Category Archives: Articles

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 192

Sorrow and Mourning Flee Away: Pastoral Letter on Migration to the People of God in the Diocese of El Paso. Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso, Texas issued a passionate pastoral letter on immigration. Under Bishop Seitz, the Diocese of El Paso has generously responded to the needs of countless migrating brothers and sisters seeking safety, especially mothers and children. Please take time to read this excellent letter. This may be the single most extensive pastoral letter on immigration since the Catholic bishops of the United States and Mexico issued Strangers No Longer: Together on a Journey of Hope in 2003. (Note that Bishop Seitz’s letter is published in both English and Spanish on the El Paso diocesan website).

Administration Travel Ban. The Supreme Court continues the convoluted saga of the Administration travel ban on immigrants from six Muslim-majority countries. The travel ban went into effect June 29, 2017. It restricts travel from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days, and limits all refugee admissions for 120 days. In June, the Supreme Court allowed the ban to take effect, but also allowed an exception for close relatives of U.S. citizens and refugees with direct connection to resettlement agencies. Contrary to the desires of the Administration, the Court continued the exception for close relatives, including grandparents. Then the entire case returned to the Court of Appeals for additional consideration. As a result, anyone affected by these administrative actions must contact a qualified immigration attorney for protection.

ICYMI – Refugees and Citizenship. With all the threats to immigrants and refugees, it may be time for those who are eligible to explore the possibilities of citizenship.


Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 191

Bishops continue to speak against anti-immigrant policies. Read Bishop Mark Seitz reflection on the Gospel response to those who want to deport DACA registrants.

Reports from Washington Suggest More Anti-immigrant Policies May Be On the Horizon. Federal legislation and policy changes are hard to predict and many predictions – good or bad – do not happen. Administration leaders are talking about the possibility of ending or further reducing the scope of DACA registrations. Nevertheless, reports are creating concern. There is opposition to legal immigration, as well. Read more here. President Trump sends mixed messages on the subject of DACA. It is not a time for panic but those questioning their options should seek competent legal assistance.

Refugees and Citizenship. With all the threats to immigrants and refugees, many are eligible for citizenship and this may be time to explore those possibilities.

Courts Restrict Deportation of Iraqis. As the Administration works to deport Iraqis, one court has temporarily halted deportations so that the matter can be studied more closely. More details here.

ICYMI – KNOW YOUR REFUGEE RIGHTS: “BE PREPARED, NOT SCARED” Refugees, immigrants and all others should be aware of their rights when dealing with the government officials. CLINIC and Justice for Immigrants publishes guides to help.  JFI promises that more aids are coming in additional languages.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 190

Hearings Required Before Minors Can Be Detained. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in an important decision opposed by the Administration, has ruled that minor children have a right to a hearing before an independent judge before they can be placed in a detention facility. Read more here.

Supreme Court Temporarily Upheld Part of Administration Travel Ban. The United States Supreme Court will hear arguments on the travel ban issued by the Administration in the fall of 2017 but, until it reaches a final decision, the Court permits entry of refugees “who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” This means that the executive order’s prohibition on entry into the United States may not be applied to people with “bona fide” connections to the United States. Refugees who can establish such ties are not subject to the entry ban even if the total number of refugees exceeds the 50,000 annual limit that the executive order had imposed. However, all others from the six listed countries and refugees who do not have such connections to the United States are subject to the temporary travel ban. See a discussion of the major points relevant to those affected here. As always, those who may be affected should consult a qualified immigration attorney with their individual situation.

KNOW YOUR REFUGEE RIGHTS: “BE PREPARED, NOT SCARED” Refugees, immigrants and all others should be aware of their rights when dealing with the government officials. CLINIC and Justice for Immigrants publishes these guides to help.  JFI promises that more aids are coming in additional languages.

New Americans Campaign in Atlanta. Atlanta has the second fastest-growing immigrant population in the country, after Baltimore and thirteen percent of Atlanta immigrants are eligible to apply for citizenship, according to Luisa Cardona, deputy director of immigrant affairs for the Atlanta Mayor’s Office. Yet many eligible immigrants here have not taken that step. In response, a group of local community organizations has joined the nonpartisan national network New Americans Campaign with a common goal: to support as many immigrants and refugees as they can to become U.S. citizens. Read more about the campaign and opportunities to explore citizenship possibilities here.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 189

ICYMI – Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians. The Trump Administration has extended temporary protected status for Haitians for six months (until January 2018) but re-registration is required. If you are currently registered for TPS or work with those having this status, please remind them to re-register before July 24. Click here for details.

Free Citizenship Clinic. Do you know a lawful permanent resident who could become a citizen and exercise all citizenship rights? The Consulate General of Mexico is offering a free clinic on Saturday, June 17th from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. at the Consulate General of Mexico, 1700 Chantilly Drive NE, Atlanta, GA 30324. Contact the Consulate for more information.

Catholic Church Leaders Speak Out.  Catholic bishops continue to speak on the moral dimensions of immigration and the need for compassion. Read this article for more details.

Supreme Court Appeal. While the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has continued prohibition against enforcement of the Administration’s travel ban, the Trump Administration has filed an appeal with the Supreme Court.

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Update 9

House of Representatives.  The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops asks that we use the August congressional recess time to publicly advocate for immigration reform and there are homily helps, draft bulletin inserts, and updated background papers on key issues at the Justice for Immigrants website.

While Catholic bishops continue to advocate for the comprehensive immigration reform, they also work for passage of important parts of the reform, especially those sections related to children and youth. During the past week, Archbishop Jose Gomez, archbishop of Los Angeles and chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, speaking on behalf of the bishops of the United States, offered testimony supporting legislation that would allow a faster and more efficient path to citizenship for young people brought to the United States as children.

Archdiocesan Immigration Reform Implementation Task Force. The Archdiocesan Justice and Peace Ministry will offer a program on “Immigration Reform: The Call to Participation” at St. Andrew’s Church on September 14 to present an authentically Catholic approach to immigration reform. In addition, a video and handouts from the Task Force’s June 19 presentation are still available on the Georgia Catholic Conference website:

Please take time to contact members of the House of Representatives and ask for support for comprehensive immigration reform. They may be most effectively contacted through the USCCB Justice for Immigrants website at

The website helps identify the correct representative for each individual depending on voting residence.

I can provide additional information on request.