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The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, will travel to Nogales, Arizona, March 30-April 1 to tour the U.S.-Mexico border and celebrate Mass on behalf of the almost 6,000 migrants who have died in the U.S. desert since 1998.

The purpose of the trip is to highlight the human suffering caused by a broken immigration system, an aspect of the national immigration debate too often ignored. It is reminiscent of the journey Pope Francis made to the Italian island of Lampedusa to remember African migrants who died attempting to reach Europe. During that trip, Pope Francis spoke about the “globalization of indifference” toward migrants and decried the “throwaway culture” that disposes of human beings in the pursuit of wealth.

Members of the USCCB Committee on Migration will be joined by Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston, and several border bishops. Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, Arizona, will host the delegation.

The 9:00 am (MT) public Eucharistic liturgy will be celebrated April 1 at the border wall along International Street in Nogales, AZ.

How you can participate:

Today I join the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in calling for just, humane and comprehensive reform of our immigration laws. As our Bishops highlight the human cost of inaction, the tragedies gripping countless families, and the human lives lost in the face of inhumane immigration laws I appeal to you and to all responsible policymakers to do all in your power to enact just and humane reforms to our immigration system. This is one of the most urgent moral issues of our time.

I join the U.S. Bishops in support of comprehensive immigration reform that includes the following elements:

  • A pathway to citizenship that ensures all undocumented immigrants have access to full rights;
  • Reunification of families;
  • Due process protections and accountable and humane enforcement of our immigration laws;
  • A legal employment structure that protects both migrants and U.S. workers;
  • And economic assistance to, and fair competition with, developing countries.

All of us have a responsibility to act, in communion and solidarity with others, to “effect a conscientious revision of our immigration laws… guaranteeing the dignity and human rights of migrants.” We now ask that you join us in this national effort to urge all responsible policy makers to do all in their power to enact immigration reform that meets these basic standards of human dignity.