Annual Kino Border Initiative Dinner

Join us on Saturday, February 28, for the KBI’s fifth annual fundraising dinner. Here are the details.

5pm Reception
6pm Dinner, catered by Vincent
Program by Reverend Sean Carroll, S.J., Executive Director, Kino Border Initiative
Location: St. Francis Xavier School, 4715 North Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85012
RSVP by February 16, 2014

All proceeds go to the KBI. For further information, call or email Lucy Howell at 602-695-1604, LHowell@kinoborderinitiative.org.
To make reservations or a donation, please go to https://www.kinoborderinitiative.org/2015-kbi-annual-dinner-reservation/

Note: Rooms at the Hampton Inn Phoenix Biltmore
2310 E. Highland Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85016,
may be reserved at a discounted price for the night of February 28.
Call Kyle Burry at (602) 956-5221 by Jan. 28 and mention the Kino Border Initiative. http://www.phoenixbiltmorearea.hamptoninn.com

Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson offers communion to those gathered on the Mexican side of the fence during a special border mass to honor migrants who have died in the desert. April 2014.

Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson offers communion to those gathered on the Mexican side of the fence during a special border mass to honor migrants who have died in the desert. April 2014.

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Media coverage of Pope Francis’s letter to KBI and Kino Teens

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Pope Francis’s letter to the KBI and the Kino Teens.

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Church without Frontiers, Mother to All

By: Roxane Ramos

For the 2015 World Day of Migrants and Refugees on January 18, Pope Francis sends a message of peaceful coexistence, inclusion and compassion.

Pope Francis, welcomed by a crowd in Varginha, Brazil, July 2013. Public domain image from Wiki Commons, photo by Tânia Rêgo.

Pope Francis, welcomed by a crowd in Varginha, Brazil, July 2013.
Public domain image from Wiki Commons, photo by Tânia Rêgo.

ENGLISH:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Jesus is “the evangelizer par excellence and the Gospel in person” (Evangelii Gaudium, 209). His solicitude, particularly for the most vulnerable and marginalized, invites all of us to care for the frailest and to recognize his suffering countenance, especially in the victims of new forms of poverty and slavery. The Lord says: “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me” (Mt 25:35-36). The mission of the Church, herself a pilgrim in the world and the Mother of all, is thus to love Jesus Christ, to adore and love him, particularly in the poorest and most abandoned; among these are certainly migrants and refugees, who are trying to escape difficult living conditions and dangers of every kind. For this reason, the theme for this year’s World Day of Migrants and Refugees is: Church without frontiers, mother to all.

The Church opens her arms to welcome all people, without distinction or limits, in order to proclaim that “God is love” (1 Jn 4:8,16). After his death and resurrection, Jesus entrusted to the disciples the mission of being his witnesses and proclaiming the Gospel of joy and mercy. On the day of Pentecost, the disciples left the Upper Room with courage and enthusiasm; the strength of the Holy Spirit overcame their doubts and uncertainties and enabled all to understand the disciples’ preaching in their own language. From the beginning, the Church has been a mother with a heart open to the whole world, and has been without borders. This mission has continued for two thousand years. But even in the first centuries, the missionary proclamation spoke of the universal motherhood of the Church, which was then developed in the writings of the Fathers and taken up by the Second Vatican Council. The Council Fathers spoke of Ecclesia Mater to explain the Church’s nature. She begets sons and daughters and “takes them in and embraces them with her love and in her heart” (Lumen Gentium, 14).

The Church without frontiers, Mother to all, spreads throughout the world a culture of acceptance and solidarity, in which no one is seen as useless, out of place or disposable. When living out this motherhood effectively, the Christian community nourishes, guides and indicates the way, accompanying all with patience, and drawing close to them through prayer and works of mercy.

Today this takes on a particular significance. In fact, in an age of such vast movements of migration, large numbers of people are leaving their homelands, with a suitcase full of fears and desires, to undertake a hopeful and dangerous trip in search of more humane living conditions. Often, however, such migration gives rise to suspicion and hostility, even in ecclesial communities, prior to any knowledge of the migrants’ lives or their stories of persecution and destitution. In such cases, suspicion and prejudice conflict with the biblical commandment of welcoming with respect and solidarity the stranger in need.

On the other hand, we sense in our conscience the call to touch human misery, and to put into practice the commandment of love that Jesus left us when he identified himself with the stranger, with the one who suffers, with all the innocent victims of violence and exploitation. Because of the weakness of our nature, however, “we are tempted to be that kind of Christian who keeps the Lord’s wounds at arm’s length” (Evangelii Gaudium, 270).

