This Sunday, April 27th, we join the global celebration of the canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II. In this historic moment, we witness the sainthood of spiritual leaders who embodied the Church’s most dearly held values. Popes John XXIII and John Paul II worked tirelessly for vulnerable groups and shared the timeless principles of human dignity, family unity, and solidarity on behalf of at-risk migrants.
Last month I joined 500 immigrant youth organizers as they convened for the United We Dream congress. As organizers shared their stories, I was struck by how deportations have broken so many of their families. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was a victory, allowing many young people to live and work in the United States without fear of removal, but for many who are still separated from loved ones abroad, the dream is now to see their families reunited and protected from the threat of deportation.
After crossing the length of Mexico over ground to get to the border, “Luisa,” a 36 year old widow from the indigenous municipality of Tamazulápam de Espíritu Santo in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, and her 20 year old son “Pedro” attempted to cross into the United States by walking through the harsh and unpopulated desert near Nogales, Arizona. Unlike most unauthorized migrants who attempt to cross the U.S. – Mexico border, Luisa and Pedro did not contract the service of a guide.