Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 351

St. Josephine Bakhita pray for us. Monday, February 8, is the memorial of St. Josephine Bakhita who was born in Sudan, kidnapped, sold into slavery and eventually reached Italy where she ultimately gained freedom. She joined a religious order of sisters where she was known for simplicity, humility and a constant smile even in suffering. She died in 1947 and was canonized in 2000. She is patron saint of trafficking victims. Read her story.

Presidential executive orders (continued). Tuesday, February 2, President Biden signed three executive orders related to immigration policy. One executive order established a task force to identify and reunite families separated at the United States-Mexico border under the policy of the previous administration. The second executive order will focus on stemming the flow of migrants from Central America by providing aid to the region to support initiatives combating corruption and revive the Central American minors program that had been ended by the Trump administration and allows certain at-risk youths to live in the US. That order will require review of the “Remain in Mexico” policy. The third order reestablishes the Task Force on New Americans and initiates a review of the naturalization process. These executive orders are only a first step and may seem far away from people in Georgia. Many in the state have relatives and friends caught in the policies of the Trump administration, but may now see help on the horizon. While some of our brothers and sisters may have renewed hope, they still need support as the implementation of these policies will take time.

Asking for patience. With thousands of asylum seekers waiting in Mexico to present their cases for asylum, the Biden administration asks for patience as it tries to find a way to adjudicate these cases even tough many advocates raise concerns about the suffering caused by delay. Read more here.

Bishops’ conference welcomed executive orders. On behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Mario Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and chair of the USCCB committee on migration said: “We welcome these executive orders on migration, which will help to ensure that immigrants and refugees are treated humanely and in accordance with their God-given dignity…. We also offer our assistance and cooperation on these urgent matters of human life and dignity.” Read the complete statement here.

ICYMI – Promoting citizenship and naturalization. The last few years have seen more and more restrictive policies related to naturalization. The Biden administration is now considering changes. It may be time for those eligible for citizenship to seriously consider the step. See materials prepared by the New Americans Campaign and consult an experienced immigration attorney to find out your eligibility.