Catholic Immigrant Integration

Catholic Immigrant Integration

A New Look for Migration Update

The Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) has revamped its weekly Migration Update newsletter! We invite you to check out our new look and format and subscribe to future updates.

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The Crisis in Refugee Protection and Everyday Catholics 

What does the Church teach and ask of everyday Catholics with regard to migrants and refugees?  In Pope Pius XII’s words, it teaches us to see in refugee families the “émigré Holy Family of Nazareth, fleeing into Egypt” as “the archetype of every refugee family.” It urges us, in Pope Francis‘s words, to see migrants not as a “secondary issue,” but to “stand in the shoes of those brothers and sisters of ours who risk their lives to offer a future to their children,” as “Jesus demands of us, when he tells us that in welcoming the stranger we welcome him (cf. Mt. 25:35).”  It exhorts us to move beyond political rhetoric and to go to the peripheries – whether in our own communities or elsewhere – to “encounter” immigrants and refugees. This may seem a simplistic and insufficient response to such a large problem, but encounter can change hearts and minds.  It can allow natives to see newcomers clearly which, to a Catholic, means to see them the way that God does.  

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Christianity and the Law of Migration: A Dialogue in Social Responsibility

On December 7, the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) hosted the 2021 Fr. Lydio F. Tomasi, C.S. Lecture on International Migration. Silas W. Allard delivered the lecture, “Christianity and the Law of Migration: A Dialogue in Social Responsibility.” The event also featured responses from Kristin Heyer and Raj Nadella – co-editors with Allard – of the new book Christianity and the Law of Migration (Routledge 2021).

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Pope Francis and President Biden Met to Discuss the Climate Crisis, the Pandemic, and Immigration

On Friday, October 29th, President Joe Biden met with Pope Francis in the Vatican during his trip to Europe for the G20 Summit and the UN climate change conference, COP26. According to a Holy See Press Office statement, the leaders discussed “their common commitment to the protection and care of the planet, the health situation, and the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the issue of refugees, and how to provide assistance for migrants.”

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One Hundred Years of American Catholic Assistance to Immigrants in Transit

One hundred years ago, it seemed that immigration to the United States would be a thing of the past. Congress had already forbidden most migration from Asia. In 1921 it began restricting migration from Europe. However, in 1921, the United States Catholic hierarchy organized within the National Catholic Welfare Conference (NCWC) its Bureau of Immigration. Since 2001, that organization has been known as Migration and Refugee Services (MRS), which is now a division of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The earliest records of the NCWC Bureau of Immigration’s main office in Washington, DC, and its busy port office in New York City, are located at the Center for Migration Studies of New York. What do these records of a century of action on behalf of immigrants have to tell us today?

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The CRISIS Survey: The Catholic Church’s Work with Immigrants in the  United States in a Period of Crisis

The CRISIS Survey documents the reach, diversity, and productivity of Catholic institutions that work with immigrants and refugees during a pandemic that has particularly devastated their communities and an administration whose policies and rhetoric made their work far more difficult. At a time of rampant “Catholic decline” narratives, the survey also documents the reach, vitality, and relevance of Catholic immigrant-serving institutions. It identifies the obstacles encountered by immigrants in accessing Catholic programs and ministries – both organizational (funding, staffing, and siting) and exogenous (federal policies, the pandemic, and community opposition). It underscores the threat posed by US immigration policies to immigrants and to the work of Catholic institutions.

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Fear and Borders within the Casa del Migrante in Tijuana During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The northern border of Mexico is a space of reception and containment for migrant families and individuals, who find themselves in conditions of great precariousness and practically null resources. Few migrants have material resources or social connections in Tijuana. The Casa del Migrante offers support to those waiting to cross the border. This wait can be prolonged indefinitely due to asylum and border control policies, a reality exacerbated by COVID-19 and related policies.

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 Recent Literature and Resources on Catholic and Faith-Based Work with Immigrant Communities

The Center for Migration Studies (CMS) conducted an extensive literature review and compiled the following resources and recent research on Catholic and faith-based work with immigrant communities. These resources cover the work of a wide array of institutions, including parishes, elementary schools, colleges and universities, charities, health issues, and congregations. This compilation also presents recent literature on the impact of immigrants on Catholic faith communities, advocacy by Catholic institutions, ethical issues, resources on working with immigrants, and other issues.

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