Catholic Relief Services Releases Book on Migration

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) recently released a book on migration entitled Global Migration: What’s Happening, Why, and a Just Response, as a part of their newest Faculty Learning Commons academic modules on migration. The book, written by Elizabeth Collier from Dominican University and Charles Strain from DePaul University, unpacks the complex issues surrounding modern migration, including the reasons people might need or choose to leave their country of origin, and the laws, treaties, and resources that dictate the opportunities of migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced people upon resettling.

Migration

This text offers personal narratives, principles for critical thinking drawn from Catholic social teaching, and opportunities for action from the individual to the international level.  Focused on the humanitarian work of CRS throughout the world, Global Migration inspires reflection, provokes discussion and empowers students to respond to today’s greatest humanitarian crisis.

This book is a part of the Faculty Learning Commons, online course materials for use in existing college and university classes to enrich the understanding of pressing issues in light of Catholic social teaching. The latest modules for Fall 2017-Spring 2018 are focused on migration.

University of Scranton Hosts Event on Refugee Resettlement

In February, the University of Scranton hosted “The Future of Refugee Resettlement”, an event hosted by the University of Scranton’s In Solidarity with Syria committee. The event consisted in a discussion with William Canny, executive director of Migration and Refugee Services for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Maggie Walsh, Scranton High School English as a Second Language teacher, both graduates of the University of Scranton. Their discussion focused on both the international challenges of refugees and the local manifestation of these issues in the Scranton community. Canny addressed the vetting process in place in the United States for refugees and the moral imperative to care for refugees. Walsh spoke to her personal experience of teaching refugee children and their struggles.

The In Solidarity with Syria committee is a coordinated advocacy effort involving university administrators, faculty, staff, alumni, and students to aid those affected by the current immigration crisis through education and advocacy.

Read the full article on the University of Scranton event here.

Take Action in Support of Refugees

In response to the executive order by the President of the United States, many Catholic organizations have recommended actions to take to support refugees.  Justice for Immigrants, a network of Catholic institutions working to support immigration reform, issued an action alert to contact Congress and the President to support refugees with a more robust resettlement plan. JFI provides a simple form that will automatically send a pre-written letter to House Representatives, Senators, and the President.

Catholic Relief Services has shared a helpful article with answers to common questions they have received about refugees.  Previously, CRS has also shared many ways to take action to help Syrian refugees on their website, along with other educational resources related to refugees.

Ignatian Solidarity Network shared the “6-minute challenge” to call representatives and then challenge friends to do the same on social media. They also hosted a webinar on understanding the Executive Order on immigrants and refugees, featuring policy experts from the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States and Jesuit Refugee Service USA.

ACCU Releases Statement on Recent Executive Order by the President

More than 80 Catholic college and university presidents have signed the ACCU statement on the recent executive order by the President of the United States released on January 29, 2017. The statement reads:

“As the voice of Catholic higher education, the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities expresses its strong opposition to the Executive Order signed by President Donald J. Trump concerning U.S. immigration policy. We stand in solidarity with other Catholic and higher education organizations that recognize the moral obligation of our country to assist migrants, particularly those who are fleeing any kind of persecution.

In referring to the order’s halt of refugee admissions, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Texas, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, stated, “We believe that now more than ever, welcoming newcomers and refugees is an act of love and hope. … We will work vigorously to ensure that refugees are humanely welcomed in collaboration with Catholic Charities, without sacrificing our security or our core values as Americans, and to ensure that families may be reunified with their loved ones.” (Read Bishop Vasquez’s full statement online.)

Pope Francis has said that “authentic hospitality is our greatest security against hateful acts of terrorism.” As ACCU gathers this weekend in Washington, DC to celebrate the value of diversity within Catholic higher education, we reaffirm the commitment of our institutions to creating inclusive, welcoming campus environments that embrace people of all faiths and cultures. Catholic higher education was founded precisely to serve the children of Catholic immigrants who in their own time were excluded from higher education. This is a legacy that we proudly pledge to continue.”

Download the news release about this statement, which includes the names of ACCU member presidents who have signed to express their support.

Food for Thought Friday: Catholic Relief Services Releases Video Featuring Refugees

Food for Thought Friday: On June 20, the world celebrated World Refugee Day in honor and commemoration of the 65 million refugees and displaced persons around the world. As a way of making sure those whom we celebrated were actually heard, Catholic Relief Services released a video, featuring the question “What will you be doing in 17 years?” 17 years is the average amount of time a refugee will wait to be permanently resettled. Watch the video here!

How does your campus support refugees? Let us know!