Border Bishops Speak. Catholic bishops of the United States minister along the Mexican border to migrants and speak out in their support. http://angelusnews.com/articles/at-the-mexico-border-catholic-bishops-unite-for-migrants
Executive Action. Following court decisions, the executive orders related to immigrants and refugees remain unenforceable. By all reports, however, the Trump administration is preparing new executive orders, which as they claim, will avoid the legal problems with earlier orders and lead to more deportations. For those who may be affected by any new orders in the near future, it is important to keep abreast of publicly announced changes and take personal action with caution and counsel.
Refugee Resettlement Facts. In the ongoing discussion of refugee resettlement, seek out facts about the people and the processes they go through. (https://twitter.com/jrsusa/status/832658029552115712?s=03)
Justice for Immigrants Campaign. The Justice for Immigrants Campaign is supported by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to support diocesan and local activities by providing information for immigrants and those assisting them. The Justice for Immigrant (JFI) webpage currently contains a number of items related to recent government activity and ways to protect yourself, your family and those in your parish. http://justiceforimmigrants.org/ The Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) also provides resources related to protection of rights for immigrants. https://cliniclegal.org/resources/know-your-rights
Executive Orders Related to Refugees. The Trump Administration still pursues a broad policy to prohibit refugees and other from entering the United States. While the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has temporarily blocked implementation of the executive order, the Administration will likely take additional steps against refugees and immigrants. Anyone who may be affected by the ban should seek legal counsel to make sure they have current information, especially with regard to travel outside the United States. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops welcomed the decision of the Ninth Circuit http://www.usccb.org/news/2017/17-036.cfm. The USCCB also expressed the solidarity of the bishops with all Christians and others suffering religious persecution in the Middle East http://www.usccb.org/news/2017/17-037.cfm.
ICE Enforcement Actions Increase. It is widely reported that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (ICE) has stepped up arrests of undocumented individuals, including those with no criminal history. http://jamiedupree.blog.ajc.com/2017/02/11/immigration-groups-on-alert-over-recent-reports-of-raids/ ; http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/what-to-know-about-recent-immigration-raids-in-us-cities/ar-AAmPImF?li=BBnb7Kz Please consider ways to protect yourself, your family and others in your parish. http://justiceforimmigrants.org/2016site/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Nine-Ways-to-Protect-Yourself-2.3.17-English-FINAL.pdf
Georgia General Assembly. With all the focus on policy activity in Washington, the Georgia General Assembly has had few significant bill affecting immigration. Nonetheless, on February 8, a committee of the House of Representatives added a provision to a bill that would require that driver licenses issued to non-citizens be marked “non-citizen.” (House Bill 136) The bill has still not passed both houses of the General Assembly but, if passed, the statement would apply to licenses issued to all non-citizens, including legal permanent residents (i.e. green card holders.)
Facts About Refugees. In the discussion about admitting refugees to the United States, there is much misinformation spread around. Take time to learn facts from Catholic Relief Services (CRS), an agency which works with refugees around the world. http://www.crs.org/media-center/11-things-you-may-not-know-about-refugees
Lobby Days Are Coming! Take the opportunity to join fellow Catholics in advocating Catholic social teaching at Catholic Day at the Capital in Atlanta. More detail and registration at https://archatl.com/events/2017-catholic-day-capitol/ Also, human trafficking is a plague that affect many in society, especially vulnerable populations such as immigrants and refugees. Join those opposing human trafficking at a General Assembly lobbying day on February 28. #LobbyDay2017
Catholic Charities Atlanta Response to Executive Order. See the response of Catholic Charities Atlanta to the executive orders related to immigration. https://catholiccharitiesatlanta.org/2017/01/27/supporting-refugees-immigrants/
Executive Orders Related to Refugees. Over the weekend, a federal district court in Washington prohibited implementation of the ban and the Court of Appeals temporarily upheld the prohibition. The administration still pursues the ban. Anyone who may be affected by the ban should seek legal counsel to make sure they have current information, especially with regard to travel outside the United States.
