Mexican bishops spoke out against a government-proposed camp for predominantly Haitian migrants and asylum seekers at the Mexican border with Guatemala. In a statement, the bishops’ migrant ministry expressed concern about potential human rights violations due to conditions in the area.
The Bishops’ Conferences of the EU (COMECE) issued a joint appeal to EU Member States to assist Afghans seeking refuge outside their country. Together with the Conference of European Churches, the Bishops called for particular attention to women, children and other vulnerable groups.
U.S. Catholics are part of an interfaith effort to resettle thousands of refugees evacuated from Afghanistan to the USA. Finding affordable housing is a major focus, as is enrolling children in school, says the U.S. Bishops’ Conference’s migration and refugee services ministry.
The Australian Bishops' Conference urged the Australian government to welcome at least 17,000 Afghan refugees more than its initial commitment of 3,000. In a letter to the Prime Minister, Archbishop Mark Benedict Coleridge stressed that Catholics are ready to support resettlement efforts.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols of the bishops' conference of England and Wales urged the UK to accept more refugees, with faith communities as key partners. He said the government should not underestimate people’s willingness to respond to the emergency in Afghanistan and “to create places of welcome.”
The Polish Episcopal Conference has called for an attitude of hospitality towards refugees and migrants rather than border closures. Bishop Krzysztof Zadarko said responses to migration must respect human rights and stressed that creating fear of other people is “inhuman and un-Christian.”
Wealthy nations like Ireland can show their commitment to human rights by doing more to assist Afghans and other forcibly displaced people, stressed Bishop Alan McGuckain of the Episcopal Conference’s justice and peace council. “Refugees should be welcomed and integrated in our communities.”
To welcome refugees from areas of crisis like Afghanistan is a “very humane and compassionate act,” and also very biblical, said Filipino Bishop Ruperto Santos in a recent interview. He highlighted the hospitality that Filipinos have shown to those fleeing conflict in the past.
Catholic-inspired organizations in Malaysia held a workshop to address the plight of Rohingya refugees. Misinformation and fear are driving discrimination and hostility towards the Rohingya community, said Father Bernard Hyacinth of the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur during discussions at the meeting.
U.S. bishops have urged authorities to revisit a recent decision extending power to remove migrants from the USA without a court hearing. “We cannot have a fair, orderly and humane immigration system without robust due process protections,” says the statement from the USCCB committee on migration.
An anti-slavery task force established by the Archdiocese of Sydney is leading efforts to end exploitive supply chains and labor recruitment involving human trafficking. It has birthed a national network and been named by the Vatican as a model for the Catholic Church to address modern slavery.
The Catholic-inspired network Red CLAMOR (Outcry) in Latin America has created a series of videos under the motto “Life is not a commodity on sale” to mark the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. The Latin American Episcopal Council is backing the regional awareness-raising campaign.
Ahead of World Refugee Day, Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, reaffirmed the bishops’ commitment to protect refugees and assist the U.S. government in returning the country’s refugee resettlement numbers to their historic norms.
Bishop Antonio Staglianò of Noto, Sicily, said in a 26 April statement that Pope Francis’s push for greater brotherhood and solidarity is needed more than ever following the death of 130 migrants in the Mediterranean.
As the number of people seeking asylum increases along the U.S./Mexico border, bishops on both sides of the border have issued a joint statement asking all nations to share the responsibility of preserving human life and providing safe, orderly, and humane immigration, including the right to asylum.