Society of St. Vincent de Paul Says Alabama’s Immigration Law Will Criminalize Charity

ST. LOUIS, Aug. 17, 2011 — The immigration law recently passed by the state of Alabama will make it illegal to practice virtually every facet of Christian charity, said the president of the National Council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP), a Catholic lay organization that works extensively with those in need and living in poverty.

“Giving a disabled person a ride to the doctor, finding a temporary shelter for someone, or just giving food, clothing or financial assistance to someone in need – all those things would be made a crime under this law if they were done for an undocumented alien,” said Joseph D. Flannigan, SVdP’s national president. “Our members provide a broad range of assistance and help to those in need regardless of ethnic background, religion or national origin, so the good works we accomplish would be compromised by this law.”

The law, H.B. 56, was signed by Alabama Governor Robert Bentley and is scheduled to go into effect in September.

“Reactionary and draconian measures like this law serve only to drive undocumented immigrants further into the shadows and dehumanize them,” said Flannigan. “Disenfranchising people who aren’t natives isn’t new. Even Moses in the Old Testament admonished his people: ‘You shall not oppress or afflict the alien among you, for you were once aliens residing in the land of Egypt.’”

Flannigan said his ancestors from Ireland also experienced discrimination, distrust and disdain when they first arrived on America’s shores. He referenced a quote from the Chicago Post newspaper from the 1800s: “The Irish fill our prisons, our poor houses … Scratch a convict or pauper, and the chances are that you tickle the skin of an Irish Catholic. Putting them on a boat and sending them home would end crime in this country.”

Laws such as Alabama’s, he said, have been born out of frustration with the federal government’s failure to adequately address immigration issues, and the only viable solution is a national approach that addresses every aspect of the issue.

“Otherwise,” said Flannigan, “this process will continue until we’ve got 50 states with 50 different laws, many of which will be in conflict with each other or, in the case of Alabama’s law, make it illegal to practice the basic tenets of our faith and Christian charity.”

One of the oldest and most effective charitable organizations in the world, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is a Catholic lay organization of more than 690,000 men and women throughout the world who voluntarily join together to grow spiritually and offer person-to-person service to the needy and people living in poverty in 142 countries on five continents. With the U.S. headquarters in St. Louis, Mo., membership in the United States totals more than 172,000 in 4,600 communities. Programs include home visits, housing assistance, disaster relief, job training and placement, food pantries, dining halls, clothing, transportation and utility costs, care for the elderly and medicine. Providing more than $595 million in tangible and in-kind services, SVdP serves more than 14 million people in need each year, performs more than 648,000 visits to people in their homes, and delivers more than 7 million service hours to those in need, regardless of age, religion, creed, nationality or ethnic background.

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Rich Mitchell

Rich Mitchell is the editor-in-chief of Conservative Daily News and the president of Bald Eagle Media, LLC. His posts may contain opinions that are his own and are not necessarily shared by Bald Eagle Media, CDN, staff or .. much of anyone else. Find him on twitter, facebook and

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One Comment

  1. The Catholic church is one of the biggest protectors and promoters of illegal “immigration”, and protecting illegal Mexican aliens who sneak into the country. Anything they say about the condition of Mexican’s who are here illegally needs to be taken with a five gallon bucket full of salt, not just the traditional pinch. They are lying their butts off and can get away with it because they are the Catholic Church!! The Catholic church has done a massive amount of good around the world almost, almost since it’s inseption. I won’t even get into all the poor, downtrodden, uneducated, impoverished, discreminated against, hunted, hated people the church has helped to survive, find soltice, haven, and a home prescribed by the love of Jesus Christ and the Holy Mother, Mary.

