SAVE THE DATE! National Migration Week 2023 is coming.
September 18 – 24, 2023
For over 40 years, the Catholic Church in the United States has celebrated National Migration Week (NMW), which has traditionally been linked to the Vatican’s World Day of Migrants and Refugees (WDMR). This year WDMR occurs on September 24, 2023, with NMW taking place the week preceding it (September 18-24). As in year’s past, NMW will use the theme chosen by the Holy Father for his World Day of Migrants celebration: “Free to choose whether to migrate or to stay”. This theme calls attention to the conviction that persons have a right not to migrate and if a person migrates it should be done by choice and not by necessity. In their pastoral letter Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope, the bishops of United States and Mexico highlight this theme and note that “all persons have the right to find in their own countries the economic, political, and social opportunities to live in dignity and achieve a full life through the use of their God-given gifts. In this context, work that provides a just, living wage is a basic human need.” Unfortunately, forced displacement is at an all-time high; according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), by the end of 2021, 89.3 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, violence or human rights violations. This includes: 27.1 million refugees, 53.2 million internally displaced people, and 4.6 million asylum seekers.
In preparation for National Migration Week 2023, take a moment to reflect on what kinds of concrete efforts you can make on the local level to help those who have been forcibly displaced and what kinds of policies can be implemented to ensure that more people are in a position to choose whether to migrate or to stay. Please be sure to check the Justice for Immigrants website to access resources and other information as we approach this year’s National Migration Week.
For any questions that you might have related to National Migration Week, please email us at @email