Cardinal DiNardo, President of United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Cardinal DiNardo expressed his disagreement with President Trump on the issue of immigration in a recent interview as he prepares to meet personally with the president.
Washington Post Recognizes Role of Pope Francis in Migration. Even the Washington Post is recognizing the prophetic role that Pope Francis is playing in migration and refugee issues around the world. Click here to read the article.
Administration Enforcement Activity. As the Trump Administration continues to defend its refugee bans, it also emphasizes increased enforcement within the United States. Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke of expanding enforcement efforts during a trip to Arizona during the past week. See this article for local news on immigration.
“Migration, if handled with humanity, is an opportunity for everyone to meet and grow.” Thus says Pope Francis in a recent interview as he continues to extend his heart and prayers to all migrating peoples. Read the full interview. The pope recently set up a new dicastry (office of the Roman Curia) that included a special section reporting directly to him. “The multitude of migrants, refugees, displaced people and victims of human trafficking requires particular care. This is why I decided to take care of them personally, at least for a while, and why the section reports to me directly.”
Unaccompanied Children. Unaccompanied children from other countries are still among us even if their problems are not on the front page. Consider this webinar to help identify and help them in your current ministries.
Administration Actions. While the courts still prohibit implementation of the Administration’s ban on refugees, the Department of Homeland Security has apparently increased its enforcement activities. See this example and Catholic response from Cincinnati.
ICYMI – How Can I Learn More To Help Immigrants And Refugees? Anyone (especially lawyers, legal assistants and law students) who want to assist their clients by learning more about immigration law have the opportunity to attend the annual convening of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC), being held at the Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta this year. Visit their website for details and registration information.
Immigration. The Georgia General Assembly completed its 2017 legislative session on March 30 after passing two bills that directly affect immigrants, refugees and those who work with them. Although the bills passed both legislative houses, Governor Deal has forty days to sign or veto the laws before they become effective.
HB 37 will bar state funding to private post-secondary institutions which declare themselves “sanctuary campuses.” http://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/en-US/Display/20172018/HB/37
HB 452 will require the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to create and maintain a website with the names of immigrants who lack legal status and have been released from federal custody in Georgia. http://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/en-US/Display/20172018/HB/452
How Can I Learn More To Help Immigrants And Refugees? Anyone (especially lawyers, legal assistants and law students) who want to assist their clients by learning more about immigration law have the opportunity to attend the annual convening of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC), which is being held at the Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta this year. Details and registration information are available at https://cliniclegal.org/convening.
ICYMI – Interview with Archbishop Gregory. Read commentary on an interview with Archbishop Gregory and listen to the entire interview discussing President Donald Trump’s travel ban on six majority-Muslim countries, the idea of “sanctuary” cities, and the poisonous state of civic discourse. http://politics.blog.ajc.com/2017/03/20/atlanta-archbishop-on-poisonous-political-talk-its-in-the-water/
Interview with Archbishop Gregory. Archbishop Gregory was interviewed on March 17. Read the commentary on the interview with Archbishop Gregory, and listen to the whole interview discussing President Donald Trump’s travel ban on six majority-Muslim countries, the idea of “sanctuary” cities, and the poisonous state of civic discourse. http://politics.blog.ajc.com/2017/03/20/atlanta-archbishop-on-poisonous-political-talk-its-in-the-water/
Why Can’t They Get in Line? Some often ask this question regarding undocumented immigrants. However, there is no “line” and the wait can extend decades. This article explains this part of the process. http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/immigration/sd-me-immigration-waits-20170320-story.html
What Can I Do To Respond To the Refugee Executive Orders? There is much talk about responding to the executive orders related to refugees, but what are some practical and effective steps? See recommendations from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Justice for Immigrants campaign. http://justiceforimmigrants.org/2016site/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/WHAT-YOU-CAN-DO-3.1.17-FINAL.pdf
“Living as a People of God in Unsettled Times” On March 22, the USCCB Administrative Committee issued the following pastoral reflection in solidarity with those who have been forced to flee their homes due to violence, conflict or fear in their native lands. In the statement, the bishops encourage each of us to do what we can to accompany migrants and refugees who seek a better life in the United States. http://www.usccb.org/news/2017/17-054.cfm
See additional comments: http://catholicherald.com/News/National___International/National/U_S__Catholics_asked__to_accompany__migrants,_refugees_seeking_better_life/
Work for Integration With Local Leaders. How can parish leaders work with local leaders to help with the integration of migrating people into their communities? The Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) offers suggestions. https://cliniclegal.org/resources/promoting-immigrant-integration- ideas-working-together-your-local-officials
Refugee Travel Ban. The Trump administration travel ban has again been prohibited by the courts. Catholic leaders speak in support of refugees. https://cliniclegal.org/resources/network-nonprofit-immigration-legal-services- lauds-court-stays-travel-ban-and-refugee
Georgia Legislation. There are two bills moving through the Georgia General Assembly that have a likelihood of passage and could adversely affect immigrants, both documented and undocumented. The Georgia Catholic Conference opposes both bills.
HB 37 would bar state funding to private post-secondary institutions which declare themselves “sanctuary campuses.”
HB 452 would require the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to create and maintain a public website with the names of all aliens, i.e. non-citizens, who have been released from federal custody in Georgia.
