US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Why so many risk it all to cross the border

U.S. intervention has laid the groundwork for decades of civil war in Latin America that is driving migrants north.

By Kevin Clarke |
Article News

Watching a huddled mass escape Central America this fall inspired an urge among many to rush to the border with food and water, while others chose to politicize the spectacle with calumny and disdain. President Trump ginned up his base before the midterm elections by repeatedly describing the so-called migrant caravan as an “invasion.”

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For immigrants escaping crisis, holiday travel is a necessity

Like Mary and Joseph, Central American migrants need a safe place to stay in an unfamiliar city.

By Joseph Sorrentino |
Article Justice

The Christmas story is one of forced travel, of uncertainty, of a search for a safe place to stay in an unfamiliar city.

For Joseph and Mary that safe place was a manger in Bethlehem after learning there was no room for them anywhere else. For many Central Americans that place is La 72, a shelter in Tenosique, Tabasco, Mexico.

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Discipleship demands that we cross all kinds of borders

For one Mexican immigrant, crossing the border into the United States was both a physical journey and a spiritual one.

By Fernando Rayas |
Article Justice

I was born in a household of 10 people: seven siblings, my parents, and me. Growing up in rural Mexico, my parents never went to school. A few years after their marriage, they moved to the city so they could give their children an education; by this they meant seeing their children graduate from ninth grade.

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4 steps to becoming a Catholic sanctuary church

A few things to consider before opening your parish to immigrants and refugees.

By Melissa Walker |
Article Justice News

Should your church consider becoming a place of sanctuary? Here are a few key steps that may help you decide.

Talk to the congregation

The people of Saint Thomas More Catholic Community in St. Paul, Minnesota went through a five-month process of discussion and debate before dedicating their space as a sanctuary. “Our parish has a social justice bent, but some people thought this was too political at first,” says Jesuit Father Warren Sazama, pastor of Saint Thomas More.

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How churches can protect undocumented immigrants

When the U.S. government has a zero tolerance party on undocumented people, how can the church welcome the stranger?

By Melissa Walker |
Article Justice News

In the spring of 2017, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detained and eventually deported Jorge Taborda’s wife and oldest son. The Tabordas had been living in the United States for over 19 years. When ICE came to the door, Jorge and his younger son—a U.S. citizen by birth—were not at home. Jorge was able to find refuge at the Holy Cross Retreat Center near Las Cruces, New Mexico. He has been living there since May 2017. 

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How my family bridged the language gap

Catholic parishes are a place where immigrants can receive welcome and support without facing violence because of their accents or mispronounced words.

By Shireen Korkzan |
Article Justice

I have a terrible habit of laughing at the way my Hispanic relatives talk—classic Spanglish. They mistake and from y, the from el and la, and they don’t know what a quiet volume is. My own mother can’t even pronounce my Persian name right; she, my abuelita, my aunts, and my uncles all call me “Cheereena,” not Shireen.

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How to heed Pope Francis’ message on migration

We must reject the ‘globalization of indifference’ toward refugees, says the president of the International Catholic Migration Commission.

By Anne Gallagher |
Article News

Lampedusa is a speck of land in the southern Mediterranean, less than eight square miles in size and with a population of around 6,000. It belongs to Italy but lies much closer to North Africa. Over the past 20 years, it is estimated that around 400,000 migrants making their way by sea to the European mainland have landed on Lampedusa. At least 15,000 have died on the way.

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5 ways Catholics can take action to help immigrant families

The Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) is working to stand with immigrants across the country.

By Michelle Fordice |
Article Justice

The separation of children from their parents at the border has thrown our country’s immigration problems into high relief. Many Americans responded to the administration’s policy change with outrage. Though the president signed an executive order on June 20 that nominally ends this family separation policy, the crisis is not over.

We, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), know this from our long experience working with immigrants and from the witness of our 330 affiliates across the country.

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Want to fight for families on the border? Take a cue from these nuns

The fight to protect undocumented immigrants is tougher than ever, but two dedicated nuns show no signs of stopping.

By Kim Bellware |
Article Justice News
Just after sunrise on a below-freezing January morning, a huddle of people gathered outside a nondescript Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) building in the Chicago suburb of Broadview for a vigil the Interfaith Community for Detained Immigrants (ICDI) has been holding every week for more than 11 years. 
 

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Little has changed for immigrants 10 years after the Postville raid

Ten years after one of the nation’s largest immigration raids, faith communities are calling for a renewed commitment to immigration reform.

By Jeannine M. Pitas |
Article News

In the spring of 2008, a visitor to the small town of Postville, Iowa might have been surprised at what she found. In a region populated mostly by descendants of 19-century Western European immigrants, Postville’s population of about 2,000 people reflected a diversity normally not associated with rural America. Catholic and Protestant European Americans lived and worked alongside Hasidic Jews and immigrants from Guatemala, Mexico, Ukraine, Russia, and elsewhere.

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