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Global Response to Migration

The migration compact is expected to favor both migrants and countries with an integrated vision and response to a challenge that calls for a worldwide approach.

A common scene in newscasts since a few months ago showed throngs of migrants marching for weeks to the United States as their final destination. 

They were fleeing from poverty, violence and persecution in their countries of origin, namely, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua. With no alternatives of life back home they risked everything in a perilous march towards the “American dream.”   

The caravans of migrants arrived in Tijuana, city on the northwest of Mexico bordering the U.S. The mayor and some residents protested at the “invasion” of migrants and President Trump sent them home in his Twitter. 

Due to the migrant pressure many people and nations feel their security and comfort threatened and erect physical as well as psychological walls, the worst of all being fear. 

This is a barrier made up of myths, preconceived ideas and stereotypes vis a vis foreigners that makes it hard to accept migrants as resourceful people who can contribute to the progress and common good.   

Even though it is a rather complex problem, each well-intentioned citizen can be part of the solution by believing in the shared values of solidarity and collaboration, acting at local, regional and global levels. 

The good news is that last December leaders of nations from around the world adopted the “Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration” as the first road map providing guidelines to governments on how to deal with migration. 

Though not legally binding, the migration compact is expected to favor both migrants and countries with an integrated vision and response to a challenge that calls for a worldwide approach. 

Putting up walls, spreading fears and misinformation that massive migration will invade countries with criminals and steal jobs might be an enticing slogan to earn votes. But it is not a long term solution and let alone one based on shared values of solidarity and Christian humanism. 

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, president of Caritas Internationalis, welcomed the global compact on migration calling it “a source of hope”. In a statement on the newly-adopted agreement he calls for action: "Now is a good time to act together. Our faith teaches us that no person or country is exempt from the collective responsibility to care for our common world and its people. If we do not act now, then when?”  

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