Alabama Law Will Outlaw Charity to Undocumented Immigrants

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, one of the largest Catholic charitable organizations in the country, says that a new Alabama anti-immigrant law will impede their charity work with the poor, since the legislation outlaws giving assistance to undocumented immigrants.

Joseph Flanigan, the society’s president, spoke about the impact of the law:

“Giving a disabled person a ride to the doctor, finding a temporary shelter for someone, or just giving food, clothing, or financial assistance to someone in need—all those things would be made a crime under this law if they were done for an undocumented alien. Our members provide a broad range of assistance and help to those in need regardless of ethnic background, religion or national origin, so the good works we accomplish would be compromised by this law.”

Providing charity is an imperative of Catholicism. The society, which has more than 170,000 members nationally, allows Catholics to fulfill this Biblical mandate through monetary and in-kind donations, as well as through volunteer work.

Image courtesy of j valas images via Flickr.