Category Archives: News

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 207

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) For Haitians. Why do the Catholic bishops of the United States and other organizations advocate so strongly for TPS for Haitians? In summary, the administration should make decisions based on current country conditions in TPS-designated countries. In Haiti’s case, this includes a thorough review of the impact of September 2017’s Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The administration should honor the Haitian government’s request to extend TPS for Haiti at least 18 months and accept the Haitian government’s invitation to survey conditions in Haiti prior to the November 23, 2017 decision deadline. Congress should act swiftly to create a permanent solution to protect Haitian and other TPS holders who have been in the U.S. because their countries have been unsafe for many years. Click here for a detailed report from Catholic Legal Immigration Network.

ICYMI – New Resource for Family Preparedness. There is a new legal preparedness guide available in English and Spanish to assist families 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.

Jesuits Call On Graduates to Support DACA. Noting that ten percent of the members of Congress were educated at Jesuit colleges and universities, and even more at Jesuit high schools; Fr. Michael Sheeran, President of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, reminds former students that “responsible citizenship” and the “obligation to respect and protect the natural rights of other human beings” were core elements of their Jesuit educational experience. Highlighting an iconic phrase in Jesuit educational circles, he challenged legislators, saying, “Republican, Democrat, on this issue be a man or woman for others.”

 

 

 

 

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 205

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) from Honduras or El Salvador. For those with TPS from Honduras or El Salvador, it is important to watch developments. TPS is projected to end in early 2018 but could be extended. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has produced a report advocating extension of the 2018 deadline.  This is why continued TPS is important for Hondurans living in the United States.

How Can a Parish Help. Parishes can be a resource for engaging immigrant people in their midst. Look at what a parish can do here. You can also find ways to involve Catholic school students and college age students.

#ShareJourney Is Here!  Read the Georgia Bulletin article on the initiation of the Holy Father’s “Share the Journey Campaign”, which describes the gathering led by Archbishop Gregory with a group of interfaith leaders and refugees.

ICYMI – Know Your Rights – In Seven Languages! Whether documented or not, immigrants have legal rights. The Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) has helpful information in seven languages.

 

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 204

#ShareJourney Is Here! “Share the Journey” in the Archdiocese of Atlanta began on October 11 with an impressive ecumenical prayer event in Clarkston with Archbishop Gregory and other religious leaders.

Know Your Rights – In Seven Languages! Whether documented or not, immigrants have legal rights. The Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) has helpful information in seven languages.

How Welcoming Is Your Faith Community? If you are interested to find out, take this pop quiz.

How Do You Welcome Your Neighbor? CLINIC now has a webpage with ideas about creating a welcoming community.

Important Information for Those with Sudan or South Sudan Temporary Protected Status (TPS). If someone you know is from Sudan or South Sudan and has TPS, there is new information from the Department of Homeland Security. Click here for a summary from CLINIC. 

Bishops Respond to White House Immigration Reform Principles. In response to recently released White House immigration principles and policies, listing proposed priorities for legislative protection for dreamers, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Texas, and Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, issued a statement urging Congress to “ensure true protection for dreamers once and for all.” The bishops are concerned that these principles do not provide a way forward for comprehensive immigration reform rooted in respect for human life, dignity and security of our citizens. Click here for the full statement.

 

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 202

#ShareJourney Is Here! On September 27, 2017, Pope Francis launched a campaign called “Share the Journey,” which is aimed at increasing support and solidarity for immigrants and refugees. Go to https://www.sharejourney.org/ to learn more and see Archbishop Gregory’s invitation to join the campaign. Archbishop Gregory will initiate the campaign in the Archdiocese of Atlanta by bringing together other faith leaders for prayer to support immigrants and refugees. All are invited to the 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, contact justpeace@archatl.com or 404-920-7897.

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.

Number of Potential Resettled Refugees Reduced for 2018. The Administration has reduced the number of refugees who will be admitted to the United States for resettlement. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) advocated for allowing at least 75,000 refugees, which is below level for the last few years; but the Administration will limit the number to 45,000 refugees.

ICYMI – 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.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 200

The 200th Report. Unbelievable as it seems, this is the 200th Comprehensive Immigration Report from the Georgia Catholic Conference! This report began to help parishes and others in Georgia with the expectation of comprehensive immigration reform from the federal government. That reform has not come, but the need to help immigrants and refugees remains. Please keep all in your prayers and look for ways to help our brothers and sisters. We will continue to provide information that supports our Catholic teaching and suggest resources for practical assistance.

