LATIN AMERICAN CARDINAL SAYS BUILD UP ECONOMY, NOT WALLS
Thu Jul 20, 12:02 PM ET
CINCINNATI - A Latin American cardinal says the United
States could do more to ease illegal immigration if it focused on economic development rather
than border crackdowns.
"Instead of trying to build
walls or putting the National Guard on the border, we should see how development can be enhanced and labor services created,"
said Roman Catholic Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras.
"Instead of looking only
at the consequences, we should go to the roots because development has not grown in most of the Latin American countries,"
he said in an interview last week with The Associated Press. He was in the United
States to speak at conferences on Catholic evangelization and Hispanic youth.
Rodriguez Maradiaga, the
archbishop of Tegucigalpa, is a linguist and a scientist —
and a widely respected Latin American moderate. He is often mentioned as a potential candidate to become the first pope from
Rodriguez Maradiaga said
the U.S. has been enriched by diversity,
as has the church. Immigration, however, troubles Latin Americans as much as it does those in the U.S. who want to slow or stop it, he said.
"We are losing our people,
especially the young," he said.
With economic development,
the cardinal said, his own country could supply palm oil and sugar cane for use in alternative fuels such as biodiesel and
"When we could have help
for development, we could have labor for our people, so immigration will not be so big," he said.