Migration fix must look at big picture, bishop encourages

U.S. Mexico border crossing at San Ysidro. Credit: Josh Denmark/U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CC BY-SA 2.0).

The head of the U.S. bishops’ migration committee challenged U.S. President Obama and the leaders of Central America to respond to violence in that region in order to protect children who are being forced to flee.

“Over the long-term, a strategy must be devised to address the violence and lack of opportunity in the countries of Central America,” said Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio Elizondo of Seattle, and “(s)pecific attention should be paid to helping at-risk youth remain safe and access opportunity at home.”

“Instead of cooperating on intercepting them and sending them back to dangerous situations, the leaders should work together to protect them from those dangers, including providing them asylum in neighboring countries and in the United States,” he said in a July 24 statement.

More than 52,000 unaccompanied minors have been apprehended in the U.S. this year, a number which has doubled since 2011. It is projected that by the end of the fiscal year, 90,000 unaccompanied minors will have arrived in the United States, fleeing ongoing violence in Central America.  

Bishop Elizondo urged the region’s leaders to address the ongoing violence and instability within Central America, in order to adequately examine the influx of unaccompanied minors to the U.S.

Alluding to a July 25 meeting scheduled between President Obama and the presidents of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, the bishop said that discussion on the situation must address the “root causes of violence.”

“The leaders should focus upon the protection of these children and families, as they are charged with as the heads of their nations,” he explained.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has stated opposition to the deportation of unaccompanied minors, without first giving them an immigration hearing.

“Families, as well, should receive a fair hearing of their asylum claims,” said Bishop Elizondo.

Rather than simply “send(ing) children back to harm,” he voiced hope that the United States will find a way to “humanely respond to this situation.”

 


Voices

Appreciating the gift of memory

Anne Hansen

Why do we hold on to so many things in closets, garages and storage units? What is it about the birth announcement of an adult child or the high school diploma of an elderly grandparent that keeps these objects carefully saved rather than discarded? They are of no use to anyone and take up space. Yet they are precious and difficult to part with.

 

 

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Events

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January 25, 2015

  • Saturday, January 24

    Building Bridges through Intercultural Competency: A Symposium on the Future of Education and Ministry in the Church, 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m., Loyola Marymount University, 1 LMU Drive, Los Angeles. Archbishop José H. Gomez of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles will deliver a keynote address, which will be followed by two panel discussions on issues of intercultural competency and diversity featuring experts and practitioners working in Catholic education and other ministries in Southern California and across the United States. For more information, please contact the LMU School of Education Office of the Dean at (310) 258-8768.

    Life in the Spirit Seminar, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. (Registration 8:30 a.m.), Incarnation School Auditorium, 1001, N Brand Blvd., Glendale. Led by Fr. Bill Adams C.S.s.R. (818) 421-1354.

    Journey Through Grief, 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Mary & Joseph Retreat Center, 5300 Crest Rd, Rancho Palos Verdes. (310) 377-4867.

    “One Life, One Light” Requiem for the Unborn, 6 p.m., Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, 555 West Temple Street, Los Angeles.

  • Sunday, January 25

    44th Annual Whale Fiesta, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, 3720 Stephen M. White Drive, San Pedro. Free. Cabrillo Marine Aquarium celebrates marine mammals and the beginning of the migration of the Pacific gray whales along Southern California. Activities include building a life-sized whale out of sand, “Great Duct Tape Whale Contest” and “Whale Dynamics,” where participants will be transformed into a single “living whale.” (310) 548-7562.

    “Sisters of Selma: Bearing Witness for Change” with director Jayasri Majumdar Hart, 3-5 p.m., St. Bernadette Parish, 3825 Don Felipe Dr., Los Angeles. A discussion with Ms. Hart will follow the screening.  Free.

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