Orange diocese sends immigration precautions to all parishes

You don’t open the door - you ask to see a warrant under the door and you have a right to remain silent

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrest a foreign national during a targeted enforcement operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) aimed at immigration fugitives, re-entrants and at-large criminal aliens in Los Angeles. (Charles Reed/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via AP)

Bishop Kevin Vann has sent a letter to all Diocese of Orange parishes directing them to be prepared in the event of an encounter with immigration enforcement officials at or near a church, school, hospital or clinic.

The letter went out after reports of a van believed to belong to Immigration and Customs Enforcement was photographed on the Christ Cathedral campus Feb. 17.

It turned out that the van belonged to U.S. Customs and Border Protection and an officer was at the cathedral to participate in an honor guard at a veteran’s funeral service. But the report, which was subsequently publicized by Rep. Lou Correa’s office last week, created a stir among Orange County Catholics, said Greg Walgenbach, the diocese’s Director of Life, Justice and Peace.

ICE officials are “doing everything to be responsive and transparent,” said ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice, reiterating that ICE has policies telling officers to avoid sensitive locations including schools, houses of worship and hospitals; religious observations such as weddings and funerals; and marches, rallies or parades.

“When people put out misinformation, it creates panic and puts our officers and the general public at risk,” Kice said. “We ask the public to reach out to us and verify before you vilify.”

Earlier in the year, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles along with the dioceses of Orange and San Bernardino teamed up to produce a 50-page informational package.

“There’s a skit we do at parishes to show people how to react when ICE comes to your door,” Walgenbach said.

You don’t open the door – you ask to see a warrant under the door and you have a right to remain silent, he said.

Vann’s letter goes a step further and specifically states several steps parishes should take including appointing a “rapid responder” who will be equipped to speak to ICE officials seeking permission to enter a church and designating others to document any interactions with immigration officials with written notes and cellphone photos and videos.

Catholic Charities, which provides a number of programs for immigrants and refugees in Orange County also has ramped up its efforts, hiring 11 new staff members and a full-time immigration lawyer, Walgenbach said.

Full story at OC Register.


  1. Disgusted with California Bishops says:

    And yet the bishops do nothing to stop church employees who are in same-sex fake marriages.

    Where’s the skit that presents how pastors should respond when the music director announces he’s “married” another man?

    I have lost nearly all respect for the bishops: first with their spineless capitulation to gay marriage; second with their “pull-out-all-the-stops” approach to hampering the enforcement of America’s immigration laws. Their priorities are all twisted and wrong.

    • Dear Disgusted – Dozens of employees of Catholic institutions have been fired for marrying the person they loved. Some guy back cast even has a cottage industry searching through public records to see if Catholic workers are “Gay married. When he was in Denver, Archbishop Chaput even OKed kicking small children out of Catholic school because they had two moms. Never fear, homophobia is alive and well with our American Bishops.

      • Disgusted with California Bishops says:

        I know of at least a half dozen people employed by the bishops of CA who are open about being in a civil same-sex fraudulent marriage, so the bishops in this state are not being faithful. They know about it and permit it; they turn wide-open eyes away from what they see in order not to incur the wrath of the leftists in CA.

        The problem isn’t with “homophobia”, which is a made-up term for a nonexistent condition in an attempt to make normal people look and feel like the problem is with them when the problem is with homosexuality.

        Nobody can have two moms. There is only one biological mother. There can be an adoptive mother or a stepmother, but those are mothers in a different sense.

        Leftism relies on lies and equivocations in…

        • Your Fellow Catholic says:

          So the problem isn’t with islam, “Problem is with homosexuality”? How do you get from border protection, to terrorism,and now, all the way to homosexuality? Umm, really?

          • The problem is with both: A radical ideology and a radical confused, disordered sexual orientation!

        • Anonymous says:

          They are the two horses of the Apocalypse — gender confusion and Islam — they work hand in hand whether they know it or not, or will admit it or not. After all, Mohammed “married” and consummated a “marriage” to a child bride of about nine or ten, and she never had any children, and Muslims say he is the greatest and last prophet. That should tell one what kind of “god” they worship.

          Thank you to all the faithful men out there for defending us women while taking quite a beating. Thank you, thank you.

      • C&H – They should be fired if they are in a “unnatural and sinful relationship”! There is no such thing as “gay marriage”. Two people of the same sex cannot form a union, it is against nature and God. A ruling from a confused court cannot make normal what is disordered and confused. No, what’s alive and well is Homo fascism but it will eventually fail as all evil does

        • Your Fellow Catholic says:

          If there is no such thing as “gay marriage”, then you have nothing to worry about. There is no such thing as ghosts, or tooth fairies, or Santa Clause. I spend zero time fighting these “not such things”. Why do you?

