Tag Archives: justice for immigrants

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 283

As I write this report, it does not appear that the anticipated ICE raids have occurred in Atlanta; however, the following information is still important for legal protection in the event of any future encounters with ICE or law enforcement personnel.

You Have Rights! Do Not Panic But Be Prepared! The following information has been included in previous reports but bears repeating in light of threats of deportation and continuing raids.

When you need information quickly, look at the CLINIC Rapid Response Toolkit.

Justice for Immigrants campaign has collected valuable educational resources on its website to help prepare for the possibility that an individual will be approached by an immigration or law enforcement officer. The website helps to know your rights, prepare families and connect with community resources.

Download and study these materials from CLINIC in a variety of languages before you need them https://catholicsentinel.org/Content/Default/Homepage-Rotator/Article/As-immigration-policy-changes-so-does-work-of-Catholic-organizations/-3/382/38022

Share these materials and links with parishioners who may need them or who are working with immigrant communities.

Immigrant Advocates Go to Court. Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), Kids In Need of Defense (KIND), Public Counsel, and Goodwin Procter LLP go to court on behalf of the plaintiffs, who arrived in the United States as children, unaccompanied by a parent or legal guardian. The lawsuit seeks class-action status and a temporary restraining order, blocking implementation of the Administration policy, which would limit the protections given child immigrants under federal law.

In another case, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed suit to prohibit the mass raids scheduled by the Administration until each of the individuals proposed for deportation has had the opportunity for an impartial hearing.

Pope Francis. On July 7, Pope Francis celebrated Mass with immigrants and refugees remembering the sixth anniversary of his pastoral visit to Lampedusa. The Holy Father emphasized the humanity of all migrating people, especially those crossing deserts.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 282

President Trump continues to talk about widespread immigration raids and there is fear in the community.

Do Not Panic But Be Prepared! Justice for Immigrants campaign has collected valuable educational resources on its website to help prepare for the possibility that an individual will be approached by an immigration or law enforcement officer. The website helps to know your rights, prepare families and connect with community resources. 

Download and study these materials from  CLINIC in a variety of languages before you need them. https://catholicsentinel.org/Content/Default/Homepage-Rotator/Article/As-immigration-policy-changes-so-does-work-of-Catholic-organizations/-3/382/38022

Share these materials and links with parishioners who may need them or who are working with immigrant communities.

Asylum Seekers. Continuing to reflect on the tragic deaths of Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez and his daughter in the Rio Grande, Bishop Kevin Vann of Orange, California and board chair of CLINIC joins his brother bishops in reminding us that seeking asylum is a legal process and asking that the Congress and Administration approve funds for humanitarian relief at the southern border. 

ICYMI – Do Not Forget About DACA Renewals! Those who have been registered in the Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program may still seek renewal of their registrations. The Administration is still seeking Court approval for ending the program and the Supreme Court will hear argument on the continued viability of the program in the fall of this year or the spring of 2020. Those who can renew now should do so as soon as possible in case the Court ends or modifies DACA.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 281

It is difficult, if not impossible to adequately review the public activity related to migrants and refugees during the past week. Who can forget the heartbreaking picture of Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez and his 23-month-old daughter, Valeria, lying face down in the Rio Grande River? With the Administration threatening, recanting then threatening again to round up immigrants, hold them in detention centers and deport them, how do people of faith respond? What response can the Catholic community to these events?

Do Not Panic But Be Prepared! When approached by ICE or other law enforcement officers, it is important to know your rights. Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) has materials to help protect you and your family. Download and study the materials in a variety of languages before you need them. Share them with fellow parishioners.

Catholic Reactions to Drownings. Pope Francis was “profoundly saddened” by the deaths of father and daughter. USCCB president Cardinal Daniel DiNardo and Migration Committee chair Bishop Joe Vasquez said, “This image cries to heaven for justice.”   

Bishop Mark Seitz responded with a statement and by personally escorting asylum seekers across the International Bridge in El Paso, Texas.

Catholic Agencies Reach Out to Migrants. Catholic agencies, including USCCB Migration Services, Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) and Catholic Charities, have redoubled their services to migrants.

Do Not Forget About DACA Renewals! Those who have been registered in the Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program may still seek renewal of their registrations. The Administration is still seeking Court approval for ending the program and the Supreme Court will hear argument on the continued viability of the program in the fall of this year or the spring of 2020. Those who can renew now should do so as soon as possible in case the Court ends or modifies DACA.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 280

USCCB Migration Chairman Opposes Administration’s Deportation Plans. Bishop Joe S. Vasquez of Austin, Texas, issued a statement on behalf of the Catholic bishops of the United States opposing the Administration’s plans to round up and deport undocumented immigrants.

