Santorum: on immigration, bishops are wrong

He made his remarks while campaigning in Iowa:

The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops are wrong by calling for comprehensive immigration reform that includes an earned path to legalization, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum said today.

The Pennsylvania Republican, who is seeking his party’s nomination for president, said in an interview  with Des Moines Register political columnist Kathie Obradovich that the United States is a country of laws and it must enforce those laws.

“If we develop the program like the Catholic bishops suggested we would be creating a huge magnet for people to come in and break the law some more, we’d be inviting people to cross this border, come into this country and with the expectation that they will be able to stay here permanently,” said Santorum, who usually attends Latin Mass with his family at a Catholic church in suburban Washington, D.C.

Santorum said he compares the current immigration situation to his grandfather who came to the United States by himself in 1925 to escape Mussolini’s Italy. His grandfather’s son – who grew up to become the presidential candidate’s father – was left behind. His grandfather worked in the U.S. for five years, earning his citizenship and then bringing his family over to America.

” What are we saying to all the families who are doing it the right way, who are separating from their families, who are making those sacrifices and then we say well, everybody who broke the law came here and we’re going to let you in and those folks, well sorry you’re chumps, you played by the rules,” he said. “We have to have rules and we have to keep those rules in America or we would be a magnet for more people who want to break the law.”

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You can read the bishops’ position on the issue here and Catholic social teaching on immigration here.