WASHINGTON—Representatives of bishops’ conferences of the United States, Mexico, Central America and Caribbean countries will convene May 28-30 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, for the 2012 Regional Bishops’ Consultation on Migration. Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, chairman, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration, and Bishop Anthony B. Taylor of Little Rock, Arkansas will lead the U.S. delegation.
The meeting is an annual event that brings together bishops to focus on migration issues in the hemisphere. The participants are expected to discuss the current situation of migrants in their respective countries and explore ways to work together to positively impact the migration of peoples throughout the hemisphere.
The discussions will focus upon current conditions impacting migration in sending and receiving countries; the treatment of immigrants living in or in transit through their countries; the impact on communities left behind; and the implications of these realities on the Church’s pastoral care, advocacy and public policy, and service responses.
At the conclusion of the meeting, the participants will issue a statement on their discussions and make recommendations for regional cooperation between governments on the issue of migration.
The annual consultations have grown out of regular meetings between the migration-related committees of the U.S. and Mexico episcopal conferences that began in 1999 and resulted in the historic joint pastoral letter, Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope, issued in 2003. Since then, the consultations have been expanded to other bishops’ conferences and their staff involved in human mobility work in Canada and Latin America, especially in Central America and the Caribbean. The meetings have served to strengthen collaboration among the participating episcopal conferences on behalf of migrants, in the hemisphere, allowing for a more comprehensive Church pastoral and political response to their situations. In 2011, the consultation was held in San Jose Costa Rica.
Scheduled to participate at the consultation in Dominic Republic are representatives of other episcopal conferences including Archbishop Rafael Romo Muñoz of Tijuana (Mexico), Bishop Alvaro Ramazzini (Guatemala), Bishop Gregorio Rosa Chavez (El Salvador), Bishop Arturo Gonzalez (Cuba), Bishop Yves Pean (Haiti), Bishop Pedro Hernandez (Panama), Bishop Jose Grullon (Dominican Republic), Bishop Angel San Casimiro (Costa Rica), Archbishop Pablo Varela (Panama), and Bishops Maurus Muldoon and Juan José Pineda (Honduras).