May 11, 2023 seemed like any other day, but it was not. The fate of many Latin American migrants in transit was at stake, and it presented an opportunity to put in a good word towards that fate.

In this regard, the Franciscan Network for Migrants/Quixote Center (RFM/QC) statement asks the Biden administration to, “look beyond the Northern Triangle countries and economic strategies to address the current roots of migration, which include climate change, gender violence, displacement of indigenous peoples and the democratic setback.”

Although the pope’s message speaks of the primary responsibility of the governments of the countries of origin to exercise “good politics” with honesty and transparency, it also calls for the creation of international conditions so that those same governments can do so “without being stripped of own natural and human resources, and without external interference aimed at favoring the interests of a few.”

The elimination of these causes, maintains the message, does not only involve the question what can we do, but, above all, “what should we stop doing.” It urges us to “stop the arms race, economic colonialism, the usurpation of other people’s resources, the devastation of our common home.”

The RFM/QC communiqué calls on the United States government to, “stop spending billions of dollars on deportation flights, immigration detention, and increasingly militarized borders across the region, and invest instead in community-based solutions that will safely resettle immigrants and strengthen our economies.”

Finally, the Pope invites to work so that migration is the fruit of a free decision. Meanwhile, he assures, “we are called to have the utmost respect for the dignity of each migrant; and this means accompanying and governing the flows in the best possible way, building bridges and not walls.”

On the same day, Pope Francis issued a message of hope for migrants, an anti-immigrant public health law in the United States was terminated, followed by an anti-immigrant plan that led to a solidarity statement from the Franciscan Network for Migrants and the Quixote Center where the commitment “to continue welcoming and accompanying migrants on their journey to safety” is reaffirmed. May 11, 2023 seemed like any other day, but it was not.


Daniel Rodríguez Blanco, OFM
RFM Directorate