Can Someone Explain Why A Nation Losing Population is Good?

Donald Trump may be wrong about building a wall between Mexico and the U.S., but doesn’t Mexico want to keep its residents and citizens? Would the U.S. like to see lots of its people migrate to Canada? Is California happy when its residents move to Colorado (I know the residents of Colorado aren’t)? I don’t understand the economics — GDP, taxes and so on. But it sure does seem that having more people is better than having fewer. If we had more people in Hillsdale, Trader Joe’s might set up a store here.

What got me thinking about this was Pope Francis’ remarks yesterday to Mexico’s youth:

You are the wealth of Mexico, you are the wealth of the Church. I understand that often it is difficult to feel your value when you are continually exposed to the loss of friends or relatives at the hands of the drug trade, of drugs themselves, of criminal organizations that sow terror. It is hard to feel the wealth of a nation when there are no opportunities for dignified work, no possibilities for study or advancement, when you feel your rights are being trampled on, which then leads you to extreme situations. It is difficult to appreciate the value of a place when, because of your youth, you are used for selfish purposes, seduced by promises that end up being untrue.

I know the magisterium is clearer than the Bible, but wouldn’t this suggest that the youth of Mexico are the wealth of that country, not the U.S.?

So how does that message to young Mexicans cohere with the pope’s pro-immigration speech to Congress?

In recent centuries, millions of people came to this land to pursue their dream of building a future in freedom. We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us were once foreigners. I say this to you as the son of immigrants, knowing that so many of you are also descended from immigrants. Tragically, the rights of those who were here long before us were not always respected. For those peoples and their nations, from the heart of American democracy, I wish to reaffirm my highest esteem and appreciation. Those first contacts were often turbulent and violent, but it is difficult to judge the past by the criteria of the present. Nonetheless, when the stranger in our midst appeals to us, we must not repeat the sins and the errors of the past. We must resolve now to live as nobly and as justly as possible, as we educate new generations not to turn their back on our “neighbors” and everything around us. Building a nation calls us to recognize that we must constantly relate to others, rejecting a mindset of hostility in order to adopt one of reciprocal subsidiarity, in a constant effort to do our best. I am confident that we can do this.

Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the Second World War. This presents us with great challenges and many hard decisions. On this continent, too, thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities. Is this not what we want for our own children? We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation. To respond in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal. We need to avoid a common temptation nowadays: to discard whatever proves troublesome. Let us remember the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Mt 7:12).

If we applied the golden rule to Mexico, wouldn’t it mean encouraging Mexicans, the wealth of the nation, to stay there and not migrate to the U.S., just as we want residents of the U.S. not to leave?

Then again, I’m not convinced that pastors should speak about economics and immigration policy. Below their pay grade.


32 thoughts on “Can Someone Explain Why A Nation Losing Population is Good?

  1. Maybe Pope Francis should limit his prayers to Mary:

    On Monday, the pope prayed before the tomb of Bishop Samuel Ruiz Garcia, former prelate of the diocese of San Cristobal de las Casas, a controversial figure famous for his perceived support for neo-Marxist movements in the state of Chiapas, where a military uprising allegedly inspired by his highly politicized pastoral approach took place in the mid-1990s. Ruiz was reputed to encourage a synchronistic approach to indigenous cultural practices, seeking to promote indigenous traditions rather than teaching the gospel to the locals, and resulting in a mixture of pagan and Catholic practices among the Maya of the region that remains to this day. His emphasis on politics was so strong that the sacraments were reportedly neglected by his activist clergy; membership in the Catholic Church plummeted and 30% of children in his diocese were reportedly unbaptized when he left office. He also publicly associated with notorious condemned exponents of liberation theology, such as ex-priest Leonardo Boff and others.

    Ruiz’s activities were regarded as so subversive of Catholic doctrine that he was denounced in a letter to the Apostolic Nuncio to Mexico by Cardinal Bernadin Gantin, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of Bishops, and consequently asked to resign by the nuncio in 1993. However, he refused to do so and held out until his 75th birthday, submitting his resignation in accordance with the Code of Canon Law in 1999.


  2. Doesn’t answer the question about Mexico’s rights:

    To the contrary, the pope’s message is that nations, including the United States, should reconsider and remake their laws so migrants can safely migrate to work and support their families and refugees can find protection. He is reasserting, in a profound way, that nations have a moral obligation to accommodate migration to the degree possible, consistent with the time-honored teaching of the church on human dignity and the common good. He is also saying that in controlling their borders, governments must respect the human and due process rights of migrants, who are not, as he said in his 2014 World Day of Migrants and Refugees, “pawns on the chessboard of humanity.”


  3. “…when you feel your rights are being trampled on, which then leads you to extreme situations.”

    #mexicanlivesmatter, I guess. Good grief.

    “We need to avoid a common temptation nowadays: to discard whatever proves troublesome.” Is he kidding? The talk about troublesome things is all we here about these days, from him and everyone else.


  4. Mr. Van de Hart,

    Doesn’t Holland want to keep its own, why did the Dutch moved not only to both Canada and the U.S, but also to South Africa, Indonesia, New Zealand, etc.

    Talk about “white privilege” and the evils of WASP.

    What Calvinism isn’t about and what WASP still don’t get….


  5. doesn’t Mexico want to keep its residents and citizens?

    Well the wealthy and productive, sure. I seem to recall Cuba being glad to empty some of their problems on our shores.

    Would the U.S. like to see lots of its people migrate to Canada?

    I imagine that there are a lot of people we would love to unload on Canada…the ranchers occupying Oregon and their sympathizers maybe?

