Media CenterCatholic Agencies Urge Governments to Protect Migrants Seeking Safe Haven

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Kim Pozniak
Catholic Relief Services
[email protected]


Calling for compassion toward those needing refuge from violence and poverty 

BALTIMORE, MD, October 29, 2018 – As thousands of people from Honduras and other Central American countries are making their way toward Mexico and the United States, three major Catholic agencies are urging all people of goodwill to speak and act with compassion towards those seeking refuge from violence and poverty.

Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Migration, Sean Callahan, President and CEO of Catholic Relief Services, and Sister Donna Markham OP PhD, President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA issued the following statement:

“As Catholic agencies assisting poor and vulnerable migrants in the United States and around the world, we are deeply saddened by the violence, injustice, and deteriorating economic conditions forcing many people to flee their homes in Central America. While nations have the right to protect their borders, this right comes with responsibilities: governments must enforce laws proportionately, treat all people humanely, and provide due process.

We affirm that seeking asylum is not a crime. We urge all governments to abide by international law and existing domestic laws that protect those seeking safe haven and ensure that all those who are returned to their home country are protected and repatriated safely.

Furthermore, we strongly advocate for continued U.S. investments to address the underlying causes of violence and lack of opportunity in Central America. Our presence throughout the Americas has convinced us that migration is a regional issue that requires a comprehensive, regional solution. An enforcement-only approach does not address nor solve the larger root causes that cause people to flee their countries in search of protection.

As Christians, we must answer the call to act with compassion towards those in need and to work together to find humane solutions that honor the rule of law and respect the dignity of human life.”

Catholic Relief Services is working with church partners in Guatemala and Mexico to monitor the situation and provide humanitarian assistance to migrants. Recognizing the need to address the violence and lack of opportunity that drive migration, our programs in Central America create economic opportunity and reduce people’s vulnerability.  


Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding.  For more information, visit or and follow Catholic Relief Services on social media: Facebook, Twitter at @CatholicRelief, @CRSnews and InstagramPinterest and YouTube.


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Tags: Migrants
Robyn Fieser

Regional Marketing Manager - LACRO

Robyn Fieser
October 29, 2018

Based in Bogotá, Colombia

Robyn is the regional marketing manager for CRS in Latin America and the Caribbean. She raises awareness about CRS’ humanitarian and disaster relief programs, serving as a contact for key news outlets and coordinating coverage of emergency and development stories. From a base in Bogata, Colombia, she travels throughout the region to...More