Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 366

Bishops hold summit meeting on church’s response to immigration. On June 1 and 2, a group of United States, Mexican and Central American Catholic bishops joined representatives of the Vatican and immigration service organizations to discuss the best ways to serve migrants departing their homeland and passing through other countries enroute to the borders of the United States. The bishops emphasized the importance of treating all with dignity. They also recognized the need for conversion among many Catholics who see immigration as only a political issue, not a moral issue. More reports from the meeting are likely in the future.

National Immigrant Heritage Month. President Joseph Biden has issued a proclamation designating June as National Immigrant Heritage Month. In addition to caking upon all to learn their own heritage, the president “directed federal agencies to rebuild trust in our immigration system that has been lost, to reach out to underserved communities unable to access the opportunities our nation offers them, to offer again a welcoming humanitarian hand to the persecuted and oppressed, and to reduce barriers to achieving citizenship and equality.” Read the full declaration here.

Lawyers in immigration court. The Administration has recently expanded the availability of pro bono lawyers in civil cases and immigration advocates are seeking such representation for defendants in immigration courts. Immigration law can be quite complicated and parties without adequate representation are at a dramatic disadvantage against government lawyers. Defendants have a right to legal representation but the government has no obligation to provide counsel for those who cannot afford that representation.

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