Migration Academic Resources Discussion Guide

This Migration Academic Resources Discussion Guide is intended to facilitate deeper engagement and reflection on the five learning resources for the CRS Lead the Way on Migration campaign.

Resource 1: Policy Paper

Meeting the Challenges of the World’s Refugee Crisis

  1. Learning Goals
    • To examine the needs and challenges of refugees and consider necessary policies, procedures and systems to promote, protect, integrate and welcome refugees.
    • To understand how CRS responds around the world and what role we can play in the United States.
  2. Optional Additional Resources
  3. Pre-reading Questions
    • Personal: what conditions or circumstances would make you leave home? If you were forced to leave home with only a backpack, what would you take with you?
    • Structural: What countries do you think host the most refugees? What policies do you think are needed to protect and support migrants when they arrive in a new community?
    • What do you think refugees need? Who do you think meets their needs?
  4. Post-reading Reflection Questions
    • What is the difference between migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced persons? How does good policy attend to the needs of each group?
    • What key challenges did the policy paper identify? How will CRS' strategy for 2030 seek to address them? Where are the gaps?
    • What do refugees need when they arrive in a safe area? What does CRS provide them with? What long-term hurdles do they face in trying to build a new life?
  5. Group Discussion Questions
    • Pope Francis has urged the need to welcome, protect, promote and integrate migrants and refugees. Do these policies do that? Do you think your own community adopts this approach? What could your school, parish or community do to welcome, protect, promote and integrate new migrants and refugees?
    • What individual or communal advocacy actions can you take to respond? See the "Take Action Now" section of the Lead the Way on Migration webpage or the "Advocacy Resources" on our Leadership & Action webpage.

Resource 2: Story

Coping With COVID-19 and Migration Pressure in Senegal

  1. Learning Goals
    • To identify the similarities and differences of grappling with COVID-19 among refugees in Senegal.
    • To understand how CRS responds around the world and what role we can play in the United States.
  2. Optional Additional Resources
  3. Pre-reading Questions
    • What has the COVID-19 pandemic been like for you? In your community? What have been the biggest challenges? 
    • How has your community, parish, school or state responded? What public or private entities are providing support for people? Is that support sufficient?
    • Who are the members of your community in the most vulnerable or precarious situations? How have they been affected?
    • What do you know about Senegal?
  4. Post-reading Reflection Questions
    • What was Mohammad's job before going to Dakar, Senegal? Where did he try to migrate?
    • What is one similarity between your community and Mohammad's community in Dakar? What is the most striking difference?
    • How is CRS in Senegal responding to the COVID-19 pandemic?
  5. Group Discussion Questions
    • If Dakar had a COVID-19 outbreak, how would it be similar or different from a COVID-19 outbreak in your hometown?
    • What do you think would increase resilience for vulnerable people in Dakar?
    • The international community has to determine how to prioritize who gets a COVID 19 vaccine first. Why might some people argue for making refugees and other marginalized people some of the highest priority groups to receive a COVID 19 vaccine?
    • What individual or communal advocacy actions can you take to respond? See the "Take Action Now" section of the Lead the Way on Migration webpage or the "Advocacy Resources" on our Leadership & Action webpage.

Resource 3: Video

Helping Refugees Integrate Into Society: Spotlight From Bulgaria

  1. Learning Goals
    • To examine the complexities of migration across the Iraq, Syria and Bulgaria regions. 
    • To understand how CRS responds and what role we can play in the United States.
  2. Optional Additional Resources
  3. Pre-reading Questions
    • Where do you think most refugees from Iraq and Syria go?
    • What do you know about Bulgaria?
    • If you needed to build a new life somewhere, what would you need? 
    • Close your eyes. Reflect on any stereotypes about refugees you may have heard or how refugees have been portrayed in recent news stories you have read or seen. 
  4. Post-reading Reflection Questions
    • What stood out to you from the video Helping Refugees Integrate into Society: Spotlight from Bulgaria? Did anything surprise you? Was anything you saw in the video unexpected or new to you?
    • Think back to the news stories and stereotypes you considered. How were they challenged or changed by listening to Fatima Al-Mahabani's story?
  5. Group Discussion Questions
    • What can you learn from the Optional Additional Resources above about the larger context of the refugee and internally displaced persons crisis in the region?
    • What policies can support families like Al-Mahabani's?
    • What individual or communal advocacy actions can you take to respond? See the "Take Action Now" section of the Lead the Way on Migration webpage or the "Advocacy Resources" on our Leadership & Action webpage.