The courage born of faith, hope and love enables us to reduce the distances that separate us from human misery. Jesus Christ is always waiting to be recognized in migrants and refugees, in displaced persons and in exiles, and through them he calls us to share our resources, and occasionally to give up something of our acquired riches. Pope Paul VI spoke of this when he said that “the more fortunate should renounce some of their rights so as to place their goods more generously at the service of others” (Octogesima Adveniens, 23).

The multicultural character of society today, for that matter, encourages the Church to take on new commitments of solidarity, communion and evangelization. Migration movements, in fact, call us to deepen and strengthen the values needed to guarantee peaceful coexistence between persons and cultures. Achieving mere tolerance that respects diversity and ways of sharing between different backgrounds and cultures is not sufficient. This is precisely where the Church contributes to overcoming frontiers and encouraging the “moving away from attitudes of defensiveness and fear, indifference and marginalization … towards attitudes based on a culture of encounter, the only culture capable of building a better, more just and fraternal world” (Message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2014).

Migration movements, however, are on such a scale that only a systematic and active cooperation between States and international organizations can be capable of regulating and managing such movements effectively. For migration affects everyone, not only because of the extent of the phenomenon, but also because of “the social, economic, political, cultural and religious problems it raises, and the dramatic challenges it poses to nations and the international community” (Caritas in Veritate, 62).

At the international level, frequent debates take place regarding the appropriateness, methods and required norms to deal with the phenomenon of migration. There are agencies and organizations on the international, national and local level which work strenuously to serve those seeking a better life through migration. Notwithstanding their generous and laudable efforts, a more decisive and constructive action is required, one which relies on a universal network of cooperation, based on safeguarding the dignity and centrality of every human person. This will lead to greater effectiveness in the fight against the shameful and criminal trafficking of human beings, the violation of fundamental rights, and all forms of violence, oppression and enslavement. Working together, however, requires reciprocity, joint-action, openness and trust, in the knowledge that “no country can singlehandedly face the difficulties associated with this phenomenon, which is now so widespread that it affects every continent in the twofold movement of immigration and emigration” (Message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2014).

It is necessary to respond to the globalization of migration with the globalization of charity and cooperation, in such a way as to make the conditions of migrants more humane. At the same time, greater efforts are needed to guarantee the easing of conditions, often brought about by war or famine, which compel whole peoples to leave their native countries.

Solidarity with migrants and refugees must be accompanied by the courage and creativity necessary to develop, on a world-wide level, a more just and equitable financial and economic order, as well as an increasing commitment to peace, the indispensable condition for all authentic progress.
Dear migrants and refugees! You have a special place in the heart of the Church, and you help her to enlarge her heart and to manifest her motherhood towards the entire human family. Do not lose your faith and hope! Let us think of the Holy Family during the flight in Egypt: Just as the maternal heart of the Blessed Virgin and the kind heart of Saint Joseph kept alive the confidence that God would never abandon them, so in you may the same hope in the Lord never be wanting. I entrust you to their protection and I cordially impart to all of you my Apostolic Blessing.

From the Vatican, 3 September 2014

Pope Francis among the people of St. Peter’s Square in Rome, May 2013. Public domain image from Wiki Commons, photo by Edgar Jiménez.

Pope Francis among the people of St. Peter’s Square in Rome, May 2013.
Public domain image from Wiki Commons, photo by Edgar Jiménez.

SPANISH:

Queridos hermanos y hermanas:
Jesús es «el evangelizador por excelencia y el Evangelio en persona» (Exhort. ap. Evangelii gaudium, 209). Su solicitud especial por los más vulnerables y excluidos nos invita a todos a cuidar a las personas más frágiles y a reconocer su rostro sufriente, sobre todo en las víctimas de las nuevas formas de pobreza y esclavitud. El Señor dice: «Tuve hambre y me disteis de comer, tuve sed y me disteis de beber, fui forastero y me hospedasteis, estuve desnudo y me vestisteis, enfermo y me visitasteis, en la cárcel y vinisteis a verme» (Mt 25,35-36). Misión de la Iglesia, peregrina en la tierra y madre de todos, es por tanto amar a Jesucristo, adorarlo y amarlo, especialmente en los más pobres y desamparados; entre éstos, están ciertamente los emigrantes y los refugiados, que intentan dejar atrás difíciles condiciones de vida y todo tipo de peligros. Por eso, el lema de la Jornada Mundial del Emigrante y del Refugiado de este año es: Una Iglesia sin fronteras, madre de todos.

