> December 18 is International Migrants Day

December 18 is International Migrants Day


Migration Facts

From the US Conference of Catholic Bishops; prayer from Catholic Health Association

  • Since 2010, 3.6 million immigrants have become naturalized US citizens.
  • Unauthorized immigrants also pay a wide range of taxes, including sales taxes where applicable and property taxes – directly if they own and indirectly if they rent. Estimates state that unauthorized migrants pay an estimated 11.64 billion dollars every year in state and local taxes.
  • It can take upwards of a decade for legal permanent residents to reunify with immediate family members from Mexico, the Philippines, and other countries. (Congressional Research Service)
  • The top five populations resettled during Fiscal Year (FY) Y2015: Congo, Syria, Burma, Iraq, and Somalia.
    • 12,000 Syrian refugees resettled in the United States since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011. (Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration)
    • According to the United Nation’s High Commissioner for Refugees, more than 66 million persons were displaced in the world at the end of 2015. (UNHCR)
  • In FY 2015, Mexico deported 165,000 Central Americans. The number detained in Mexico has tripled in the past four years amid growing pressure and economic support from the US to stem the flow. (The Guardian)
  • 73% of unaccompanied children who had legal representation won their immigration case in the United States, compared to 15% who were unrepresented. (American Bar Association)
  • In FY2015 the Department of Homeland Security detained 406,595 immigrants compared to 486,651 in FY2014; it is required that 34,000 beds are available each day. (Department of Homeland Security)
  • Alternatives to detention programs can cost as low as $10.55 per person per day, as compared to $164 per person per day for detention. (GAO)

Prayer for Migrant Families

We Are Called to Solidarity with Those in Distress

Leader: From ancient times, God has called us to go to the help of those in distress. The words of Psalm 107 speak to us today of migrant families and their precarious existence and God’s abiding love and care for those in peril.

Reader: (Psalm 107: 1 – 9, 41 – 43)
“Give thanks to the Lord who is good, whose love endures forever!”

Let that be the prayer of the Lord’s redeemed, those redeemed from the hand of the foe,

Those gathered from foreign lands, from east and west, from north and south.
Some had lost their way in a barren desert; found no path toward a city to live in.

They were hungry and thirsty; their life was ebbing away.

In their distress they cried to the Lord, who rescued them in their peril,
Guided them by a direct path so they reached a city to live in.
Let them thank the Lord for such kindness, such wondrous deeds for mere mortals.

For he satisfied the thirsty, filled the hungry with good things.

While the poor were released from their affliction; their families increased like their flocks.

The upright saw this and rejoiced; all wickedness shut its mouth.
Whoever is wise will take note of these things, will ponder the merciful deeds of the Lord.

All: Grant, O God, that your life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart, that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatred cease; that we see your will and respond with even greater love and care for our brothers and sisters, our neighbors; that they find a place they may call home and live in justice and peace. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ.

Photo: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops