and suffering for individuals, families, and communities. 

The net dollar cost of illegal immigration to the American taxpayers is at least $151 billion a year. Most expenditures at the federal, state, and local levels involve housing, education, health care, and increased expenditures on law enforcement and related services. 

So why is the above criminality allowed to continue—and even encouraged? In this era of massive deficit spending, why are the expenditures not questioned?

I often found it helpful in my past work in federal law enforcement and the intelligence community to focus on two factors when examining criminal and strategic issues: (1) Cui bono? (Who stands to benefit?); and (2) Money. 

It always comes back to money. Outside of crimes of passion, criminals and criminal organizations commit crimes for financial gain. Greed—avarice—is one of the seven deadly sins. It is part of the human condition.

There are many parties that benefit from illegal immigration.  

Of course, the illegal immigrants themselves benefit. Despite the misinformation that emanates from the Biden administration and the mainstream news media, illegal immigrants are not “refugees” or “political prisoners,” or fleeing from “global climate change.” They are not arriving in small, loving, family units or striving for “family reunification.” 

The overwhelming majority are economic migrants. They are mostly young males searching for a better life. They come to the United States to make money (both legally and illegally). Most are extremely poor and quasi-illiterate. Few speak English. Some are infected with very serious communicable diseases. Unfortunately, with the open border policies in place, we don’t really know who they are. There are no meaningful background checks. 

The countries of origin for the illegal immigrants benefit from their emigration. Worldwide, in 2022, migrant workers sent almost $800 billion back to their home countries. The United States is the largest source country for worldwide remittances, especially for Latin America and the Caribbean. For example, Mexico received about $60 billion in official remittances. Yet the real number is far higher. 

In addition to well-known remittance service providers such as Western Union and Money Gram, unofficial or informal money and value transfer systems are also very popular with migrants. Some of these methods include the South Asian hawala network, the Chinese “flying money” system, simple bulk cash smuggling, trade-based value transfer, and, increasingly, various forms of mobile payments and mirror “swaps.” Most of these networks are underground and most operate illegally. In addition, remittances, whether official or unofficial, are not taxed. The end result is a massive outflow of money leaving the United States and flowing into recipient countries. For example, approximately 25 percent of El Salvador’s GDP is due to remittances.  

Organized crime, cartels, gangs, and our geo-political adversaries and terrorist organizations also benefit from open borders and illegal immigration. Open borders facilitate narcotics trafficking—and the laundering of hundreds of billions of illicit proceeds every year. The cartels are astute business organizations. Recognizing the enormous profits to be made in facilitating human trafficking through smuggling routes, networks, and territory they control, they modified their business plan.  

Charging fees that vary but generally range in the tens of thousands of dollars per person, some observers believe the cartels now make more money trafficking humans than narcotics. The sordid business of human trafficking also involves indentured servitude or the payment of smuggling fees over time. Many victims, including children, work in the sex trade or labor long hours in underground ethnic-based businesses around the country. 

The cartels are expanding their physical presence and reach into the United States. They are increasingly involved in other lucrative crimes such as organized theft rings and stolen cars. The open border and illegal immigration also facilitate the entry of tens of thousands of military-age males from adversaries such as China and Venezuela into the United States. So far in 2023, the U.S. Border Patrol has stopped 146 individuals currently on the terrorist watch list. Those numbers do not count the ones we did not catch. 

Big business, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and other “elites” also benefit from illegal immigration. They enjoy cheap labor and more consumers. Meanwhile, the American worker—particularly minorities—suffer from depressed wages, loss of buying power, and the dilution of government services caused by illegal immigrant competition. 

The Democratic Party benefits from its promotion of open border policies and illegal immigration. It is part of former President Obama’s “fundamental transformation” of the United States. Without a national “conversation,” the Democratic Party is actively working to change the population dynamics. 

Illegal immigrants are given (bribed with) taxpayer-funded welfare, food stamps, healthcare, education for their children, and other government handouts. Illegal immigrants voting by the millions, facilitated by questionable practices such as lack of genuine identification, ballot harvesting, and drop boxes, change the electorate at the federal, state, and local levels. Coming from Latin American socialist collectivism, the schemes must seem normal to the recent arrivals. 

The Biden Administration has endorsed and incentivized the entry of more illegal immigrants than the populations of 32 states (counting the District of Columbia). Democrats know that if, for example, Texas turns blue, they will cement their hold on power. And power means the ability to control the money flow to their activists and special interests.  

With the above as context, let’s examine the role of the American Catholic Church in facilitating the immigration crisis.  

The corporal acts of mercy necessitate that we feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, shelter the homeless, and clothe the naked. Our compassion dictates that we assist strangers to our homeland. But when it comes to illegal immigration, is our empathy misplaced? Is the Church enabling the above criminality and facilitating the oppression of the immigrants we are hoping to help? Are leftists and naïve do-gooders in the Church participating in the transformation of the United States that by far the overwhelming majority of all Americans, particularly Catholics, do not want?    

Decades ago, the State Department began to resettle genuine refugees in the United States. They approached the Catholic Church for help. Today, that legitimate assistance has turned into an “illegal immigration complex” worth billions of dollars.  

Liberal groups make the correct calculation that most will be afraid to criticize the Biden Administration’s use of nongovernmental organizations and faith-based groups to help mask the flow of federal money to aid illegal immigration. Unfortunately, some people smear as racist anyone who advocates for securing the border—something that should be considered non-controversial and essential for all nation-states.

Francis, a leftist globalist Argentine, has made the defense of illegal immigration a major plank of his papacy. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is all-in. Post-Covid, weekly Mass attendance has continued its steep decline. There is a need to fill both the pews and the collection plates.   Post-Covid, weekly Mass attendance has continued its steep decline. There is a need to fill both the pews and the collection plates.  Tweet This

Catholic organizations are among the top recipients of federal immigration funds. Between 2008-2022, Catholic charitable organizations received approximately $3 billion in federal funding. The USCCB acts as a kind of general contractor. It is the single largest grantee of subawards in the nation. For example, Catholic Charities receives direct funding from the USG but also subawards from the USCCB. According to Forbes, in 2022 Catholic Charities USA was the 13th-largest U.S. charity. Of $4.7 billion in total revenues, Catholic Charities received $1.4 billion from government support.  

In short, the globalist Left and the Biden Administration are hiding behind faith-based organizations to keep federal grants flowing to assist illegal immigration and to deflect from the horrific criminal results. Meanwhile, it is clear many Catholic charities benefit financially from their participation in—and promotion of—illegal immigration.  

Shouldn’t Catholic charitable organizations devote themselves to the problems of poverty, lack of education, inequality, unemployment, and poor health care in the illegal immigrants’ countries of origin instead of helping criminals break U.S. law and transform our country?

Rather, it appears that once again, it all comes back to money.  

[Photo Credit: Shutterstock]


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