From The Field Hospital: Sisters' welcome center in Philadelphia teaches newcomers English, guides them through the byzantine naturalization process, and forms 'a real community.'
Sister Priscilla and I would be two of six Giving Voice sisters at the Border Convergence where we'd lead an Encuentro de Hermanas for other Catholic sisters and their associates. Throughout the same weekend dozens of other Giving Voice sisters would be leading solidarity prayer services in places as varied as North Dakota, California, Iowa and Texas.
This year, the annual SOA Watch protest took place at the border instead of at the school the group has protested for the last 27 years. The group still aims to draw attention to what used to be called the School of the Americas, but the 2016 gathering also focused on increased militarization of the border. "Different issue, but same shame," one protestor said.
GSR Today - "We must educate ourselves on the root causes of immigration ... and [join] with others who share the same values," one sister said.
A country where 8 out of 10 people live in poverty, Haiti does not have the resources to help repatriate its citizens deported from neighboring Dominican Republic, where work can be found. Even for citizens of the DR who are of Hatian descent, deportation occurs due to racist attitudes. The U.N. refugee agency is not working here, but Jesuit Refugee Services — and sisters — are.
GSR Today - The Department of Justice announced in August it would stop using private contractors to house federal prisoners. Then the Department of Homeland Security announced it would examine its use of private contractors to hold detained immigrants. But don't think that private prisons are going away anytime soon.
The United Nations shone a spotlight on the worldwide migrant and refugee crisis this week. U.N. leaders are calling the Sept. 19 summit and connected events — including a meeting of global leaders called by President Barack Obama — historic but also necessary given the record number of people moving because of wars, political unrest, economic challenges and climate change.
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Eleven sisters make up the Migrant Project/Sicily, a program founded by the International Union Superiors General (UISG) in Rome to aid migrants in Sicily by developing one-on-one relationships with them and helping them assimilate to their new home. About half a year into their mission, the sisters , from eight countries and eight congregations, have witnessed first-hand the motivations and frustrations of people coming from Africa looking for a better life.
GSR Today - History's judgment can be harsh. So how will future generations look back on us and what we did — or, more to the point, didn't do — for the millions of refugees from Syria?
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