En efecto, la Iglesia abre sus brazos para acoger a todos los pueblos, sin discriminaciones y sin límites, y para anunciar a todos que «Dios es amor» (1 Jn 4,8.16). Después de su muerte y resurrección, Jesús confió a sus discípulos la misión de ser sus testigos y de proclamar el Evangelio de la alegría y de la misericordia. Ellos, el día de Pentecostés, salieron del Cenáculo con valentía y entusiasmo; la fuerza del Espíritu Santo venció sus dudas y vacilaciones, e hizo que cada uno escuchase su anuncio en su propia lengua; así desde el comienzo, la Iglesia es madre con el corazón abierto al mundo entero, sin fronteras. Este mandato abarca una historia de dos milenios, pero ya desde los primeros siglos el anuncio misionero hizo visible la maternidad universal de la Iglesia, explicitada después en los escritos de los Padres y retomada por el Concilio Ecuménico Vaticano II. Los Padres conciliares hablaron de Ecclesia mater para explicar su naturaleza. Efectivamente, la Iglesia engendra hijos e hijas y los incorpora y «los abraza con amor y solicitud como suyos» (Const. dogm. sobre la Iglesia Lumen gentium, 14).

La Iglesia sin fronteras, madre de todos, extiende por el mundo la cultura de la acogida y de la solidaridad, según la cual nadie puede ser considerado inútil, fuera de lugar o descartable. Si vive realmente su maternidad, la comunidad cristiana alimenta, orienta e indica el camino, acompaña con paciencia, se hace cercana con la oración y con las obras de misericordia.
Todo esto adquiere hoy un significado especial. De hecho, en una época de tan vastas migraciones, un gran número de personas deja sus lugares de origen y emprende el arriesgado viaje de la esperanza, con el equipaje lleno de deseos y de temores, a la búsqueda de condiciones de vida más humanas. No es extraño, sin embargo, que estos movimientos migratorios susciten desconfianza y rechazo, también en las comunidades eclesiales, antes incluso de conocer las circunstancias de persecución o de miseria de las personas afectadas. Esos recelos y prejuicios se oponen al mandamiento bíblico de acoger con respeto y solidaridad al extranjero necesitado.

Por una parte, oímos en el sagrario de la conciencia la llamada a tocar la miseria humana y a poner en práctica el mandamiento del amor que Jesús nos dejó cuando se identificó con el extranjero, con quien sufre, con cuantos son víctimas inocentes de la violencia y la explotación. Por otra parte, sin embargo, a causa de la debilidad de nuestra naturaleza, “sentimos la tentación de ser cristianos manteniendo una prudente distancia de las llagas del Señor” (Exhort. ap. Evangelii gaudium, 270).

La fuerza de la fe, de la esperanza y de la caridad permite reducir las distancias que nos separan de los dramas humanos. Jesucristo espera siempre que lo reconozcamos en los emigrantes y en los desplazados, en los refugiados y en los exiliados, y asimismo nos llama a compartir nuestros recursos, y en ocasiones a renunciar a nuestro bienestar. Lo recordaba el Papa Pablo VI, diciendo que «los más favorecidos deben renunciar a algunos de sus derechos para poner con mayor liberalidad sus bienes al servicio de los demás» (Carta ap. Octogesima adveniens, 14 mayo 1971, 23).

Por lo demás, el carácter multicultural de las sociedades actuales invita a la Iglesia a asumir nuevos compromisos de solidaridad, de comunión y de evangelización. Los movimientos migratorios, de hecho, requieren profundizar y reforzar los valores necesarios para garantizar una convivencia armónica entre las personas y las culturas. Para ello no basta la simple tolerancia, que hace posible el respeto de la diversidad y da paso a diversas formas de solidaridad entre las personas de procedencias y culturas diferentes. Aquí se sitúa la vocación de la Iglesia a superar las fronteras y a favorecer «el paso de una actitud defensiva y recelosa, de desinterés o de marginación a una actitud que ponga como fundamento la “cultura del encuentro”, la única capaz de construir un mundo más justo y fraterno» (Mensaje para la Jornada Mundial del Emigrante y del Refugiado 2014).

