Hope Border Institute and Center for Migration Studies Host Symposium in Honor of Pope Francis’s Visit to US-Mexico Border

EL PASO, TX – On February 12th, the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) and the Hope Border Institute (HBI) will host “Pope Francis Crossing Borders: Catholic Teaching, National Sovereignty, and the Right to Migrate,” an event in honor of Pope Francis’s upcoming visit to the US-Mexico border. Following a 15-minute press conference, the Most Reverend Mark J. Seitz, Bishop of El Paso, will open with a keynote address entitled “Strangers No Longer: Renewing Hope.” Two panel discussions will follow: The first will examine church teaching on national sovereignty in the context of the right of persons to migrate; and the second will feature service providers sharing best practices in welcoming migrants and integrating them into local communities. 

Speakers include:

  • Rev. Javier Calvillo, Director, Casa del Migrante, Diocese of Juárez
  • Dylan Corbett, Executive Director, Hope Border Institute
  • Ruben Garcia, Director, Annunciation House
  • Iliana Holguin, Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Armendariz & Holguin
  • Donald Kerwin, Executive Director Center for Migration Studies
  • Melissa Lopez, Executive Director, Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services
  • Marco Raposo, Director, Justice and Peace Ministry, Diocese of El Paso
  • Gabriella Sanchez, Assistant Professor, The University of Texas at El Paso

“In a show of solidarity, the Holy Father’s itinerary through six cities in Mexico is intended to represent the dangerous route of migrants traveling to the United States, “ said Donald Kerwin, CMS Executive Director. “This event will advance the dialogue for bold and creative strategies needed to help people on the move and further emphasize the Pope’s global call to welcome migrants and refugees.”

Dylan Corbett, HBI Executive Director, adds, “The visit of Pope Francis – a Pope who defines himself as a migrant – to the US-Mexico border will be a defining moment for the Church’s witness in the public square, both on the need to rethink immigration as well as to reimagine our border as a place of encounter.”

“Pope Francis Crossing Borders: Catholic Teaching, National Sovereignty, and the Right to Migrate” is scheduled for Friday, February 12, 2016 from 1:00pm to 4:30pm at Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services (2400 E. Yandell Drive, El Paso, Texas 79903).


The Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) is an educational institute/think tank devoted to the study of international migration, to the promotion of understanding between immigrants and receiving communities, and to public policies that safeguard the dignity and rights of migrants, refugees and newcomers. CMS is a member of the Scalabrini International Migration Network (SIMN), a global network of 270+ entities that provide services to migrants, including shelters and welcoming centers in receiving communities.