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May 4, 2021

Young and Latino Leaders on Immigration: Continuing Challenges, New Urgency, Time for Action

Young and Latino Leaders on Immigration: Continuing Challenges, New Urgency, Time for Action Video Player

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This urgent United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Georgetown University gathering brought together young, diverse leaders from the border, on policy, in the Church, and from the immigrant community at a time of conflict and crises on U.S. policies toward immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees. The country and Congress are divided.  The Biden administration is challenged by growing numbers of families and young people coming to the U.S. southern border.

This gathering of young Catholic and Latino leaders explored questions such as:

  • Why can’t the United States develop, enact, and implement just, compassionate, and effective immigration policies?

  • What are the human, moral, and policy costs of this failure?

  • How can Gospel values and Catholic social teaching shape a different path forward? 

  • Can young Catholic and Latino leaders help change this tragic situation? 

  • How can younger leaders challenge old partisan narratives, overcome polarization and paralysis, and seek to protect human dignity and advance the common good?

Anna Misleh, project manager of the Initiative, moderated the conversation.

Resources

View a list of articles, books, podcasts, and other resources for this gathering.

This Salt and Light and Latino Leader Gathering for young Catholics under 40 was co-sponsored by the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life and the following departments at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:

  • Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development (JPHD);

  • Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth (LMFLY); 

  • Department of Migration and Refugee Services (MRS); 

  • Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church (CDC); and 

  • National Advisory Team on Young Adult Ministry (NATYAM). 

Photo credit: Migrants and Refugees Section of the Vatican.

Participants

Ana Chavarin

Ana Chavarin

Ana Chavarin is a young immigrant mother and winner of the 2019 Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. She is a leader with Pima County Interfaith.

Dylan Corbett

Dylan Corbett

Dylan Corbett is the founding director of Hope Border Institute. He is a former staffer with the Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and with the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.

Jessica Hernandez

Jessica Hernandez

Jessica Hernandez is the coordinator for Hispanic Youth & Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of Des Moines, Iowa, a DACA recipient, and is currently studying for her M.A. in Theology and Pastoral Ministry at Boston College.

Sr. Norma Pimentel, MJ

Sr. Norma Pimentel, M.J.

Sr. Norma Pimentel, M.J., is the executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, a longtime advocate for immigrants and refugees, and the recipient of the University of Notre Dame's 2018 Laetare Medal.