In multiple media releases during the past week, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has vigorously spoken in opposition to executive orders issued by President Donald J. Trump regarding refugees. http://www.usccb.org/news/2017/17-026.cfm The president and vice president of the USCCB spoke in defense of religious freedom for all faiths. http://www.usccb.org/news/2017/17-026.cfm Catholic bishops expressly spoke in solidarity with Muslim peoples. http://www.usccb.org/news/2017/17-031.cfm
Damage to Families. Consistent with Catholic social teaching, Catholic organizations have focused on the disruptions caused to families by the recent executive orders and by the federal government’s unwillingness to address the problems with our country’s immigration system. https://cliniclegal.org/news/national-catholic-organizations-oppose-executive-orders-affect-immigrants-and-refugees
What is CLINIC? The Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) was established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Embracing the Gospel value of welcoming the stranger, CLINIC promotes the dignity and protects the rights of immigrants in partnership with a dedicated network of Catholic and community legal immigration programs. https://cliniclegal.org/about-us
Migration Mondays. Check out the most recent Migration Mondays, a new series of postings from the Justice for Immigrants campaign of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Every week there will be a new informative and inspirational posting. http://justiceforimmigrants.org/migrationmonday/migrationmonday-6/
Administration Changes Related To Immigration. President Trump has begun issuing a series of executive orders related to immigration and refugees, including the ordering the beginning of work on construction of a wall the length of the Mexican border and significant expansion of detention and deportation. In a press release, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) succinctly points out the social and moral problems with some of these actions http://us8.campaign-archive1.com/?u=d1e29c8d7ab34d84237ecd8ee&id=1e5feb444a.
Bishops Across the Country Continue to Speak. The leadership of the Catholic bishops spoke out vehemently against the plans for a wall on the southern border and increase detention http://www.usccb.org/news/2017/17-023.cfm. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston Houston, spoke as a bishop of a Texas diocese http://www.archgh.org/blog/main.asp?Tid=1895&id=461&cat=Archdiocesan. Also, listen to a noted Jesuit author, Father James Martin https://www.facebook.com/FrJamesMartin/videos/10154132008256496/.
Sanctuary Cities. Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Texas and chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Migration has spoken on behalf of the Catholic bishops of the United States in response to the executive order which would deny federal funding for jurisdictions that choose not to cooperate with federal efforts to deport undocumented immigrants http://justiceforimmigrants.org/statements/usccb-committee-migration-chair-responds-trump-administration-sanctuary-city-executive-order/.
Migration Mondays. Check out Migration Mondays, a new series of postings from the Justice for Immigrants campaign of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Every week there will be a new informative and inspirational posting http://justiceforimmigrants.org/migrationmonday/migrationmonday-5/.
Administration Changes Related To Immigration. As of this writing, we have not seen what the new administration will do with regard to immigration. Action is anticipated in the near future.
Bishops Across the Country Continue to Speak. Whatever changes may come from the administration, Catholic bishops continue to speak in support of immigrant and migrant peoples. Bishop Kevin Vann of Orange – we are side by side. http://occatholic.com/essential-message-to-immigrants/ Also, Cardinal Blasé Cupich of Chicago. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3eTfAuB7yU
DACA and BRIDGE Act. In advance of the inauguration of Donald Trump as 45th president of the United States, nearly 900 religious, civil rights, ethnic and immigrant rights organizations, including the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC), have written to the president elect urging that the new protect the more than 740,000 individuals who currently hold Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA. They also have urged support of the BRIDGE Act which would legislatively protect those individuals at least until Congress can act in a more comprehensive fashion. https://cliniclegal.org/news/cusp-inauguration-day-nearly-900-organizations-urge-president-elect-trump-continue-daca
In-State Tuition on Hold. Although a Superior Court has rules that students lawfully present in Georgia under DACA are entitled to pay in-state tuition at public colleges, the Court of Appeals has placed the ruling on hold until further hearings are held. http://www.ajc.com/news/state–regional-govt–politics/georgia-judge-order-state-tuition-for-daca-immigrants-hold/qTfmmOm6fYpijodCiGXXBP/
Cardinal DiNardo Responds to Video Message From Pope Francis. As part of National Migration Week, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued a statement in response to a video message from Pope Francis that was played at a parish Mass in Los Angeles http://www.usccb.org/news/2017/17-007.cfm. The Cardinal said: “Ultimately, the question is this: Will our nation treat all migrants and refugees, regardless of their national origin or religion, in a way that respects their inherent dignity as children of God? Pope Francis reminds us we are all equal before God…. Achieving ‘one nation under God’ has not always been easy, but each earlier period of immigration has ultimately strengthened our society. Those who seek to do us harm must be kept from our shores, but those fleeing persecution in need of hope and ready to help us build a better America must be welcomed.”
