Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Developments. On November 6, the United States Homeland Security (DHS) canceled immigration benefits for nearly 5,300 Nicaraguan nationals who are in the United States, but extended benefits for 86,000 Hondurans. The Trump Administration gave Nicaraguan TPS recipients 12 months after the country designation’s end date to arrange their affairs and either leave the country or obtain legal status through a different visa category. Now, Nicaraguans under TPS will be allowed to remain and work in the country until January 5, 2019. Since the Administration did not make a determination on Honduras’s TPS designation, it is automatically extended by six months, and will now expire on July 5, 2018. Click here for more information.
After January 5, 2019, Nicaraguan TPS beneficiaries who stay in the United States and do not get a different visa will revert to their previous immigration status. The large majority of the affected beneficiaries, if not all, would become undocumented. Both Honduran and Nicaraguan TPS holders should seek legal advice from competent immigration attorneys as soon as possible to protect themselves and their families. Parishes should also seek ways to give pastoral support to families in their midst.
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians. The Administration has not made a decision on TPS for Haitians and it has until November 23, 2018 to do so. This decision will affect 50,000 people living in the United States.
Resources from CLINIC Regarding Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Click here to read more information and concerns from Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) regarding TPS for Nicaraguans and Hondurans. CLINIC also has more information on all TPS holders.
ICYMI – Training for Parish Leaders. The Coalition of Refugee Service Agencies (CRSA), of which Catholic Charities Atlanta is a member, is hosting an advocacy training for faith partners on November 16 at 10:00 a.m. This training will help faith leaders learn more about the recent executive orders affecting refugees and how to best advocate for our refugee communities and the agencies who serve them. The training will be virtual (via a conference call) with materials provided by email. Please help us identify a leader to participate in this training and lead refugee advocacy efforts for your parish. Please RSVP to Hope Jensen from CRSA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) from Honduras, El Salvador and Haiti. Archbishop Wilton Gregory has issued a statement requesting that President Trump extend temporary protected status (TPS) related to Honduras, El Salvador and Haiti for 180 days. Currently, there are approximately 237,000 refugees from those countries in the United States. The report from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to which the Archbishop referred in his statement can be read in full here. These are the reasons why extended TPS is important, particularly for Hondurans living in the United States.
New Resource for Family Preparedness. There is a new legal preparedness guide available in English and Spanish to assist families in preparing for the possibility that a parent will suddenly be threatened with deportation. This guide contains useful information for undocumented individuals and those helping them.
Training Information From Catholic Charities Atlanta. The Coalition of Refugee Service Agencies (CRSA), of which Catholic Charities Atlanta is a member, is hosting an advocacy training for faith partners on November 16th at 10 am. This training is aimed at helping faith leaders learn more about the recent executive orders affecting refugees and how to best advocate for our refugee communities and the agencies who serve them. The training will be virtual (via a conference call) with materials provided by email. Please help us identify a leader to participate in the call and lead refugee advocacy efforts for your parish. Those who wish to participate may RSVP to Hope Jensen from CRSA: email@example.com.
In-State Tuition for DACA Students. The Georgia Court of Appeals has reversed a lower court decision that would have allow DACA students to pay significantly lower tuition at state colleges and universities. The plaintiffs will appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court.
#ShareJourney Is Here! For a strong start to the Holy Father’s “Share the Journey” campaign, please join Archbishop Gregory for a multi-faith prayer gathering on October 11 at 10:00 a.m. in Angora Hall, Clarkston Community Center, 3701 College Avenue, Clarkston, GA 30021. For more information, visit the Archdiocese of Atlanta website, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 404-920-7897.
How Will You or Your Parish Celebrate National Migration Week? Local suggestions will come in soon for the 2018 National Migration Week (January 7-13). The theme is “Many Journeys, One Family.” In the meantime, Justice for Immigrants (JFI), sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, is offering an informative webinar with suggestions on October 19. Find details on their website.
