Denver, Colo., Sep 17, 2008 / 13:23 pm America/Denver (CNA).
What happened immigration reform as an issue in the 2008 presidential election? That’s exactly what Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver is asking in his weekly column in the Denver Catholic Register, as he calls for an end to raids by customs agents and pushes for comprehensive reform.
“Here’s the surest sign of an election year: Certain hot potato issues—the kind that nobody in either major party really wants to deal with in a tight race—mysteriously disappear,” writes the archbishop.
Archbishop Chaput notes that political calculations seem to be the culprit, saying, “Little more than a year ago, immigration reform drove a ferocious debate throughout the country. But in 2008, candidates know that if they seem too tough on immigration, they’ll lose the vital Latino vote. If they seem too soft, they’ll anger many non-Latinos worried about their jobs, national security and the solvency of their public institutions.”
The result of all this political maneuvering has been a kind of “unstated truce,” in which many candidates and public officials are offering “generic concern about the immigration issue, but few actually doing anything until after the election,” the Denver prelate writes.
Lest people raise an outcry that the archbishop is against the law of the land, he pointed out that “the Catholic Church respects and obeys our immigration authorities and discourages anyone from violating our laws.”