Category Archives: News

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 363

Toward an Ever Wider “We.” This is the theme Pope Francis has chosen for the 107th World Day of Migrants and Refugees scheduled for September 2021. Read the Holy Father’s message for the occasion. The Good Samaritan story is central in Pope Francis encyclical Fratelli Tutti and guides the church and all humanity ‘Towards an ever wider WE’ in our one common home according to Cardinal Czerny during the presentation of the pope’s message.

The administration has increased the number of refugees who can be admitted to the United States. The number of permitted refugees was increased to 62,500 during the current fiscal year. Bishop Mario Dorsonville, chair of the USCCB Committee on Migration, welcomed the increase. The bishop emphasized the inherent dignity of every human being and viewed the Administration’s action as a step toward a restructured resettlement program.

Invitation to the president. With increasing focus on the plight of asylum seekers at the southern border, Sister Norma Pimentel, Director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley and a nationally known advocate for migrating people, has invited President Biden to visit the border to see firsthand the needs of those seeking security on both sides of the border.

ICYMI – Pope Francis: “Vaccines for all.” “Vaccines for all, especially for the most vulnerable and needy of all regions of the planet.” (Pope Francis, January 2021). See Vatican resources for church leaders.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 362

Pope Francis: “Vaccines for all.” “Vaccines for all, especially for the most vulnerable and needy of all regions of the planet.” (Pope Francis, January 2021). See Vatican resources for church leaders.

Want to discuss migration and Fratelli Tutti? Pope Francis discusses migration extensively in his most recent encyclical Fratelli Tutti. Take time to study the Pope’s teaching with helpful resources prepared by Justice for Immigrants.

Are you working with refugee children and their families? Immigrant and refugee children have special needs related to human trafficking, welfare, education, genital cutting, youth development and resettlement. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children Services (BRYCS) provides resources to focus on their needs.  

ICYMI – Pell grants may become available for undocumented students. Pell grants are awarded to low-income students, who can use the funds to pay for postsecondary education at any of around 6,000 participating postsecondary institutions, but they have not been available to undocumented students. The Biden administration, however, is proposing to make those grants available in its 2022 budget. Keep an eye on developments that may open college to eligible undocumented students next year.

ICYMI – Do you want a “deep dive” into current immigration law and practice? Every year CLINIC offers a comprehensive set of seminars and courses analyzing the current state of the law. Never has it been more important to keep up to date as the new Biden administration makes changes instituted by the Trump administration. The annual convening will be virtual this year. See registration information at https://cliniclegal.org/training/convening.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 361

Welcome, protect, promote, integrate. These four verbs express Pope Francis’ teaching on the acceptance of immigrants and refugees. Children, particularly those traveling without adult care, need this type of care, but rarely receive it in detention centers. The bishops of Mexico and the United States border dioceses continue to advocate for the Holy Father’s vision.

Failure to protect: Biden administration continues illegal Trump policy. Almost 100 days into the Biden administration and it still grapples with ways to reverse policies of the previous administration. The Biden administration campaigned on a policy that would stop blocking and returning asylum seekers to places of danger, but the new policy has not been implemented. Read an extensive report critical of the Biden lack of action.

A constant presence at the border. Missionary of Jesus Sr. Norma Pimentel has become a face for Christian service to migrants because of her work as executive director of Catholic Charities in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, but she is not the only religious sister ministering among migrants. Read about the many nuns who serve the marginalized on our border.

Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day. We are in the midst of Easter season, and Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are coming soon. Celebrate with prayers for each occasion and remember migrating people.

Pell grants may become available for undocumented students. Pell grants are awarded to low-income students, who can use the funds to pay for postsecondary education at any of around 6,000 participating postsecondary institutions, but they have not been available to undocumented students. The Biden administration, however, is proposing to make those grants available in its 2022 budget. Keep an eye on developments that may open college to eligible undocumented students next year.

ICYMI – Do you want a “deep dive” into current immigration law and practice? Every year CLINIC offers a comprehensive set of seminars and courses analyzing the current state of the law. Never has it been more important to keep up to date as the new Biden administration makes changes instituted by the Trump administration. The annual convening will be virtual this year. See registration information at https://cliniclegal.org/training/convening.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 360

What can the Pope teach about immigration? From the earliest days of his pontificate Pope Francis has called the human family to solidarity with migrating people. See a summary of what the pope is teaching.

Fratelli Tutti and immigration.  Fratelli Tutti, the encyclical of Pope Francis, extensively addresses the needs of immigrating people and the opportunity of all to love and care for them. See resources and study guide for exploring the issues from a Gospel perspective.   

