|“We have a powerful opportunity to act for humane migration policy while the world is watching what Francis will do and say as he meets with migrants at the border.” ~ Christopher Kerr|
(University Heights, OH) February 12, 2016 — During Pope Francis’s historic visit to the border city of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico on Wednesday, Feb. 17, thousands affiliated with Jesuit institutions across the U.S. will echo his call for a compassionate response toward migrants by holding masses, erecting “mock border walls,” and signing a letter to members of Congress.
The nationwide campaign, called “Pope2Border,” is being coordinated by the Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN), a national Catholic social justice advocacy organization working primarily with Jesuit institutions.
Boston College, Creighton University, and Bellarmine College Prep in San Jose, California are among a growing number of schools, parishes, and other ministries that will hold masses in a display of solidarity with Pope Francis’s mass at Benito Juarez Stadium on Feb. 17. ISN has distributed resources to be used in hosting the masses.
Other Pope2Border activities include in-district visits with members of Congress, community dialogues on migration policy, and building “mock border walls” to bring awareness to the plight of migrants. ISN also plans to send to U.S. Congress a letter with 5,000 signatures urging an end to U.S. support for Mexican interceptions of Central Americans fleeing violence, as well as an end to border militarization and other controversial immigration enforcement actions.
During his visit, Pope Francis is expected to champion the human rights of migrants from the Northern Triangle region of Central America, where soaring violence has driven thousands of people to seek safety in the U.S. by making a treacherous journey through Mexico. His trip comes amid a heated 2016 presidential race with vigorous disagreements surrounding migrants.
“In an election year, this is a strategic appeal to our lawmakers to remember the human dignity of those who are forced to migrate, many of whom live and work in our midst,” said ISN executive director Christopher Kerr. “We have a powerful opportunity to act for humane migration policy while the world is watching what Francis will do and say as he meets with migrants at the border.”
More information is available at: www.ignatiansolidarity.net/pope2border
The Ignatian Solidarity Network is a national lay-led, faith-based, social justice organization that works to mobilize Jesuit universities, high schools, parishes, and ministries and the larger church throughout the United States in order to effect positive social change on critical issues facing the world.