September 24, 2023, is the World Day of Migrants & Refugees. The Catholic Church honors this day every year as a way to “to express concern for different vulnerable people on the move; to pray for them as they face many challenges; and to increase awareness about the opportunities that migration offers.”
We invite you to join the Ignatian family in honoring this day. As organizations accompanying people on the move, we are aware of the challenges faced by migrants and refugees in building a future in a new country. From restrictive immigration policies to delays in obtaining work permits, these obstacles require a response that affirms the dignity of migrants and refugees and promotes their overall wellbeing.
Here are some ways you can get involved:
Use this prayer from Cameron Bellm to reflect on the experience of people on the move.
Jesus was always on the move, too,
Stirring up dust on the roads, swaying to the swells of the sea.
I like to picture how far the wind has blown since then,
Across these thousands of years and millions of miles,
Carrying the dirt he tread upon all around the globe,
Whisking the waves he sailed in to every corner of the world.
Migrants and refugees who seek new work, new homes
Carry with them, perhaps, a grain of sand that Jesus touched,
A drop of water that held him aloft.
But they carry much more than that—
One cannot gaze upon them without seeing
Millions of perfect permutations of the image of God.
By land or by sea, every journey is a sacred one.
Holy the hush of feet across the desert,
Blessed the boats that traverse the oceans.
Jesus, they say, had no home, no place to rest his head.
May these precious ones find rest, find welcome,
Find mercy on our shores.
Our Catholic faith teaches that all people have the right safe and dignified work. Current backlogs in US immigration processing, however, force asylum seekers to wait nearly a year for work permits. This delay is a form of unjust discrimination that prevents applicants from finding meaningful work simply because of their immigration status. Join us in urging Congress to pass the Asylum Seeker Work Authorization Act of 2023 (H.R. 1325) so that recently arrived migrants can build financial security for themselves and their families.
Share these graphics on social media to help raise awareness and encourage others to express their support for migrants and refugees.