Recently, Catholics throughout the United States celebrated National Migration Week 2014 with the theme, “Out of the Darkness.” Columbans throughout the world continue to minister to migrants and to defend their rights, from Taiwan to the U.S. – Mexico border.
Migrants and particularly the most vulnerable migrants: children, the undocumented, refugees, and victims of human trafficking, often find themselves existing in a kind of figurative darkness where their options remain limited and their ability to live out their lives in its fullness severely restricted. Often at risk of violence or exploitation these vulnerable populations need to be provided the support needed so that they can thrive
- Migrant Children are one of the most vulnerable migrant populations, open as they are to exploitation and abuse. Special protections should be given to them to ensure their safety and well-being. To learn more about what the Church is doing to support child migrants, please click here.
- Undocumented immigrants are often referred to as “living in the shadows.” Their marginal status has led advocates for reform to call for a legalization process that will bring them out of the shadows and provide them with the opportunity to contribute to society and live out their lives in dignity. To learn how you can help the bishops pass comprehensive immigration reform, please visit the Justice for Immigrants website.
- All too many Refugees who are left mired in refugee camps around the world never have the opportunity to realize the full potential of their God-given skills and talents. Long term solutions need to be implemented so that refugees are not forced to remain in camps but can reintegrate into society and become contributing members of it. Click here to learn how you can support the refugee resettlement system in the United States.
- Enslaved and treated like objects for profit rather than as human beings, victims of human trafficking require liberation from their bondage and support to help them start anew. Those who enslaved them need to be brought to justice and punished accordingly so that they will not have the opportunity to hurt anyone else in the future. Find out more about Human Trafficking and what you can do to spread awareness during National Migration Week and beyond.
It is our call as the Church to bring the light of Christ to these populations, banish the darkness, and help to bring them from the margins of society to its center. Doing so will provide vulnerable migrants with a protected space in which they can flourish as human beings. This requires prayer for those who are marginalized, alongside an active presence in the public square to demand that protections are provided to those who need them most.
In the coming weeks, and in preparation for Lent, we plan on providing a number of resources that reflect on the central theme of Comprehensive Immigration Reform.