Vatican 2014-07-11 -- The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops was host and principal sponsor of a major conference on migration this week in the US capital, Washington, DC. With the USCCB’s Migration and Refugee Services, the 2014 National Migration Conference was co-sponsored by the Catholic Legal Immigration Network and Catholic Charities USA.

The purpose of the four-day event that opened Monday was to build the capacity of the Catholic Church and society to advance the life and dignity of the human person in the sponsor organisations’ work with immigrants, migrants, refugees, unaccompanied migrant children, victims of human trafficking, and other vulnerable people on the move.

The chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Migration, Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary of Seattle, Washington, told Vatican Radio the Church’s advocacy in behalf of migrants is a response to a Gospel imperative. “We do what we do because we are Christians and disciples of the Lord, Jesus Christ,” He said. “It is not because we have a political agenda,” he explained, adding, “it is something we are impelled to do.” The US bishops are currently appealing to US federal legislators, calling for action toward comprehensive reform of US immigration law.