    That sounds great until you take a look at the people they’ve helped protect, provide support, hide out, and lend a hand at getting something they could not get otherwise, and in this case it’s the illegal Mexican aliens who the church has helped get into the United States due to it’s world affiliation with Catholic churches all over the world that are interconnected with each other. That means one Catholic church in Mexico is connected directly with a Catholic church in America. The Catholic church is not like, say, a Baptist church in the South, sometimes one is not connected to another because of a different convention running one group of Baptist churches in a foreign country may not be the same in the States. If you wanted help from one in a foreign country you would have to get in touch with the leadership of the foreign convention and ask them to get in touch with the convention here and the two would work out the details of how each our shoulder the expence of helping you.

    But in the Catholic church you go to one and get help right away because there are one set of rules for all the churches that they all work from. All it takes is a phone call from a church in Mexico to one in the States telling them that there are some Mexican’s who are going to need help getting into the country and will need to be hooked up with a family here to take them in, and that’s it, they’re in. The government can’t do anything about it because the Catholic church has immunity from governments screutiny. The government can’t ask, and the church doesn’t tell. Kinda like “Don’t ask, don’t tell” law, but it’s to protect the churches sanctity of protecting people’s souls and confessions. So the church helps illegal Mexican aliens to get into the church and helps them hide out. And they will go to length to keep them hid to. This puts the government into a bad situation when it comes to getting illegals out of the country, and keeping them out. And the church understands the law, don’t think they don’t. But they believe that people’s hearts are more to be protected than some immigration law.

  2. Well, Obama sure solved the problem of the Church worrying about not getting any more illegal Mexican aliens to help because Obama has violated our Constitution….AGAIN, by signing another Presidential Directive that gives Durbin and Napolitano what they wanted in not being able to pass the Dream Act. Obama must be stopped. He has transformed America into a tyrannical governance now with the swipe of his pen. If our representatives allow this to stand and just try to work around it like they do every other violation of our laws that not only Obama has done since he’s been in office, but all the decades that the Democrats have gotten away with because more people were afraid to go against them, and what they could do to your political career, or what the Democrats might and probably will do to your family members. Obama has stepped on the Constitution, overridden the Checks and Balances, ignored the established law of the land as voted on by Congress, violation of our immigration laws which he can’t just pass a directive and get rid of any the doesn’t like, and has over reached the power of the office of the President and limits on the power the President actually has to change law. He overrid our laws when it comes to how we pick Supreme Court Justices by choosing people who are wholly unqualified, but since there are more votes in the Senate who go with Obama, we end up with Sotomayor, and Kagen, two of the worse far leftist in Kagen, and a Mexican activist who was probably behind what Obama did with giving this part of the Dream Act for Durbin and La Raza.

    CALL OR EMAIL YOU CONGRESSMAN AND DEMAND THAT THEY HAVE OBAMA ARRESTED AND/OR REMOVED FROM OFFICE FOR THIS VIOLATION OF OUR CONSTITUTION AND OF THE LACK OF HIS AUTHORITY OF THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT. This must be done early MONDAY morning. Otherwise the Democrats will know that they can get away with anything they want to do to get Obama back into office in next November. If we can get Obama empeached he won’t be the President anymore, or if we can get him charged with violation of the Constitution we can get his name off the ballot for next year.

    Which is better people, Obama out of office, or off the ballot, or all the above? How many more crimes does he have to committ before our representatives will do their duty and obey the laws of the land?? Do you want to see Mexican’s rioting in the streets of America? It will be a hundred times worse than Great Britain if we don’t stop Obama now!! The Democrats will use the Mexican’s to wreak our elections if they think that doing what Obama did will give them the elections. As many Mexican’s as the Democrats can get to start riots across the country could GET THE ELECTIONS POSTPONED UNTIL OBAMA DECLARES IT SAFE TO HAVE THEM. BY THAT TIME IT COULD BE YEARS. THIS IS ONE OPTION THE DEMOCRATS ARE HOLDING OUT TO USE AGAINST US. Do you want to see that happen?

    If we don’t force our representatives to understand that we are damn serious now, then we never will be able to get them to work for us, and they’ll be working for whoever puts the most pressure and threats on them, not law abiding American citizens.

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