Rep. Sensenbernner

Representative Jim Sensenbrenner has converted to Catholicism despite his and the Church’s opposing opinions on immigration.

Jim Sensenbrenner, a Republican representative from Wisconsin, recently converted to the Catholic faith. While this would not usually garner the attention of the news media, his case is particularly unusual. Aside from garnering the presence of several high-ranking Catholic officials at his conversion ceremony, it has brought his past views on immigration into sharp contrast with those of the Church. After all, he has been one of the staunchest anti-immigration people in the entire nation for several years.

Sensenbrenner’s Immigration Position

Sensenbrenner has had a very long history of opposing immigration rights in the United States. In 2005, he introduced proposed a bill, aptly called the Sensenbrenner Bill, which would make it a crime for people to assist others in gaining access to the United States. This law, which has been called nothing short of Draconian, failed to gain the required support in Congress. He has kept this stance up until the time he sought to become a convert. Even last year he came out against the amnesty program that was being proposed in the latest immigration bill.

The Church’s Immigration Stance

The Catholic Church has been one of the biggest proponents of immigration reform and amnesty over the last century. In fact, several Archbishops spoke out against the views offered by Sensenbrenner and his colleagues last year. They also lauded the Senate on their desire to change the immigration standards in the United States.

The Catholic Church has a long and rich history of supporting immigration within the United States. After all, many of the most devout Catholic nations have experienced terrible inequalities after coming to the shores in search of a better life. Even though these people faced bias due to their religion, they refused to convert for an easier life and have gotten the full support of the church as a result.

Will Sensenbrenner Change His Stance?

One of the biggest questions that have come about as a result of Sensenbrenner’s religious conversion is whether or not it will have an impact on this anti-immigration stance. As a recent convert, it is not likely that he will reverse course on something that he has fought for during his long career. However, since his convert session attracted such a wide range of high ranking Catholic clergy members, it may be that he will be more open to their suggestions for future change and acceptance.


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