Is there a “Crisis” at the border? Politicians characterize the situation at the border to fit their own narrative. Read an enlightening interview with the new executive director of the Hope Border Institute, a grass-roots organization sponsored by the Jesuits and guided by the tenets of Catholic social teaching. 

Human Trafficking. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, First Lady Marty Kemp and Attorney General Chris Carr have actively supported anti-human trafficking efforts in Georgia. See the recent public service announcement they have released. In addition, see the resource page on human trafficking from Justice for Immigrants.

ICYMI – Do you want a “deep dive” into current immigration law and practice? Every year CLINIC offers a comprehensive set of seminars and courses analyzing the current state of the law. Never has it been more important to keep up to date as the new Biden administration makes changes instituted by the Trump administration. The annual convening will be virtual this year. See registration information at https://cliniclegal.org/training/convening.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 359

New Americans Campaign. In 2011, a diverse nonpartisan national network of respected immigration organizations, legal services providers, faith-based organizations, immigrant rights groups, foundations and community leaders, including the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC), founded the New Americans Campaign. Now ten years old, the campaign educates and informs those eligible for naturalization. See the benefits of naturalized citizenship and an introduction to the naturalization process here.

Border patrol processing specialists. U.S. Customs and Border Protection is, for the first time, fielding teams of social service workers to relieve some of the agents from non-enforcement duties. The first class of coordinators has graduated and will be assigned to give humanitarian services to detainees. Read more here.

Task force on Black immigrants needed. A group of over 100 advocacy groups, including CLINIC, are requesting that the Biden Administration establishes a high level task force on Black immigration issues. “Examining and addressing issues affecting Black immigrants in the U.S. immigration system is necessary to meaningfully address systemic, anti-Black racism in America, as the Biden administration has pledged to do. Accordingly, a Task Force and dedicated resources are needed to begin this crucial work.”

ICYMI – Justice for Immigrants.  The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops sponsors the Justice for Immigrants campaign. Make sure that you are not missing out on any of the new materials we are putting on the @USCCBJFI  website. See JFI transition documents and the new FAQs on recent executive actions. Go to http://justiceforimmigrants.org and scroll to the bottom of any page and fill out the form.

Who cares for the “unaccompanied children” after they cross the southern border? When children cross the border without adult accompaniment, Catholic Charities from the border dioceses and throughout the United States reach out with shelter and assistance in family reunification.

ICYMI – Do you want a “deep dive” into current immigration law and practice? Ever year CLINIC offers a comprehensive set of seminars and courses analyzing the current state of the law. Never has it been more important to keep up to date as the new Biden administration makes changes instituted by the Trump administration. The annual convening will be virtual this year. See registration information here.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 358

Why are there unaccompanied children at the border? Why would parents send children on a treacherous journey from their homes in Central America to the United States? Justice for Immigrants has published a backgrounder and frequently asked questions.

Employment authorization documents (EAD). An EAD is extremely important to immigrants and refugees, but it is often unclear who is eligible. For those eligible, the application process is frequently confusing. On April 14, Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) is offering an informative webinar on the details of EAD’s.

What does migration look like? Numbers do not tell the migration story. Migration affects the dignity of the human person. See Faces of Migration on the Justice for Immigrants website.

Justice for Immigrants. Immigrants and refugees run the same risk of COVID-19 infection as everyone else, but they may lack the means of getting vaccination or other medical care. JFI continues to update its COVID resource page.

ICYMI – Justice for Immigrants. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops sponsors the Justice for Immigrants campaign. Make sure you are not missing out on any of the new materials we are putting on the @USCCBJFI website. See JFI transition documents and the new FAQs on recent executive actions. Go to http://justiceforimmigrants.org, scroll to the bottom of any page and fill out the form.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 357

Archbishop Hartmayer speaks on horrific murder of Asian women. People of good will were horrified by the violent deaths of eight people, six of whom were Asian. Our archbishop reacted with compassion and a request for prayer. He said, “We must speak up against any aggression and we must be active in our pursuit to end racism and discrimination of every kind.”

Pope Francis and migration. In his recent encyclical, “Fratelli Tutti,” Pope Francis surveyed the needs of migrating peoples. Study the Pope’s teaching with a guide prepared by Justice for Immigrants so that you can focus on immigration issues.

American Dream and Promise Act of 2019 (H.R. 6). The House of Representatives has passed H.R. 6. The federal bill is intended to make protection permanent for immigrants who were brought to the United States as children and who know no homeland but the United States. The bill would also establish a pathway to citizenship for these individuals. Bishop Mario Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and incoming chair of the USCCB committee on migration, laid out the bishops’ support for the bill in a statement to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary. Passage in the Senate remains problematic, but advocates are working to bring about legislative changes that have been needed since the Obama administration adopted a temporary policy for Deferred Enforcement for Childhood Arrival (DACA). See a detailed summary of the bill here.

