‘Protect the Vulnerable’: Why Trump Must Win in 2024

Most major Catholic commentators on the border crisis have for decades played the part of Judas, offering impersonal and meaningless kisses to the image of God imprinted on every raped, massacred, and ignored victim of our unsecured border.

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There’s a new ad airing in several swing states ahead of November, and it has the kind of transcendent power that can shape not only elections but the character of whole nations.

The video’s title is “Protect the Vulnerable,” and it’s produced by leading Catholic advocacy group CatholicVote.

I won’t spoil the video by dissecting and summarizing it in print. Instead, I ask that you please stop and watch it now—it’s only half a minute long.

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To fully appreciate how important a video like CatholicVote’s is, remember that conservatives addressing border security with this kind of heart and empathy for the vulnerable would have been unthinkable just a few years ago.

The rates of illegal immigration under Joe Biden are unprecedented. But in a way, there’s been nothing new about most of the debates on this topic for 20 years. And while it’s now finally coming to a head in full view of the public eye, politicians long ago began turning the border into a lawless warzone ruled by cruel crime syndicates. 

Democrats and other establishment politicians year after year after year have staved off the urgent moral concerns at the border. As long as big political and corporate interests can keep using migrants as wage slaves and driving American citizens’ wages down to save a buck for themselves, no amount of trauma and bloodshed matters to our elites.

And I mean bloodshed.

They’ve let cartels crack the whip over refugees. They’ve allowed untold numbers of children to disappear into the U.S. never to be heard from again, and anonymous workers to flood into U.S. markets without the legal status they would need to appeal to the laws we have in place to protect them from overwork and abuse.

On numerous occasions, border agents have come across the scenes of massacres—with migrants found murdered en masse by people-smuggling gangs who for whatever reason came to view them as inconvenient—like an assembly line of lifeless products to be disposed of when a batch goes over-budget.

Consider this account from just last week. Hector, an 18-year-old Mexican national was “abandoned in the desert by the smugglers whom he had paid about $3,000 to get him across the southern border and into the United States.”

“Because of a condition that was causing his muscles to deteriorate from overuse, Hector couldn’t keep up with the rest of the group,” George C. Upper III reported. “The smugglers, having already received half their $6,000 fee up front, apparently didn’t care.”

Hector managed to flag down local law enforcement, who found him weeping. Hector is one of the “lucky ones,” Upper explained, “NewsNation’s Elizabeth Vargas reported that the U.N.’s migration agency—the International Organization for Migration—called the trek from Mexico over the border “the deadliest land route for migrants in the world.” That organization said that 686 people—that they know of—had either died or disappeared while trying to cross the border illegally in 2022 alone.”

The sheriff who found Hector “told NewsNation that his office had found 37 bodies in Terrell County over the past three years, or about one a month during the Biden administration. That’s up from about one recovered body per year prior to that.”

All that is to say nothing of the numbers of American citizens—impossible to count—who have lost their lives to the drug epidemic that thrives on the open border. Or the American families driven by wage-cutting corporations to divorce, destitution, depression, alcoholism, and suicide.

Despite all that, when I first spoke about securing the border for the sake of the most vulnerable victims of this lawlessness, from many on the political right I got blank stares at best and hostility at worst.

CatholicVote’s ad breathes new life into the border debate, and it’s significant in another, just as important way. This video represents American lay Catholics bringing the truths of Catholic teaching to the public square and transforming the American political landscape as a result.

Catholics, somewhat understandably, have often deferred to bishops to pronounce on this issue. But it never came to anything. Bishops too often spoke out harshly and one-dimensionally, and almost always favored the simplistic Democrat- and corporate lobby-backed media narratives that defended their own interests by downplaying exploitation and abuse. Catholics, somewhat understandably, have often deferred to bishops to pronounce on this issue. But it never came to anything. Tweet This

And in the meantime, many lay Catholic leaders were no help at all—least of all cynical “Catholic” posers like Biden. 

They only plagiarized Catholicism to justify abuses of human dignity. For all their Catholicese about “solidarity,” there’s no sugar-coating what they have really done: they ripped ideas from our Catholic social teaching, made them vague and abstract and toothless, then used them to run cover for rampant rape, trafficking, and murder. 

Nothing could be further from true Catholic witness in the public square than this apologetics for the unsecured border. It’s hard to think of a more direct betrayal of the vulnerable aside from “Catholic” pro-abortion activism.

“Protect the Vulnerable.” The bold, simple message of CatholicVote’s ad is exactly the renewal of lay Catholic engagement that the assaulted migrants and citizens of American border communities need and deserve as brothers and sisters made in the image and likeness of our nation’s God.

During the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency, I wrote an open letter to the Catholics of America and Mexico. I praised Trump’s desperately-needed efforts to secure the border, and urged Catholics to look past the flimsy and shallow moralism of religious voices—including bishops’—that condemned his policies.

Laymen have a duty to take the lead in Christianizing the world around us in everything we do, working always toward a humane culture that is hospitable to our fellowmen. Taking our cues from the timeless teachings of the Church, we should robustly debate how best to apply them in business, politics, art, and activism.

When bishops throw the full weight of their moral authority around, recklessly applying it to prudential policy questions, they discourage us from fulfilling our duty as laypeople to engage in the kind of reasoned, respectful debate that is so needed today.

Most major Catholic commentators on the border crisis have for decades played the part of Judas, offering impersonal and meaningless kisses to the image of God imprinted on every raped, massacred, and ignored victim of our unsecured border—from the migrant child to the American family.

But CatholicVote’s message does just the opposite. It presents American voters with a truly heartfelt love letter to the vulnerable. It invites us to recognize their incomparable dignity as human persons made in the image and likeness of God. And it tells us not to avert our eyes when our brothers and sisters are targeted for crucifixion by the rulers of this world. 

This November, the video seems to say, cast your vote at the foot of the Cross.

[Photo Credit: AFP via Getty Images]


  • Jason Jones

    Jason Jones is a film producer, author, activist, popular podcast host, and human rights worker. He is president of the Human-Rights Education and Relief Organization (H.E.R.O.), known for its two main programs, the Vulnerable People Project and Movie to Movement. He was the first recipient of the East Turkistan Order of Friend- ship Medal for his advocacy of the Uyghur people. Jones was an executive producer of Bella and an associate producer of The Stoning of Soraya M. His humanitarian efforts have aided millions in Afghanistan, Nigeria, and the Ukraine, as well as pregnancy centers and women’s shelters throughout North America. Jones is a senior contributor to The Stream and the host of The Jason Jones Show. He is also the author of three books, The Race to Save Our Century, The World Is on Fire, and his latest book The Great Campaign Against the Great Reset. His latest film, Divided Hearts of America, is available on Amazon Prime.

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