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Pope Francis is visiting the United States next week and it’s expected that he will lecture us, or at least give us a little nudge, on immigration and taking in more migrants. Before he does, it would be nice if he could take a few moments to review the facts.

With the ongoing migrant crisis in Europe, it’s likely the Pope will take that opportunity to encourage the United States to take greater steps to absorb poor migrants from around the world, and provide them with food, shelter, medication, education, and other benefits granted by America’s immigration program.

As the Financial Times is reporting, “Vatican officials say Pope Francis will focus heavily on immigration during his visit… ‘The Pope obviously has a very soft spot in his heart for immigrants,’ said one Holy See insider. ‘He won’t say, ‘open all borders’, but there’s no two ways about it, he will say, ‘let’s give our immigrant brothers and sisters a fair chance’.’”

Implicit in this suggestion is that the United States hasn’t already stepped up and done its fair share. However, a review of public data from the World Bank and U.S. Census Bureau shows that there is no other country on Earth that has accepted even a fraction of the migrants admitted to the United States over the last 40 years.

Indeed, the contrast with other countries is glaring.

The United States has a higher foreign-born population percentage than any of the world’s largest countries. 

Although the United States houses only 5 percent of the world’s population, the United States takes in 20 percent of all the migrants worldwide. No other country even approaches that number. In fact, no country in the world takes in even 5 percent of the global migratory flows.

For instance, the Pope’s home country of Argentina– which boasts a population of 41.5 million– houses less than 1 percent of global migrants. The United States has taken 2,328 percent — or 24 times — more migrants than Argentina has. In the United States, one out of every seven residents is foreign born; in Argentina only one out of every 22 residents is foreign born. (Read More)

As a Catholic I don’t want to publicly criticize the Pope. But is it wrong to wonder why he doesn’t focus more on the shortcomings of his home country? The United States has been a beacon of hope for people around the world for a couple of centuries now. Yet he has nothing but disdain for our economic system, and doesn’t seem too alarmed about the miserable economics in his home country. We’ve taken in more immigrants and migrants than anyone else, yet he chides us to do more. Why not lecture those who aren’t doing as much? How much does he expect us to do? How much more can we do before we lose what gives people hope in the first place? (Not to say that US politicians aren’t doing a good job of killing hope without any help from the Pope.)

One final question: How many Muslim migrants has he welcomed into the Vatican? A quick search revealed they have taken in two families. Certainly not enough to change the culture of the Vatican. Don’t we, as Americans, have an obligation to preserve what we have for future generations?

Update: One more question. After reviewing the statistics, why isn’t he out there telling the rest of the world to be more like us?


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