Fr. Pat Murphy, c.s. reflects on a violent incident by police against migrants and the necessity of an active presence of the local Church to defend the rights of the immigrants.
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.
The 2020 Father Lydio F. Tomasi, C.S. Annual Lecture on International Migration was delivered by His Eminence Cardinal Michael F. Czerny, SJ, Under-Secretary for the Migrants & Refugees Section of the Vatican Dicastery for Human Development.
This Sunday, September 27th the Church celebrates the 106th World Day of Migrants and Refugees. On this occasion, Pope Francis issued a timely letter entitled Like Jesus, Forced to Flee. In the letter, the Holy Father summarizes the reality facing so many displaced people throughout the world who have been forced to flee for their lives during the worldwide pandemic.
It has been a remarkably interesting three months from the fourth floor at the Casa del Migrante in Tijuana. The virus has not disappeared, and to be honest, I doubt that it ever will. So, the question on everyone’s mind is, “How do we move forward?” Well a few things are certain: 1) You need to wear a mask; 2) You need to stay six feet from people you do not live with; 3) You need to wash your hands very often. It seems to be a rather simple roadmap to success, but for some reason, a lot of people do not get it. Meanwhile, after almost five months confined to the fourth floor, with an occasional trip to the US Post Office, I came to the conclusion that I cannot stay on the fourth floor forever and we cannot keep the Casa closed indefinitely.
The coronavirus pandemic’s heroes are the “essential worker,” the medical professionals tending the sick, the bus drivers and train conductors taking those professionals to work and home again, the ambulance crews bringing the desperately ill to the hospital, and the letter carriers, truck drivers, and bicyclists delivering mail, medicine, and food. For nineteenth and early twentieth-century immigrants, clergy were also essential workers.
Migrants, refugees and internally displaced persons have always been of special concern to the Catholic Church. Thus, it comes as little surprise that the Holy See inspired, influenced and participated with great interest in the historic development of a global strategy to respond to migrants and refugees, leading to the adoption of the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) in December of 2018. The Catholic Church’s work on the GCR and GCM included not only the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Integral Human Development, but also bishops’ conferences, religious orders and congregations, Catholic institutions of all kinds, and Catholic-inspired non-governmental organizations.
If COVID-19 attacks places like Tijuana with vigor, we are in for a catastrophe. In the meantime, many border shelters have made some difficult decisions.
This paper sets forth a typology to better understand the motivations of volunteers working to help migrants at the US-Mexico border who are in need of humanitarian assistance. The typology is centered on empathic concern, differentiating secular/faith-based motivations, and deontological/moral-virtue motivations. It offers four categories of humanitarian volunteers: the Missionary Type, the Good Samaritan Type, the Do Gooder Type, and the Activist Type. And, it sets forth additional self-centered (non-altruistic, or not-other-centered) types: Militant, Crusader, Martyr, and Humanitarian Tourist. This typology can help organizations working with migrants and refugees better understand and channel the enthusiasm of their volunteers and better meet the needs of the vulnerable populations they serve.