Sin embargo, los movimientos migratorios han asumido tales dimensiones que sólo una colaboración sistemática y efectiva que implique a los Estados y a las Organizaciones internacionales puede regularlos eficazmente y hacerles frente. En efecto, las migraciones interpelan a todos, no sólo por las dimensiones del fenómeno, sino también «por los problemas sociales, económicos, políticos, culturales y religiosos que suscita, y por los dramáticos desafíos que plantea a las comunidades nacionales y a la comunidad internacional» (Benedicto XVI, Carta enc. Caritas in veritate, 29 junio 2009, 62).

En la agenda internacional tienen lugar frecuentes debates sobre las posibilidades, los métodos y las normativas para afrontar el fenómeno de las migraciones. Hay organismos e instituciones, en el ámbito internacional, nacional y local, que ponen su trabajo y sus energías al servicio de cuantos emigran en busca de una vida mejor. A pesar de sus generosos y laudables esfuerzos, es necesaria una acción más eficaz e incisiva, que se sirva de una red universal de colaboración, fundada en la protección de la dignidad y centralidad de la persona humana. De este modo, será más efectiva la lucha contra el tráfico vergonzoso y delictivo de seres humanos, contra la vulneración de los derechos fundamentales, contra cualquier forma de violencia, vejación y esclavitud. Trabajar juntos requiere reciprocidad y sinergia, disponibilidad y confianza, sabiendo que «ningún país puede afrontar por sí solo las dificultades unidas a este fenómeno que, siendo tan amplio, afecta en este momento a todos los continentes en el doble movimiento de inmigración y emigración» (Mensaje para la Jornada Mundial del Emigrante y del Refugiado 2014).

A la globalización del fenómeno migratorio hay que responder con la globalización de la caridad y de la cooperación, para que se humanicen las condiciones de los emigrantes. Al mismo tiempo, es necesario intensificar los esfuerzos para crear las condiciones adecuadas para garantizar una progresiva disminución de las razones que llevan a pueblos enteros a dejar su patria a causa de guerras y carestías, que a menudo se concatenan unas a otras.

A la solidaridad con los emigrantes y los refugiados es preciso añadir la voluntad y la creatividad necesarias para desarrollar mundialmente un orden económico-financiero más justo y equitativo, junto con un mayor compromiso por la paz, condición indispensable para un auténtico progreso.
Queridos emigrantes y refugiados, ocupáis un lugar especial en el corazón de la Iglesia, y la ayudáis a tener un corazón más grande para manifestar su maternidad con la entera familia humana. No perdáis la confianza ni la esperanza. Miremos a la Sagrada Familia exiliada en Egipto: así como en el corazón materno de la Virgen María y en el corazón solícito de san José se mantuvo la confianza en Dios que nunca nos abandona, que no os falte esta misma confianza en el Señor. Os encomiendo a su protección y os imparto de corazón la Bendición Apostólica.

Vaticano, 3 de septiembre de 2014

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Migration and the Catholic Church

By: Roxane Ramos

This year marks the 101st World Day of Migrants and Refugees, a day of reflection and thoughtful action first initiated by Pope Pius X in 1914 against the backdrop of a Europe on the move and on the brink of war.

On December 28, 1908, a massive earthquake (7.2 in magnitude) struck Sicily and Calabria in Southern Italy, followed moments later by a 39-foot tsunami. The tragedy left between 123,000 and 200,000 dead, and the cities of Messina and Reggio di Calabria as well as dozens of smaller towns completely destroyed. Those who survived were instantaneously homeless, many injured. Local Catholic churches helped as they could (since they were decimated, too) with shelter, medical care and prayer. In Rome, Pope Pius X filled the Apostolic Palace with refugees who had made their way north.

Survivors of the 1908 Messina earthquake, Sicily, circa 1909. Public domain image from the Library of Congress.

Survivors of the 1908 Messina earthquake, Sicily, circa 1909.
Public domain image from the Library of Congress.

A traditionalist who rejected modernist interpretations of Church doctrine, Pope Pius X nevertheless focused not only on “word,” but “deed,” ushering in an era of renewed commitment to the pastoral role of the Church. Like Pope Francis today, Pope Pius X was particularly distressed by the plight of the poor, homeless and needy. His tenure as pope, from 1903 to 1914, coincided with the first massive population movements of the 20th-century due to natural disasters, famine and war. In January 1914, Pope Pius X instituted the World Day of Migrants and Refugees in recognition of this phenomenon. Two months later, the Vatican issued a decree directly addressing the care of migrants for the first time, and emphasizing the responsibility of local churches in responding to the needs of immigrants. Clergy were urged to study the languages and customs of their migrant communities to better serve them and offer pastoral comfort.

Homeless survivors of the earthquake under a tent, 1908. Public domain image from Wilhelm von Gloeden.