          • I’m worried about homo-fascism which not only forces people of faith and others to accept these confused gender identities and infiltrates the schools to indoctrinate our kids, but is also bent on normalizing what is abnormal sexual orientations.

    • Gabriel Espinosa says:

      You speak for a great many faithful Catholics.

  2. This very-officious response by Bp. Kevin Vann to hinder lawful immigration enforcement is similar to a letter put out recently (2/28/17) by Card. Blasé Cupich, outlining steps for diocesan personnel to minimally cooperate, mostly obstruct, ICE agents in the event they come to Chicago archdiocese premises:

    ICE agents are executing lawful warrants for criminal, often felony violations, in every circumstance. Bp. Vann is either grandstanding, or woefully uninformed—likely both. Do he, and Cupich, and the whole lot of them intend to harbor potentially dangerous criminals? Think well on it…

  3. drewelow says:

    spokeswoman kice sums it up for the pre-panickers so well: ‘verify before you vilify’.i just read that the US is on high alert, has been for a while. just maybe the international war with islamic terrorism has a tiny bit to do with looking for honest credentials.

  4. newguy40 says:

    “Catholic Charities, which provides a number of programs for immigrants and refugees in Orange County also has ramped up its efforts, hiring 11 new staff members and a full-time immigration lawyer,”


  5. drewelow says:

    these instructions sound similar to what drug dealers tell their clients to do ‘when cars pull up”. viriginia kice says that ICE has policies to avoid church situations. the diocese could have saved themselves a lot of trouble by talking with ICE first to find out what their policies are. how much of the 50 page pamphlet, well-intended to protect and assure , is in its own way misinformation? some diocese to police liaison would have been so usfeul, probably view a good diocesan lawyer.

  6. Dallas diocese says:

    “the van belonged to U.S. Customs and Border Protection and an officer was at the cathedral to participate in an honor guard at a veteran’s funeral service” I’m surprised they allowed a veteran of the Border Patrol to be buried out of the Catholic Church.

    At the Church where I attend Sunday Mass, there was a bulletin insert this past weekend entitled “Know Your Rights” from Catholic Charities of Dallas, English on one side, espanol on the other. There were two copies in the bulletin I picked up. It described a free event for 6 pm Monday March 20th about how to deal with immigration authorities. It says “Every person in the United States has the same protection under the Constitution, no matter what their immigration status…

    • Dallas diocese says:

      continued —
      The bulletin insert referred to the USCCB website. From the site:

      Know Your Rights

      Catholic Charites of Dallas offers the following resources for immigrant families to be informed of your rights and have a safety plan ready in case of an emergency.

      Caridades Católicas de Dallas ofrece los siguientes recursos para las familias inmigrantes para que estén informados de sus derechos y tengan un plan de emergencia preparado.


      Here is the link to the English text –

      • Dallas diocese says:

        Excuse me. The insert referred to the Cathoic Charities of Dallas website, not the USCCB site. example see

        • Actually the reference should be to, Das Kapital, vol 1 p. 346. It’s because of people like you that I left the Church, absent Western law, there is NO freedom of religion, absent borders there is no nation.

          • Dallas diocese says:

            Did I miscommunicate ? I am in no way in favor of amnesty and a borderless United States. My post was an effort to expose what is going on, not endorse it.

            Yes. God gives everyone free will to choose good or evil. That is a teaching of the Catholic Church.

            Perhaps you would like to read De Laicis by St. Robert Bellarmine, a Doctor of the Church. He wrote about the relation between Church and State and is suspected by at least some to have influenced the Founding Fathers. see

            Coincidentally or not, his feast day is September 17th which is Constitution Day in the U.S.

            As for Das Kapital, I have a degree in Economics from the University of Dallas in Irving,…

  7. Instead of helping people break the law and commit unlawful acts, why don’t the bishops encourage citizens to legally sponsor an immigrant so they can come , work, go to school get their visa and be here legally. This is nothing more than Church Sponsored Sedition and is neither moral nor legal. If borders were not important and enforceable why does the Vatican not have it’s gates thrown wide open?

    • drewelow says:

      the swiss guards are armed with machine guns at certain ‘box stations’. i lived in rome quite a few years and remember when a local rome bank robber thought he would make a getaway by driiving into st peter’s square (it wasn’t as cordoned off from traffic as it is now. he zooomed his cinquecento onto the cobblestones and found that he had flat tires almost instantly as a swiss guard, having been alarted by city police, shot out the tires. so much for sanctuary at the vatican.

