Category Archives: Articles

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 296

Role of religion in lives of resettled refugees. Refugees who leave their home country, pass through resettlement camps and finally reach a place where they can peacefully resettle, must often rely on their faith. Yet there have been few studies on how religion influence refugees. Princeton University and USCCB Migration Resettlement Services teamed up to offer a symposium on the subject. See a report on the presentations.

Stay up to date on immigration news, alerts and resources. Justice for Immigrants offers a “week in review,” action alerts, webinar information and more. Take two minutes today to go to http://justiceforimmigrants.org  and sign up. You won’t regret being better informed.

Human trafficking can show up anywhere, but immigrant communities are especially vulnerable. Be alert for signs of human trafficking in your community and speak out against trafficking. The USCCB provides a variety of useful information. Take time to educate yourself and your vulnerable communities. “Human trafficking is a crime against humanity. We must unite our efforts to free victims and stop this crime.” Pope Francis.

ICYMI – 2020 federal election year leads to citizenship applications. As a presidential election year approaches, many long-time lawful residents start to give serious consideration to the benefits if United States citizenship. Those working with non-citizens can encourage them to begin the process. Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) offers ideas to help move those green card holders toward that goal.

November 12 is an important date for D.A.C.A. On November 12, the United States Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case that will dramatically affect the lives of 800,000 Dreamers who came to the United States as children and have qualified for protection under the Deferred Action Child Arrival (DACA) program. The Court could determine whether the program can continue or must cease. A decision is not likely until late spring 2020. Those eligible for renewal of their registration should promptly take action to preserve their registration without waiting for a Supreme Court decision.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 295

2020 federal election year leads to citizenship applications. As a presidential election year approaches, many long-time lawful residents start to give serious consideration to the benefits if United States citizenship. Those working with non-citizens can encourage them to begin the process. Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) offers ideas to help move those green card holders toward that goal. 

Everyone has legal rights in the workplace. Federal and state civil rights laws protect all workers from discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, color, gender, religion or national origin. All workers have the right to be safe in the workplace. Download CLINIC’s guide to rights of immigrants in the workplace, available in both Spanish and English.

National Migration Week – January 5 – 11, 2020. The theme for the upcoming National Migration Week is “Promoting a Church and a World for All.” On October 30, Justice for Immigrants is offering an informative webinar with suggestions for celebrating the week. Find more information here.

CLINIC and others to file lawsuit challenging proposed rules. As part of its mission to embrace the stranger, CLINIC advocates for regulations which help immigrants. As the administration increases burdens on those seeking citizenship, CLINIC, on behalf of the Catholic bishops, challenges those burdens. Under current policy, immigrants are typically not eligible to naturalize until they have lived as lawful permanent residents in the United States for five years, speak English, understand U.S. history and civics, and demonstrate a commitment to the U.S. Constitution. There is also a $725 application fee for which 40 percent of applicants need a waiver. CLINIC’s proposed lawsuit will challenge the new, more prohibitive standards for obtaining a waiver. Read more here.

Justice for Immigrants updates. In 2004, the U.S. Catholic bishops joined the Justice for Immigrants Campaign (JFI) to unite and mobilize a growing network of Catholic institutions, individuals, and other persons of goodwill in support of immigration reform. Keep up with all that JFI offers at its website: https://justiceforimmigrants.org/

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 294

Galvanizing State Support for Refugees. Refugees contribute to life in the United States on economic, social, cultural and other many levels but the Trump Administration is seeking to drastically limit the number of refugees allowed to enter the country and allowing state governors to prohibit federal refugee resettlement programs in a state. See how Justice for Immigrants can help you support refugees resettling in Georgia.

How Can You Organize Your Parish to Welcome Immigrants and Refugees? How can you and your parish follow Jesus’ teaching to welcome the stranger? If you want to follow that teaching, you need a plan. Read about the POWIR program from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and more importantly, see how you can put it to work in your community.

Lawyers, Paralegals and Others Counseling Immigrants, Beware! Criminal charges and convictions can have significant effects on immigrants even if the criminal activity is minor. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring the immigration of charges or convictions. CLINIC is offering a four part webinar on the immigration consequences of crimes. The consequences may not be what you think. 

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 293

What Does It Mean That It Is Harder To Claim Asylum? Asylum is a legal right and there are procedures to claim and prove the right to asylum in the United States, but the Administration is making procedures more difficult and circumventing procedures already in effect. See, for example, a report from the Jesuit sponsored Kino Border Initiative.

