Children / Minors

Children / Minors

Venezuelan Migration and the Border Health Crisis in Colombia and Brazil

The Venezuelan economic, political and health crisis has triggered an exodus of Venezuelans to countries throughout the region. As of early 2019, an estimated 3.4 million Venezuelans had fled to other countries in the region and beyond. The paper reports on the findings and recommendations from public health missions undertaken in the summer of 2018 to two communities that have received large numbers of Venezuelans: (1) Cúcuta, in the Colombian border state of North Santander, and; (2) Bôa Vista and Pacaraima, in the state of Roraima, Brazil. These studies included interviews with health providers and organizations engaged in the humanitarian response, secondary analysis of grey literature, and data shared by key informants. Surveillance data demonstrated increases in infectious diseases, as well as adverse maternal and neonatal health outcomes among Venezuelans in both North Santander and Roraima. The paper finds that while the Colombian and Brazilian government responses to the immediate needs of Venezuelans have been admirable, they are not sustainable. In particular, there is an urgent need for an expanded humanitarian response to the Venezuelan migrant crisis in the region, particularly to address health needs where surveillance data shows recent and rapid rises in infectious diseases, acute malnutrition, and poor maternal and neonatal health outcomes. It reports that lack of access to preventative and primary care and inadequate funding of life-saving emergency care could result in a health crisis for Venezuelans in Colombia and could impact public health more broadly if not addressed through a more comprehensive and adequately funded humanitarian response. In Brazil, there is a need to invest in integration programs to improve the health and wellbeing of Venezuelans who have fled their country, with sensitivity to the needs of receiving communities, especially those who are underserved, in order to minimize resentment from the local population. This complex and costly process, the paper concludes, will require political will and financial support from neighboring countries, and the international community at large. In the longer term, however, only a resolution of the complex health and humanitarian crisis within Venezuela itself will address these transnational threats to health in the region.

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Does the United States Need to Invest More in Border Enforcement?

Despite the largest immigration enforcement budget in US history, the Border Patrol is set to apprehend the highest number of border crossers in more than a decade. This essay argues that the administration’s enforcement-only approach cannot successfully address this humanitarian crisis, and does not deserve any additional funding. Instead, the administration should respond to the conditions driving Central American and Venezuelan asylum seekers, provide protection for those fleeing violence and other impossible conditions, and create a strong, well-resourced US asylum system.

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CMSOnAir | Joanna Williams on the Kino Border Initiative
This episode of CMSOnAir features an interview with Joanna Williams, director of education and advocacy for the Kino Border Initiative (KBI). KBI is a bi-national organization based in Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico that works to “affirm the dignity of the human person and a spirit of bi-national solidarity.” In this episode, Williams details KBI’s efforts to provide humanitarian aid, education, and advocacy to deportees from the United States, migrants who have crossed the border without authorization, and Central American asylum-seekers. She recounts the impact of various changes by the Trump administration on KBI’s work and migrant communities, including the elimination of prosecutorial discretion and the implementation of policies (such as the Migrant Protection Protocols/Remain in Mexico policy) that force asylum seekers to wait in Mexico. Williams also discusses the recent report, “Communities in Crisis: Interior Removals and Their Human Consequences,” co-authored with CMS and the Jesuit Conference’s Office of Justice and Ecology. The study examines the characteristics of deportees and the effects of deportation, and places the findings in a broader policy context.

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Address by Most Reverend Oscar Cantú, Bishop of San Jose

On March 12, 2019, Most Reverend Oscar Cantú, Bishop of San Jose, delivered the welcoming keynote at the 2019 Catholic Immigrant Integration Initiative Conference at Santa Clara Law School in Santa Clara, California. In his remarks, Bishop Cantú considers how the Church has and can deploy its limited resources and implement successful models of integration to better address immigration and better welcome immigrants.

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Border Spirituality: ‘Tu eres mi otro yo’

The 2019 Father Lydio F. Tomasi, c.s. Annual Lecture on International Migration was delivered by Msgr. Arturo J. Bañuelas, Pastor of St. Mark’s Parish in El Paso, TX on March 12, 2019 at the sixth national gathering of the Catholic Immigrant Integration Initiative in Santa Clara, California.

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Address by Most Reverend Salvatore J. Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco

On March 13, 2019, Most Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco, delivered a keynote address at the 2019 Catholic Immigrant Integration Initiative Conference at Santa Clara Law School in Santa Clara, California. In his remarks, Archbishop Cordileone discusses: the Catholic Church’s concern for men, women, and children “on the move”; common themes found throughout the Church’s pastoral vision and the conference goals; immigrant contributions; how changing US immigration and refugee polices are affecting Catholic institutions and integration efforts; and promising and successful programs and ministries with immigrants.

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