New President Inaugurated January 20. Donald Trump will be inaugurated president on January 20 and it is still not known how he will implement his campaign promises regarding immigration. Whatever changes come forward, CLINIC has prepared materials to assist immigrants and refugees and it will update materials as changes are announced https://cliniclegal.org/presidentialtransition.
Continued Support from Bishops. Cardinal Blasé Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, is among the latest bishops speaking in support of protection for young people brought to the United States and raised here. The Cardinal suggests that these DACA recipients be protected, not prosecuted or deported. Immigrants, he said, have “made America great.” http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-immigrants-cardinal-cupich-dream-act-perspec-0110-20170109-story,amp.html
ICYMI – Resources for Workers and Students. While we wait to see what changes may emerge in immigration law in the coming year, there are resources available to help immigrants know their rights. See CLINIC publications explaining rights for students https://cliniclegal.org/resources/know-your-rights-students and for workers. https://cliniclegal.org/resources/know-your-rights-workers.
Bishops Support BRIDGE Act Proposal. On behalf of the Catholic Bishops of the United States, Bishop Joe Vasquez, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, asked members of Congress to support the BRIDGE Act, which would provide temporary relief similar to that provided by DACA.
In-State Tuition for Georgia DACA Students. A Superior Court Judge in Fulton County has ruled that students who are “legally present” in the United States by virtue of DACA may be assessed in-state tuition only in Georgia public colleges and universities http://ht.ly/Z6UU307GVuY. While this ruling could save students thousands of dollars, it is less significant with the possibility that the DACA program will be discontinued under the Trump administration.
Georgia General Assembly Convenes. The Georgia General Assembly began its 2017 legislative session on January 9. While immigration is primarily a federal issue, Georgia legislators will seek to increase restrictions on immigrants, refugees and other foreign nationals. http://www.myajc.com/news/state–regional-govt–politics/georgia-lawmakers-readying-raft-tough-bills-immigrants-refugees/JOTJhhuKFhnY2npRkdt4iN/?ecmp=newspaper_email&user-access=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJpYXQiOjE0ODM2NTAwMDEsImV4cCI6MTQ4Mzc2NTE5OSwicHJvZHVjdHMiOlt7InBpZCI6Ind3dy5teWFqYy5jb20iLCJleHAiOjE0ODM3NjUxOTksImF1dGhlbiI6ImJ5cGFzcyJ9XX0.DYzOPy_oZ2qBkPpC6gTMnzal0U64AqGaTkpPb9w0_pQ&uuid=CA42305D-4292-49C5-AB9A-829AC42ED786
ICYMI – Resources for Workers and Students. While we wait to see what changes may emerge in immigration law in the coming year, there are resources available to help immigrants know their rights. See CLINIC publications explaining rights for students https://cliniclegal.org/resources/know-your-rights-students and workers https://cliniclegal.org/resources/know-your-rights-workers.
ICYMI – National Migration Week Is Coming. National Migration Week is January 8 – 14, 2017. Please use this USCCB Justice for Immigrants toolkit in your parishes and other communities. http://justiceforimmigrants.org/2016site/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/NMW-2017-Toolkit.pdf
Let us Join Together in Prayer for a Safe and Happy New Year!
Resources for Workers and Students. While we wait to see what changes may emerge in immigration law in the coming year, there are resources available to help immigrants know their rights. See CLINIC publications explaining rights for students https://cliniclegal.org/resources/know-your-rights-students and for workers https://cliniclegal.org/resources/know-your-rights-workers.
National Migration Week Is Coming. National Migration Wek will be January 8 – 14, 2017, Make us of this USCCB Justice for Immigrants toolkit in parishes and other communities http://www.justiceforimmigrants.org/documents/NMW-2017-Toolkit_000.pdf.