ICYMI – Seek Qualified Assistance. In this time of uncertainty for many immigrants and refugees, many seek help with legal issues. It is essential that everyone use only qualified attorneys or legal service providers. CLINIC offers resources to avoid unqualified individuals who prey on those in need. https://cliniclegal.org/notario. In particular, check out five tips for avoiding scams. https://cliniclegal.org/sites/default/files/resources/unauthorizedpractice/5-Ways-to- Avoid-Immigration-Scams.pdf If you know someone who may be the victim of immigration fraud, here is a way to file a complaint. https://cliniclegal.org/resources/how-and-where-file-immigration-scam-complaint
For Profit Detention Centers. The U.S. Department of Justice is now formally considering eliminating its current practice of managing immigration detention centers with for-profit corporations. There have multiple problems with for –profit corporations running prisons and detention centers and this action by the Administration is a step in the right direction toward more humane treatment of our brothers and sisters who are detainees. Private prison companies operate about 73 immigration detention centers in the U.S. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/obama-immigrant-detention_us_57c474fee4b0cdfc5ac87b51?5lm5fg2wxte53ik9%3Futm_hp_ref=latino-voices&ir=Latino%2BVoices§ion=latino-voices&.
Who Has Been Placed in Charge of the Roman Dicastery Responsible for Migration? Pope Francis has created a new dicastery (Roman Curia office) for Promoting Integral Human Development, including an office for migrants. Who did Pope Francis place in charge of that office? In a highly unusual action, he appointed himself to that office! Thus the Holy Father has emphasized how important he sees care of migrants in promoting human dignity, the basis for Catholic social teaching http://ht.ly/fwNr303NmBQ.
Immigrants Contribute to the Society They Join. Recalling the words of Pope Francis during his apostolic journey to the United States, Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles emphasized the gifts of immigrants to the United States in a speech to the Catholic Association of Latino Leaders annual conference held Aug. 18-21 in Chicago http://occatholic.com/nation-world-need-gifts-latinos-have-to-offer-says-archbishop-gomez/
State Legislation Update. Interested in what is currently happening in State legislatures related to immigration? Join a free CLINIC webinar that will bring you up to date: https://cliniclegal.org/calendar/mid-year-review-2016-state-immigration-legislation-and-advocacy-strategies
Number 100! This is the one hundredth Comprehensive Immigration Update which we started to keep priests, deacons, sisters, brothers and others up to date with accurate information about the progress of immigration reform. Unfortunately, the pace of progress has not been nearly as fast as we hoped 100 editions ago. Nonetheless, we continue in hope and report on the Church’s advocacy efforts in Georgia and in Washington.
How to Help … and Maybe Learn Something Yourself. The United States Immigration Service (USCIS) provides educational materials for immigrants seeking citizenship. Here is link to a new USCIS publication on teaching about the Constitution. http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Office%20of%20Citizenship/Citizenship%20Resource%20Center%20Site/Publications/Lesson%20Plans/Intermediate_US_Constitution_lesson_plan.pdf Share it with someone who wants to learn and prepare for citizenship.
Appeals Are Important. In the United States, we treasure our right to pursue legal remedies through every level of appeal. A decision is not final until appeals are exhausted. Yet, there have been instances of deportations before appeals are concluded and when the person deported must return to a country where his or her life is in danger, appeals are vital. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-stay-on-deportations/2015/08/02/858c6e30-37cc-11e5-9d0f-7865a67390ee_story.html
Detention Centers Remain the news. A federal district court in California has ruled that the Administration’s operation of immigration detention centers for women and children violates a court settlement and that many of the women and children should be released. Yet legal wrangling continues as the government continues appeals so that it can keep the detention centers open. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/05/opinion/a-judges-rebuke-of-immigration-detention.html?smid=tw-share
ICYMI – What Can We Do? How can we help? For both immigration legalization purposes and for a more productive life in the United States, the ability to speak English is essential. How can you get an English training program started? CLINIC is offering a seminar aimed at giving the tools and confidence to start a program. https://cliniclegal.org/calendar/training-teachers-tricks-tools-and-strategies-volunteer-based-language-learning-programs
Late Friday afternoon, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Pro-Life Secretariat issued a press release regarding the decision of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding the contraceptive and sterilization mandate. As you may recall, the HHS mandate was to go into effect on August 1, 2013. According to Friday’s press release, the date has now been moved to January 1, 2014 for some non-profit entities.
According to Cardinal Dolan, President of the USCCB, they have not completed their analysis of the ruling, but do appreciate the additional time that has been granted. Please see the enclosed press release for complete details.
Please note that any comments you may receive from news outlets or outside organizations may not reflect the position of the U.S. bishops or the Archdiocese of Atlanta. We will send further updates as they become available.
Also, many thanks for the great work for the Fortnight for Freedom, which concludes on July 4. In light of last week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling on marriage, and other religious liberty concerns, we are asked to continue to encourage the religious movement for Life, Marriage and Religious Liberty. For more details, please go to: http://www.archatl.com/clife/fortnight/
Click below to read the letters sent by Archbishop Wilton Gregory, archbishop of Atlanta, Bishop Gregory Hartmayer, bishop of Savannah, and Bishops Luis R. Zarama and David P. Talley, auxiliary bishops of Atlanta. Continue reading