Leaders Call on Biden to Address Root Causes of Migration from Central America

BY ISN STAFF | December 16, 2020

The Ignatian Solidarity Network has joined more than 315 faith-based and civic groups and leaders, including twenty Catholic and Episcopal Bishops from El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, and the U.S., calling on President-elect Biden to fundamentally change U.S. policy toward Central America to address the root causes of unemployment, climate change, corruption, and violence driving people north. 

root causes of migration from Central America

A Honduran child rides the freight train called La Bestia, which many Central American migrants ride through Mexico. [Image: Shutterstock]

“Families can only bear so much suffering. The devastation caused by Hurricanes Eta and Iota is a direct result of climate change and failure to invest in basic services and sustainable development in poor and indigenous communities.” said Cardinal Álvaro Ramazzini, of Huehuetenango, Guatemala. “It is immoral and short-sighted to punish people for trying to survive rather than sincerely addressing the underlying causes that lead them to leave the homes and communities they love.”

”In every migrant seeking refuge at the U.S.-Mexico border, God is calling us to hear the cry of the poor and the cry of the earth in the Americas. Jesus calls us to solidarity with the young people who cannot find work, the families terrorized by crime, the indigenous communities forced from their lands, and the human rights defenders working to build a more just society in Central America.” said Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso, Texas, who authored Sorrow and Mourning Flee Away, a pastoral letter on migration, and was a keynote speaker for the 2020 virtual Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice. “It’s time to turn the page on wall building, detention and deportation and finally take up our responsibility as a country to honestly and boldly address the root causes of migration.”

“We have a generational opportunity to turn the page on Central America policy. Our message to President-elect Biden is clear: if we’re serious about addressing the root causes of migration we need to fundamentally change how the U.S. relates to the region.” said Dylan Corbett, executive director of Hope Border Institute. “We need safe and legal ways for people to reunite with family, work and seek refuge, and we need to reject the militarization of borders and criminalization of migrants.”

“People in the U.S. may not understand that we are working every day to make our communities places where people see their future. That’s why we’re fighting for every family in El Salvador to have clean water, land rights, paved roads, health clinics and good jobs,” said Deisy Cruz, a community organizer with Communities of Faith Organizing for Action in San Salvador. “The U.S. could make a bigger difference if it spent aid on priorities set by local communities.”

For a full copy of the policy framework click here.

1 reply
  1. Dr.Cajetan Coelho
    Dr.Cajetan Coelho says:

    Life is to be lived in dignity. Working to initiate a process of dignity for all is a mission second to none.


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