ICYMI – Haitians With Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Take Note. TPS is a legal designation that allows citizens of certain countries to remain in the United States on a temporary basis because of serious problems in their home country. The Administration must renew the status for each country every six to eighteen months. Fifty nine thousand (59,000) Haitians have held TPS status since the catastrophic earthquake in 2010. Although many believe that Haiti has not yet recovered sufficiently for those with TPS in the United States to return, the Administration has announced that status will end in January 2018. Unless the Administration changes course by November, Haitians with TPS will lose their status and have to return to Haiti. Haitians with TPS should review their options and seek competent legal advice as soon as possible.
Late Breaking News — Share the Journey Campaign Is Local. On September 27, 2017, Pope Francis will launch a campaign called “Share the Journey,” which is aimed at increasing support and solidarity for immigrants and refugees. While this campaign is international in scope, many other faith communities will join the Archdiocese of Atlanta to implement this campaign. Archbishop Gregory will initiate “Share the Journey” by bringing together other faith leaders for prayer to support immigrants and refugees. All are invited to this prayer event on October 11, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at a location in Clarkston, Georgia. More information will be forthcoming, but please save the date.
Any Current DACA Recipients whose benefit expires before March 5, 2018 MUST file for DACA renewal by October 5, 2017. Please contact an immigration attorney immediately to determine if you are eligible.
What To Do As DACA Ends. Trying to help a DACA recipient figure out the next step? Remind them that nothing takes the place of good legal advice from a qualified immigration attorney. Also, click here for a flow chart of next steps and find additional information on the CLINIC website.
St. Frances Cabrini was an Italian religious sister who became a naturalized United States citizen, and later the first United States citizen to be a canonized saint. Pope Francis recently expressed his admiration for her to the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, a religious community that she founded: “I assure you of my remembrance and prayers with deep affection, both because I have always known the figure of Mother Cabrini and because of the special concern I devote to the cause of immigrants.”
ICYMI – Be Prepared to Protect Family Members! In the wake of the Trump Administration’s rescission of the DACA program, rumors continue to swirl – both good that legislation is forthcoming, and bad that deportations will increase. Take time TODAY to prepare or help others prepare for the possibility of a sudden departure.
Pope Francis Offers Important Concrete Points Related to Refugees. Pope Francis has released his statement in anticipation of next year’s World Day of Migrants and Refugees, originally established by Pope St. Pius X. More than just a call for dialogue, the pope offered a series of concrete proposals for world leaders to consider when drafting two forthcoming United Nations’ agreements. The Holy Father made it clear that the collective and arbitrary expulsion of migrants and refugees does not resolve the world’s immigrant crisis.
U.S. Bishops Continue Their Concern for Immigrants. Catholic bishops across the country continue to speak against unjust proposals related to immigrants and refugees. The California Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote against legislation that would ease deportations that divide families and support legislation that balances the need for security with the protection of human dignity.
“Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” or DACA. The DACA program has allowed legal protection for 600,000-800,000 young people brought into the United States as children. The Trump administration still considers ending the program, but Catholic bishops continue to advocate in support of the program.
ICYMI – If You Read Nothing Else About Race and Immigration, read Archbishop Gregory’s interview with CRUX. Immigration and the race problem are really two sides of the same coin – whether the United States wants to be one, inclusive country or not. As Archbishop Gregory explained, “If we think that we can solve this (immigration) problem simply by focusing on race, we will leave the head of this dragon unaffected.”
Why Support Extension of Temporary Protective Status (TPS) for Haitians in the United State? Political and religious leaders continue to ask the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to extend temporary protective status (TPS) for Haitians who have fled to the United States because of the devastation in Haiti following the earthquake in 2011 and Hurricane Matthew in 2014. The moral case for this position is set forth in a letter from religious leaders and organizations, including Catholic Legal Immigration network (CLINIC) and Catholic Charities from many dioceses. Take a few minutes to register your beliefs with the Department of Homeland Security.
Increasing Immigration Enforcement. It is no secret that the Administration is increasing the emphasis of prosecution on those seen as violating immigration law. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently released a memorandum outlining laws that may be used against violators. More detailed training is available in a CLINIC webinar.
ICYMI – CLINIC CONVENING. Anyone (particularly legal service providers) interested in learning more about immigration law or further developing skills, is encouraged to investigate the Catholic Legal Immigration Network annual convening, which will be held in Atlanta on May 24 – 26 at the Westin Peachtree Plaza. This is an extraordinary event for all skill and interest levels.