U.S. bishops hold National Migration Week amid migrant crisis

Katie Yoder   By Katie Yoder for CNA


Crowds attend a town hall meeting on immigration in Los Angeles, Jan. 14, 2014. Photo courtesy of Victor Aleman/vida-nueva.com. / null

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Sep 16, 2022 / 16:25 pm (CNA).

The U.S. bishops are inviting Catholics to participate in National Migration Week and the World Day of Migrants and Refugees by encountering “those living on the existential peripheries.”

The week, beginning on Sept. 19, presents an opportunity to reflect on the circumstances of migrants, refugees, victims of human trafficking, and others, according to the bishops. The seven days conclude on Sept. 25, the Vatican’s World Day of Migrants and Refugees (WDMR).

The bishops’ announcement comes as Republican governors are transporting migrants to northern states in response to the border crisis. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently took credit for flying migrants to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts while Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey have bused thousands to cities like Washington, D.C., New York, and Chicago.

“The Biden-Harris Administration continues ignoring and denying the historic crisis at our southern border, which has endangered and overwhelmed Texas communities for almost two years,” said Abbott said in a press release Thursday, after transporting migrants to Vice President Kamala Harris’ residence at the United States Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.

On Wednesday, DeSantis’ communications director, Taryn Fenske, shared the governor’s position with Fox News Digital.

“States like Massachusetts, New York and California will better facilitate the care of these individuals who they have invited into our country by incentivizing illegal immigration through their designation as ‘sanctuary states’ and support for the Biden administration’s open border policies,” Fenske said.

In Providence, Rhode Island, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin tweeted on Friday that every human person, from the baby in the womb to the migrants in Massachusetts, should be treated with dignity.

“The baby in the womb, the refugee in Cape Cod – neither should be exploited for political points,” he typed. “Both are children of God. Both should be respected, welcomed and cared for. Can’t we as a society agree on that?”

Ahead of National Migration Week, the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops (FCCB) called reports of the state’s involvement in transporting migrants to Martha’s Vineyard “disconcerting.”

“Any action to transport persons under false pretenses and leave them stranded with no assistance, if this proves to be the case, fails to respect their human dignity and objectifies them,” the group said in a statement to CNA. “Immigration is not just a political issue, but a fundamental human and moral issue.”

“For immigrants are not faceless numbers – but human persons,” the statement adds. “They are our brothers and sisters.”

The FCCB called the country’s broken immigration system a problem, rather than immigrants.

“While reasonable people may disagree on how our nation should respond, any effective response demands that we recognize that immigration is more than a ‘border security’ issue but is essentially about our labor markets and the men and women who fill the jobs that continue to make America strong,” the statement reads. “Justice and prudence demand that we treat them with dignity and find a reasonable way for their contributions and presence to be recognized within the law.”

Serving as executive director for the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops, Jennifer Allmon also commented on the “politicization of the life and dignity of migrants.”

“Our nation’s unwillingness to address the broken immigration system over these past several years rests squarely on citizens and politicians of both major political parties,” she told CNA in a statement. “This polarization has brought us to a moment of crisis; there exists a legitimate concern that without each level of government discharging their respective responsibilities, the common good of the communities of our towns, state, and nation, and immigrants themselves, will continue to suffer grievously.”

She recognized “an urgent need for legitimate and moral reform of our system of immigration and asylum.”

“The experience of our Catholic Charities and outreach ministries throughout Texas has taught us that refugees are adding to the quality of life throughout the state with their cultures and talents and the gainful employment that prevents them from being added to the poverty rolls,” Allmon said.

“Nevertheless, it is vital now that all levels of government make responsible plans to avoid a rush of people flooding our border that could jeopardize the just rule of law and the capacity of governmental and nongovernmental efforts to assist migrants, refugees, and the residential and native poor who are already here among us.”

The U.S. Catholic Church has observed National Migration Week since 1980, while the WDMR began in 1914.

“There has never been a more critical moment to reflect on the issue of migration, as we witness, for the first time in history, over 100 million forcibly displaced persons in the world,” Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, the auxiliary bishop of Washington and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, said in a statement.

Dorsonville went on to list several groups that Catholics should keep in mind.

“I am especially mindful of Dreamers, our new Afghan neighbors, Ukrainians fleeing conflict in their homeland, those with temporary protections who have made a home in the United States, and undocumented agricultural workers, all of whom have an important role to play in building the future of our country—just as they have a role in building the Kingdom of God,” Dorsonville added.

He concluded: “May this week help us to experience a renewed sense of what it means to live as brothers and sisters, traveling together on the same journey.”

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1 Comment

  1. Jesus never condemned Caesar on his wars, crucifixions, or welfare programs. Caesar would have killed Jesus if He had done so. Instead, Jesus gave His followers parables like The Sheep and the Goats, The Rich man and Lazerous, and told the rich man to sell everything and come and follow Him, if he wished to enter into eternal life. God the Father had Commanded His Faithful to tithe to care for the needs of the poor. Jesus reiterated His Father’s Commandments to care for the poor.

    I figure that God’s Commanded tithe on our 2 billion Christians of today, is about a trillion dollars a year. I think a trillion dollars a year, from today’s Christianity, out of love for Jesus through caring for the least of Jesus’ brothers, would end world poverty. I figure our 2 billion Christians of today only give 20 to 40 billion dollars a year to care for the world’s poor Lazerouses. I figure Pope Francis and his 2 billion Christians genocide millions of poor Lazerouses a year through lack of proper Christian tithing (LUKE 16:19 The Rich Man and Lazarus).

    MATTHEW 25:41 Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink… …’Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

    So why don’t we hear U.S. Bishops and Pope Francis preaching to their 2 billion Christians to repent? Preach repentance to save millions of poor Lazerouses from being murdered by Christianity’s lack of proper Christian tithing, and preach repentance to save uncharitable rich Christian’s souls from Jesus having to burn them in hell for their hatred toward Jesus, through failing to love Him through properly tithing to care for the least of Jesus’ brothers.

    US Bishops and Pope Francis, are like the Priest and Levite in Jesus’ ‘Good Samaritan’ parable. 330 million Good Samaritan American Taxpayers are presently donating a trillion dollars a year to help our domestic poor, and 48 billion dollars a year in foreign aid, while US Bishops and Pope Francis lead Christ’s 2 billion Christians to the other side of the road, to pass the poor by.

    Luke 10:29 The Parable of the Good Samaritan. Jesus replied, “A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead. A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight. He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them… …Which of these three, in your opinion, who was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?” He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

    LUKE 16:19 The Rich Man and Lazarus
    “There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day. And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table. Dogs even used to come and lick his sores. When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, and from the netherworld, where he was in torment, he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering torment in these flames.’ Abraham replied, ‘My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented. Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go from our side to yours or from your side to ours.’

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