Category Archives: Articles

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 343

Advocacy in 2021. Most elections are over, but the work of advocacy lies before us. Learn why we advocate, how we advocate and on what issues we advocate in a webinar offered by the Archdiocese of Atlanta Justice and Peace Ministries and the Georgia Catholic Conference on Thursday, December 10, at 7 p.m. All are welcome. See further information here.

New administration will bring changes to immigration. As the Trump administration leaves office and the Biden administration takes over the executive branch there will be changes to immigration law and practices. The media is full of speculation, but the landscape is by no means clear. Help those in need of legal assistance find competent immigration attorneys and see CLINIC’s resources for avoiding notarios and other scammers.

Journey with black immigrants. Advent is a time to reflect on holy journeys.  Join Interfaith Immigration Coalition for weekly devotionals that include scripture, a short reflection, stories and opportunities to take action and engage in further reflection.

Border Protection and Migrant Realities.” Listen to direct service providers on the southern border as Justice for Immigrants presents a webinar on Monday, November 30, at 3 p.m. Use the direct link: http://bit.ly/Border_Realities

Get more information directly from Justice for Immigrants. Go to http://justiceforimmigrants.org today and fill out the form at the bottom of the page to get the Week in Review, updates on webinars and much more!

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 342

Civic participation. The voting may be over for 2020, but civic participation is an important element for integrating immigrants and refugees into political and social life. Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) has developed a toolkit gathering resources from past and current CLINIC initiatives along with many other resources from the field. See the topical sections here.

#CivilizeIt2020 – Take the pledge. While the voting is completed, it seems even more important that we take the #CivilizeIt2020 pledge for civility, clarity and compassion. No matter how emotions react to the electoral results, pledge to remember the humanity of all persons and the need for surrender to the Lord in all things. “May all Americans recall the necessity of dialogue, civility and humility in this election [and post-election] season,” USCCB Election Intention

COVID-19 infections increase. Infections are increasing in Georgia and across the world. Low-income populations are more susceptible to COVID-19 than the general population. Justice for Immigrants maintains a resource page that is helpful for advocacy as well as medical and social guidance for everyone.

Get more information directly from Justice for Immigrants. Go to http://justiceforimmigrants.org today and fill out the form at the bottom of the page to get the Week in Review, updates on webinars and much more!

Notice: There will be no immigration report on Monday, for November 16.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 341

Congratulations to Cardinal-elect Wilton Gregory! While archbishop of Atlanta, Cardinal-elect Wilton Gregory was a member of the Georgia Catholic Conference and never failed to support the Conference, particularly in advocating for the benefit of migrants and refugees.

Elections are here. Election day is Tuesday, November 3. By the time you are reading this report, early in-person voting will have ended. Mail-in ballots must be received by November 3, thus, it is too late to mail a ballot with the hope having delivered on time. If you have not mailed your ballot, you must deposit it in a ballot drop box or plan on voting in person on Tuesday.

Cap on refugees set. The Trump administration has slashed the number of refugees it will allow to resettle in the United States in the coming year, capping the number at 15,000, a record low in the history of the country’s modern refugee program. The number is divided among refugees fleeing religious persecution, Iraqi refugees who assisted the United States, and refugees from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. While there are thousands in the pipeline, the 2021 cap is the lowest in years. Canada has replaced the United States and the number one country for settling refugees fleeing religious persecution.

Immigration reform is complex. Nevertheless, principles of Catholic social teaching, rooted in the dignity of every person, provide guidance for elections and continuing advocacy.

ICYMI – Justice for Immigrants webinar series. The JFI fall webinar series continues. Previous programs are available on the website and future programs are available live and after the fact. The most recent title is “The Role of Race in Immigration Policy.”

Get more information directly from Justice for Immigrants. Go to http://justiceforimmigrants.org  today and fill out the form at the bottom of the page to get the Week in Review, updates on webinars and much more!

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 340

Elections are here. Early voting and mail-in voting has begun in Georgia. Get up to date information in English and Spanish thanks to St. Thomas Aquinas parish in Alpharetta. Early voting ends on Friday, October 30. Election day is Tuesday, November 3.

Novena for election. In preparing for the election, the United States Conference for Catholic Bishops is offering prayer intentions and an opportunity to join in prayer for the national election. Sign up here.

Justice for Immigrants webinar series. The JFI fall webinar series continues. Previous programs are available on the website and future programs are available live and after the fact. The most recent title is The Role of Race in Immigration Policy.

Comprehensive immigration reform and the path to citizenship. The Catholic bishops of the United States have long supported comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship (not “amnesty”) for undocumented immigrants. Comprehensive reform, however, has fallen from the headlines and certainly no reform will come in the waning days of the current Congress. The fear and pain of the undocumented has not gone away and the issue will need to be addressed in the next Congress. Forbes recently commented on the need to finally fix this longstanding problem. The road to real reform will not be easy but the Catholic bishops will applaud any positive activity, which will alleviate the suffering of many in our midst.

