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October 5 2010

Miguel Humberto DIAZ U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See: "Addressing the causes of migration and make laws that protect migrants"

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"The international community must gather to tackle the root causes of migration and develop just laws that protect migrants. Migration is a human tragedy that will only deepen in the years to come. "

This was said by the U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, Miguel Humberto Díaz, during his speech at the Meeting of Sant'Egidio that is taking place in Barcelona. The ambassador, speaking at a panel about migrations, spoke about his condition of exile from Cuba. He turned american, and now he has been called to serve the United States as a diplomat. He recalled also how President Barack Obama, "the son of a Kenyan father and a mother from Kansas," has emphasized on numerous occasions that the U.S. is a nation of immigrants.

If the U.S. is now a world leading power, it's also because it hosted the first major immigration of people, mostly from European countries, which caused the growth of the population from the 17 million people in 1840 to 106 million in 1920. The second great wave of immigration began after World War II. Since 1965, more than 25 million immigrants have settled in the United States, most of them coming from the Caribbean and Latin America.

"While recognizing the economic, political, cultural and religious issues raised by migration, and the right of every nation to protect its borders - said the U.S. ambassador - it is also important to consider the positive results that often comes from this tragic human experience. The history of America is witness to this creative potential. Migration often occurs because people are faced with extreme and life-threatening situations. As a family of nations, we need to meet each other and share vital resources and long-term solutions for the problem of migration."

Diaz then concluded by quoting some of the words that appear on a bronze plaque on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty that describe its figure with the words of the American poet Emma Lazarus: Mother of exiles, from the beacon in her hand shines the welcome to all the world.

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