Friday, June 12, 2009

Bishops on Immigration

Catholic News Service reported that the Bishops of North and Central America are calling for a regional migration summit. They want govenrments of the region to "assess the causes of migration and to work out a regional plan for cooperation on migration and development." They see this as a "pivotal moment" with "no time to waste."

The bishops had met in early June in Guatemala for a meeting on migration issues. They put out a statement which described "the combination of political opportunities created by the change in the White House and urgency fed by the global economic crisis and the increased role of organized crime in human trafficking." These groups "help" migrants to cross the border and find work, often under deplorable conditions. The smugglers, traffickers and drug cartels, often intimately related, are responsible for increased crime in the Southwestern US. Phoenix has become known for vast increases in kidnapping crimes, often related to these criminal groups.

There is great impact also on the family situations of those who migrate. Often families are separated because one or a few family members leave to work while others stay behind.

Often in the US, immigrants are treated as the source of many assorted ills. While it is true that some cross illegally, the bishops "are saddened when in our own communities migrants are not welcomed as brothers and sisters in our own faith as members of our Catholic family," they wrote. "We must insist that in the church, 'no one is a stranger.'"

The bishops said, "The church recognizes that all the goods of the earth belong to all people."

They called for "humane policies based on moral and ethical principles."

A list of attendees and signers of the statement are at the article link above.

Among all the things for which we pray, it is important to add those who are in desparate living conditions and find no alternative but to go to a place where they are able to work and earn money. This is among the many problems we need to work on in our country, especially in attitudes of wealth and what each individual deserves, no matter how hard they may work.

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