Category Archives: News

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 215

DACA Renewals Are Now Being Accepted! The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is now accepting applications for renewal of DACA registration, but we do not know for how long. Although the Trump Administration attempted to close down the DACA program, the federal district court issued an order requiring DHS to continue processing applications. Click here for more information from the National Immigration Law Center.

Catholic Leaders Speak Out for Countries Who Were Disparaged. Catholic leaders continue to stand up for the dignity of all people in the light of the Gospel. In his homily for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Pope Francis said, “For the stranger, the migrant, the refugee, the asylum seeker and the displaced person, every door in a new land is also an opportunity encounter Jesus.”

Among many others, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops emphasized the humanity of people, speaking in context of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday; Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston wrote of the continuing need for civil discourse and respect for immigrants and refugees; and Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami continues to advocate for a path to residency and citizenship.

 

 

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 213

Bishop Hartmayer Urges Faithful to Contact Congress Members to Support DACA Registrants. Bishop Gregory J. Hartmayer of Savannah encourages all to contact federal legislators. The bishop laid out good reasons for supporting legislation to help those currently protected by DACA. He concluded: “Take a few moments to write, call or email your elected officials to express your support for pending legislation that will resolve the status of these DACA protected young men and women. I have already done so. It will be in our best interest for Congress to respond in a manner that does not interrupt the education, employment and dreams of these young people who yearn for reasonable and effective immigration policy.” Click here to read his full statement.

What Happens When Parents Are Deported Without Their Children? It is difficult to contemplate at Christmas, but parents at risk of deportation must prepare legal protection of their children. Do not leave children in the care of the State. Visit supportkind.org for a family preparedness guide and other resources.

As We Contemplate the Journey of the Holy Family at Christmas, keep in prayer those in the United States and around the world who have become refugees and migrants during 2017.

ICYMI — Confused By Immigration Law? Immigration law is complex but Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) offers training at all levels. You won’t become an expert, but their fundamentals program can help beginners sort information.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 212

Archbishop Gregory Suggests Contacting Members of Congress About DACA. In his most recent “What I Have Seen and Heard” column, Archbishop Gregory expressed his support for those who obtained protection under the Deferred Action Childhood Arrival (DACA) program and encouraged everyone to contact federal legislators, urging them to act on this important issue. “[These Dreamers] deserve to be protected, allowed to continue making positive contributions to our nation, and finally, permitted to formalize their citizenship as Americans.”

Above All, Pray for the Dreamers. Contacting legislators is important, but remember to pray for the Dreamers. Pray for government officials – that they will see the human dignity of DACA recipients and enact laws that allow them to stay in the United States and flourish. Bishop Kevin Vann, chairman of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) board, shared an Advent prayer for Dreamers.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Pray for Us. December 12, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is a day of solidarity with immigrants and refugees. The USCCB Justice for Immigrants campaign website has excellent resources for the feast and Advent. CLINIC also has a guide to praying the rosary for the dignity and justice of our immigrant brothers and sisters.

ICYMI — Confused By Immigration Law? Immigration law is complex but CLINIC offers training at all levels. You won’t become an expert but their fundamentals program can help beginners sort information.

 

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 211

Share the Journey Continues. Several weeks ago, Archbishop Gregory gathered leaders of other faiths and faithful of the Archdiocese of Atlanta to inaugurate the “Share the Journey” campaign introduced by Pope Francis. This campaign will last for two years and focus on the humanity of migrants and refugees around the world. The USCCB Justice for Immigrants campaign has prepared an excellent toolkit to progress through Advent with migrants and refugees in mind. Click here to find useful ideas.

Pope Francis’ World Day of Peace Message. Following a fifty-year papal tradition, Pope Francis has issued a statement in advance of World Day of Peace (January 1, 2018). The Holy Father emphasized four “mileposts for action” necessary to allow migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and trafficking victims the opportunity to find peace; including welcoming them, protecting and defending “the inviolable dignity of those who flee,” promoting integral human development and integrating them into society. Doing so enriches both those arriving and those welcoming. Read the Holy Father’s statement about men and women in search of peace.

Confused By Immigration Law? Immigration law is complex, but Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) offers training at all levels. You won’t become an expert, but a fundamentals program can help sorting out information for beginners.

ICYMI – This is Not News for Many in Georgia, But ICE Enforcement is Increasing Here. The New York Times recently reported on increase immigration enforcement in Georgia. Under the current administration, any undocumented individuals are vulnerable to deportation, not just those with a significant criminal record.

 

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 210

Sanctuary Cities. A federal court has blocked a Trump Administration executive order to prohibit certain funds for local governments it deemed “sanctuary cities.” Georgia state law prohibits sanctuary cities and at least one candidate for governor is criticizing the level of compliance by the City of Decatur. The federal court order will not affect Georgia law – at least for now.

ICE Enforcement is Increasing in Georgia. The New York Times recently reported on increased immigration enforcement in Georgia. Under the current Administration, any undocumented individuals are vulnerable to deportation, not just those with a significant criminal record.

Administration Ends Temporary Protected Status for Haitians. See the response from Catholic Legal Immigration Network. While TPS holders have eighteen months to prepare for departure, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), who recently sponsored a factfinding mission to Haiti, responded that the country is not prepared to accept the huge influx of people. It is important to get reliable information. For guidance, contact the Haitian Embassy Hotline.

Why is Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Needed For Haitians in the United States? Read this report on why TPS should be extended. This decision will affect 50,000 living in the United States.

Thanksgiving for Immigrants and Refugees. In his Thanksgiving message on behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, president of the USCCB, gave thanks for the blessings brought by immigrants and refugees. At the same time, he expressed the bishops’ continuing concern that the nation’s broken immigration system tears apart families – “the fundamental building block of our society.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 209

USCCB Annual Assembly Discusses Migration Issues. The United States bishops met in Baltimore to discuss a variety of important issues facing the Church. The needs of immigrants and refugees held a prominent place as reported from numerous sources. In his address as president of the USCCB, Galveston-Houston Cardinal Daniel DiNardo said, “The forces of division prey on our fear of the unfamiliar, the different. But fear is not of God.” He continued, “Pro-life immigration policy is one that does not tear families apart.” The Cardinal also expressed support for young immigrants known by their advocates as Dreamers. Click here to read more.

Why is Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Needed for Haitians in the United States? The Administration has yet to act on the extension of TPS for Haitians lawfully living in the United States. Read this report on why TPS should be extended. The decision will affect 50,000 people living in the United States.

Administration Ends Central American Minors (CAM) Program. The Trump Administration has ended refugee processing in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala for those who apply for U.S. entry through the Central American Minors program, which allowed some parents legally present in the U.S. to request a refugee resettlement interview for their children and other family members.  “This decision of the administration unnecessarily casts aside a proven and safe alternative to irregular and dangerous migration for Central American children,” said Bishop Joe Vasquez of Austin, head of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Migration. Terminating the entire program will “neither promote safety for these children nor help our government regulate migration,” he said Nov. 9.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.