Immigrants tell their stories at the General Curia in Rome

?Human migration? was the theme of the mid-January staff seminar at the Jesuit General Curia in Rome. Migration raises philosophical and theological issues for Christians, and challenges Jesuit research, advocacy and pastoral practice. The high point of the study days was the witness given by three immigrants to Italy, two political refugees and one an economic migrant. A Tamil from northern Sri Lanka complained about the swamp of bureaucracy that an immigrant must wade through to get a residence permit, housing, a work permit, a job. He related how his young wife, though well-educated, worked as a domestic, and died in a domestic accident after only a few months. A Moroccan student activist had to leave his homeland and came to Italy 13 years ago. His difficulties were more personal: loneliness in a country where he had no family and mistrust of his fellow Moroccans. Eventually he enrolled at the Jesuit Gregorian University, took a degree in development studies, married an Italian, started a family and found fulfilling work. A Filipino who came to Italy with a good education in electrical and computer engineering quickly found well-paying work but, having no opportunity to learn Italian, his co-workers treated him as a lowly assistant because of his inability to communicate. The turning point came when he brought his wife and children to join him. The children quickly learned Italian, but his wife still has difficulty. His main concerns now are the questionable values that he sees his children learning at school and on television. [HL20108]