Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Beyond the Immigration Forum at St. John XXIII Catholic Community

Berta Campos describes the origins of Mujeres en Acción
On May 5, the Social Concerns Ministry at St. John XXIII Catholic Community hosted an immigration forum, examining challenges facing immigrants and refugees in Albuquerque during the hardened anti-immigrant climate. There was also some discussion of some of the punitive anti-immigrant policies prevalent during the previous presidential administration.

The audience of almost 90 people listened to broad perspectives on immigration from a variety of speakers. Berta Campos from Mujeres en Acción (which also catered a meal for the event) spoke of how a group of immigrant women helped start a catering business that has served the Albuquerque community for years.

Terry Dunbar and Manny Hernández, School on Wheels
Kathleen O'Malley, representing the New Mexico Faith Coalition for Immigrant Justice, described how the faith community in Albuquerque has come together to assist undocumented immigrants in our city. This includes the decision of the local Quaker community to become a sanctuary congregation. 

Terry Dunbar and Manny Hernández of School on Wheels discussed the challenges of  undocumented students in the public schools in Albuquerque. 

Kathy Freeze addressed the difference between immigrants and refugees and spoke of how Catholic Charities is helping the latter group in a very challenging an environment. 

The team from Casa de las Comunidade (Sister Teresa Aparicio, OLMV, Linda Swindle, Nancy Lujan Moreno and Alan Bronde) told the audience about the services that the Catholic Worker House provides to immigrants and their families.

Judy Traeger, a member of the parish, told us about the Kino Border Initiative and how the parish can help support the efforts of this group that provides assistant to migrants along the Arizona-Sonora border (specifically in the twin cities of Nogales).

Rich Wood, a sociology professor and founder of the Southwest Institute on Religion & Civil Society, served as moderator and translator. He also presented on the Catholic Church's position on immigration (from Pope Francis, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Archbishop John Wester of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe).  

The short video below, featuring Kathy Freeze, was contributed by Mellie Myer, a member of the planning team for the event.
Less than one percent get resettled. So you think, as a country, we're doing enough? We have not even begun..-Kathy Freeze  

Speakers from Casa de las Comunidades: Linda Swindle, Nancy Lujan Moreno, Sister Teresa Aparicio, OLMV, Alan Bronde


Other Information from Two of Our Speakers
Given the breadth and depth of information that was presented, it was inevitable that some pieces of information were left out. A couple of speakers offered links for us to post here.

The link to this article comes from Rich Wood. On May 4, groups from Las Cruces and Albuquerque organized a protest to oppose  U.S. President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, the actions of Border Patrol agents, and repeated, bipartisan approval in Congress for funding to increase militarization of the U.S./Mexico border. About 150 people (including Rich) attended.  Read More in New Mexico Politics

This video below comes courtesy of Kathleen O'Malley. "Home of the Brave" (Immigrants and Pilgrims and Refugees) was written by three award winning songwriters from California, Colorado, and Massachusetts, in response to recent executive orders that would allow deportation of immigrants without due process, and prevent certain people from entering and leaving the United States. Karen Drucker, J.D. Martin, and David Roth got together and wrote this song just before the 12th annual Positive Music Festival in Tampa, Fla., in February of this year.

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