Stay Up to Date on Executive Orders. Although the status of executive orders related to immigration changes frequently, avoid rumors and panic. Follow webinars from the Catholic bishops’ Justice for Immigrants campaign. http://justiceforimmigrants.org/news/webinar-executive-order-dhs-memoranda/
Advocacy Actions. While waiting for governmental action from Washington, there are actions that can be taken now, with some being more than writing to Congress. http://justiceforimmigrants.org/2016site/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/WHAT-YOU-CAN-DO-3.1.17-FINAL.pdf
Local Governments Have an Impact on Immigrants. Comprehensive immigration reform must come from the federal government, but the lives of immigrants and community life can be helped by local action. Take time to join a webinar discussing local government activities on Wednesday, March 8. https://cliniclegal.org/civicrm/event/info?id=546&reset=1
Who Are the Refugees and Asylum Seekers? Support refugees and asylum seekers through encountering their stories. Look for the faces of migration. http://justiceforimmigrants.org/faces-of-migration/stories-of-migration/
Federal Legislation. Despite the federal government’s focus on budget and debt ceiling concerns, the Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives last week announced introduction of a bill similar to S. 744 which the Senate adopted last June. This House bill, however, does not include the problematic border security provisions. The House bill currently has only Democrats as co-sponsors and is not likely to be taken up by committees in the Republican controlled House. We do not anticipate action on any immigration bills in the House until early in 2014, at the earliest.
Administrative Activity. The shutdown of many federal agencies affects immigration but most enforcement actions will continue unabated. The administration continues to deport approximately 1,100 people a day and, despite requests by advocacy groups seeking to protect family integrity, the administration is unwilling to slow the deportation process. Consular services for U.S. citizens and visa applicants continue to operate at this time but visa processing for foreign nationals will be curtailed and may affect foreign nationals planning to leave the United States and then return. The E-verify system which must be accessed by many employers under Georgia law will not be operational during the shutdown.
Advocacy. Each of us must continue contacting members of the House of Representatives so that they will take action to reform the broken immigration process. Please encourage others to contact their members of Congress to support comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship, through the Justice for Immigrants website:http://justiceforimmigrants.org/index.shtml
The Justice for Immigrants website also includes links to statements by bishops across the country in support of reform.
I can provide additional information on request.
No Federal Legislation Yet. There is still no federal immigration reform law but there are those in our area claiming that they can get the “new process” started. Do not be taken in by “notarios” or other unqualified individuals who cannot help. Make referrals only to qualified attorneys or BIA (Board of Immigration Appeals) representatives. Parish representatives who have attended Archdiocesan Justice and Peace workshops over the last several months have been given information that can be used to help the undocumented prepare for whatever process may emerge. If your parish does not have a representative, one should be appointed to receive accurate information and make it available to your parish.
Advocacy. Pope Francis has repeatedly spoken about the plight of immigrants around the world. http://www.news.va/en/news/popes-message-for-word-day-of-migrants-and-refugee Referring to Holy Father’s message, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, spoke on behalf of all Catholic bishops, and again called upon members of the U.S. House of Representatives to begin consideration of comprehensive immigration reform legislation.http://usccb.org/news/2013/13-174.cfm
Each of us must continue contacting members of the House of Representatives so that they will take action to reform the broken immigration process. Please encourage others to contact members of Congress to support comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship, through the Justice for Immigrants website: http://justiceforimmigrants.org/index.shtml The Justice for Immigrants website also includes links to statements by bishops across the country in support of reform.