|National Migration Conference To Focus On Challenges, Abuses Faced By Refugees, Migrants, Human Trafficking Victims|
WASHINGTON – Registration for this year's National Migration Conference is already under way. The Conference is scheduled for July 28-31 in Washington and it is co-sponsored by the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Migration and Refugee Services (USCCB/MRS).
With the theme, Renewing Hope, Seeking Justice the conference will focus on the challenges and abuses faced by refugees, immigrants, migrants, trafficking victims, and other persons on the move in the United States and throughout the world. Its goal is to increase public awareness on migration questions and to educate public policy makers and those interested in related public policy issues. The conference also aims to develop and strengthen dioceses' and parishes' capacity to welcome and provide hospitality to newcomers and their families.
Speakers for this year's conference include Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles; Edwidge Danticat, Haitian refugee and author, whose books include Breath, Eyes, Memory and Brother, I'm Dying; U.S. Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ), a long-time advocate for global human rights and assistance to victims of human trafficking; Immaculee Ilibagiza, Rwandan genocide survivor and author of Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust; and Marcelo Suarez-Orozco, Ph. D., renowned migration expert and university professor on globalization and education at the Steinhardt School of Education of the New York University.
The conference will address an array of issues, including global migration trends, identifying and supporting survivors of traumatic events, immigration law and crimes, detention issues, employment issues, ethnic information on new refugee populations and family-based immigration.
Ambassador Johnny Young, Executive Director of MRS, commented on the timeliness of the conference.
"The timing of The National Migration Conference is particularly important given that it falls in an election year that will usher in a new Presidential Administration; we have a real opportunity through this Conference to begin shaping the debate on issues related to migration for the next four years."
"Given the current urgency of issues related to immigration, refugees, and trafficking victims, the National Migration Conference provides a forum that will examine in-depth the injustices and shortcomings in the current legal and political system. It will also promote a faith perspective that calls on all Americans to welcome the immigrant and the refugee into our communities and into our churches," Young said.
Donald Kerwin, Executive Director of CLINIC, highlighted the opportunities for immigration practitioners, advocates and service providers to network, share experiences and receive substantive training that enhances their ability to serve immigrants. It also can educate the general public interested in learning about the complexity of immigration issues.
"The workshops and plenary sessions are unique opportunities in which participants can hear from and interact with legal experts, advocates, government officials, and policy makers who play an important role in shaping the laws and policies that impact immigrants and refugees," said Kerwin.
More information can be found on The National Migration Conference website http://nationalmigrationconference.org/ or by contacting Izzy Menchero of CLINIC at 202-635-5825 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and Jim Kuh of MRS at 202-541-3220 or email@example.com.