Migration & Refugees

We are called to welcome the stranger.

Columban missionaries serve migrants and refugees in a dozen countries throughout Asia Pacific and the Americas, as well as on the U.S. – Mexico border. Keeping in mind the Gospel mandate and our Catholic Social Teaching, we strive to “welcome the stranger” and to protect and promote the rights of migrants and refugees everywhere.

As Columbans, we believe we are called to both serve the needs of migrants and to address the root causes of migration.

We advocate for action on root causes of migration.

In 2015, the number of migrants internationally reached 244 million, including 20 million refugees (UN Migration). These include economic migrants compelled to move to feed their families, refugees and internally displaced persons fleeing persecution and environmental crises, and victims of human trafficking.

We recognize the right to migrate in order to seek both safety and a higher quality of life, but often global economic policies, environmental crises, and conflicts result in grave inequalities and unstable conditions forcing people to move. As the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has recognized, “all peoples have the right to conditions worthy of human life and, if these conditions are not present, the right to migrate.”

We advocate for compassionate immigration reform.

Columbans respond to the harsh realities that migrants face, including separation from their families and imprisonment in detention centers and jails. Compassionate immigration reform is necessary to ensure family unity, protect the rights and dignity of migrants, and heal our communities.

On the U.S. – Mexico Border, countless migrants have risked death and deportation to cross into the U.S. in order to flee the violence and instability in their home countries. In the midst of a destructive militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border, Columbans call for a more compassionate border policy that affirms the dignity of migrants and celebrates the vibrancy and importance of border communities which continue to welcome our migrant brothers and sisters.

We advocate for reforms to stop human trafficking.

Migrants and refugees are particularly vulnerable to human trafficking. Victims of human trafficking often leave their home countries to seek better economic conditions to support their families. This too can lead to exploitation of migrants, putting them in danger of death or serious injury, sexual abuse, and low wages. As God calls us to respect the dignity of every human life, we must continue to support policies that represent the interests of migrant workers and refugees.

Migration Resources:

 

Migration & Refugees

  • Realizing My Passion and Vocation on the U.S.-Mexico Border

    Our time in El Paso, Texas was an incredible journey filled with sorrow, joy, laughter, love, and peace. We learned about the injustices that people suffer in the “Borderlands” (nickname for the area between US and Mexico) and all the amazing people working to make the lives of those who are marginalized better. Each day of my border immersion trip was packed with presentations, speakers, walking, and learning. Two experiences stood out to me that inspired me and gave me...

  • When Words aren't Enough

    As an English major, I spend the majority of my time reading and analyzing words. I have always found comfort in words. I like the way you can manipulate the sentence structure to emphasize a main point or how one word can carry many connotations that form together to produce a nuanced idea. I like words. But after my trip to the border, I am at a loss for words. I am at a loss for words partially because staying in El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico put a face to the issue of immigration...

  • Stand with Survivors of Torture

    Many survivors wait up to 2-3 years before they are interviewed for asylum. This means they must put their lives on hold for years. They are not able to bring their family to the United States to join them, often leaving family members in dangerous situations in their home countries. Add your voice to the call to reduce the asylum processing backlog and ensure survivors of torture and other asylum seekers have the opportunity to start new, dignified, and full lives here in the United States!

  • Columbans Call for Humane and Just Immigration Reform

    Columban missionaries are disappointed in today’s split decision by the Supreme Court on United States v. Texas. The split decision in this case leaves millions of families, including those in Columban parishes and communities, in fear of being separated and torn apart. Our faith tradition calls us to do better, to have compassion, and to welcome the stranger. In the face of this decision, we will continue to seek justice for our migrant sisters and brothers Fr. Robert Mosher, Director of...

  • Dying to Live: Refugees and the Gospel

    On June 20, the United Nations recognizes World Refugee Day. As we approach that day, it is fitting to take stock of both the plight of refugees in the world today, as well as our responsibility to protect and provide safe haven to these most vulnerable people in our human family. In the last week of May, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said at least 1,000 people fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and North Africa are believed to have drowned in...

  • Stop Inhumane Deportations

    Migrant Family

    This past Christmas Eve, we remember how our hearts sank when we first received notification of the administration’s plan to carry out immigration raids on newly-arrived Central American families. That’s when we wrote to you in January asking you to raise your voice to protect our immigrant brothers and sisters. Today, we must once again ask you to call on the administration to stop these inhumane and unjust enforcement actions.

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