Latin American Bishops State Positive Aspects of Migration

Promotes Solidarity, Richness in Human Communities

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SAN JOSE, California, MARCH 4, 2005 ( Human migration provides richness to human communities, say the bishops of Latin America in a joint declaration.

In a meeting of representatives of the pastoral programs of human mobility, called by the bishop’s council of Latin America (CELAM), a joint declaration was made which highlights the richness that the phenomenon of human migration can entail.

The region is experiencing the dynamics of increasing migratory currents, especially to the United States, making the Hispanic population the largest ethnic minority in the country with close to 42 million people, a figure that is higher than the 38 million that make up the black population.

The declaration affirmed — in the light of the Instruction «Erga Migrantes Caritas Christi,» recently published by the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers — that «more than a threat, migration contributes to the development of our peoples, offering opportunities for the building of societies based on solidarity, mutual respect, and reciprocity.»

It also states that traditional migration is moving toward new and dangerous forms such as the trafficking and trade of individuals, which implies that persons in both countries are working together to coordinate the trade.

The participants of the CELAM meeting said that no country can think of solving migratory problems on its own. They called for alliances between countries to establish alternatives of support in specialized organizations «and in the Church, which works tirelessly in the defense and promotion of the human rights of migrants and families.»

Facing the human rights violations of immigrants, the Catholic Church manifests its willingness «through the pastoral program of human mobility to continue to support all migrant persons, especially minors, victims of the trade and trafficking of persons.»

Representives from Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic participated in the meeting.

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