New Immigration Facility May be Coming to Georgia. GEO, a provider of private prison services, announced that it has contracted to operate a new immigration detention center in Folkston, Georgia. The operation will be housed in an existing 780 bed facility in Folkston, Georgia. http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20161219005621/en/GEO-Group-Announces-Contract-780-Beds-Existing#.WFkA2ssbEds.email.
Breaking News – USCCB Announces New Bishops Working Group in Anticipation of Immigration Changes. The new bishops working group will look at what is being done pastorally in U.S. dioceses and will share best practices with bishops throughout the country. Details at: http://www.catholicnews.com/services/englishnews/2016/usccb-forms-working-group-to-monitor-needs-of-migrants-refugees.cfm. Archbishop Jose Gomez, archbishop of Los Angeles will chair the working group. See also comments by Cardinal Blaise Cupich of Chicago. http://www.catholicnewworld.com/column/archbishop-cupich/2016/12/11/us-bishops-to-immigrants-we-stand-with-you.
“Am I not with you, I who am your mother?” This Our Lady to St. Juan Diego. Celebrating the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, bishops across the country addressed the increased concern for immigrants and refugees. “We might be poor, but we’ll never be alone,” said Bishop Mario Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington, as he reflected on the Holy Family with people in the pews. some who were likely facing similar situations. https://cnstopstories.com/2016/12/15/after-a-year-of-setbacks-uncertainty-looms-for-immigrants-in-2017/
Likewise, Bishop Stephen Blair invoked Our Lady of Guadalupe: https://togoforth.org/2016/12/12/bishop-blaire-of-stockton-issues-strong-statement-on-feast-of-our-lady-of-guadalupe/
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio spoke of the security needed for all. https://www.ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/brooklyn-bishop-pledges-support-dioceses-immigrants-against-deportations?utm_source=CLINIC+Mail&utm_campaign=e21acd62e3-CLINIC_Daily_12-12-16&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_a33179621a-e21acd62e3-279160521
ICYMI — All Students Have Rights. At a time when anti-immigrant behavior is appearing in schools (https://www.splcenter.org/20161128/trump-effect-impact-2016-presidential-election-our-nations-schools#executive), a good source of information about the rights of students is found at: https://cliniclegal.org/resources/know-your-rights-students This booklet can be shared with parents as well as school administrators.
Happy Christmas! Feliz Navidad! With family and friends over the upcoming weeks, we pray in particular for peoples around the world who are forced to flee their homes.
Prayer Reminder. December 12 is designated as a day of prayer and solidarity with families of immigrants. Throughout Advent and the New Year, a good way to pray for migrant peoples is by praying the rosary with Our Lady of Guadalupe and Families of Immigrants. http://www.usccb.org/news/2016/16-168.cfm
A Catholic Way Forward. In this time of transition, Catholic leaders consistently point forward in a way forward that serves humanity consistent with our beliefs. https://cnstopstories.com/2016/12/05/a-way-forward-on-immigration/ ; http://stcloudvisitor.org/2016/09/14/catholics-urged-reject-partisan-views-migration-heed-gospel-message/ “It’s the work of the church to be a presence and to make available a space for people to feel welcome,” said Bishop Flores of Brownsville.
All Students Have Rights. At a time when anti-immigrant behavior is appearing in schools (https://www.splcenter.org/20161128/trump-effect-impact-2016-presidential-election-our-nations-schools#executive), a good source of information about the rights of students is found at: https://cliniclegal.org/resources/know-your-rights-students This booklet can be shared with parents as well as school administrators.
Family Detention Centers. A state court judge in Austin, Texas, ruled that the state could not license detention centers as childcare facilities — a victory for common sense. This decision impacts two federal immigration detention centers in Dilley and Karnes City, Texas, which incarcerate migrant and refugee women and children. These facilities are located within the Archdiocese of San Antonio. Their archbishop reacted with approval, but was dismayed when the state appealed the decision. See more at: https://www.archsa.org/news/statement-of-archbishop-gustavo-garcia-siller-msps-on-state-district-judge#sthash.GbvmnhZ4.dpuf. CLINIC and other immigration advocates have opposed these prisons while seeking to help those detained receive fair treatmen