Informed Voting Matters-First Focus

Written on: June 1, 2020

Informed Voting Matters

To have a bigger impact on our care for Earth, our common home and its resources, consider the politicians you vote for and the companies you support with your wallet:

    • What are their values?
    • What do their actions say about their commitment to caring for our common home?

(From: EarthBeat, an exploration of Laudato Si’ through a social, political and spiritual lens)I

The first focus is the treatment of ‘Strangers” or Immigrants.



  1. Build democratic societies that are just, participatory, sustainable, and peaceful.
  2. Ensure that communities at all levels guarantee human rights and fundamental freedoms and provide everyone an opportunity to realize his or her full potential.
  3. Promote social and economic justice, enabling all to achieve a secure and meaningful livelihood that is ecologically responsible.

Pope Francis writes, “…fear deprives us of the desire and the ability to encounter the other.”  And again, “Compassion strikes the most sensitive chords of our humanity, releasing a vibrant urge to ’be a neighbor’ to all those whom we see in difficulty.” “It is not just about migrants; it is a question of seeing that no one is excluded.” (Sept. 29, 2019)

 United States, Bishop McElroy (San Diego, CA) writes, “…the culture of exclusion has grown so dramatically in the last three years. Racial injustice is on the rise… Immigrants and refugees, who have been at the core of America’s history as a source of vitality and richness, are portrayed as a cause for fear and suspicion in our society rather than of solidarity. The culture of exclusion has unleashed a poison of animosity against immigrants… On virtually every question of human life and dignity the growing culture of exclusion in our nation reinforces and propels cleavages that are highly destructive to all of the goals that lie at the center of Catholic social teaching” (2020).

Catholic Social Justice Teaching for Refugees

  • While a country has the right to protect its borders it is an international understanding that countries respect the right for people to migrate to sustain their lives and the lives of their families.
  • A country is compelled to regulate its borders with justice and mercy.
  • Children separation from parents, and conditions of detention centers, are not just or merciful.

Refugee by law must be allowed to enter our country (US Code 8)

United Nations definition of refugee : A person unable or unwilling to return to his or her home country, and cannot obtain protection in that country, due to past persecution or a well-founded fear of being persecuted in the future “on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.”

In 1968, the United States acceded to the 1967 UN Protocol to protect refugees.

US Congress incorporated this definition into U.S. immigration law in the Refugee Act of 1980.

In response to world needs

  • In 1980 the United States accepted 231,700 refugees
  • In 1993 the United States accepted 142,000 refugees
  • In 2017 the US fewer refugees than the rest of the world (97,000)
  • In 2018 the number was less than 23,000
  • In 2019 refugees to the United States was among the lowest, approximately 18,000.
  • It has been estimated that the United States is able to receive minimally 85,000 refugees a year.
  • U.S. employed refugees pay taxes on average 20 billion a year.


Unofficial refugee camps in Mexico’s northern border towns have become commonplace in the last year as the U.S. requires asylum seekers to wait in Mexico as a result of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).

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