    But it sure does seem that having more people is better than having fewer. If we had more people in Hillsdale, Trader Joe’s might set up a store here.

    If the people who move there are wealthy enough. If your new residents mostly receive SNAP, forget about a Trader Joe’s. I’m sure Curt can explain how unjust all this is, but lots of disposable income seems to be a necessary condition for keeping a store like Trader Joe’s going.


  6. “If we had more people in Hillsdale, Trader Joe’s might set up a store here.”

    But why settle for Trader Joe’s when you can dream for Whole Foods? But can Hillsdale attract the right type of people necessary to invite Whole Foods – Urban, Secular, High-Earning, Creative Hipsters?


  7. Maybe the Mexican government’s acquiescence to millions crossing their northern border has to do with the 25 billion dollars more or less) sent back by immigrants (legal and illegal) to the Mexican economy every year. In fact, I’ve read that the amount sent back exceeds the annual amount of revenue that Mexico’s oil industry brings in each year. Maybe for Mexico the U.S. simply serves as an extension on the Mexican economy without Mexico having to provide health care and other services to those immigrants…


  8. And Jack wins the chicken dinner. Plus, who wants to live in a border state in Mexico. I’d be getting here as quick as I could.


  9. “b, sd, but don’t economies need people, so the more people the more potential for economic growth? Some has to buy step ladders.”
    Yep. So first Aldi’s and then if you’re lucky, Trader Joe’s.


  10. Francis can’t escape that capitalism. He realizes that when countries/businesses are bad, people should leave. But what about all the “good ole faithful” people who stuck it out (or who are stuck there like these youth)? He should probly just read Atlas Shrugged.


  11. Mark, no way. Mexicans(Pope is an honorary this week) never tell gringos what they really think.

    Like we need Tim to handle Minnesota, they’re handicapped with Sam Mitchell.


  12. Van Der Hart,

    Can Someone Explain Why A Nation Losing Population is Good?

    You already know the answer to your own question. You know it benefits Mexico economically, but also the USA economy, with cheaper and more efficient labor.

    Why not question the republican Dutch farm owners who hire illegal Mexicans from Michigan to California. Where is your Old Life blog on that?

    Would it make a difference if the illegal immigrants were OPC members?

    Were you aware that one of the main reasons why the Pope visit Chiapas, Mexico, was because that area has become more Evangelical? These Mexican Evangelicals have been persecuted by Roman Catholics, even to death.


  13. Can someone explain what these Protestants who are being persecuted should do?

    “In what Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) calls “a marginalized community within a larger marginalized community,” Chiapas Protestants have been banished from their homes and land. Sometimes after having their utilities cut off. Sometimes after threats of lynching. The day before Francis’s visit, one evangelical church was broken into and burned down.”

    “Evangelical Christians in Mexico Increasingly Persecuted by ‘Traditional Catholics’


    US Wants Answers on Evangelical Persecution—in Mexico
    Indigenous converts still facing “widespread discrimination, violence, and displacement,” advocates say.

    “Traditionalist Catholics abducted, jailed and beat a group of evangelical Christians with rods and stones in Oaxaca, Mexico last week on orders from the head of a municipality, according to human rights officials.”

    “Two men in Hidalgo State, Mexico were arbitrarily imprisoned and then expelled from their community, along with their families, after refusing to renounce their religious beliefs on 12 March.”


  14. Van der Hart,

    It’s a primary source of economic income. You work in a farm for Van der Hart, in construction for Trump, you build Trader Joe’s/WH, etc. Then you sent US dollars back through Bank of America (they also make a huge profit, but Republicans don’t talk about that either) which is more than the currency at home. On the Lords Day, you visit your local NAPARC church where you are welcome, treated as a fellow believer, and you are feed in the proper means of grace, right?

    Can you please answer the others questions.


  15. Gil, one question at a time. But in general, when persecuted the Christian response is pray, trust, and repent.

    You’re a tad infrequent participant here to carry such a chip.


  16. Here is one fact to consider: at the moment there is a net migration to Mexico.

    However when either Republican (Trump or Cruz) wins the presidency, I only ask that in operation Wetback 2.0, they play Triumph the insult comic dog on the deportation buses; I’m assuming Republicans will be kind enough to not make us walk all the way. I’m an American, but they may grab me “accidentally” and shave my hair off like they did in the original Operation Wetback under Ike. Or, if they are so kind to let me stay, they can employ my engineering services to build a wall so that conservatives can finally shut up about it.

    Triumph needs your help sending illegals back (at about 45 sec). For 50 cents a day, you too can help send a Mexican family back. For $50, postcard updates. For $100, you’ll never hear from them again. Warning: Strong language.


  17. Apparently you have to get some merits from “the saints” in order to emigrate into heaven. And it does not hurt to get an indulgence for having your casket taken through holy doors.

    Papist idolaters “are not supposed to presume salvation for someone who died unless they are infants even if they were watered by Rome until such time as that person begins the process of being declared a saint. They think their prayers on behalf of the salvation of another are heard by God outside of time. So while there are no guarantees (keep working now to get to heaven eventually) that their prayers will result in the salvation of another, neither is there is such a thing as “too late”. They think that Jesus can still be sacrificed again and again because they deny that one permanent sacrifice for all time could not possibly save anyone from purgatory, living or dead. ”

    Proverbs 15:8 “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD”

    Romans 6:20 ”For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? The end of those thing is death”

    Luke 16:15 That which is highly esteemed among humans is abomination in the sight of God.


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