We commemorated the courage, resilience and strength of the people who were forced to leave their homes behind. This is not just a day of celebration, but an occasion to reaffirm our commitment to welcoming and integrating asylum-seekers and refugees into our communities.
From the CCVI Migrant, Immigrant and Refugee Network we had the opportunity to accompany from Palenque and Tapachula [Chiapas, Mx] the celebrations and rallies, along with the refugee population in both localities. We acknowledge the will of the municipal authorities to work locally on this global phenomenon; we recognize the work of international organizations, which promote actions and projects that seek to integrate these populations; and we appreciate the dedication of the people who make up and collaborate in civil society organizations and shelters because we know that, at heart, they accompany the asylum seekers and refugees on their way through and during their stay in our communities.
In his message for World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2023, Pope Francis invites us to reflect on the freedom to choose whether to migrate or to stay. When people are deprived of that freedom of choice and must resort to travel between countries to find a safe space, we are called to action: to receive and integrate them, to facilitate a dignified stay and a fraternal embrace. We are called as a Church to work and build with governmental actors, private initiative, media, international and civil society organizations- only then will we be able to address, in a comprehensive way, the challenges faced by asylum seekers and refugees when they arrive and settle in a new community.