American bishops pledge solidarity with migrants

 At a time of considerable discussion of the place of immigrants in American society, the US Bishops' National Migration Week, starting today, will focus on solidarity with immigrants and other people on the move. Journey to Justice is the theme for National Migration Week 2006, which marks the 25th anniversary of the annual observance. In announcing the Journey to Justice theme, Bishop Gerald Barnes of San Bernardino, Chairman of the Bishops' Committee on Migration, said all people are called to make a journey "in solidarity with migrants, immigrants, refugees, human trafficking victims, and other people on the move seeking justice and peace." "Never has this call to solidarity been needed more than today," Bishop Barnes stated. "Too often those who have come to our land seeking a better life for themselves and their families face discrimination and exploitation," he said. To counteract this, Bishop Barnes recalled, a broad coalition of Catholic organizations together with the US Bishops committed themselves to changing minds and hearts through the national Justice for Immigrants: Together on the Journey of Hope campaign. The goals of the campaign are to educate Catholics and others of good will about the benefits of immigration and the benefits to the nation, to strengthen public opinion about the positive contributions of immigrants, to advocate for just immigration laws which promote legal status and legal pathways for migrant workers and their families, and to organise Catholic legal service networks to assist immigrants. "National Migration Week provides parishes and schools with an excellent opportunity to give expression to the ideals of the campaign in their local communities," Bishop Barnes said. "When we make this journey we embrace the newcomers to our land as we reach out in a spirit of peace and hope," the Bishop said. "Together with them we are truly the Body of Christ." Source:USCCB

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