MKLM Observes National Migration Week – Jan 7-13, 2018

nmwUnfortunately, in our contemporary culture we often fail to encounter migrants as persons, and instead look at them as unknown others, if we even notice them at all. We do not take the time to engage migrants in a meaningful way, as fellow children of God, but remain aloof to their presence and suspicious or fearful of them. During this National Migration Week, let us all take the opportunity to engage migrants as community members, neighbors, and friends.

Por cerca de medio siglo, la Iglesia Católica en los Estados Unidos ha celebrado la Semana Nacional de la Migración, lo cual le brinda a la Iglesia una oportunidad para reflexionar sobre las circunstancias que enfrentan los migrantes, incluyendo a los inmigrantes, los refugiados, los niños y a las víctimas y sobrevivientes del tráfico humano. El tema para la Semana Nacional de la Migración 2017 hace hincapié en el llamado del Papa Francisco para crear una cultura de encuentro y, al hacerlo, a mirar más allá de nuestros deseos y necesidades a las de los demás alrededor del mundo. En la homilía que dio en su primer Pentecostés como Papa, él enfatizó la importancia del encuentro en la fe cristiana: “Esta palabra para mí es muy importante: el encuentro con los demás. ¿Por qué? Porque la fe es un encuentro con Jesús, y nosotros debemos hacer lo mismo que hace Jesús: encontrar a los demás.”
Con respecto a los migrantes, a menudo en nuestra cultura moderna no los vemos como personas sino que los vemos como que fueran otros o simplemente nos son invisibles. No nos tomamos el tiempo para hacerlos partícipes en una manera significativa, como iguales hijos de Dios, sino que permanecemos alejados de su presencia y sospechosos de sus intenciones. Durante esta Semana Nacional de la Migración, tomemos esta oportunidad para hacerlos partícipes como miembros de la comunidad, como vecinos, como amigos—todos los cuales son dignos de nuestra atención y nuestro apoyo.
During National Migration Week:
• Catholics are called to stand with immigrants and refugees as our brothers and sisters. This is who we are. This is what we do.
• Pope Francis invites us to be part of a culture of encounter as we welcome, protect, integrate, and promote immigrants and refugees in our midst.
• For all people of Catholic faith, we belong to the same Church no matter where we’re from. Our Catholic identity isn’t based on where we live but on our faith in Jesus Christ. We are one family, and the Catholic Church is always our home.
• For newcomers who are not of the Catholic faith, Catholics recognize their human dignity and welcome them as new neighbors and friends.
• In Pope Francis, we have a leader from Argentina, a country of immigrants. He is the son of immigrants and a native Spanish speaker. Issues for immigrants coming from Latin America to the United States are close to his heart.
• Immigration is about real people who are trying to find a better life and a new beginning. As Pope Francis stated, “Each migrant has a name, a face and a story.”
• Welcoming immigrants is part of Catholic Social Teaching and reflects the Biblical tradition to welcome the stranger.
• The Catholic Church has been welcoming immigrants and refugees to the United States since the nation’s founding and has been integral to helping them integrate into American culture.
• In addition to welcoming and caring for those in need, the Church continues to uphold the centrality of family reunification as a critical component of our immigration and refugee systems.
• America is a better country due to the contributions of immigrants and refugees.
• Forced displacement of people is at the highest level since World War II, with more than 65 million people displaced around the world and over 22 million refugees.
• Refugees are the most rigorously screened population coming into America. This screening happens before they ever set foot in our country. The United States has the most thorough background checks of immigrants of any nation in the world.
• The Administration recently determined that only 45,000 refugees could come to the United States in the coming year Fiscal Year 2018. That is the lowest refugee determination in U.S. history. We can and must do better by ensuring that all 45,000 be welcomed in 2018 and also that the U.S. welcome at least 75,000 refugees in 2019.