In its monthly Justice and Peace Alert, officials with the Conference of Major Superiors of Men shared the latest findings from the Migration Policy Institute.  The Washington-based, centrist think-tank asserts that the “near-total shutdown of asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border” is not a long-term strategy for responding to those who are seeking safety and freedom from persecution. Analysts outlined a series of recommendations in the brief to address mixed flows of economic and humanitarian migrants as well as provide for efficient processing of asylum cases.

Of particular interest was the recommendation to create “multiagency reception centers near the border for one-stop screening of arrivals and speedy turnover to the relevant agencies.” This suggests a collaborative approach that could include faith-based organizations and those already serving borderland residents.

Funding to Rebuild Refugee Resettlement Network

Many organizations and advocacy groups are emphasizing that now is the time to rebuild the U.S. resettlement program and respond to refugees’ acute needs related to COVID-19. Jesuit Refugee Service notes that refugees are serving on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response in the U.S., including 176,000 working in health care and 175,000 in the food supply chain. At this time of national health and economic challenges, it is important that all populations are able to fully mitigate COVID-19.

Jesuit Refugee Service USA heard from President-elect Joe Biden at its 40th anniversary celebration last week. He said he supports raising the admissions goal for refugee resettlement to 125,000 refugees for 2021.

In other news, the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops held its General Assembly this week, in which they made recommendations about racism and inequalities, as well as a four-year strategic plan. Read more details, here.