This thesis attempts to assess the ethical foundations to how individuals, communities, and nations should respond to refugees. My attempt in this writing is to restore the human element to a complex, international issue. I introduce the research with a case study on a refugee family, from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who resettled here in the United States. In subsequent sections, I analyze the realities facing refugees today, international and United States' laws and policies, which attempt to respond to refugees, and a theological ethical framework. Theology is the foundation of two communities included in the second half of the paper, Tucson's ecumenical community and Jubilee Partners. The Tucson community started the Sanctuary Movement, a historical and ethical movement responding to the needs of Central American refugees who were denied asylum by the United States government. This community provides a networking and theological model for understanding one's responsibility to refugees, as rooted in Christian scripture and in the traditions of the borderland. Jubilee Partners is an intentional Christian community whose work centers around refugees. They educate on issues of compassion, peace, and justice through their interaction with and inclusion of refugees. These communities provide a necessary humanizing and ethical framework of how one is both called to respond and how one can respond to the desperate needs and numbers of refugees, in community. Models of action, rooted in the lessons of these two groups, conclude the last chapter.


Kammer, III, Charles L.


Religious Studies

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

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© Copyright 2002 Morgan L. Barlow