What’s good for the goose …

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If my calculations are correct, there are 37 major cities across the United States that are self-declared “sanctuary cities.” That is, a city that has thrown open its door to the millions of unlawful immigrants that have flooded across the southern border. Some of these cities have made it known that they will not cooperate with federal agencies in the matter of illegal immigrants.

The governor of Texas has decided to take two of these cities at their word. Busloads of people who have entered the country illegally have been loaded onto buses and transported to Washington, D.., and to New York City where they were released. The mayors of these two cities have begun to howl. Apparently. It takes a lot of taxpayer dollars to take care of these, mostly young male, arrivals, and the mayors are asking for federal money. They are also demanding that Texas stop sending undocumented people to their cities.

Ironically, the mayors are angry at the Texas governor for believing that they meant what they said. The governor shrugs off the criticism even as the hypocrisy of the two mayors is unveiled. Yes, they want the illegal aliens to come across the border. They just want them to stay in Texas or one of the other border states that are being overwhelmed. The federal government, for its part, continues to bus illegals in the dark of night to communities across the country.

The Texas governor is unapologetic. His view is that, if cities declare themselves as open to illegal immigrants, then they can share the load that the border states are carrying. Texas, one may recall, used to be an independent nation. There’s still a mindset in the largest state in the continental U. S. that one better not “mess with Texas.”

It remains to be seen whether other border states will follow the Texas lead and begin its own roundup. The mayor of New York has threatened Texas with sending New Yorkers to Texas to campaign against his re-election. In typical Texas fashion, the governor grinned and quoted Clint Eastwood: “Go ahead, Make my day.” It’s highly unlikely that most Texans will respond positively to New York influences and interferences.

Anyway, it’s been interesting to watch the situation develop on the national news. Two facts seem to emerge from this conflict: (1) Don’t mess with Texas, and (2) What is good for the goose is not always seen as good for the gander.

David Epps is the Rector of the Cathedral of Christ the King (www.ctk.life). During the pandemic, the church is open at 10:00 a.m. on Sundays but is also live streaming at www.ctk.life. He is the bishop of the Diocese of the Mid-South (www.midsouthdiocese.life) and may contacted at davidepps@ctk.life.

30 COMMENTS

  1. Appears most of the people crossing illegally are organized and many times pay large fees to traffickers who put together large groups, it must be profitable to all involved.
    I see no harm in sending the “wet backs” to New York or DC since they have a welcome mat out for illegal immigrants.
    There are plenty of sweat shop, low paying jobs and subhuman housing available to enrich criminals and Democrats (oops..an oxymoron) in NY/DC/LA…etc.

  2. Greg Abbott is an embarrassment as a governor. And frankly, I’m shocked that a Catholic bishop would think Abbott’s actions–dumping human beings around like they’re trash–is acceptable. Texas has become a laughingstock state. Sure, we need better solutions to illegal immigration, but pitting states against each other is not the answer.

    • Maybe they were sent to the other states/cities so that they could receive the help they need. Don’t hospitals start sending patients to other hospitals when they are overloaded? What states are accepting asylum seekers at this time?

    • So rebuttle – why should Texas (and all the other border states) have to bear all the brunt of our Federal government’s inability to secure our borders and stop illegal immigration? NYC and SF are self-proclaimed “sanctuary cities” that welcome all…..tell me where the problem is, with sending a small small fraction of the illegals to NYC for them to “do their fair share”. I”m guessing you’re someone who wants the rich to pay their fair share….well there’s more wealth in NYC and DC than all of the Texas border counties combined……seems logical to me that they should pay their share too.

  3. It is despicable for Greg Abbot to use asylum seekers as a way to deflect attention from his failures as a governor. He wants people talking about this stunt (with unhinged hilarity, as Fr Epps does), instead of …

    –Why there has been no action on common sense gun control in Texas despite Abbot’s pledge with every new mass shooting to end the massacres. People like Epps’ are allowing him to get away with waving the red flag of immigration and calling like a carnival barker, “Don’t look at those dead children in Uvalde! Look over here how I’m making a fool of the libs in NYC!” Disgusting.

    –Why parents of trans teens may be arrested for making private medical decisions in the best interests of their children.

    –Why Texans have been turned against each other with a government bounty placed on the heads of anyone who helps facilitate an abortion — another private medical decision Abbot has inserted himself into.