Homeless survivors of the earthquake under a tent, 1908.
Public domain image from Wilhelm von Gloeden.

In a matter of months, World War I would begin, and Europe would experience unprecedented casualties and the migration of millions fleeing encroaching armies, enemy occupations, starvation and other threats. Pope Pius X did not live to see the “Great War”—he died on August 20, 1914 of complications following a heart attack, and he was canonized in May 1954. But his foresight and compassion mark an important historic moment in modern Church history, when the “stranger” and the “neighbor” were acknowledged more and more frequently as one in the same. Today, the Catholic Church continues to commemorate the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, and pastoral outreach to immigrants is common practice among local churches throughout the world.

French and Belgian refugees fleeing Paris, April 1918.  Public domain image from the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.

French and Belgian refugees fleeing Paris, April 1918.
Public domain image from the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.

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Up Close: The KBI’s Year in Review

By: Roxane Ramos

The past year was filled with important events for the Kino Border Initiative, starting with the KBI’s fifth anniversary last January. Here are the highlights from 2014.

The KBI’s Fifth Anniversary Celebration: In January, the Kino Border Initiative celebrated five years of service at the border and working to educate and advocate throughout the U.S. and Mexico. A forum at the Museo del Arte in Nogales, Sonora, was attended by more than 200 supporters and featured world-renowned human rights defender Father Alejandro Solalinde of Oaxaca as the keynote speaker.

Executive director Father Sean Carroll, S.J., welcomes everyone to the KBI’s fifth anniversary celebration.

Executive director Father Sean Carroll, S.J., welcomes everyone to the KBI’s fifth anniversary celebration.

Father Solalinde speaks with passion about the migrant experience.

Father Solalinde speaks with passion about the migrant experience.

The panel participants included (from left to right) César López, a member of the Border Justice Collective of Ambos Nogales; Father Solalinde; Father Ricardo Machuca Hernández, then KBI Director of Programs, Mexico; Sister María Engracia Robles, KBI Coordinator of Education/Advocacy, Mexico; Father Prisciliano Peraza García, director of the Community Center for Migrants and co-coordinator of the Human Mobility migrant shelters in Northern Mexico; and Isabel Garcia, director of the Pima County Legal Defender's Office and co-chair of Derechos Humanos in Tucson.

The panel participants included (from left to right) César López, a member of the Border Justice Collective of Ambos Nogales; Father Solalinde; Father Ricardo Machuca Hernández, then KBI Director of Programs, Mexico; Sister María Engracia Robles, KBI Coordinator of Education/Advocacy, Mexico; Father Prisciliano Peraza García, director of the Community Center for Migrants and co-coordinator of the Human Mobility migrant shelters in Northern Mexico; and Isabel Garcia, director of the Pima County Legal Defender’s Office and co-chair of Derechos Humanos in Tucson.

Father Sean, Father Ricardo, Chris Boitano and Sister Clara Alcátara Torres. M.E. share a laugh. Sister Clara is the Superior General of the Missionary Sisters of the Eucharist in Colima, Mexico.

Father Sean, Father Ricardo, Chris Boitano and Sister Clara Alcátara Torres. M.E. share a laugh. Sister Clara is the Superior General of the Missionary Sisters of the Eucharist in Colima, Mexico.

The KBI Fourth Annual Dinner: Held in Phoenix on March 29, 2014, last year’s fundraising dinner drew a record 220 attendees and raised over $140,000, more than doubling the amount raised the previous year, with local philanthropist Joe Anderson spurring donations by offering to match the first $50,000 raised. This year’s dinner will be held on Saturday, February 28. For more information and to purchase tickets, please see: www.kinoborderinitiative.org/2015-kbi-annual-dinner-reservation/.

The KBI staff and volunteers gather as Fr. Sean welcomes the dinner guests at the Fourth Annual KBI Dinner.

The KBI staff and volunteers gather as Fr. Sean welcomes the dinner guests at the Fourth Annual KBI Dinner.

At last year’s dinner, Joe Anderson’s matching gift of $50,000 helped spur donations.

At last year’s dinner, Joe Anderson’s matching gift of $50,000 helped spur donations.

Bishops at the Border: On April 1, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops sent an impressive delegation of clergy—including seven bishops and 17 priests—to draw national attention to the immigration crisis. Cardinal Seán O’Malley celebrated Mass at the border, an event attended by scores of people on both sides of the fence.

Cardinal Seán O’Malley blesses the crowd at the border.

