Pathways to Asylum

May 27, 2023— Immigration, the St. Jude League Way

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The past several weeks the news has featured numerous stories about the expiration of Title 42 and the expected consequences of the end to the policy’s enforcement. The original intent of the Title 42 policy was to address public health and social welfare issues, giving the government broad authority to act during an emergency, including to take action to “stop the introduction of communicable diseases.” The policy became a migration and human rights issue as utilized in March 2020 to control border crossings on the grounds of increased COVID-19 measures.

The end of Title 42 enforcement is an opportunity to look beyond the policy issues of migration and highlight what has brought on the human rights crisis – forced migration. This complex human rights issue becomes even more complicated when health issues like COVID-19 and forced transit of migrants to sanctuary cities create multiplying health, safety and shelter issues. The St. Jude League approach to the crisis has differed in that not only is ours a mission of hope but one of social justice. Not able to directly impact the cause and source of the issues that create forced migration, the Claretian-led programs and ministries we support focus on the person and the families forced to flee their homes and families for safety and security. The the core mission restores the human spirit, physical health and potential of each person in our care, enabling a a resumption and continuation of life’s journey.

St. Jude League is honored and proud to support the social justice and humanitarian relief efforts offered by migration programs, shelters and Claretian missionaries. The tireless work of the Claretian missionaries in community parish centers throughout the United States, the Albergue San Oscar Romero Shelter in Ciudad Juarez, Campesino Outreach ministry in Fresno, and Bethany Hospitality House shelter in Chicago are inspiring examples of programs that offer a spiritual and holistic response to a humanitarian dilemma.

 Albergue San Oscar Romero Shelter‘s director, Fr. Carl Quebedeaux, CMF, shared that the shelter has been beyond full capacity of 80+ residents for months. He sees no end in sight for the demand for the services of the shelter. In a typical year, the former neighborhood schoolhouse will provide more than 18,250 nights of shelter and 36,500 meals. The shelter is a vibrant scene with families having survived horrific ordeals to reach this point on their journey. Children leave for classes in the morning, parents gather for UNICEF lead health clinics, a group shops for a week’s worth of groceries and then plans who of the residents will help cook each meal. Fr. Carl is especially grateful for the generosity of St. Jude League supporters who raised more than $17,000 this year to help house, feed and provide health care for shelter residents.

Campesino Outreach at St. Anthony Mary Claret Parish in Fresno, California provides vitally needed food, clothing, medical supplies and attends to other needs of agricultural workers living in eight migrant camps located around Fresno County. The parish ministers to some 800 families—who primarily speak English, Spanish, or Hmong—from Fresno and the surrounding farming areas. Most parishioners are first-generation immigrants who have been in the United States for decades trying to establish themselves. The parish has more than 30 highly active ministries that include citizenship and English classes, addiction and parental counseling, clothing, and food distribution for families and the homeless.

Migrant workers assisted by the program arrive from Peru, Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, and even Southeast Asia. In a way, the health and wellness of migrants served by the program impacts ALL of us since a majority of the United States’ agricultural production from California is produced in the San Joaquin Valley surrounding Fresno. Helping to support and care for those in the Campesino Outreach program brings fresh produce to many of our homes and restaurants we visit.

Your continued support of the St. Jude League “way” provides vital resources needed to restore the wellness and spirit of migrant families forced to upend their lives. The impact is profound and as multigenerational as the story of America is to each of our readers. It’s impressive to know that with $50, Fr. Carl is able to provide lunch of 80 residents at the Romero shelter. And just as important to know that 100% of each gift to St. Jude League directly benefits the programs we support.

Hope starts with you! Each gift matters and has the power to transform a life!