Immigration

AMSSND Immigration Committee

Globally there are as many as 244 million people ‘on the move.' People migrate for many, varied reasons. Some people are voluntary migrants who leave their home for reasons of employment or reunification with family and friends. Other people experience forced migration.  They are often forced to leave their homes in search of safety, chased by factors including war, natural disaster, political violence, social oppression, and economic insecurity. Depending upon the reasons for their decision to leave their homeland, most migrating people fall into one of three descriptive categories: Immigrant, Refugee, or Migrant.  

Immigrant: An immigrant is a person who is a non-native in a country where they reside; they do not possess birth-citizenship. An immigrant settles or resides there, especially as permanent residents or naturalized citizens, in order to take up permanent employment as a migrant worker or temporarily as a foreign worker.

Migrant: Anyone moving from one country to another is considered a migrant unless he or she is specifically fleeing a proven situation of war or persecution in which case they can be considered a Refugee.

Why be concerned?

While people voluntarily migrate for a variety of reasons every day, forced migration and displacement is a growing global reality.  According to the United Nations, the recent uptick in human migration represents a huge surge since the year 2000.  At the beginning of 2016, more than 60 million, or nearly 1 out of every 100 people worldwide have been forcibly displaced from their homes. This represents the highest number of migrants since World War II.  Migrants, Refugees and Immigrants all face danger, prejudice and fears as they seek safety and their human rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of their dreams.  People on the move, such as migrants, refugees and immigrants, are frequently exploited. Absent clear and practical policies in countries where they seek safety, they become vulnerable to many forms of abuse especially human trafficking.

    Educational Resources on Immigration

    The reasons for forced human displacement include factors such as wars/conflicts, economic crises, political instability, and environmental disasters.

    Migration Root Causes Fact Sheet

    Immigration (U.S.) The United States has always been a nation of immigrants.  From one era to another, various groups of peoples have come to the United States to begin a new life.  U.S. Immigration policies developed from ‘ open door’ to  ‘quota systems.’  At different times in U.S. history, certain nations and groups of peoples enjoyed ‘favored immigration status’ in the United States. 

    Why be concerned?  The United States has not passed a comprehensive immigration reform law in over 20  years.  The U.S. immigration system is broken and is in need of reform. Because it is almost impossible for people to migrate to the U.S. legally, there are approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants living and working in the United States.  Stop gap measures such as immigration detention and deportation without due process under the law, racial profiling and arbitrary immigration raids are on the rise in the United States.  These practices raise grave concerns regarding the integrity of the U.S. Constitution and the future of the nation.

    Lenten Stations of the Cross: The Journey of a Man of Sorrows

    The traditional Stations of the Cross devotion is a prayer designed to help us contemplate the journey of suffering, death, and resurrection undertaken by Jesus of Nazareth. This Journey of a Man of Sorrows is a contemporary Stations of the Cross which invites us to reflect on the journey of an immigrant toward “el Norte.” Please click here for the Stations of the Cross.

    National Migration Week 2018

    Immigration:  National Migration Week is January 7-14, 2018 . The theme “Many Journeys, One Family.” reminds us that in our contemporary culture, we often fail to encounter migrants as people, instead seeing them as unknown others, if we even notice them at all. We do not take the time to engage migrants in a meaningful way, as children of God. Rather, we remain aloof, suspicious or fearful. During National Migration Week, let us all take the opportunity to engage migrants as community members, neighbors and friends.

    SSNDs and Partners Welcome A Syrian Refugee Family

    Photo Courtesy WSHU/Alison Freeland

    In 2015, Pope Francis called on all religious communities to welcome refugees into their homes as a concrete response to the Syrian crisis. The Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation Office of our SSND Province responded on behalf of the Province by contacting Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services in New Haven, CT. At the same time, the town of Wilton’s Interfaith Action Committee decided to renew its commitment to refugee work and also contacted IRIS.

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