  8. For Bishop Vann to aid and abet breaking immigration law is disgusting and disturbing. I am ashamed of him.

    • Anne Lopez says:

      Many approve of breaking God’s laws by saying homosexuality is ok & same-sex marriage, so then it’s ok to break ANY law. This is very serious as we are a nation of laws. It is wrong to support people who are here illegally! They have broken the law. We are a very generous nation and accept thousands of immigrants. We have the right to protect our country from drug dealers, criminals, disease etc.
      Let’s get back to obeying God’s laws and US laws.

  9. Another example of Christo Marxism. “Bishop” Van has blood on his hands, only completely radicalized Church prelates would ever promote this kind of madness. Perhaps if these Utopian socialists masquerading as ordained representatives of Christ were forced to confront the 14 year old little girls brutally raped by illegal alien Mexicans, they might have a change of heart. Bishops such as Vann are evil and should be excommunicated.

    • Actually, what Bishop Van is trying to do is to help 14 year old girls who are in danger of or, maybe have been, raped in their home countries and the authorities are unwilling or unable to protect them.

      • Oh, please! That is nonsense in most cases. Many young women are brought over here illegally just to prostitute them. Open borders also make it easily for molesters to molest and run back across borders without any consequences. If females are not brought here legally, and the situation vetted, how is anyone to know what is going on.

      • I need to clarify something I said in my last post to you. I did not mean that Bishop Vann was bringing these females over for prostitution, but other people do so. Our government needs to know for sure what is going on. In some cases now young men over eighteen are being put in high school freshmen classes where there are Americans girls and boys much younger. That is wrong. It has endangered some, and some have even been raped by these overage men here legally or illegally. We MUST take care of our own first responsibilities first and make other countries fulfil their own responsibilities.

  10. Your Fellow Catholic says:

    “Verify before you vilify”. Um seriously? Verify before you come into homes, communities and neighborhoods. And stop the vilifying altogether, ok?

  11. 😡😡😡😡😡😡😡

    How wonderful that so many Catholic leaders are aiding and abetting criminal behavior and possibly helping non-churchgoing family members involved in gangs, drug or sex trafficking, or other crimes to evade authorities!

  12. I’m waiting to see what our diocese is going to do about the immigrants waiting to emigrate out of the womb into our society! Our priorities are twisted! Since the 1973 Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions we’ve lost about 57 million potential immigrants! We’re more worried about illegal immigrants than we are about the U. S. Citizens growing in the womb! They are being aborted everyday right here in Orange County! Our pro-life programs are bearing very little fruit! Immigrants may be in the shadows and that must be corrected but first we need to save the legal immigrants, with a soul and an angel assigned, waiting not only to come out of the shadows, but to come out of the womb–nature’s gateway to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of…

    • It’s interesting that you bring this up. Immigration law provides that child born on US soil is an American Citizen. However if ICE/Border Patrol can shove the mother back into Mexico just before she gives birth the child has no citizenship right. If the Republicans were truly pro-life they would argue that a child conceived here was also a citizen. As it stands now, the anti-immigrant element of the GOP calls these children of God “Anchor Babies” and wants to change the law to deny them citizenship. For shame!

    • Your Fellow Catholic says:

      So yes, exactly, we are more worried about potential “immigrants” than we are worried about the immirgrants who live, work, and die right here in our midst. Surely there is a common ground here!

    • I can tell you that when then Bishop Cupich was was in Spokane, he forbade his priests from taking part in any pro-life activities, including marches, silent prayer outside of PP clinics included. Its easy to see where his values are.

  13. A lot of the comments remind me of the time I was growing up, when my father faced the “Irish need not apply” signs at factories and stores, how the KKK burned crosses in front of Catholic churches telling us to leave the country, how Jews were mocked and jeered in the streets, how certain ethnic groups could only live in certain sections of the town, etc. Immigrants are always feared by older groups. No one stops to think of what our country would be like if refugees were not allowed in, or accepted after they made hundreds of mile treks to get here. Most of the millions who come our shores come seeking an improved life, to get away from evil governments and drug cartels. Unless you have traveled, it is hard to imagine how horrible…

    • I have got news for you, Bob One. Lots of Irish Americans voted for President Trump because they felt the Clinton Administration would be worse. I still remember what the Clintons did to Governor Casey, Sr. and John Cardinal O’Connor, and it was not nice. Maybe you had better go look at what William Donahue has to say about some of this.

  14. To quote President Franklin Roosevelt, “My fellow immigrants. . . “

  15. We are not speaking of LEGAL immigrants……but ILLEGAL immigrants and those who murder, rape, are involved in gangs and are drug dealers, etc…..

    How about the safety of the citizens who live here? I guess we don’t count?!

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