National Migration Conference

Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras gave the opening keynote address at the National Migration Conference in Washington, D.C.

S MaryAnne Olekszyk, provincial council member, and S Maryann Agnes Mueller, coordinator, Justice and Peace,  participated in the National Migration Conference in Washington, D.C., July 7-10.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishop’s (USCCB) Migration and Refugee Services, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) and Catholic Charities USA hosted the conference at the Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hotel.

The goal of the conference was to advance the life and dignity of immigrants, migrants, refugees, unaccompanied migrant children, victims of human trafficking and other vulnerable people who need to leave the nation of their birth.  Keynote speakers included Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras, and Ambassador Luis CDeBaca, U.S. State Department, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, as well as Senator John McCain.

United States Government and United Nations officials and USCCB, CLINIC and Catholic Charities Projects Managers offered more than 60 workshops over a two-day period covering issues of cultural diversity and pastoral care, policy and advocacy, Catholic teaching on migration, human trafficking, children’s services, and program development.  The most gripping presentations were by young and old persons who were refugees, asylum seekers, or victims of labor trafficking.

The participants traveled to Capitol Hill on Thursday to advocate for Catholic values to be integrated in legislation focusing on immigration reform, refugees, unaccompanied children and labor trafficking victims.