Reminder – Catholic Charities Atlanta provides immigration legal services. Catholic Charities will conduct a DACA renewal assistance clinic at their Northlake Office (2305 Parklake Drive, Suite 150, Atlanta, GA 30345) from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm on Saturday, September 23rd.

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.

How Can You Help? The USCCB Justice for Immigrants campaign has produced community engagement resources. Parish leaders may also be interested in these ten suggestions for helping undocumented immigrants.

ICYMI – Share the Journey.  On September 27, 2017, the Holy Father will launch a Caritas-led campaign, “Share the Journey,” which is aimed at increasing support and solidarity for immigrants and refugees. This campaign will be international; and in the United States, will be coordinated by Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Relief Services, and several offices in the USCCB. They will focus on a variety of important topics, including the Church’s engagement with immigrants and refugees, Catholic social teaching on migration, and the need to address the root causes that drive migration. The “Share the Journey” campaign will run for two years.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 198

“Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” or DACA Has Been Rescinded. The DACA program has allowed legal protection for nearly one million young people brought into the country as children. At 11:00 this morning, the Trump Administration announced that the DACA program is being rescinded. The Department of Homeland Security will begin a wind down process, which was not made public at the time of this report. Individuals who have been registered under DACA and their families should be encouraged to follow legal developments and seek advice from immigration attorneys.

Archbishop Wilton Gregory Issued a Statement Expressing His Profound Regret at the Decision to Rescind DACA. Upon the announcement of the Trump Administration’s rescission of DACA, Archbishop Gregory expressed his profound regret. At the same time, he encouraged Congress to compassionately and generously reform the nation’s immigration system and expressed his assurance that the Catholic Church in Georgia would continue its care for DACA youth and their families. The full statement is available on The Georgia Bulletin website. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and other bishops throughout the United States have issued similar statements.

If Arpaio Can Be Pardoned, Why Not Immigrants with Irregular Documentation? Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami asks this question that others ask as well. Archbishop Wenski writes, “The president [pardoned] Sheriff Arpaio. Congress should ‘pardon’ irregular immigrants by passing comprehensive immigration reform.”

ICYMI – 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 which was originally established by Pope St. Pius X. More than just a call for dialogue, the pope offers 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.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 196

If You Read Nothing Else About Race and Immigration, please read Archbishop Gregory’s interview with CRUX. Immigration and racism are 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.”

Proposed Anti-DACA Lawsuit. Ten state attorney generals (not including Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr) are threatening to file a law suit demanding the end of the DACA program if the Administration does not begin dismantling it. As with all lawsuits, it is difficult to predict the outcome. But the attorney generals have set a September 5 deadline for the Administration’s response. Catholic leaders continue to speak out supporting the social and individual benefits of DACA.

Pope Francis and U.S. Bishops Continue to Share Their Concern for Immigrants. Pope Francis continues to highlight the importance of assisting migrants throughout the world. In addition to Archbishop Gregory, bishops around the United States continue to speak out, and have a particular concern for protecting families in light of apparent tactics to deport individuals who work to contribute to society and have no criminal background. Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso supported the mother of a cancer-stricken eight year old threatened with deportation. Supporting immigrants is a Gospel imperative according to Bishop Mark Seitz. “I don’t think those (anti-immigrant) elements are to be found in the dumbed-down Gospel that’s out and about today,” he said.

ICYMI – What More Can I Do? Pope Francis Is Leading the Way. On September 27, 2017, the Holy Father will launch a Caritas-led campaign, “Share the Journey,” which is aimed at increasing support and solidarity for immigrants and refugees. This campaign will be international in scope. In the United States, this campaign will be coordinated by Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Relief Services and several offices at the USCCB. It will focus on a variety of important topics, including the Church’s engagement with immigrants and refugees, Catholic social teaching on migration, and the need to address the root causes that drive migration. The “Share the Journey” campaign is expected to run for two years. Click here for more details.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 195

How To Teach Young People About Immigration. Children hear about immigrants and refugees from the media and other sources. Here is a resource for teaching them from a more balanced perspective.

Interested in State Immigration Legislation Around the Country? Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) is providing a mid-year roundup of State legislative activity. Join the webinar.

