.- The president of the Spanish bishopsâ Committee on Migration, Bishop Jose Sanchez, said repatriating sub-Saharan immigrants on the Canary Islands to their countries of origin is not a solution to the immigration problem and said the Church is doing âall that it can.â
Spain is currently dealing with a serious influx of immigrants fleeing their own African countries in fishing boats to seek refuge on the Canary Islands.
At the headquarters of Caritas Spain, Bishop Sanchez explained that any solution must address the roots of the problem. In this sense, he said, developed countries still have a long way to go.
He noted that on the Canary Islands, the Church âis doing as much as it canâ to help illegal immigrants. The work of those involved is âadmirable, but totally insufficient,â he added. The Spanish bishop said the different committees of the Bishopsâ Conference need to work together in attending to the needs of immigrants.
Bishop Juan Jose Omella, president of the bishopsâ Social Ministry Committee, said immigrants are âthe focal point of the work of Caritas, which is directing all of its efforts in this area to protecting their dignity.â Part of this work is to put into action âprograms of co-development in the immigrantsâ countries of originâ in order to âimprove the living conditions and address the causes of this phenomenon.â
Bishop Omella also called on the media to contribute to changing society by promoting a transformation of attitudes and âstructures that will allow the building of a more cohesive society and a future for all.â