Migrants in ‘cycle of rejection’ at France-Spain border, MSF

Doctors Without Borders has denounced that migrants between France and Spain are trapped in a ”relentless cycle of rejection” by French authorities.

Migrants who are trying to cross the border between Spain and France are ”trapped in a relentless cycle of rejection” as French police deployed in border areas ”routinely turn back asylum seekers, a practice amounting to refoulement,” or forcing back, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said in a statement.

The organization, whose teams regularly visit French border areas to monitor the situation and provide support to local organizations, said that ”although nearly 1,000 kilometers separate the Italian and Spanish borders in the Basque country, the violation of migrants’ rights and French police methods used near the border with Italy are much the same.”

Main crossing point for migrants

The organization explained that the border between France and Spain has become one of Europe’s main crossing points for migrants attempting to reach France or to continue on to other countries. In December 2018, MSF teams visited Bayonne, Hendaye and Irun, in the far west of the French-Spanish border. They reported that once migrants are sent back from France, they are ”handed over to the Spanish police who, after an identity check, release them at the foot of the bridge that goes from Irun in Spain to Hendaye in France, which is only a few meters from the border,” explains Corinne Torre, head of mission for MSF programs in France.

Migrants are then trapped in a relentless cycle of rejection. Alone and helpless, they are prey to human trafficking networks, who are often their only alternative to enter into the territory and claim their rights, MSF said.

 

Source:  InfoMigrants

Migrants, a great opportunity for the Church in Switzerland

There are about one third of the members of the Catholic Church in Switzerland come from migration, a presence that marks ecclesial life in many ways. To take into account multilingualism and cultural diversity, around 110 missions or chaplaincies provide pastoral assistance to these faithful. Every year about 21,000 religious services are celebrated in over 20 languages and rituals.

Future models and possible evolution of missions. Awareness raising of people active in traditional pastoral care and in the ministry of migrants. Focusing the mandate of the Migration Office on pastoral tasks. Strengthening of the principle of subsidiarity at the level of financial and administrative tasks, and more equitable distribution of funds. These are based on the data and information provided by the report “Pastoral Care for Migrants in Switzerland” were published on March 25, by the Roman Catholic Central Conference of Switzerland (RKZ).  This document is in fact part of a project on the future of the pastoral care of migrants, undertaken jointly by the CES and the RKZ, and examines the current situation and takes stock of five aspects: Diversity of pastoral reality: a problem or an opportunity?

As a result, “a lucid approach to the pastoral care of migrants offers the possibility of becoming more aware of coexistence among the faithful and of strengthening it, as well as promoting coexistence based on mutual respect and openness”,  according to the report.

 

 

Source: Fides.org

Advent, Pope: “Time in which Lord comes to meet us”

“Today we begin the journey of Advent, which will culminate in Christmas. Advent is the time that is given to us to welcome the Lord who comes to meet us, also to verify our desire for God, to look ahead and prepare for the return of Christ.

He will return to us on the feast of Christmas, when we will remember his historical coming in the humility of the human condition; but it comes within us every time we are willing to receive it, and it will come again at the end of time to “judge the living and the dead”.

For this we must always be vigilant and wait for the Lord with the hope of meeting him. Today’s liturgy introduces us precisely to this evocative theme of vigilance and waiting “.

This is what Pope Francis said in the course of the A ngelus on December 3rd.