BY CHRIS KERR | June 26, 2014
Over the past few weeks we have seen media attention skyrocket on the increase of unaccompanied minors entering the U.S. The Obama administration estimates about 60,000 “unaccompanied minors” – children under 18 – will enter the United States illegally this year and projects that number to grow to nearly 130,000 next year.
Jesuit Father Richard Ryscavage offers perspectives from his years of experience working with refugees and migrants via humanitarian outreach NGO’s and through academic research. Fr. Syscavage is a professor of Sociology and Anthropology and Director of the Center for Faith and Public Life at Fairfield University. Fr. Ryscavage has also served as the national director of Jesuit Refugee Service USA and executive director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Office of Migration and Refugee Services.
He is also a member of the Federal government’s Interagency Task Force on Unaccompanied Children, which includes members of the U.S. State Dept., DHS, Justice, HHS and others.
Chris joined the Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN) as executive director in 2011. He has over fifteen years of experience in social justice advocacy and leadership in Catholic education and ministry. Prior to ISN he served in multiple roles at John Carroll University, including coordinating international immersion experience and social justice education programming as an inaugural co-director of John Carroll’s Arrupe Scholars Program for Social Action. Prior to his time at John Carroll he served as a teacher and administrator at the elementary and secondary levels in Catholic Diocese of Cleveland. Chris speaks regularly at campuses and parishes about social justice education and advocacy, Jesuit mission, and a broad range of social justice issues. He currently serves on the board of directors for Christians for Peace in El Salvador (CRISPAZ). Chris earned a B.A. and M.A. from John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio. He and his family reside in Shaker Heights, Ohio.