AMERICA/MEXICO - “Not walls but bridges lead to solutions for the challenges of the new millennium”: a delegation of US Bishops visits Mexico border zone

Monday, 23 October 2006

Mexico City (Fides Service) - A delegation of US Catholic Bishops is making a week long visit the Mexico border region 23 - 29 October to assess the situation and inspect critical points with regard to the crime of human trafficking. The visit is organised by the US Bishops’ Commission for Emigration and the delegation comprises commission president Bishop Gerald R. Barnes of San Bernardino diocese (California); Bishop Armando X. Ochoa, of El Paso diocese (Texas); Bishop Jaime Soto, auxiliary of Orange diocese (California); and representatives of other committees concerned with immigration in America.
The delegation will visit Tucson diocese, in Arizona; Galveston-Houston archdiocese in Texas and El Paso diocese, near Juárez City where there is the largest migratory flow, and Tijuana-San Diego. The purpose of the visit is to strengthen the presence of the Church in the border area to guarantee security for minors and victims of human trafficking and have meetings with other church and civic bodies active in the field of migration.
Recently the Catholic Bishops of Mexico issued a statement criticising the decision to build 1,200km wall between the US and Mexico, on the grounds that it will not stop emigration. They recognise the right of a nation to control its borders and protect the interests and security of its citizens but the Mexican Bishops say a wall would not seem to be an appropriate solution.
They expressed concern for other walls of intransigence and intolerance and lack of effective negotiation between the concerned governments. The Bishops called on the authorities to approve and apply emigration laws, to revise national and local emigration policies and eradicate erroneous concepts of this reality." Not walls but bridges lead to solutions for the challenges of the new millennium” - the Bishops conclude. (RG) (Agenzia Fides 23/10/2006; righe 27, parole 374)