ICYMI — Good research for voting. Elections have consequences in public policy. Prepare for voting with the Civic Participation Toolkit from Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC).

Get more information directly from Justice for Immigrants. Go to http://justiceforimmigrants.org today and fill out the form at the bottom of the page to get the Week in Review, updates on webinars and much more!

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 339

Elections are here. Early voting and mail-in voting has begun in Georgia. Get up to date information in English and Spanish thanks to St. Thomas Aquinas parish in Alpharetta.

Faithful Citizenship. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has again revised and published Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship to guide all people of good will in preparing to vote. The Archdiocese of Atlanta has produced videos on selected Faithful Citizenship issues. Catholic Charities Atlanta CEO Vanessa Russel’s comments on immigration are here.

Good research for voting. Elections have consequences in public policy. Prepare for voting with the Civic Participation Toolkit from Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC).

Prayer for refugees. For forty years, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) has had a mission “to accompany, serve and advocate on behalf of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons, that they may heal, learn and determine their own future.” Join JRS in prayer with a downloadable prayer card in three languages.

ICYMI – How can you support migrants in time of COVID-19? COVID-19 affects migrants and refugees in the United States and around the world. Justice for Immigrants (JFI) has shared ways to support them. See their archives for this and other webinars saved for continued use.JFI also continues updating its COVID-19 resource page.

Get more information directly from Justice for Immigrants. Go to http://justiceforimmigrants.org today and fill out the form at the bottom of the page to get the Week in Review, updates on webinars and much more!

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 338

How can you support migrants in time of COVID-19? COVID-19 impacts migrants and refugees in the United States and around the world. Justice for Immigrants (JFI) has shared ways to support them. See their archives for this and other webinars saved for continued use. JFI also continues updating its COVID-19 resource page.

October is the month of the Holy Rosary. The Church encourages re-dedication to praying the rosary this month. Use JFI’s rosary for vulnerable migrant peoples as they look toward winter where many are held in refugee camps or makeshift detention centers.

Black Africans face problems in seeking asylum. Persecuted black Africans seek asylum in the United States by traveling to Mexico as a portal into the United States, bur often find themselves caught in Mexican detention centers. See more information about this underreported problem.

Please pray for Bishop Mark Seitz. Bishop Seitz of El Paso, Texas, has been a tireless advocate for migrants at the border and those who have entered the United States. Bishop Seitz has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and is quarantined at home. Read more here.

Get more information directly from Justice for Immigrants. Go to http://justiceforimmigrants.org today and fill out the form at the bottom of the page to get the Week in Review, updates on webinars and much more!

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 337

Fee increase blocked. A federal district judge has preliminarily blocked the Administration from increasing fees for people applying for family and employment-based visas, asylum and U.S. citizenship, in a case filed on behalf of Catholic Legal Immigration Network and seven other plaintiffs. The increases would have made it more difficult for many individuals to obtain immigration benefits to which they were entitled. Anna Gallagher, CLINIC executive director, called the increases “an affront to our Catholic value of helping the poor, for when we serve them, we serve our Lord.”

Foreign born priests fill need in the United States. We in the United States are blessed by many priests who have come to share their ministry. While he was bishop of Savannah, Archbishop Hartmayer has facilitated the orientation of foreign born priests in order to increase their effectiveness. Read an article describing what he has done.

Census continues. The Administration attempted to end the census process early, at the end of September, but a federal court has required that the census continues through the end of October. The results of the census are used for many purposes, including apportionment of congressional districts and distribution of government benefits. Even the undocumented must be counted. Being counted helps everyone. If you have not responded online or to a census taker at home, go to the official website and follow instructions.

“Pope’s favorite nun” gets award. Sister Norma Pimentel, director of Catholic Charities for the Rio Grande Valley, has been named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Sister Norma ministers to immigrants on both sides of the southern border, especially those living in deplorable conditions in Mexico as they are forced to wait for determination of their asylum status. She wants to use her award as a way of bringing attention to the needs of the people she serves. Read more about Sister Norma and what she calls a humanitarian crisis at the southern border.

Get more information directly from Justice for Immigrants. Go to http://justiceforimmigrants.org today and fill out the form at the bottom of the page to get the Week in Review, updates on webinars and much more!

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 336

Ad Multos Annos! Georgia Welcome to Bishop Stephen D. Parkes, 15th Bishop of Savannah. Bishop Parkes was installed as Bishop of Savannah on Wednesday, September 23, in the Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist. The Mass of Installation included readings in both English and Spanish, and Bishop Parkes spoke in Spanish during part of his prepared remarks. The new Bishop of Savannah will join Archbishop Hartmayer, and Bishops Shlesinger and Konzen, as a member of the Georgia Catholic Conference.

