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Noorani Joins Experts at Migration Colloquium

July 14, 2014

MEXICO CITY — Today, the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Holy See are hosting a Colloquium on International Migration and Development in Mexico City.

High-level officials in the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs joined Jeffrey Sachs, Director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University; cardinals and bishops; Central American officials; and academics and immigration thought leaders to discuss international migration, social inclusion, human rights, respect for the dignity of migrants and the contribution of migration to the development of the countries of origin and destination.

Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum, was one of the panelists at the event. Below is an excerpt from his prepared remarks:

“For a number of years now, there has been a heated national debate in the United States about our country’s future and the role of newcomers in that future. In light of the current crisis of unaccompanied minor children, we Americans are realizing that we are not only grappling with an immigration issue but with a migration issue as people, many vulnerable people, cross multiple borders in search of this better, safer life.

“As a nation, we have always responded to humanitarian crises with compassion and commonsense solutions. But the situation of the unaccompanied minors is causing deep divisions about how we should respond.

“There are those who argue passionately that these children don’t belong here, that they have no right to be here and that they should be forced back to their home countries. With equal conviction, others say we should allow them to stay and be reunited with family members already in the United States, many of whom also have no legal status.

“There are no easy solutions but there is one guiding principle: We must not lose sight of our fundamental values. Fair treatment and a humane response are essential.”

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