GSR Today - Displaced children's lives; South Sudan's violence; people's climate march; refugees' tough job prospects are the subject of this week's Monday crisis blog.
GSR Today - Friday, Oct. 23 came and went without much fanfare, at least in the courtroom. That was the day that Judge Dolly Gee had given the U.S. government to be in compliance with her court order of July 24, 2015, regarding the Department of Homeland Security’s practice of detaining minors from Central America. But outside the courtroom, plenty has been going on.
Three Stats and a Map - The conflict in Syria has resulted in millions of Syrians fleeing the country, seeking refuge elsewhere, while millions more are internally displaced. Where are they finding welcome?
The rapidly growing Houston archdiocese, now the fifth-largest in the country, offers a wide variety of programs to help immigrants shift their focus from physical survival to their economic and emotional well-being.
Between January 1 and August 31 of this year, the United Nations found that more than 40,000 Afghans have sought sanctuary in Europe, the third largest refugee group entering the continent. Syrians and Eritreans made up the largest groups of refugees.
When Pope Francis made a special appeal in early September on behalf of refugees from Syria and the Middle East, Catholic communities all over Europe mobilized to do more to help. While bishops urged a generous attitude and Catholic charities stepped up their aid efforts, the continent's women religious also responded with offers of shelter and support. "Each religious congregation has its own charism and tradition and has had to think how it can best help," said Sr. Martina Salmaier, of the Franciscan Sisters of Vierzehnheiligen, Germany.
She was bombarded with high-fives and hugs after she got the call — an invitation to meet Pope Francis during his Sept. 22-27 visit to the United States. But Sr. Norma Pimentel's biggest surprise came Monday, when the pope singled her out during a satellite video feed. Pimentel was present at a teleconference hosted at Sacred Heart Church in McAllen, Texas, where she coordinates ministries and services for immigrants. The pope's teleconference was recorded for ABC's "20/20" show, which airs Sept. 4. and includes participants in Los Angeles and Chicago.
A federal judge ordered the release of children and their parents from immigration detention centers "without unnecessary delay" and gave immigration officials two months to comply, according to court documents filed late Friday, Aug. 21.
The Leadership Conference of Women Religious membership on Friday morning voted to adopt a resolution that commits member congregations to addressing systemic causes of injustice. While the resolution itself is broad, the focus of the resolution presentation, unquestionably, was immigration and the detention of women and children seeking asylum.
Released with nowhere to go, dozens of undocumented immigrants flooded a church respite center in McAllen, Texas, after the Border Patrol set them free without bus tickets in July. The facility added an extra tent to accommodate the numbers. “We have had upwards of 60 to 65 people spending the night over the last few weeks,” said Deb Boyce, volunteer group coordinator for Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley. “Our numbers have almost doubled because they were being released without bus tickets. They had to stay overnight.”
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