    –Why the TX GOP has decided to declare homosexuality “an abnormal lifestyle choice.”

    –Why no action has been taken to overhaul and shore up the shaky power grid that failed in a 2021 severe winter storm, leaving 246 Texans dead.

    Texas is a nightmare, and grandstanding about immigration as Abbot is doing is designed to refocus voters on a Trump-endorsed issue and energize the MAGA-GOP base (and probably Abbot has a jaded eye on a presidential run if America continues to descend into fascism), but using human beings as pawns in this game is heinous and revolting.

    Abbot and all of Texas should be ashamed, and so should Fr Epps.

    Suz’s Scripture was the perfect response for anyone who is claiming to be a Christian: “I was a stranger, and you took me in,” Jesus said. “When you did it to the least of my brothers and sisters, you did it to me.” If you are a Christian and think it’s right and funny to take asylum-seekers and use them in a publicity stunt to own the libs, remember: what you’re doing to them, you’re doing to Jesus. I guarantee you, He does not think it is funny.

  4. Oh my goodness, Fr. Epps; your obvious enjoyment of a heartless stunt is beneath you, as a Christian and as a priest.

    I can’t help but wonder what has caused you to discount the teachings of Jesus the Christ. Did you ever truly believe that He meant them; or that they can be applied to our lives?

    Surely you know the parables as well as I–“Come, you that are blessed by my Father; inherit the kingdom prepared for you! For I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink.
    I was a stranger and you welcomed me…Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least, you did it to Me.”

    Not as pithy as “Don’t mess with Texas” perhaps.
    Nor as macho as “Go ahead, Make my day.”

    But brilliant in an eternal way, wouldn’t you say?

    • I think it is called “system overload” and if one has never lived in a border town, or even a border state, then I surmise that it would be difficult for one to truly understand. Even if you have Jesus in your heart. Have you ever seen the picture of the donkey that is hanging from the overloaded cart?

      • Hello wildcat–
        Although I am disturbed when I see a Christian’s apparent lack of concern toward those fleeing to our borders for help and hope…it does not discourage me.

        Shouldering the burden of caring for others is not just allotted to those with “…Jesus in your heart”.

        I see it being shared by a diversity of people of good will–from all religions, and of none at all.

        One Love. One Heart. One God and Father of All.

        • I hear you, sister. Perhaps, one day, the good people of Fayette County will help to shoulder the burden of caring for others. Sometimes the border towns (and even border states) are over-whelmed. They need help.

          • Hi Again, wildcat–
            I feel sure that people in our county are happily doing what is theirs to do. The heartfelt comments here would seem to bear that out. (Thanks to all of you!).

            Of course, voting is the obvious action to make our values known.

            Forums such as this one are another way.

            There is also financial support, for those so inclined. Please allow me to mention a favorite of mine–Annunciation House in El Paso.

            As Mother Teresa put it so beautifully, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

          • @Hometown600 and suz- I did not mean to pass judgement on anyone. This forum lends itself to misinterpretation. I should have been less vague. Voting is an action for change but it is a slow process. Some need help now. There is a women in the Brooks area that recently took in a Ukrainian family. I only know about it b/c she asked (on social media) for local teens to come over and welcome the high school – aged boy. I suppose I could take in a family, but I’m not going to b/c it will be a financial burden. I know, I am selfish. Yes, we can all do small things with great love but it appears that big things are needed right now. I’m not there yet. My comment was meant to convey the message that maybe there are those in the county that would not be so financially burdened that they could do something on the same level as the woman in Brooks. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? My heart, obviously, is still small and dark. I will continue to work on not being so selfish. It is a slow process.

          • Dear wildcat–
            I was including you in my thanks to all of the heartfelt comments!
            You did not come across as judgmental or selfish or with a small heart.

            To me, you seem concerned. And I was hoping you were not becoming discouraged. Especially if you feel somehow inadequate to the scope of the problem,. We all do!

            Each of us is given a different calling; and when you find yours, it won’t seem like a sacrifice–it will be a joy. Don’t worry, cat!

            One last quote from St. Francis to his disciples– “I have done what is mine to do. May Christ teach you what is yours.”

          • Hiya wing–
            Honestly, I am in no position financially, nor am I trained in social issues to be qualified, to open my home to homeless strangers. Nor would I ever expect anyone to do so.

