GSR Today - There is a lot to dislike about the United States' immigration policies and how they're enforced. Now comes word that some people are being imprisoned almost indefinitely despite a policy that they must either be deported or set free.
Lending their voices, support and prayers, dozens of sisters from various congregations gathered with hundreds of immigrants and advocates in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building April 18 as justices heard oral arguments regarding Obama Administration immigration policies.
As the world is grappling with historic numbers of refugees and asylum seekers from wars and natural disasters, with more than 50 million on the move or in camps, the most prominent global body is responding with renewed rigor.
People who have fled from wars in Iraq and Syria are among the 1 million refugees who live in camps or other provisional-seeming housing in Jordan. On the surface, life has its daily rhythms that are free from the catastrophes of war; however, they have moved from one difficult situation to another.
"They can call it whatever they want, but it's a jail. There's no reason to be locked up. What bothers me most is that this is being done under the private prisons, so they are making money on the backs of these poor moms and kids, which is just wrong."
- Related: Read our roundtable discussion with sisters working in immigration ministry
After fleeing their home countries because of war, people from Iraq and Syria find refuge but no legal status as they shelter in Lebanese refugee camps and substandard housing situations. Only about a third find regular apartments; work is scarce, and a network of service providers see pressure points growing increasingly strained.
These days, Sr. Adelia Contini sees more Mexicans fleeing north toward the U.S. than she does families from Honduras, El Salvador and other violence-plagued regions of Central America. "We're seeing a lot of people from Michoacan and Guerrero," said Contini, 70, director of Instituto Madre Assunta, a shelter for migrant women and children in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, operated by nuns with the order of Missionnaires de San Carlos Borromeo Scalabrinians.
Global Sisters Report held a video roundtable discussion March 4 with seven sisters who are leaders on immigration issues. This is the full transcript of the 50-minute conversation.
Catholic women religious are on the front lines of immigration issues in the United States. Global Sisters Report held a video roundtable discussion with seven sisters who are working with families, advocating policy changes, raising awareness and helping "to change the issue from a legal issue to really a faith and moral issue."
Outside the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Juárez, Mexico, women passed around a microphone before a large group of spectators Feb. 16 to recount firsthand experiences with — or as — migrants and the labor movement. Many people from the original 100-Mile pilgrimage in September reunited as about 40 women walked three miles carrying the same message as they crossed the bridge connecting El Paso, Texas, to Ciudad Juárez.
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