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.
The Mexican bishop’s migrant ministry say U.S. policy changes have created the illusion that seeking asylum in the U.S. is now easy. This has caused a surge of migrants along the northern Mexican border, leading to a strain on Catholic-run shelters operating at limited capacity due to COVID-19.
A new study by the Conference of Catholic Bishops’ of India reveals the endemic poverty and lack of safety with which most internal migrant workers contend. The study recommends a multi-pronged strategy from government and non-government agencies to overcome these conditions.
In the Philippines, Churches have opened their doors to offer food and shelter to people forced by Super Typhoon Goni to flee their homes. The storm, which has killed at least 20 people and displaced hundreds of thousands, struck the Bicol region in southern Luzon on 1 November.
Bishop Paul McAleenan of the bishops' conference of England and Wales urged the UK and France to address the underlying reasons many migrants flee their country. His statement came in response to a meeting between the two countries' government officials responsible for migration policies.
Ten years ago, 72 migrants were murdered by drug cartels in Tamaulipas, Mexico, because they refused to be used as drug mules. Several Catholic leaders, including the Mexican bishops conference, the Archbishop of San Salvador, and Pope Francis, are requesting justice for these victims' families and other vulnerable migrants.
Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, President of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE), says Europe’s identity has gone up in flames together with the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, and that a common European policy for refugees is long overdue.
The Archbishop of Hamburg and ICMC Governing Committee member Stefan Hesse called the fire that destroyed Moria refugee camp in Greece a "foretold catastrophe." NGOs have denounced the camp's dangerous conditions for years. Archbishop Hesse says Europe must find the political will to welcome people seeking protection in a humane manner.
Amrat Talitha Kum India, an anti-trafficking movement led by women religious, held a meeting to increase and coordinate actions to fight human trafficking. ICMC Governing Committee member Fr. Jason Vadassery, who took part in the discussions, stressed the need to identify and collaborate with national and international NGOs.
The Southern African Bishops' Conference encourages governments to register all children, regardless of their parents' status. Otherwise they risk becoming stateless if they are abandoned or orphaned. They cannot access education and healthcare, and so are vulnerable to trafficking and child labor, warns Sr. Rissini of the Conference's Migrants & Refugees Office.
Ahead of World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Japan’s bishops urge the country’s citizens to free themselves from preconceptions and bias against displaced people, accept and protect them, and live in harmony with them.
U.S. Bishops have expressed their disappointment at their government's intent to limit the rights of migrants protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. "The Catholic Church in the United States has long advocated for the Dreamers and we will continue to stand with them," reads the statement issued by the members of the USCCB.
Internal migrant workers in India are returning to urban centers after having gone home during the coronavirus lockdown. The Conference of Catholic Bishops’ of India’s (CCBI) Commission for Migrants is calling upon the government to pass laws that will help improve their condition. The COVID-19 crisis has underlined the need to protect this population, says the Commission’s Secretary.
COVID-19 travel restrictions are preventing refugees from arriving in Canada. Deacon Rudy Ovcjak, director of the Archdiocese of Toronto's Office of Refugees and delegate to ICMC's Governing Committee on behalf of Cardinal Thomas C. Collins, worries about the fate of vulnerable refugees waiting to enter and the community members who sponsor them.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), an ICMC national member, has voiced objections to proposed new rules for asylum seekers coming to the country. The rules attempt “to curtail our nation’s long-standing commitment to providing individuals and families with humanitarian protection,” and are “unlawful” as well as “contrary to the public interest,” USCCB says.