Pope Francis in Words and Actions. Pope Francis frequently speaks in support of migrating people. Among thirteen new cardinals created by the Holy Father, there is Michael Czerny, S.J., undersecretary of the Section for Refugees and Migrants in the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. In selecting the new Cardinal Czerny, the Pope brings into his Senate of close advisors a priest who has long shared the Holy Father’s concern. Read how Cardinal Czerny has displayed his devotion to protection of migrants as well as the environment through symbols on his seal and pectoral cross.

Teens In A New Country? All teens have issues needing attention but teens migrating from other countries have special issues in adapting. If you know families with these teens share the “Raising Teens in a New Country: A Guide for the Whole Family” from Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services.  

Religious Workers May Be Adversely Affected By New Public Charge Rules. The Administration’s new rules restricting lawful status for persons who do not have sufficient assets may be used adversely against religious brothers and sisters who have taken a vow of poverty and can own no assets. Read an article by Sister Sally Duffy, SC to obtain more information.

World Day For Migrants and Refugees. In a special ceremony at the Vatican, Pope Francis unveiled a new sculpture depicting migrants and refugees with an angel in their midst calling to mind the Letter to the Hebrew: “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” (Hebrews 13:2)

ICYMI — Rapid Response to Potential Raids. Keep clients alert with the CLINIC Rapid Response Toolkit to help protect your family.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 292

Administration Proposes Low Refugee Limits; Advocates Respond. For this fiscal year beginning October 1, the federal government has set a maximum number of refugees that will be admitted for resettlement in the United States during the year. The Trump Administration is proposing a maximum of 18,000 for fiscal 2020, the lowest number since the program began in 1980. On behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Joe Vasquez, chair of the committee on Migration and Refugee Services condemned the historically low number.  There are expected to be 386,000 refugee and asylum claims.

Catholic Charities Atlanta and others who resettle refugees in Atlanta see the direct impact of the proposed limitation in Georgia.

World Day For Migrants and Refugees. By the time you read this the World Day for Migrants 2019 will be over, but the needs remain. See what Catholic leaders and organizations have been doing and will be doing to address these increasing needs. There is still time to reach out to our migrant and refugee brothers and sisters.

ICYMI – Encourage Naturalized Citizenship. Are there long-time residents in your community who should apply for citizenship? Here are recommendations to “push naturalization.” New citizens are benefited and the community is benefited.  There are free citizenship clinics available.

Rapid Response to Potential Raids. Keep clients alert with the CLINIC Rapid Response Toolkit to help protect your family.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 291

World Day of Advocacy for Migrants and Refugees. Since 1914, the Catholic Church has been celebrating World Day of Migrants and Refugees. Pope Francis has designated Sunday, September 29 as the day to remember migrants and refugees and he has chosen the theme “It is not just about migrants” to help us recognize our blind spots and ensure that no one remains excluded from society, whether a longtime resident or someone newly-arrived. Learn more and download the official toolkit here.

Did You Miss Citizenship Week? No problem. Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) has a webpage and a toolkit full of information with all the reasons why someone should seek citizenship and the ways to go about it. Now is an excellent time to consider citizenship for those eligible.

Need an Explanation of the “Return to Mexico” Policy? The Administration has adopted a policy of returning asylum seekers at the southern border to await determination of reasonable fear necessary for asylum. Here is an explanation and here is what can happen.  

Deprivation of Medical Care for Children in Custody. Not only are children in immigration custody at the border separated from their parents, they are often deprived on essential medical care. See the complaint filed by CLINIC and others to understand the issues.

Jesuits leaders increase emphasis on supporting immigrants. The provincials of the Jesuit provinces in the United States and Canada have issued a statement encouraging all Jesuits and their clerical and lay associates to expand their advocacy for immigrants and refugees.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 290

Encourage Naturalized Citizenship. Are there long-time residents in your community who should apply for citizenship? Here are recommendations to “push naturalization.” New citizens benefit themselves and the community.  Check out these free citizenship clinics.

Asylum Seekers Beware. The U.S. Supreme Court has given the Trump Administration permission to enforce tougher restriction yet on asylum seekers at the southern border while courts are still reviewing the new policy. The government can now refuse to consider a request for asylum from anyone who failed to apply for it in another country after leaving their own, but before coming to the United States. For example, migrants from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador cannot seek asylum in the U.S. if they didn’t first ask for it in Mexico.

A Cardinal Speaks Out and Leads a March. Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, NJ, recently led a procession of Catholic people protesting the detention of children and families in jail-like facilities. Many are fleeing violence in their home countries only to find these facilities.