Cardinal Seán O’Malley blesses the crowd at the border.

Father Sean Carroll, S.J., Executive Director of the KBI, greets everyone after the Mass.

Father Sean Carroll, S.J., Executive Director of the KBI, greets everyone after the Mass.

The KBI’s Honorary Degree: Santa Clara University acknowledged the comprehensive work of the Kino Border Initiative “to help make humane, just, workable migration between the U.S. and Mexico a reality” with an Honorary Doctorate of Pastoral Ministry at their commencement ceremonies on June 14. Father Sean Carroll, S.J., the KBI’s executive director, received the degree on behalf of the KBI.

Fr. Sean Carroll, S.J., holding the honorary doctorate from Santa Clara University, with SCU President Fr. Michael Engh, S.J. (l.) and Dr. Kristin Heyer, professor of religious studies at SCU (r.). Photo by Charles Barry/Santa Clara University.

Fr. Sean Carroll, S.J., holding the honorary doctorate from Santa Clara University, with SCU President Fr. Michael Engh, S.J. (l.) and Dr. Kristin Heyer, professor of religious studies at SCU (r.).
Photo by Charles Barry/Santa Clara University.

A very happy day for the KBI: (from left to right) past board chair Luis Parra, board member Lucy Howell, migrant advocate/volunteer coordinator Marla Conrad, current board chair Jane Lacovara, executive director Father Sean Carroll, his mother Cathy Carroll, board member Mark Potter, and director of education West Cosgrove. Photo by Steve Howell.

A very happy day for the KBI: (from left to right) past board chair Luis Parra, board member Lucy Howell, migrant advocate/volunteer coordinator Marla Conrad, current board chair Jane Lacovara, executive director Father Sean Carroll, his mother Cathy Carroll, board member Mark Potter, and director of education West Cosgrove.
Photo by Steve Howell.

President Obama’s Executive Action: In November, the Jesuits of the United States, Jesuit Refugee Services/USA, and the Kino Border Initiative issued a statement welcoming President Obama’s executive action to end the legislative gridlock and place pressure on Congress to make immigration reform a priority. The President’s order will provide temporary stays of deportation to as many as five million undocumented migrants who live in fear of discovery and separation from their families, but there are another 6 million undocumented immigrants whose situations are unaddressed by the order. To read the complete statement from the Jesuits of the United States, JRS/USA, and the KBI, please see: http://www.jesuit.org/news-detail?TN=NEWS-20141121032132.

President Obama issues an executive order that will provide relief for up to 5 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. Public domain image.

President Obama issues an executive order that will provide relief for up to 5 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.
Public domain image.

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Annual Kino Border Initiative Dinner

Join us on Saturday, February 28, for the KBI’s fifth annual fundraising dinner. Here are the details.

5pm Reception
6pm Dinner, catered by Vincent
Program by Reverend Sean Carroll, S.J., Executive Director, Kino Border Initiative
Location: St. Francis Xavier School, 4715 North Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85012
RSVP by February 16, 2014

All proceeds go to the KBI. For further information, call or email Lucy Howell at 602-695-1604, LHowell@kinoborderinitiative.org.
To make reservations or a donation, please go to https://www.kinoborderinitiative.org/2015-kbi-annual-dinner-reservation/

Note: Rooms at the Hampton Inn Phoenix Biltmore
2310 E. Highland Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85016,
may be reserved at a discounted price for the night of February 28.
Call Kyle Burry at (602) 956-5221 by Jan. 28 and mention the Kino Border Initiative. http://www.phoenixbiltmorearea.hamptoninn.com

Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson offers communion to those gathered on the Mexican side of the fence during a special border mass to honor migrants who have died in the desert. April 2014.

Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson offers communion to those gathered on the Mexican side of the fence during a special border mass to honor migrants who have died in the desert. April 2014.

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Safe Space

By: Roxane Ramos

More than thirty years ago, Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson began a Sanctuary Movement that ultimately included over 500 congregations. Once again, they are at the forefront of moral action, offering safe haven to immigrants threatened with deportation.

On May 13, Daniel Neyoy Ruiz sought refuge with his wife Karla and 13-year-old son Carlos, a U.S. citizen, at Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson. He was the first immigrant to take sanctuary there in three decades.

