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US Bishops Hold National Migration Week Amid Migrant Crisis | National Catholic Register


U.S. Bishops Invite Catholics to Participate in National Migration Week and World Migrants and Refugees Day by Meeting “Those Who Live on the Existential Peripheries.”

The week, which begins Sept. 19, provides an opportunity to reflect on the situation of migrants, refugees, victims of human trafficking and others, according to the Bishops. The seven days end on September 25, the Vatican’s World Day for Migrants and Refugees (WDMR).

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

“The Biden-Harris administration continues to ignore and deny the historic crisis on our southern border, which has endangered and overwhelmed communities in Texas for nearly two years,” Abbott said in a press release Thursday, after transporting migrants to the residence of Vice President Kamala Harris. at the US Naval Observatory in Washington, DC

On Wednesday, DeSantis communications director Taryn Fenske shared the governorship with Fox News Digital.

“States like Massachusetts, New York and California will better facilitate the care of these people they have invited to our country by encouraging illegal immigration through their designation as ‘sanctuary states’ and by supporting the policies of open borders of the Biden administration,” Fenske said. .

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

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

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

“Any action to transport people under false pretenses and leave them stranded without assistance, if found to be the case, disrespects their human dignity and aims,” ​​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 added. “They are our brothers and sisters.

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

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

As executive director of the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops, Jennifer Allmon has also commented on the “politicization of the lives and dignity of migrants.”

“Our nation’s reluctance to address the flawed immigration system over the past few years rests entirely with citizens and politicians from both major political parties,” she told CNA in a statement. “This polarization has brought us to a moment of crisis; there is a legitimate concern that if each level of government fails to fulfill its respective responsibilities, the common good of communities in our cities, state and nation, and of immigrants themselves, will continue to suffer gravely.

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

“The experience of our Catholic charities and outreach ministries across Texas has taught us that refugees improve the quality of life across the state with their cultures and talents and the gainful employment that keeps them to be added to poverty lists,” Allmon said. .

“Nevertheless, it is vital now that all levels of government develop responsible plans to avoid a rush of people flooding our border which could undermine the just rule of law and the ability of governmental and non-governmental efforts to assist migrants, refugees and the residents and poor natives who are already among us.

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

“There has never been a more critical time to reflect on the issue of migration, as we witness, for the first time in history, more than 100 million people forcibly displaced around the world,” said Bishop Mario Dorsonville, Auxiliary Bishop of Washington and President. of the Committee on Migration of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in a statement.

Bishop Dorsonville then listed several groups that Catholics should keep in mind.

“I am thinking particularly of the Dreamers, our new Afghan neighbors, of Ukrainians fleeing conflict in their home country, of those on temporary protections who have taken up residence in the United States, and of undocumented agricultural workers, all of whom have a important role to play in building the future of our country – just as they have a role to play in building the Kingdom of God,” added Bishop Dorsonville.

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