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First Virtual Immigration Workshop

The EIL office was instrumental in successfully coordinating a workshop on migration using a videoconferencing platform.  The presenter, Rafael Moreno, SJ, of Mexico is a pre-eminent researcher and activist with many years of experience in the area of immigration.  He is currently affiliated with Servicio Jesuita a Migrantes, Mexico.  The three-hour workshop brought together more than 30 people from 7 countries.

Fr. Moreno focused on an analysis of worldwide migration then moved to a focus on the Latin American and Caribbean corridor.  Together we examined the importance of a coordinated collective response in tandem with responses within our respective contexts.  While the topic of immigration finds its way into the public eye from time-to-time it is a persistent reality wrought with far more complexity than popular press will have us believe.  Conditions of extreme violence, natural disasters, family reunification, political asylum and involuntary movement such as through human trafficking highlight the fact that a "one-size-fits-all" remedy is neither practical nor realistic.

The videoconferencing platform allows for a different type of border crossing.  It allows us to meet with people of other countries to share information and resources as well as dialogue openly about challenges and opportunities.  In this way, people can feel less isolated, enhance their own understanding of other realities, and network.  

Responding to the needs of the most vulnerable requires collective action.  Where previously travel, time and expense kept small, grass roots groups chasms apart, this videoconfereing platform has heped us cross a different kind of border.

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