ICYMI — Do you want a deep dive into immigration law and policy? This year, Catholic Legal Immigration Network is offering their four-day annual convening virtually. This is an excellent opportunity to learn without the expense of travel. See the details at here.

Justice for Immigrants. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops sponsors the Justice for Immigrants campaign. Make sure you are not missing out on any of the new materials we are putting on the @USCCBJFI website. See JFI transition documents and the new FAQs on recent executive actions. Go to http://justiceforimmigrants.org, scroll to the bottom of any page and fill out the form.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 356

Temporary Protected Status for Venezuelans. Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary immigration status given to eligible nationals of designated countries who are present in the United States and who come from some countries affected by armed conflict or natural disaster. Situations, which are often a matter of life and death because of the dangers these individuals will face if returning to their home countries. TPS allows persons to live and work in the United States for limited times. Currently, persons from 11countries are eligible for TPS. TPS has been extended for an additional eighteen months for Venezuelans, from March 9, 2021 to September 9, 2022 because of continuing conditions. Any one needing TPS should read this detailed information. Pro-immigrant leaders, including the USCCB and CLINIC, applauded the decision to extend TPS. See more here.

Biblical roots of migration. Migration is a political and social issue, but Bishop Mario Dorsonville also digs into the biblical reasons for supporting brothers and sisters who are forced to migrate.

Do you want a deep dive into immigration law and policy? This year, Catholic Legal Immigration Network is offering their four-day annual convening virtually. This is an excellent opportunity to learn without the expense of travel. See the details at here.

ICYMI – Pray the rosary during Lent. As you pray the mysteries of the rosary during Lent, and other times as well, remember our migrating brothers and sisters with the rosary for vulnerable migrants populations

Justice for Immigrants. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops sponsors the Justice for Immigrants campaign. Make sure you are not missing out on any of the new materials we are putting on the @USCCBJFI website. See JFI transition documents and the new FAQs on recent executive actions. Go to http://justiceforimmigrants.org, scroll to the bottom of any page and fill out the form.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 355

Archbishop Hartmayer supports repeal of death penalty in Georgia. House Bill 485 would repeal the death penalty in Georgia. See Archbishop Hartmayer’s strong statement supporting the bill. 

Biden Administration challenged by increasing number of unaccompanied children. President Joe Biden pledged to provide more humane treatment for unaccompanied children at the southern border; however, the numbers are increasing, and means to unite the children with families and cost of care create a logistical and human challenge. See more details. The administration is also trying to unite families in the United States and find ways to keep them together.

Support Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD). In 2019, CLINIC launched the National Immigrant Empowerment Project, or NIEP. This multi-year project was made possible with funding from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (@PovertyUSA_CCHD). Learn more about the good work that grew from this funding. Remember to contribute to the 2021 Catholic Campaign for Human Development.

ICYMI – Pray the rosary during Lent. As you pray the mysteries of the rosary during Lent (and other times as well), remember our migrating brothers and sisters with the rosary for vulnerable migrants populations.

Justice for Immigrants. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops sponsors the Justice for Immigrants campaign. Make sure you are not missing out on any of the new materials we are putting on the @USCCBJFI website. See JFI transition documents and the new FAQs on recent executive actions. Go to http://justiceforimmigrants.org, scroll to the bottom of any page and fill out the form.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 354

Pray the rosary during Lent. As you pray the mysteries of the rosary during Lent (and other times as well), remember our migrating brothers and sisters with the rosary for vulnerable migrants populations.

Executive orders. The Biden administration continues to affect immigration law and practice with executive orders making major changes to those issued by the previous administration. See summary of new executive orders here.

Do not become confused. With all the changes to immigration law, it remains important to seek competent help. Scammers try to mislead immigrants and refugees with false promises. Even small mistakes can affect status. See resources in English, Spanish and French at the CLINIC website.

Climate change affects migrating people. There are many reasons why people make the difficult life changing decision to leave their home country and seek a new home in a distant country. Each decision is personal, but changing climate characteristics can affect the availability of food. Food insecurity becomes an important reason for migration. See an analysis here.

Justice for Immigrants. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops sponsors the Justice for Immigrants campaign. Make sure that you are not missing out on any of the new materials we are putting on the @USCCBJFI  website. See JFI transition documents and the new FAQs on recent executive actions. Go to http://justiceforimmigrants.org and scroll to the bottom of any page and fill out the form.