It May Be Old, But It Is Still Good Information. The toolkit on human slavery and migration is still relevant. Slavery for sexual and labor services remains among us. Use the toolkit to identify victims and take action. Undocumented and those who do not speak English are among the most vulnerable. 

ICYMI – Rapid Response to Potential Raids. Do not forget the CLINIC Rapid Response Toolkit to help protect your family.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 289

Archbishop Wilton Gregory. From Washington, DC, Archbishop Gregory continues to speak out in opposition to the Administration detaining families and children at the southern border in a statement issued in conjunction with a procession of over 400 Catholic people in Newark, NJ, led by Cardinal Joseph Tobin. Archbishop Gregory pointed out more humane methods for keeping track of people apprehended by ICE. 

How Can This Be A Surprise? A government report recently informed that migrating children separated from their parents display serious mental health problems, including post-traumatic stress syndrome. Since the Administration instituted its “zero tolerance” policy, over 2500 children have been separated from their parents.

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) Update. TPS is a life-saving immigration status that allows foreign nationals to remain in the U.S. if during the time they were in the U.S. something catastrophic happened in their country of origin preventing their safe return – for example war, famine, natural disaster, or epidemic. TPS allows people to work legally and be protected from deportation. Similarly, DED allows foreign nationals to be protected from deportation and have the opportunity to work. DED is granted through the president’s foreign relations power.  See a summary of pertinent information for TPS and DED. Information changes frequently so it is important for affected individuals and representatives to check regularly.

ICYMI – Rapid Response to Potential Raids. Do not forget the CLINIC Rapid Response Toolkit to help protect your family.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 288

The Administration continues to chip away at eliminating or reducing programs to which immigrants are lawfully entitled. Anyone relying on these programs needs to remain vigilant.

Deferred Action Relief. The Administration has changed the process for various types of non-military “deferred action,” a temporary relief from deportation for immigrants facing special and often life-threatening circumstances. This policy shift, which occurred without public notice, places vulnerable individuals at risk of deportation and even death; violates principles of fundamental fairness; and will deter many families from pursuing vital immigration relief. Note that this change does not affect specially identified programs, including Deferred Action Childhood Arrival (DACA) or the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). For more details, please click here.

“U” Visa Processing. Witnesses to serious crimes are eligible for a “U” Visa to keep them available to prosecutors who need their testimony. The Administration has changed policy that would allow those witnesses to avoid deportation while the application for the visa is pending. The new policy would now allow deportation while that application is pending. As a result of the change, undocumented immigrants are less likely to report crimes or assist law enforcement officers for fear of deportation.

Public Charge Rules. The Administration has proposed amended regulations that will make it much more difficult for those who were seeking citizenship or lawful permanent residency if they need or are likely to need public assistance. CLINIC and other advocacy groups have filed suit seeking a ban on the changes. “No one should have to choose between seeking citizenship or feeding their family.”

Rapid Response to Potential Raids. Do not forget the CLINIC Rapid Response Toolkit to help protect your family.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 287

Flores Settlement Agreement. In 1997, after twelve years of litigation, the federal government reached an agreement with public interest parties representing immigrant children in detention to limit the time minor children could be incarcerated and provided for their safe delivery to parents or caretakers. The Trump administration has now issued regulations to effectively dissolve the settlement and allow unaccompanied children to remain incarcerated longer. The USCCB and other agencies have spoken out against these changes that hurt children. See the recent statement from Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, chair of the Committee on Migration where he condemns these new rules. Multiple faith leaders expressed similar opposition, including the Catholic Legal Immigration Network.

The Immigration Law is Complex – Don’t Do It Alone. Choosing a qualified immigration lawyer is important because your immigration status depends on it. The vast majority of immigrants and refugees find better results when they are properly represented. Here are guidelines to help find the legal advocate you need.

What is the “Remain in Mexico” policy and why is It Important? You have heard the discussions of the policy which has left thousands of migrants camping in northern Mexico for months. In this article, learn more about it and the reasons for opposing this policy.

ICYMI – Want More In-depth Information on Immigration Topics? The Immigration law is complex, but Justice for Immigrants offers webinars to explain the issues. If you missed a webinar or want to hear it again, JFI maintains a library of past webinars for later viewing.

ICYMI — Your Rights!  The ICE raids in Mississippi demonstrate the importance of preparation. The CLINIC Rapid Response toolkit provides important resources for anyone who may be in danger of detention. Study the materials before you need them! https://cliniclegal.org/resources/know-your-rights