You Have Rights, Know Them! When you are approached by ICE or other law enforcement officers, it is important to know your rights. Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) has materials to help protect you and your family. Download and study the materials in a variety of languages before you need them.

Bishops Urge Administration to Increase Resettlement of Refugees. In the face of the biggest migratory crisis since World War II – 25 million refugees word-wide – the bishops of the United States are urging the United States to increase the number of refugees admissible to the country. The Presidential Determination for refugees has been set at an all-time low of 30,000 for the current fiscal year. For years, Catholic Charities Atlanta has successfully participated with the government in settling refugees in Georgia.

Housing Eligibility for Mixed Families. Justice for Immigrants is hosting a webinar next Thursday, June 27th on U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development proposed Rulemaking which would restrict availability of housing for mixed families, that is, those where some members are lawfully present in the country and some who are not. Register for the webinar and find out more information here.

ICYMI – Learn More About Human Trafficking. The United States Department of State Council on Human Trafficking has released its 2019 annual report which is available for download here.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 279

Spring General Assembly of Bishops in Baltimore. While the bishops rightfully gave much attention to the abuse crisis during their recent meeting, the needs of immigrants is an important issue, especially with regard to the activity at the southern border. See reported comments by Bishops Mark Seitz, Daniel Flores and others.

USCCB Implores Administration For Help In Curbing Violence in the Triangle. On behalf of the bishops of the United States, Bishop Joe Vasquez issued a statement of solidarity with the bishops of Mexico who have expressed concern for the lack of humanitarian reception for migrants at the United States/Mexican border. “Our brother migrants must not be a bargaining chip. No negotiations should be placed above what the church and civil society have defended for years: not criminalizing migrants nor the defenders of human rights.”  

Who Are Asylum Seekers? There are asylum seekers in Georgia, not just at the border. United States and international law protects asylum seekers. Learn more from the Justice for Immigrants backgrounder on asylum. There may be someone you can point in the right direction.

Labor Trafficking Exists in Georgia. Do not overlook the possibility that illegal labor trafficking occurs in Georgia and immigrants are particularly vulnerable. See this article reporting arrests in Wisconsin related to individuals trafficked from Georgia.

Learn More About Human Trafficking. The United States Department of State Council on Human Trafficking has released its 2019 annual report, which is available for download here.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 278

Marist Students Share the Journey. The Marist School Chapter of Share the Journey organized a five-mile journey on May 18 in solidarity with migrants and refugees. Read the observations of The Georgia Bulletin, who joined the march.

What Is God Asking of Us? At the 2019 convening of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC), Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Papal Nuncio to the United States, reiterated the message of Pope Francis to “welcome, protect, promote and integrate: to protect the life and dignity of migrants… The issue of migration is an issue that involves all of humanity, not just migrants and refugees.”  See other reports from the convening on Twitter. #ConvenePIT

Are Children Really Being Exploited In Georgia? If you had any doubt about the prevalence of exploited children right here I Georgia, consider that a coordinated law enforcement operation in May found and rescued over 200 such children. Immigrant children are particularly vulnerable if they or their families are undocumented.

ICYMI – Refugee Webinar on June 5. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Migration and Refugee Services and Princeton University are sponsoring a webinar on June 5 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern, as part of a long term project to study the role of religion in integration of refugees in their new country. To register for this free event, please click here.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 277

Refugee Webinar on June 5. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Migration and Refugee Services and Princeton University are sponsoring a webinar on June 5 at 2:00 pm Eastern as part of a long term project to study the role of religion in integration of refugees in their new country. To register for this free event, please click here.

Pope Francis and the World Day of Migrants and Refugees. Pope Francis returns again to the topic of migrating peoples and asks us to see them as they are so we can respond in faith. “It is not just about migrants, it is about all of us… Dear brothers and sisters, our response to the challenges posed by contemporary migration can be summed up in four verbs: welcome, protect, promote and integrate.” See the full statement for 2019 as well as previous year here.

Georgia Continues To Direct Resources Against Human Traffickers. During the past week, Governor Kemp and Attorney General Carr announced plans to expand law enforcement funding to seek and prosecute those involved in human trafficking, a continuing scourge in Georgia. Read about it here.

