On May 22, 2017, The Holy See hosted an event titled “Ensuring the Right of all to remain in dignity, peace and security in their countries of origin.” This highlighted a very important topic: migration. The Holy See, with other presenters, kept repeating, “Migration is not a choice, but a necessity.”

Today, we live in a world where migration and immigration take place frequently and in large numbers. Thousands are leaving their country because of the violence, dictators and oppressive governments, and high-levels of poverty. During this event, The Holy See demonstrated to the United Nations and the world, that there are ways to end migration. These ways will help sustain the world and bring peace.

Jesuit priest, Fr. Michael Czerny, the under-secretary appointed by Pope Frances, spoke on the hardships many migrants face. He stated that today’s migration is forced because of many ongoing wars and most importantly because of gun violence!

As a History Major, I have studied migration extensively. I was taught people migrated in the past due to economic reasons and the need for a job. While listening to Fr. Czerny I realized that today people do not migrate in search of a successful life. They are migrating because of the gun violence they are witnessing—especially through war.

Because of gun violence, migration increases more than ever. In countries, such as Syria and Iraq, wars and violence are frequent. People are leaving because they are afraid to raise their children in a place where they can easily be killed. Fr. Czerny said people have the “right to remain in their homeland” and should not need to leave their countries because of war.

Migration has also caused the separation of families where children are being forced to migrate alone. Sister Norma Pimentel, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, described the “hard journey(s)” many children endure. It is not the parents who are forcing children to migrate, but their countries’ wars and dictatorships.

This event reminded that me migration should be a choice, not a necessity. For this to happen peace must be the goal.