Back in 1982 in response to the threatened deportation of more than 500,000 Central Americans back to their war-torn homelands, Southside Presbyterian pastor, Reverend John Fife, declared the church a sanctuary for refugees fleeing the violence. He invoked an age-old multi-denominational tradition of providing safe haven to those in need and those in danger, the “stranger(s) among us,” but in reality, our neighbors, co-workers and friends. Ultimately, 500 congregations joined the movement, and approximately 14,000 immigrants turned to Southside Presbyterian for help. A successful lawsuit resulted in altering U.S. asylum laws to include Central American petitioners seeking refuge.

Stones and tokens of wishes and prayers surround the outdoor Migrant Shrine at Tucson’s Southside Presbyterian Church. Photo by Roxane Ramos.

Stones and tokens of wishes and prayers surround the outdoor Migrant Shrine at Tucson’s Southside Presbyterian Church.
Photo by Roxane Ramos.

This past spring, the movement was resuscitated, and again, Southside Presbyterian led the way. With the arrival of Daniel and his family, the New Sanctuary Movement (or Sanctuary 2014) was born. According to Reverend Alison Harrington, the church’s pastor, “It’s less about the four walls, and more about the community that is sheltering them with advocacy, love and support.”

A resident of Tucson for 14 years, a taxpayer, and a police-trained neighborhood watch volunteer, with a job, no criminal record, and an American-born child, Daniel was pulled over for a smoking tailpipe. When he could not present documentation, he was taken into custody and spent a month in detention. There, none of the 100–200 detainees was allowed to shower or receive first aid; they were subjected to chilly temperatures, day-and-night music, and frequent insults shouted by agents. Karla sold their car to pay the bond, hire a lawyer, and bring Daniel home.

After one failed—and mismanaged—attempt to grant a stay and close his case, a new lawyer, public defender Margo Cowan, from Keep Tucson Together (a volunteer legal clinic run under the auspices of No More Deaths which was co-founded by John Fife in 2004) fought Daniel’s deportation on prosecutorial discretion grounds. A 2011 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) memo permits the use of discretion to close a case when a migrant has no criminal record and is not a threat to the public. This same memo advises ICE to refrain from entering “sensitive areas,” such as churches, schools and hospitals.

Scripture reminds visitors of the call to welcome “strangers.” Photo by Roxane Ramos.

Scripture reminds visitors of the call to welcome “strangers.”
Photo by Roxane Ramos.

With his unblemished record, Daniel was finally granted a work permit and a year-long stay of deportation a month after seeking sanctuary. Two other immigrants, one in Phoenix and one in Chicago, were also granted reprieves. But eight others wait for resolution of their cases. One of them, Rosa Robles Loreto, the mother of two and an Arizona resident for more than a decade, has been in sanctuary at Southside Presbyterian since August 7. In all, 24 congregations in 12 cities have declared themselves part of the movement and another 79 congregations are providing financial support, expanded services, legal assistance, and networking on behalf of the movement.

Today’s Sanctuary Movement differs from the earlier one in a number of ways, not only in the composition of the populations affected, but also in the openness of the activities. In the 1980s, the civil wars in Central America were partly funded by the U.S., creating a situation in which offering asylum to refugees was tantamount to taking responsibility for the bloodshed; the Sanctuary Movement had to proceed in an “Underground Railroad” way, keeping activities under wraps and protecting the identities of those seeking refuge. These days, the precise language of the 2011 ICE memo, the front-burner status of immigration reform, and the sheer numbers of people affected by deportation orders make publicity a tool. Moreover, in our internet age, information about the plight of immigrants with children and families in the U.S. can be—and is—transmitted instantaneously.

An image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patron saint of Mexico, adorns a pillar at the center of the shrine. Photo by Roxane Ramos.

An image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patron saint of Mexico, adorns a pillar at the center of the shrine.
Photo by Roxane Ramos.

With last month’s announcement of President Obama’s executive order to grant three-year stays of deportation to up to 5 million undocumented immigrants, that still leaves 6 million without recourse. And with 1,000 deportations each day, there is a volume and urgency to the situation that is increasingly difficult to ignore. The New Sanctuary Movement is modest by earlier standards, but these congregations stand ready to act on their faith and protect those who seek refuge. In the meantime, our political leaders and legislators have failed to respond adequately to the issue. History has shown that the Sanctuary Movement, guided by conscience and bolstered by community, as Reverend Harrington pointed out, will not back down, and will continue to offer shelter and solace.

To Learn More: For more information about Sanctuary 2014, and sign petitions on behalf of those in sanctuary, see: http://sanctuary2014.org/

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Finding Home on the Border: A Photo Essay

By: Roxane Ramos

Traversing thousands of miles to make their way to family members and economic opportunities in the U.S., migrants stay in makeshift shelters and leave behind signs of the journey’s harsh realities.

