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October 6 – 20, 2012
The Committee on Migration has decided to focus this year’s assessment trip on the situation of Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey and the situation of African refugees in Egypt. The trip will take place in October 6-20. The delegation will be headed by Bishop Anthony Taylor of Little Rock who will be joined by Committee consultant, Father Daniel Groody of Notre Dame. The MRS team will include Kevin Appleby, Beth Englander and Anastasia Brown, and Natalina Malwal.
December 3 – 5, 2012
USCCB Migration and Refugee Services and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) will host a national conference in Atlanta, GA entitled Migration Policy and Advocacy in 2013 and Beyond: New Challenges and New Opportunities. Archbishop Gregory will celebrate the opening Mass and give the keynote address. The conference will examine migration from both federal and state/local perspectives and will discuss methods for advancing the migration policy agenda of the Church in 2013 and beyond. Please click here to link to the registration page. For additional information, please contact Antonio Cube (202-541-3165).
January 6 – 12, 2013
The observance of National Migration Week was begun over a quarter century ago by the U.S. bishops to provide Catholics an opportunity to take stock of the wide diversity of peoples in the Church and the ministries serving them. As the face of the local church continues to change, educational materials produced for National Migration Week have become increasingly important. They can be used throughout the year by individuals, families, schools and parishes to learn about the complex issues surrounding migration. The 2013 NMW theme is “We are Strangers No Longer: Our Journey of Hope Continues.” This theme was chosen given that 2013 is also the 10th anniversary for the pastoral letter Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope. During the month of January USCCB will highlight immigrant stories submitted by students of catholic high schools and university and promote and action alert to members of Congress and the President requesting immigration reform. (Please see enclosed plan).
January 9 or 10, 2013
A one-day symposium on the Haiti diaspora will be held January 9 or 10, 2013 in Washington, DC (venue TBD) on the 3rd earthquake anniversary. Among the issues to be addressed are migration dynamics and flows, Temporary Protected Status (TPS), children, detention and deportation.
January 24, 2013 – 10th Anniversary, March 2013 – Book Launch
The Migration Policy and Public Affairs Office in MRS is developing a book that will commemorate the publication of the joint US/Mexico pastoral letter, Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope. Its purpose is to educate the public on the work of the Church on the issue of immigration and to enhance understanding among the general public of Catholic social teaching and its application to migration. The projected length of the book would likely fall in the range of 300 pages, including approximately eight to ten essays, an introduction (possible written by Archbishop Gomez), and a conclusion (perhaps written by Bishop Ramazzini of Mexico). It is divided into four sections: Part I. Historical, Pastoral, and Theological Perspectives, Part II. The Church and Immigration Policy, Part III. Special Populations, and Part IV. Looking Back, Looking Ahead. Each section will focus on a theme or set of themes relevant to Strangers No Longer and will use the pastoral letter as a springboard to explore where the debate over immigration is ten years out and where it is likely headed moving into the future. (Please see enclosed Table of Contents and copy of Strangers No Longer).
June 20, 2013
Migration and Refugee Services of USCCB is the largest refugee resettlement agency in the US, serving close to 20,000 refugees every year. In 2012, USCCB co-sponsored a reception on Capitol Hill on July 19th to commemorate World Refugee Day as a member of Refugee Council USA. It honored the late Congressman Donald Payne for his dedication to refugee protection. 10 congressional representatives spoke at the event and expressed their commitment and support to protecting displaced communities throughout the world and those that have been given the opportunity to resettle in the US. As in past years, USCCB plans to participate in a commemoration event for World Refugee Day 2013.
August 2012 – December 2013
A series of pastoral visits to immigration detention centers by members of the Committee on Migration began in August 2012 and is scheduled to continue through the end of 2013, culminating in a report with observations from the visits. In August 2012, MRS staff accompanied Archbishop Garcia-Siller of San Antonio, TX, for pastoral visits of to the South Texas Detention Center (STDC) located in Pearsall, TX and the Karnes Civil Detention Center in Karnes City, TX. STDC is the largest detention center in the country. The visit also included diocesan priest, Fr. Felux. Detention center visits later this fall and into the coming year are planned to include Arizona and Illinois among other locations.
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