The humanitarian crisis of tens of thousands of unaccompanied children from Central America fleeing to the U.S. and other nations to escape violence weighs heavily on our hearts. Parishioners have been asking about the Catholic Church’s response and what they can do as individuals to assist migrant children.
The Franciscan friars of Holy Name Province have issued a call to action that encourages individuals to contact legislators to advocate on behalf of the children and the local Catholic Charities office to find out what you can do locally. Below is Holy Name Province’s official statement as well as three other resources the friars recommend:
The Diocese of Raleigh also has issued an official statement encouraging individuals to response with mercy, justice and compassion for the needs of all, not just U.S. citizens. Here are links to resources recommended by the diocese:
How You Can Help
Holy Name Province recommends contacting members of Congress at 1-888-562-8232 and asking them to:
- Oppose the Obama Administration’s request for “fast track” authority to speed the removal of unaccompanied children back to their countries without first appearing before an immigration judge.
- Provide adequate funding to protect unaccompanied children arriving in the U.S. and respond to their basic needs, including legal representation while their immigration cases are pending.
- Address the root causes that compel children to flee their homes by providing robust funding for targeted development programs in Central America and Mexico, and a comprehensive regional plan to address this issue.
The Diocese of Raleigh suggests the following:
- Pray for our country; for those providing care for these unaccompanied children; for the countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador – that leaders there can create a safe and prosperous environment for their citizens, especially their children.
- If you choose, support the work of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops by donating to the National Catholic Fund for Migration and Refugee Services.
- If you choose, support Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Raleigh with a designated donation to expand its ability to provide legal immigration services and care services for these children and their families: http://www.catholiccharitiesraleigh.org/how-to-contribute.
- If you choose, join the Justice for Immigrants Campaign (http://www.justiceforimmigrants.org/index.shtml) and support Comprehensive Immigration Reform legislation.
- Contact Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Raleigh regarding opportunities to help at the local level.
Please continue to check this site for updated information.
Trevor Thompson, director of Justice & Peace, 919-847-8205 x270