Bishops Reflect on Immigration in Light of the Gospel and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Bishop Kevin Vann of Orange, California, reflected on how the Gospel and the Catechism call us to generosity as he celebrated with 100,000 Vietnamese pilgrims in Carthage, Missouri. Bishop Vann lamented the proposed reduction in allowable immigrants to the United States. The Catholic bishops of the United States have also spoken against the reductions as well as other provisions of the RAISE Act proposal. Read more here.

Deferred Action Childhood Arrival (DACA) Anniversary. DACA marks its fifth anniversary on August 15, 2017. Despite calls for ending the program, which has helped over 800,000 young people to contribute to our society, many experts continue to see it as an important program that benefits America in many ways. In addition, the Catholic bishops of the United States continue their support of the DACA program.

ICYMI – What More Can I Do? Pope Francis Is Leading the Way. On September 27, 2017, the Holy Father will launch a Caritas-led campaign, “Share the Journey,” which is aimed at increasing support and solidarity for immigrants and refugees. This campaign will be international in scope and, in the United States, will be coordinated by Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Relief Services, and several offices at the USCCB. It will focus on a variety of important topics, including the Church’s engagement with immigrants and refugees, Catholic social teaching on migration, and the need to address the root causes that drive migration. The Share the Journey campaign is expected to run for a two-year period. See more here.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 194

What More Can I Do? Pope Francis Is Leading the Way. On September 27, 2017, the Holy Father will launch a Caritas-led campaign, “Share the Journey,” which is aimed at increasing support and solidarity for immigrants and refugees. This campaign will be international in scope. In the United States, this effort will be coordinated by Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Relief Service, and several offices at the USCCB. It will focus on a variety of important topics, including the Church’s engagement with immigrants and refugees, Catholic social teaching on migration, and the need to address the root causes that drive migration. The Share the Journey campaign is expected to run for a two-year period. Click here for more information.

Bishops Oppose Recently Introduced RAISE Act. Senator David Perdue of Georgia, supported by President Trump and others, introduced the federal RAISE Act in Congress. The USCCB released a statement against this legislation, explaining, “The RAISE Act would have our nation turn its back on this long tradition of welcoming families setting out to build a better life.” If passed, the bill would replace the current process for obtaining legal permanent residency (green cards), creating a skills-based point system for employment visas. The bill would also eliminate the preference for U.S. residents’ extended and adult family members, while maintaining priority for their spouses and minor children. The bill would slash immigration by 41% in the legislation’s first year, and 50% in its 10th, would cut the number of refugees in half and eliminate a program that provides visas to people from countries with low rates of immigration. Click here for more information on the bill.

ICYMI – DREAM ACT / DACA. In all the discussion about the Administration’s approach to those the government has given DACA registration status, it is important to remember that DACA was always intended as a temporary remedy for young people brought to the United States as children. Legislation is necessary for permanent status. While advocating for comprehensive immigration as a long-range goal, the Dream Act would give immeasurable help to those who were brought to this country as children. Senators Graham and Durbin have introduced federal Dream legislation. Hence, Catholic bishops continue to support the Dream Act.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 193

DREAM ACT / DACA. In all the discussion about the Administration’s approach to those the government has given DACA registration status, it is important to remember that DACA was always intended as a temporary remedy for young people brought to the United States as children. Legislation is necessary for permanent status. While advocating for comprehensive immigration as a long-range goal, the Dream Act would give immeasurable help to those who were brought to this country as children. Senators Graham and Durbin have introduced federal Dream legislation. Hence, Catholic bishops continue to support the Dream Act.

Deaths in Smugglers’ Truck. We join in prayer with those mourning the deaths of nine people and injuries to others in a sealed truck in San Antonio as smugglers tried to bring them into the United States. “There are no words to convey the sadness, despair, and yes, even anger, we feel today at learning of the completely senseless deaths of nine people who died as human smuggling or trafficking victims from heat exhaustion and suffocation in San Antonio overnight,” Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller said July 23. “This is an incomprehensible tragedy.”

Jesuits Are Expanding Ministries to Immigrants and Refugees. Jesuits in the United States are developing a Campaign for Hospitality to reach out to U.S. and Canadian Jesuit universities, schools, parishes, ministries, retreat centers, communities. The goal is to engage people in the Jesuit family who may not normally participate in social justice initiatives, such as alumni of Jesuit schools, parents of students, and parishioners.