AMERICA/CHILE - Appeal for "mercy" and not to limit the possibilities of entry to a community in difficulty

Wednesday, 31 July 2019 emigration   episcopal conferences  


Santiago (Agenzia Fides) - "We want to continue to contribute to the dialogue with the immigration authorities. We understand the need to regulate human mobility in the face of the limited capacity of the Country, but we launch a strong appeal to "mercy" and not to limit the possibilities of entry to a community in difficulty. We ask to work together to establish a global policy that regulates migration and allows us to better face the challenges of people's transit, especially those displaced because of serious political and economic situations". This is the request contained in the document, sent to Fides, signed by the Auxiliaries of Santiago, Mgr. Galo Fernández Villaseca, President of the Chilean Catholic Institute for Migration - INCAMI, and Mgr. Pedro Ossandón Buljevic, President of the Social Pastoral Caritas Chile, with the date of July 30th.
The Chilean Bishops Conference (CECh) expresses its concern about the humanitarian crisis on the border between Chile and Peru, aggravated in recent weeks by the surprise request for a consular visa for tourism to allow entry to the Venezuelan emigrants in the country (see Fides, 27/6/2019). "In the face of this measure, the Chilean Catholic Institute for Migration - INCAMI and the Social Pastoral Caritas Chile, express deep concern about a decision that violated the human rights of dozens of people. This unexpected measure crowded border posts and consulates because those who traveled for weeks were not aware of the new access requirements".
The document recalls: "Our country has long needed to rethink the issue of migration. The absence of a law in accordance with the new Latin American context, in which there is a growing flow of people, is the consequence of a historical lack of political will in various sectors. This new look cannot be developed in an isolated manner. Migration is a global phenomenon that must be faced from this perspective".
Coherent with the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Catholic Church "invites us to build a culture of encounter and acceptance. For this reason, hundreds of parishes and communities have received, cared for and sought strategies to facilitate the integration process of migrants who arrived in Chile in search of a better quality of life. Today the urgency has led this Catholic network to focus on the border shared by the dioceses of Arica (Chile) and Tacna (Peru)".
The Bishops are aware that "the resolution of this problem does not pass only through the decisions taken in Chile", for this reason they ask for solutions "that involve all the governments of the region, and in particular those that are responsible for the political leadership of Venezuela, to find ways out of this crisis". "Until that happens, all of us who are part of Latin America are morally involved and our country must contribute with reasonable measures to request documentation from people experiencing the drama of displacement from Venezuela."
Quoting Pope Francis, the Bishops finally put themselves at the disposal of the authorities, hoping that "any future decision on this delicate issue is the result of a serene reflection and a close look at the people who suffer the most, rather than pressure and fear", and ask not to endorse "unfounded accusations against ecclesial institutions, concerning an alleged promotion of irregular entry of people into the Country", as "we are the first to reiterate the validity of the rule of law and respect the law". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 31/7/2019)