Justice for Immigrants fall webinar series. The JFI webinar series begins Wednesday, September 30, and offers an excellent opportunity to expand your knowledge of immigration and refugee issues around the world from a Catholic faith perspective.

ICYMI – Elections are coming sooner than you think. Tuesday, November 3, is the official general election day for 2020, when voters in Georgia can vote for president and vice president of the United States; as well as two United States senators, one representative from each of fourteen districts and members of the Georgia Senate and House of Representatives. There are also a number of local races throughout Georgia. Keep in mind, however, that voters can vote prior to Tuesday, November 3, by mail-in ballots and in-person voting at designated locations. Monday, October 5, is the deadline for registration of those not already registered. In-person voting begins Monday, October 12. Registered voters can request mail-in ballots now by mail or on line. See details from the Secretary of State.

Bishops continue to support immigrants who are essential workers in time of pandemic. Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington, and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, submitted testimony on Thursday, September 24, to the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship during a hearing titled “Immigrants as Essential Workers During COVID-19.” Recognizing immigrants and refugees as a blessing and as children of God with inherent human dignity, the bishop cited the many contributions they have made, and continue to make, as essential workers in this time of pandemic. The bishop urged Congress to include refugees and immigrants in future pandemic relief legislation.

Get more information directly from Justice for Immigrants. Go to http://justiceforimmigrants.org today and fill out the form at the bottom of the page to get the Week in Review, updates on webinars and much more!

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 335

Elections are coming sooner than you think. Tuesday, November 3, is the official general election day for 2020, when voters in Georgia can vote for president and vice president of the United States; as well as two United States senators, one representative from each of fourteen districts and members of the Georgia Senate and House of Representatives. There are also a number of local races throughout Georgia. Keep in mind, however, that voters can vote prior to Tuesday, November 3, by mail-in ballots and in-person voting at designated locations. Monday, October 5, is the deadline for registration of those not already registered. In-person voting begins Monday, October 12. Registered voters can request mail-in ballots now by mail or on line. See details from the Secretary of State.  

Like Jesus Christ, forced to flee.” Sunday, September 27, is the 106th World Day of Migrants and Refugees. In his message to mark the day, Pope Francis speaks of the necessity of recognizing the face of Christ in every migrant and refugee. He concludes with a prayer following the example of St. Joseph who was forced to flee to Egypt to save the child Jesus.  

Women detained in Georgia and unaccompanied children detained at the southern border. It is difficult to reconcile the teaching of the Holy Father for World Day of Migrants and Refugees with the alleged treatment of women at the Immigration Detention Center in Ocilla and the unaccompanied children along the border. Complaints have been filed alleging hysterectomies performed on women detained in the Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility at Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, Georgia without consent. Since the beginning of the federal reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic, Administration policy has caused the deportation of nearly 9,000 unaccompanied children who sought asylum in the United States. Many have been housed in hotels with minimal supervision.  

ICYMI –Faces of individuals affected by the broken immigration system show those injured. Justice for Immigrants publishes pictures and stories of real individuals. Check out JFI’s “Faces of Migration” campaign.

Get more information directly from Justice for Immigrants. Go to http://justiceforimmigrants.org today and fill out the form at the bottom of the page to get the Week in Review, a series of updates on webinars and much more!

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 334

Pope Francis: ‘Windows,’ not barriers. Speaking of migration and returning to his theme of encounter, Pope Francis said: “Borders, long considered as barriers of division, can instead become ‘windows,’ spaces of mutual knowledge, of mutual enrichment, of communion in diversity; they can become places where models are experimented with to overcome the difficulties that the new arrivals bring for the indigenous communities.”

Action alert supporting refugee resettlement. Every year the president of the United States must set a limit on the number of refugees who will be allowed into the country in the next fiscal year, beginning October 1, but he must first consult with the senate and the house judiciary committees of the congress. Join the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and other religious leaders across the country in asking the committees to support a goal of 95,000 refugees, a number that is more than recent years but less than others. This website gives more information and includes a link to easily allow communication with legislators. 

Be people of prayer! Even when isolated, we can all support migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. Join spiritually through Justice for Immigrants’ rosary for vulnerable migrant peoples.  

ICYMI – Faces of individuals affected by the broken immigration system show those injured. Justice for Immigrants publishes pictures and stories of real individuals. Check out their “Faces of Migration” campaign.   

Get more information directly from Justice for Immigrants. Go to http://justiceforimmigrants.org today and fill out the form at the bottom of the page to get the Week in Review, a series of updates on webinars and much more!