John Rhodes's blog

"A Train Wreck of Emotion on Deportations"

By John Rhodes, March 18, 2014

These are the words of an attendee at a recent workshop on immigration, part of a social ministry fair co-hosted by Catholic Charities and the Archdiocese of Baltimore. The event took place at Seton Keough High School in Baltimore on March 8. The title of the workshop was "Welcoming the Stranger in Frederick County". Read more...

Why the Double Standard?

By John Rhodes, February 28, 2014

I am just now noticing a pattern, a pattern that displays a double standard (Please tell me if I am wrong in my observation I may be tardy in seeing the obvious). A double standard is intellectual dishonesty. It took a recent article in the New York Times article about immigration in Norway for me really to notice a consistent inclination to view with suspicion those who espouse controlled immigration.

In other words, without being simplistic and without excessively generalizing, I have noticed that many of those who, in practice and actual articulated philosophy, are generally inclined to open borders (whether or not they admit this is a separate issue) tend to view immigrants with optimism, as basically good people with no ill will. At the same time, they tend not to view their fellow citizens who dare question the free-flowing influx of immigrants as basically good people with no ill will. Read more...

Time to Celebrate Migration

By John Rhodes, January 14, 2014

Last week, it was once again, in Roman Catholic circles, time to celebrate migration. National Migration Week 2014 was upon us. The annual event, which typically takes place every second week in January, is largely a celebration of migration. There is more than celebration, of course. There is religious reflection and there is political agenda. But all of this occurs with celebration as the backdrop. I say celebration because, in the end, the Roman Catholic Church considers migration — all migration, regardless of numbers — a good thing. And good things are celebrated. Read more...

Sometimes It Pays to Say Something: Speaking One's Immigration Mind

By John Rhodes, December 2, 2013

One day last fall, a thoughtful seventh grader came home from school (in Northern Virginia) with questions about a civics presentation given to the entire seventh grade class. Keep in mind that civics is the study of the theoretical and practical aspects of citizenship, and includes the study of civil law and civil code. Civics thus considers, among other things, the process of lawful entry into the country. The seventh-grade civics teacher had invited a long-standing custodial staff member from the school (for the fifth year in a row) to share the story of her journey from Southeast Asia to the United States, and her subsequent naturalization and integration into American society; a touching, educational exercise it was – or so it seemed. Read more...

Amnesty "Because God Says So"

By John Rhodes, December 2, 2013

The art of spiritual discernment is a difficult but rich endeavour. In the arena of Christian faith, it can be described as an attempt to read between the lines of life, in order to get a sense of God's mind, to get a sense of what God may be prompting, to get a sense of the movement of the Holy Spirit. Read more...

Vive la France

By John Rhodes, October 25, 2013

There is an important distinction that is made in schools of realistic philosophy between idea and reality. The distinction is very helpful in every day life: "Does he love you or the idea of you or, better (or worse!), just the idea of being in relationship?" "Do you really like marketing or do you like the idea of being in a marketing firm in a big city?" The applications are many.

The distinction can also be helpful in wading through the multi-faceted issue of immigration. A recent "controversy" in France, reported in the Wall Street Journal, precisely beckons making the distinction, the distinction between the idea of immigration and the reality of immigration. Read more...

Necessity Is the Mother of Invention - and Realism: Canada's Wake-Up Call

By John Rhodes, September 17, 2013

"Necessity is the mother of invention." Aesop's insight continues to be true in the various facets of life — both personal and societal. For immigration and immigration policy, too, necessity is the mother of invention. Actually, it is perhaps more accurate to say, in the case of immigration, that "necessity is the mother of realism". Necessity can be a reality check — much as we see in the Biblical story of the prodigal son, whose hunger (necessity) prompts his "coming to his senses" (Luke 15:17).

Our neighbors to the north, known for their peaceful juxtaposition and quiet reserve, and also known as a nation that proactively promotes multiculturalism, because of necessity are re-evaluating their approach to and standards for immigration. An interesting recent Wall Street Journal article highlights this. Read more...

Home Sweet Home

By John Rhodes, August 27, 2013

The Economist recently ran an interesting article about the Conservative Party in Britain and its longer-term strategy in preparation for the next general election to be held May 7, 2015. Three policies have emerged in the Conservative Party as central and believed to be popular with the people, and consequently destined to "put the opposition on the wrong side of popular opinion". Economics, of course, loom large. The policy of interest here, however, is not economic, strictly speaking: that of reducing immigration. In the UK, 11.3 percent of the total population is foreign-born, and there are some estimates of almost 900,000 illegal immigrants. Read more...