MODESTO, Calif. — Speakers at a Vatican-sponsored conference in Northern California have called on the Roman Catholic Church to acknowledge its own racism and urged those attending to fight against oppression.

More than 600 clergy and social justice activists are meeting in Modesto, California, for a conference on economic inequality that also included a session Friday on racism in the United States.

Pope Francis welcomed the group Thursday night with a letter in which he said “no people is criminal and no religion is terrorist” and he urged those gathered to make neighbors of anyone in need, especially those without homes, money or work.

The gathering comes as the world grapples with the effect of President Donald Trump’s efforts to change U.S. immigration policy. The agenda does not mention Trump, and speakers did not name him. But his recent announcement of a crackdown on people illegally in the country and limitations on who is allowed into the U.S. are likely to be discussed.

Innocent Rugaragu, a 42-year-old member of the PICO National Network immigration reform group, said he never thought people could be rounded up and deported from a country as wealthy as the United States, which he said has always stood for hope to people around the world.

Rugaragu, who is from Kigali, Rwanda, does not know how to convey to the Trump administration that the worries are real and not an attack on the president. “These are genuine people who are really concerned and don’t have evil intentions,” he said.

Catholics have long worked with refugees and migrants, but not all of them are opposed to the president’s orders.

Chris Jackson of the organization Catholics4Trump said in an email that Trump’s ban limiting entry from seven predominantly Muslim countries is reasonable and designed to protect citizens. “Catholicism has always recognized the right of nations to have and enforce borders,” he said.

Speakers at Friday’s panel on racism urged people to stand together, regardless of class or color, gender or immigration status.