While some Catholic parishes along the US/Mexico border are opening their doors as temporary shelters for illegal immigrants, a conference is taking place in Washington DC to share information and ideas on the phenomenon of migration in the United States. With 600 participants, the 2014 National Migration Conference (NMC) runs until July 10 and is organized by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Catholic Legal Immigration Network, (CLINIC) and Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA).
The objective of the conference is to share the Catholic social teaching on migration; national and international information on the life and dignity of migrants, human trafficking and vulnerable groups on the move. Also to be discussed is the role Catholic leaders can take to provide religious services and charity to immigrants, refugees, and victims of trafficking. Proposals, strategies, methods, materials and useful tips for activities at a local level will be illustrated.
A group of Catholic bishops from the US visited the US/Mexico border in Arizona in April of this year and commemorated the approximately 6,000 people who died in their attempt to reach the US. They later went to Washington to demand from Congress the approval of an immigration reform which for many years has been stymied by partisan and regional debates.