Individuals from the Jesuit network engaged in ministry, service, education, and research related to the situations of migrants and refugees in the U.S. and Canada gathered in Washington, D.C. in mid-May for a sub-region meeting of the Jesuit Migration Network of Central and North America. Representing more than fifteen Jesuit and partner institutions, the group of staff and faculty met at Georgetown University Law School for a full day of sharing, networking, and brainstorming. The following day, a number of the participants met with U.S. Senate and House offices on Capitol Hill to share perspectives from the network on concerns including root causes of migration, the separation of children from parents as families seek asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border, and the situation of DACA recipients.
The meeting, organized by the Jesuit Conference Office of Justice and Ecology and the Ignatian Solidarity Network, had three goals: to create space for reflection on the migration realities of the region and beyond; to better understand the ways the Jesuit network is responding to these realities; and to identify ways that U.S. and Canadian institutions can collaborate to support the response taking place in the U.S. and Canada as well as in Mexico and Central America.
The gathering of U.S. and Canadian representatives was part of the broader efforts of the Jesuit Migration Network of Central America and North America (RJM-CANA), which promotes collaboration among Jesuit works in Central America, Mexico, the United States and Canada, committed to migrants, displaced people, refugees and their families.
Organizations and institutions represented at the DC meeting included: Gesu Parish (Detroit, MI), Holy Trinity Parish (Washington, DC), Ignatian Solidarity Network, Jesuit Conference Office of Justice and Ecology Jesuit Refugee Service Canada, Jesuit Refugee Service USA, Jesuit Schools Network, Jesuit Social Research Institute, Kino Border Initiative Loyola University Chicago, Marquette University, Sacred Heart Parish (El Paso, TX), St. Mary’s Student Parish (Ann Arbor, MI), and The University of Scranton.
The next yearly RJM-CANA meeting will occur again this October in El Salvador.