National Catholic Reporter

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Forced migration

Feds grant $4.2 million in funds for legal aid to unaccompanied minors

For the first time, federal funding will help pay for unaccompanied minor immigrants to get legal assistance, including through Catholic agencies that will receive a little more than half of $4.2 million in grants for this fiscal year.

An additional $4.8 million will be allocated for the legal program for the 2015 fiscal year.

Pope calls for 'globalization of charity' to protect migrants

Pope Francis called for the "globalization of charity" through an international network to fight human trafficking and ensure the rights of migrants and refugees.

The pope's words appeared in his annual message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which in 2015 will be observed Jan. 18. On Tuesday, the Vatican released the pope's message, "Church Without Frontiers, Mother to All."

Cardinal O'Malley: 'Wounds of Christ' can be seen in suffering of migrants

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Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley challenged all in attendance at the Knights of Columbus convention to be transforming agents in the world and to "connect the dots" between Christ and the suffering.

He was one of several bishops at the 132nd Supreme Convention in Orlando who spoke about the need for greater compassion for a flood of child immigrants to the U.S. who have arrived without a parent in recent months.

Jesuits tell their alumni in Congress: Protect border children

American Jesuits are pushing members of Congress who were educated at the Catholic order's schools to pass aid for thousands of refugee children who have surged across the border in Texas in recent months, calling proposals to swiftly deport them "inhumane and an insult to American values."

"I ask you, as a leader, a parent, and a Catholic, to uphold an American tradition of which we are all proud," Fr. Thomas Smolich, head of the U.S. Jesuit conference, wrote to House Speaker John Boehner and 42 other House members who graduated from Jesuit high schools and colleges.

More than 100 religious, immigration activists arrested at White House

More than 100 religious leaders and activists were arrested Thursday in a White House protest aimed at halting deportations and aiding immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.

The direct action sponsored by Church World Service and Casa de Maryland, an immigration advocacy group, brought leaders from New England to Hawaii to the nation's capital.

The U.S. Park Police completed the arrests of 112 people by 3 p.m., charging each with "blocking passage" on the sidewalk outside the White House, a misdemeanor, said Sidney Traynham, a spokesman for Church World Service.

Arkansas bishop on border crisis: Migrants are entitled to protection

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Arkansas Bishop Anthony Taylor's July 25 statement is worth the read, as he has firsthand experience of what's happening in Central America.

He writes:

For the last four years I have served as a member of the Committee on Migration of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. In that capacity I visited El Salvador two months ago as part of a Regional Consultation on Migration looking into the plight of refugees fleeing violence and extreme poverty in Central America. 

How does America really feel about the children at the border?

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Protests continue to grow around the country when it comes to housing undocumented children while they await processing.

In Rhode Island, protester Terry Gorman said, "If there was a bus coming out of there and I knew it was all illegal alien children ... I'd lay down in front of the bus. ... That's going to be the destruction of the state of Rhode Island."

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