Confronting Racism: What People of Faith Can Learn from the Experience of Haitian Asylum-Seekers at the US/MX Border | July 2022

Haitian migrant family looking for shelter

Haitian migrant family looking for shelter

Central to our faith is the belief that every person is created in the image of God regardless of their race or national origin. If we take our faith seriously, this should challenge our assumptions about ourselves and those we believe to be different from us.

In his encyclical Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis makes it clear that racism is “a readiness to discard others … [and that] instances of racism continue to shame us, for they show that our supposed social progress is not as real or definitive as we think” (FT #20).

One place where racism continues to shame us is on the US/MX border.

For many months now, Haitian asylum-seekers have been coming to the US/MX border seeking safety. As with migrants before them, the immigration policies of the US government are denying them this fundamental right and are forcing them to “remain in Mexico” in life-threatening conditions. In addition to these injustices, Haitians are experiencing an added layer of discrimination, resulting in less access to services and hostility from local governments and communities.

The Missionary Society of St. Columban is witnessing these injustices as it accompanies the Haitian community in Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, TX. In response to the community’s needs, we run shelters and safe spaces that protect families with young children and other initiatives like our resource navigation project.

But the Church must do more than meet peoples’ basic needs. Grounded in our faith, we must also act to dismantle the racism that displaces Haitians and other migrants from their homes, and that now prevents them from finding safety here.

In the webinar recording below, you'll hear from Haitian asylum-seekers, and the people of faith who welcome them, about their experience at the US/MX border. This discussion will help unpack how the legacy of colonialism and the reality of systemic racism are driving forces of displacement in the Americas and are influencing our country’s immigration policies.

Publication Date
June 27, 2022