Resource 4: Policy Paper

Peace in The Sahel: Policy Recommendations for the U.S. Government

  1. Learning Goals
    • To learn about the connection between conflict and migration in the Sahel region of West Africa.
    • To understand how CRS responds and what role(s) we can play in the U.S.
  2. Optional Additional Resources
  3. Pre-Reading Questions
    • What do you know about Mali?
    • What have you heard in the news about Mali and West Africa? Burkina Faso? Niger?
  4. Post-Reading Reflection Questions
    • What did you learn about the Sahel region? Why is there conflict?
    • Does the policy paper seem to reflect the realities shared in the stories?
    • How can we prepare for the future with early warning systems for violence in coastal countries?
    • What would it mean to have a pro-life response to Fatouma Minta's situation? What needs do we include?
  5. Group Discussion Questions
    • Thinking about Minta's story (Displaced Mali Families Find Safe Haven), what policies would support her work and the needs of the community she is protecting?
    • How does Hawa Minta's story and hospitality illustrate what it means to be in solidarity with someone and the effect that solidarity has on people?
    • Fatouma Minta is now safe but says that much is missing from her life. What needs to be in place for people to have a fully flourishing life? 
    • What advocacy actions can you take, individually or communally, to respond? See the "Take Action Now" section of the Lead the Way on Migration page or the "Advocacy Resources" on our Leadership & Action page.

Resource 5: Research Report

Making Sense of Refugee Support: Using Narratives to Evaluate a Program to Protect and Integrate Refugees in Ecuador

  1. Learning Goals
    • To learn about the complexities of migration in the Venezuela-Colombia-Ecuador region.
    • To understand how CRS responds and what role we can play in the United States.
  2. Optional Additional Resources
  3. Pre-reading Questions
    • What do you think CRS' ultimate goals are for our refugee programs?
    • What expertise do you think is required for evaluating whether or not the goals of a refugee resettlement program are effective?
    • If you had to flee your home, what would you hope for from an international aid organization such as CRS in the location where you are resettling?
  4. Post-reading Reflection Questions
    • What obstacles would you face if the health care system in your community collapsed?
    • What would you do to find medical care for your child if your community, state and region did not have any resources due to an unexpected social collapse?
  5. Group Discussion Questions
    • Catholic social teaching states that everyone has a right to find opportunity in their homeland and—if it is not possible to support your family in your homeland—you have the right to migrate across borders to find employment or a safe place to live. Based on what you know about Catholic social teaching, why would the Church teach that everyone has a right to migrate?
    • In Catholic social teaching, health care is a right, not a privilege. How does a lack of access to health care impact Miguel's human dignity? How does it negatively affect the wider common good?
    • What individual or communal advocacy actions can you take to respond? See the "Take Action Now" section of the Lead the Way on Migration webpage or the "Advocacy Resources" on our Leadership & Action webpage.

Action Opportunities

  1. What individual or communal advocacy actions can you take to respond? See the "Take Action Now" section of the Lead the Way on Migration webpage or the "Advocacy Resources" on our Leadership & Action webpage. Consider the following options:
  2. How can you support CRS’ work with migrants and refugees?
  3. How can you get involved locally?
    • Ensure you're a registered voter.
    • Research candidates and policies to understand their impact on migrants and refugees.
  4. How can you get involved locally?
    • Connect with your local Catholic Charities agencies to find out how they are working to support and/or resettle refugees in your community.
    • Connect with Justice for Immigrants to support immigrants in the United States.

 

CRS is deeply grateful to the following faculty for creation of and contribution to this resource:

  • Developed by:
    • Meghan J. Clark, Associate Professor of Moral Theology, Saint John's University, New York.
    • Elizabeth Collier, Professor of Business Ethics and Christopher Chair in Business Ethics, Dominican University, Illinois.
  • In collaboration with:
    • Theresa Ricke-Kiely, Executive Director for the Center for the Common Good, University of Saint Thomas, Minnesota.
    • Robin G. Vander, Associate Professor of English, African-American and Diaspora Studies, and Performance Studies, Xavier University of Louisiana.
    • Jerry Zurek, Professor of English and Communication, Cabrini University, Pennsylvania.

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