Bellarmine students walk in the footsteps of the migrants during their immersion experience with the KBI.

Bellarmine students walk in the footsteps of the migrants during their immersion experience with the KBI.

A ramada can provide life-saving shade in the desert heat.

A ramada can provide life-saving shade in the desert heat.

Abandoned structures along the border provide protection from the heat in the summer months and cold winds in winter.

Abandoned structures along the border provide protection from the heat in the summer months and cold winds in winter.

The road to a better life is full of hopes, dreams, and essential resourcefulness. Near the U.S.–Mexico border, deserted buildings, ramshackle lean-tos and shaded areas provide shelter for migrants making the crossing. These structures are inadequate at best, but the migrants gravitate toward the protection they offer and the opportunity to rest and share stories, until they have a place they can once again call home. Often sleeping during the day and moving at night, these travelers have left everything behind, and to make their journey as unencumbered as possible, discard any items that are worn, battered, or no longer serviceable. These possessions become artifacts, marking the route of the migrants and the places they’ve stayed.

A Bellarmine student inspects the ruins of a house near the border where migrants have taken shelter.

A Bellarmine student inspects the ruins of a house near the border where migrants have taken shelter.

A shady area speaks of many who have rested here.

A shady area speaks of many who have rested here.

Dark water bottles, left by humanitarian organizations and now empty, are frequent sights along the border.

Dark water bottles, left by humanitarian organizations and now empty, are frequent sights along the border.

In April, Ryan Demo traveled to the border for a 5-day KBI immersion trip with his teachers, Joe Cussen and Chris Cozort, and seven classmates from Bellarmine College Preparatory, a Jesuit high school in San Jose, California. Then a senior, he documented their experience in photos, a selection of which we include here. The students had a chance to engage the border first-hand, touring the city of Nogales, Sonora, meeting deported migrants at the KBI comedor, and helping to serve meals there. The walk in the desert was particularly eye-opening, as it is for so many immersion visitors. “Hiking along the border was a bit surreal for me,” Ryan remembers. “Seeing all the abandoned shelters and personal items while trying to fathom how much strength it takes to not only endure that brutal desert crossing, but also to leave one’s entire life behind in hopes of a better one, really showed me the human side of the immigration issue.”

Old plumbing fixtures no longer provide water.

Old plumbing fixtures no longer provide water.

The abandoned debris of former residents is piled high to make room for waiting and sleeping.

The abandoned debris of former residents is piled high to make room for waiting and sleeping.

A student pauses where a migrant has shed a backpack.

A student pauses where a migrant has shed a backpack.

Both his transformative KBI immersion experience and his service-oriented education at Bellarmine have influenced Ryan deeply. As a freshman majoring in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, he is also a member of the campus chapter of Engineers Without Borders, a group committed to working with local partners to design and implement engineering solutions in developing parts of the world. Thanks to Ryan for the generous permission to use his photos.

KBI volunteers serve breakfast from the small kitchen in the KBI comedor, the source of thousands of nourishing meals for migrants throughout the year.

KBI volunteers serve breakfast from the small kitchen in the KBI comedor, the source of thousands of nourishing meals for migrants throughout the year.

Father Pete speaks with migrants at the KBI comedor.

Father Pete speaks with migrants at the KBI comedor.

Bellarmine students serve the migrants who have gathered for a meal.

Bellarmine students serve the migrants who have gathered for a meal.

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Up Close: The People of the KBI

By: Roxane Ramos

~ José Cuevas, KBI Comedor Volunteer

Profile.JoseCuevas

From early on, José Cuevas has volunteered at the KBI’s comedor, serving meals each week to the deported migrants who arrive there. He calls the work a vocation, and this form of faith in action is a family activity—his wife Alma, son José Luis, and grandsons Gyselle, José Luis, Jr., and Juan Pablo often join him; even his sister in Los Angeles collects clothing and sews back packs for migrants to hold their modest belongings.

José first began feeding those in need in 1994, an effort that grew out of monthly gatherings of 14 friends who decided to start the Association of the Friends of San Fernando in Colinas del Sol near Tijuana. “We initiated this dream,” José says of the community center they built and the meal and medical care programs they implemented there. A tailor by trade, he and fellow church members in Nogales, Sonora, where José was born and raised, began distributing meals and clothing in 2000. Years later, he answered the call again by helping the KBI and, ready to open his heart to those in need, continues to follow his “dream” and vocation, as he and his family have done for 20 years.

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