Former White House strategist Steve Bannon denounced the Catholic Church’s position on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, accusing church leaders of having an “economic interest” in continued illegal immigration.
In a wide ranging interview with Charlie Rose of CBS, set to air Sunday on “60 Minutes,” Bannon blasted the Church for condemning the Trump administration’s decision to wind down the DACA program.
“The bishops have been terrible about this,” Bannon, himself a Catholic, told Rose. “By the way, you know why? You know why? Because [they’re] unable to really come to grips with the problems in the Church, they need illegal aliens, they need illegal aliens to fill the churches.”
Following Trump’s decision Tuesday to wind down DACA, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) called the move “reprehensible” and vowed to support the program’s beneficiaries.
“Today, our nation has done the opposite of how Scripture calls us to respond,” the bishops said in a statement. “It is a step back from the progress that we need to make as a country.”
While the USCCB alluded to a higher authority in its support of DACA, Bannon accused the Church of a more earthly motivation.
“They [the bishops] have an economic interest in unlimited immigration, unlimited illegal immigration,” he said.
Bannon was known as one of the voices inside the Trump administration pushing for tougher policies in immigration. While he disagrees with Trump’s decision not to cancel DACA outright, Bannon says he understands why the president shifted the burden of deciding the program’s fate to lawmakers.
“Look, what he did on DACA the other day — okay, I don’t agree with that DACA decision, but I understand how he struggled with it, I understand how he’s giving the possibility of a legislative thing,” he said.
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