            However I hope that our country, as a whole, would respond to the humanitarian crisis at our border with compassionate care.

            Refugees who flee to us on a perilous journey are hoping for a life–any life. Loading them onto a bus and shipping them out of the state is callous, at best. It should not be applauded by anyone.

            Together, we can do better.

          • STF – I’m not the one throwing scripture out to prove how “righteous” and “virtuous” I am…..Suz is the one doing that. I’m just seeing if she’d like to address the plank in her eye before complaining about the spec in Epps’. That’s all.

          • You can rest easy, the_wing_t, it will take a lot more than my quoting scriptures to prove how “righteous and virtuous I am”! Thankfully that concern is in better Hands than mine.

            For what it is worth, I quote Holy Scripture because I was raised in a Christian home and they are familiar to me. More than that, I admire the teachings of Jesus the Christ; I find attempting to follow His example to be a rewarding and a happy way of life.

            in this particular case, I found the parable I mentioned germane as I was addressing a Christian priest. Not so much, as you assert, to appear righteous; but to note our short-comings (using needy refugees as political pawns).

            I humbly stand by my comments.

    • Suz – I can remember when evangelicals like Rev. Epps made efforts to follow the example of their Christ rather than abandon him for fealty to conservative governors and presidents. It’s amazing how cheaply evangelicals will sell their birthright. I trust that they enjoy their meager bowl of stew.

      Truth is always stranger than fiction!

      • STF – following the example of Christ does not mean being a doormat and letting people walk all over you. You’ll recall Jesus turning over the tables at the temple in anger – even Jesus had a point where he drew the line when it came to recognizing wrongs. Epps is merely pointing out that Abbott is bringing awareness to this illegal immigration issue by sharing the problem with states far from the border, that otherwise wouldn’t understand the scope of this issue.

        By the way – do you think we should just rip up all the borders and let anyone come in who wants to? What’s your solution? You seem to be all-in in favor of illegal immigration……is there a point where it’s too much? Just wondering where you would draw the line? If you have a line? Or if you’re just a professional scoffer and pharisee that just grumbles constantly and offers no solutions, just attacks those who try to address the issues.

        • Biblical narratives of Jesus showed that he only displayed anger when people offended his God, not Jesus personally. He never angrily defended himself.

          I see the immigration issue as a canard that both the right and left exploit relentlessly and unashamedly while incorporating hyperbole. The right uses your inference that the other team wants completely “open borders.” The left perpetuates the canard that conservatives are heartless and enjoy inflicting pain on the downtrodden.

          Immigration is a complicated issue, but here are a few initial ideas. Congress, not the president, should set the rules. Americans want enforceable rules for immigrants, and we also want their cheap labor. Congress is derelict in not setting down clear rules that are reasonable to be implemented given the extent of the border and the many people trying to enter. That may mean two lines – one for future citizens and one for guest workers. There may be other better solutions. However, it is unreasonable to expect the Chief Executive to set the standards since this can change whimsically. Both parties are badly handling this problem, and both had rather blame the other than to fix it (even if it demands compromise).

          Finally, a Pharisee is a proud and intolerant adherent to his/her religion. As a pragmatist, not a Jew or Christian, this disqualifies me from that distinction. I’m quite willing to scoff at foolish and inconsistent positions, but I am equally ready to compliment reasonable ideas that are presented. For instance, I have lauded Rev. Epps’ sober observations and good advice many times on these pages.

        • Me again, the_wing_t–
          With your mention of “Jesus Cleansing the Temple” it seems we have come full circle, back to Fr. Epp’s column.

          Almost every time Jesus became irate and behaved harshly, His words were aimed at religious leaders (and in defense of the marginalized). The money- changers, with their questionable dealings and noisy hub-bub, had prevented the outer court of the temple from being what it was designated for–a place for ALL seekers to be welcome. Foreigners included.

          It was a place of prayer; a place of guidance; a place of hope. I believe our borders can be the same.

          (Yay, I know…Kumbaya)

  5. “Don’t Mess with Texas” is (was) a campaign slogan born out of the 1980s by the Texas DOT to reduce roadway littering across the state by them there Texans. Of course, others do like to mess with Texas, home of the Dallas Cowgirlz, the land of overrated BBQ, and politics that’s consistently bad and unreliable – just like their weather.