Tag Archives: Federal

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Update 21

Federal Legislation. There are persistent rumors of legislative drafting behind the scenes in the House of Representatives but no new bills have appeared in public. Hope for action before the end of 2013 dims as Congress plans only about a dozen legislative days before the end of the year. Yet, our advocates in Washington remain hopeful that viable legislation can emerge even if it takes until sometime in 2014. Reform, however, will never come without our sustained advocacy. Please encourage others to contact their members of Congress to support comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship, through the Justice for Immigrants website: http://justiceforimmigrants.org/index.shtml The Justice for Immigrants website also includes links to statements by bishops across the country in support of reform.

Pope Francis. While Congress continues to stall without apparent concern for the pain of the immigrant population, Pope Francis continues his fatherly concern for suffering immigrants around the world, most recently asking a time of silence at the All Saints Day angelus for those who died trying to cross the desert in search of a better life.http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/angelus/2013/documents/papa-francesco_angelus_20131101_it.html  The Holy Father’s concern is noticed by advocates for reform in the United States as reflected in an article by Jeanne Atkinson, Executive Director of the Catholic Legal Immigration network (CLINIC). https://cliniclegal.org/news/asylum-lampedusa-migration-haiti-pope-francis/ports-tragedy-ambassadors-hope

I can provide additional information on request.

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Update 19

Federal Legislation. While Congress remains consumed by debate over the budget and debt ceiling, public advocacy continues in support of immigration reform with numerous public demonstrations, including one in Washington where eight members of the House of Representatives, including John Lewis (D-GA), were arrested. Catholic bishops across the United States continue to support reform through public letters and statements.http://justiceforimmigrants.org/index.shtml

Pope Francis. The Holy Father continues to express his concern for immigrants throughout the world and calls us to join him. He has shown particular concern for those who have lost their lives seeking a better life in Europe, particularly those who drowned off the coast of Lampadusa which the Pope had visited in July. http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1304207.htm

Multicultural Parishes. The importance of immigration reform to Catholic parishes has been underscored by a recent study which shows nearly forty percent of Catholic parishes, especially in the south and west, are identified as multicultural. http://usccb.org/news/2013/13-182.cfm Parishes must be prepared to support the brothers and sisters who are in our very midst.

Local Advocacy. Reform will not come without sustained advocacy. Please encourage others to contact their members of Congress to support comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship, through the Justice for Immigrants website: http://justiceforimmigrants.org/index.shtml The Justice for Immigrants website also includes links to statements by bishops across the country in support of reform.

I can provide additional information on request.

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Update 18

Federal Legislation. Despite the federal government’s focus on budget and debt ceiling concerns, the Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives last week announced introduction of a bill similar to S. 744 which the Senate adopted last June. This House bill, however, does not include the problematic border security provisions. The House bill currently has only Democrats as co-sponsors and is not likely to be taken up by committees in the Republican controlled House. We do not anticipate action on any immigration bills in the House until early in 2014, at the earliest.

Administrative Activity. The shutdown of many federal agencies affects immigration but most enforcement actions will continue unabated. The administration continues to deport approximately 1,100 people a day and, despite requests by advocacy groups seeking to protect family integrity, the administration is unwilling to slow the deportation process. Consular services for U.S. citizens and visa applicants continue to operate at this time but visa processing for foreign nationals will be curtailed and may affect foreign nationals planning to leave the United States and then return. The E-verify system which must be accessed by many employers under Georgia law will not be operational during the shutdown.

Advocacy. Each of us must continue contacting members of the House of Representatives so that they will take action to reform the broken immigration process. Please encourage others to contact their members of Congress to support comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship, through the Justice for Immigrants website:http://justiceforimmigrants.org/index.shtml

The Justice for Immigrants website also includes links to statements by bishops across the country in support of reform.

I can provide additional information on request.

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Update 17

No Federal Legislation Yet. There is still no federal immigration reform law but there are those in our area claiming that they can get the “new process” started. Do not be taken in by “notarios” or other unqualified individuals who cannot help. Make referrals only to qualified attorneys or BIA (Board of Immigration Appeals) representatives. Parish representatives who have attended Archdiocesan Justice and Peace workshops over the last several months have been given information that can be used to help the undocumented prepare for whatever process may emerge. If your parish does not have a representative, one should be appointed to receive accurate information and make it available to your parish.

Advocacy. Pope Francis has repeatedly spoken about the plight of immigrants around the world. http://www.news.va/en/news/popes-message-for-word-day-of-migrants-and-refugee Referring to Holy Father’s message, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, spoke on behalf of all Catholic bishops, and again called upon members of the U.S. House of Representatives to begin consideration of comprehensive immigration reform legislation.http://usccb.org/news/2013/13-174.cfm

Each of us must continue contacting members of the House of Representatives so that they will take action to reform the broken immigration process. Please encourage others to contact members of Congress to support comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship, through the Justice for Immigrants website: http://justiceforimmigrants.org/index.shtml The Justice for Immigrants website also includes links to statements by bishops across the country in support of reform.