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.
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.
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.
U.S. Bishops welcome the country's Supreme Court opinion that prevents the U.S. Administration from terminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The program protects youth who were brought to the country as children without proper documentation from deportation.
In a joint statement, the Bishops’ Conferences of Scotland and of England and Wales warned that a proposed Immigration Bill made necessary by Brexit would hinder migrants’ opportunity to contribute to society in the UK. The bishops recommended introducing a time limit to immigration detention and removing barriers that keep families apart to the new legislation.
ICMC and many other Christian, Jewish, and Muslim aid agencies warn that the COVID-19 crisis adds an enormous burden to already strenuous humanitarian situations. NGOs call upon the European Union to relocate asylum-seekers in Greek island camps and urge its Member States to continue taking in asylum seekers in order to avoid a pandemic disaster.