Why Can’t Georgia Do This? Driver licenses or identification cards for undocumented immigrants have led to safer highways and clearer responsibility. In Georgia, the undocumented cannot hold a license as identification card. Read more here.

ICYMI — Trying to Help Immigrant or Refugee Children and Their Families But Don’t Know Where to Find Resources. There is a wealth of awesome resources from Bridging Refugee Youth and Children Services website https://brycs.org/

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 276

President Trump Has Proposed Legislation To Change the Current Immigrations System. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Bishop Joe Vásquez, chair of the Committee on Migration, have taken exception to some of the proposals. In particular, USCCB seeks continued emphasis on family based immigration policies, not strictly merit based immigration. Catholic teaching has long supported the family as the basic building block of society. Quoting Pope Francis: “Family is the place in which we are formed as persons. Each family is a brick that builds society.” Furthermore, the bishops continue to support those currently protected by DACA and those who are legally in this country under Temporary Protected Status (TPS). See the complete statement here.

Do We Need More Border Security? The Administration seems to think that we do, but read this thoughtful article from the Center For Migration Studies.

Georgia Immigration Enforcement Review Board Dismantled. In 2011, the Georgia General Assembly established the Immigration Enforcement Review Board to consider complaints related to immigration enforcement compliance against local governments. The Board has been largely ineffective and Governor Kemp has signed legislation dissolving it. 

There’s An App For That! There is an app for everything, but how about an app to help integrate refugees and new comers into a new country. A graduate student at Washington State University is working on an application to help refugees integrate into England. Why could we not develop one for Georgia? Just a thought.

ICYMI — Trying to Help Immigrant or Refugee Children and Their Families But Don’t Know Where to Find Resources. There is a wealth of awesome resources from Bridging Refugee Youth and Children Services website https://brycs.org/

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 275

Mothers Day. Pray for all our mothers, living and dead. The Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) has compiled stories of four mothers going through the asylum process to come into the United States with their children.  Discover why you should help those seeking asylum and sign a petition asking the Administration to provide protection for asylum seekers.

How to Help Fight Human Trafficking. Is hard to believe, but human trafficking is all around us, and immigrants are particularly vulnerable. See the recommendations from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The first step is educating yourself and your fellow parishioners. Catholic social teaching supports the fight against human trafficking.

Could You Become a Foster Parent for a Refugee Child? It takes a big commitment, but if you are interested, please contact the USCCB Office of Migration Services. See more information here.

Trying to Help Immigrant or Refugee Children and Their Families, But doesn’t Know Where to Find Resources. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children Services has a wealth of awesome resources on their website.    

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 274

Questions About Citizenship? What does a legal permanent resident need to do to obtain U.S. citizenship? Go to a free citizenship clinic at Gwinnett College on May 11 to obtain information.

In addition, if you know a lawful permanent resident (“Green Card” holder) who talks about applying for citizenship, but never gets started, a free webinar from Justice for Immigrants might help you motivate him/her.

Gwinnett County 287(g) Participation. The federal program known as 287(g) authorizes a state law enforcement agency to enforce immigration laws. Not all county or city agencies in Georgia have chosen to participate, but the sheriff of Gwinnett County has announced that his Sheriff’s Department will actively participate. Currently, the counties of Cobb, Floyd, Gwinnett, Hall and Whitfield are the only participating counties in Georgia.

Bishops Opposing Rule Changes That Make Asylum More Difficult. Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso continues to speak out for the protection of immigrants. This time, he testified how the diocese and other border communities are serving asylum seekers. “It is an honor for the Church and for Christians in general to serve these vulnerable people…. We do not begrudge the opportunity, but our resources and our volunteers are being significantly strained by the scope and duration of the high arrival rates.”   See his full written testimony here.

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) For Venezuelans. TPS was established by Congress through the Immigration Act of 1990 to protect foreign nationals in the United States from being returned to their home country if, during the time they were in the U.S., it became unsafe from violence, disease or death. Because of the political upheaval in Venezuela, the country should be designates for TPS to protect Venezuelans living in the United States, but the Administration has not yet acted. See more details here.

ICYMI – Have You Missed a Justice for Immigrants Webinar? Have no fear. JFI archives their webinars and makes them available to all.   

ICYMI – Want to Dig Into the Legal Details of Immigration? The best place to learn all the current immigration legal practice is CLINIC’s annual convening that will be held in Pittsburgh, PA from May 29 to 31.