Tag Archives: Pope Francis

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 181

“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.

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Update 169

Cardinal DiNardo Responds to Video Message From Pope Francis. As part of National Migration Week, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued a statement in response to a video message from Pope Francis that was played at a parish Mass in Los Angeles http://www.usccb.org/news/2017/17-007.cfm. The Cardinal said: “Ultimately, the question is this: Will our nation treat all migrants and refugees, regardless of their national origin or religion, in a way that respects their inherent dignity as children of God? Pope Francis reminds us we are all equal before God…. Achieving ‘one nation under God’ has not always been easy, but each earlier period of immigration has ultimately strengthened our society. Those who seek to do us harm must be kept from our shores, but those fleeing persecution in need of hope and ready to help us build a better America must be welcomed.”

New President Inaugurated January 20. Donald Trump will be inaugurated president on January 20 and it is still not known how he will implement his campaign promises regarding immigration. Whatever changes come forward, CLINIC has prepared materials to assist immigrants and refugees and it will update materials as changes are announced https://cliniclegal.org/presidentialtransition.

Continued Support from Bishops. Cardinal Blasé Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, is among the latest bishops speaking in support of protection for young people brought to the United States and raised here. The Cardinal suggests that these DACA recipients be protected, not prosecuted or deported. Immigrants, he said, have “made America great.” http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-immigrants-cardinal-cupich-dream-act-perspec-0110-20170109-story,amp.html

ICYMI – Resources for Workers and Students. While we wait to see what changes may emerge in immigration law in the coming year, there are resources available to help immigrants know their rights. See CLINIC publications explaining rights for students https://cliniclegal.org/resources/know-your-rights-students  and for workers. https://cliniclegal.org/resources/know-your-rights-workers.


Comprehensive Immigration Reform Update 163

Pope Francis Decries the Animosity Toward Immigrant Peoples. Pope Francis continues to support migrating people and refugees by decrying the negative positions of people who reject them http://www.reuters.com/article/us-pope-cardinals-idUSKBN13E0HE.

Archbishop Gomez Also Speaks Out in His Quiet Way. Archbishop Jose Gomez, archbishop of Los Angeles and newly elected vice president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, was recently profiled in the Los Angeles Times as he asked for prayer to fix the broken immigration system before people were hurt by needless deportations. “Not politics. It’s about people.” http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-archbishop-gomez-trump-20161122-story.html

Justice for Immigrants Campaign. The USCCB Justice for Immigrants has also published materials to help parishes and religious communities in talking about immigration under the new Administration in light of the fears among parishioners. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-archbishop-gomez-trump-20161122-story.html

ICYMI — What Can Be Done To Prepare? Exactly what the new administration will do or how quickly it will act is uncertain. CLINIC has published information for addressing issues that will be raised with the new administration. https://cliniclegal.org/presidentialtransition These issues are continuously developing as information comes from the new administration even though it is likely that definitive information will not be available until after January 20, 2017. Remember that no matter who is president, all persons have rights that a president cannot just eliminate. Review your rights. https://www.nilc.org/issues/immigration-enforcement/everyone-has-certain-basic-rights/


Comprehensive Immigration Reform Update 162

Election and New Administration. The bishops of the United States’ meeting in Baltimore last week adopted a strong statement of support for immigrants. http://usccb.org/news/2016/16-158.cfm See also: http://catholicregister.org/home/international/item/23586-as-trump-talks-deportation-bishop-sends-message-on-immigrants-dignity. In addition to a new president of the USCCB, Cardinal Daniel Di Nardo of Houston-Galveston, the bishops also elected Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, as their first Hispanic vice president. https://cnstopstories.com/2016/11/16/archbishop-gomez-brings-latino-voice-to-new-leadership-role/

What Can Be Done To Prepare? Exactly what the new administration will do or how quickly it will act is uncertain. CLINIC has published information for addressing issues that will be raised with the new administration https://cliniclegal.org/presidentialtransition. These issues are continuously developing as information comes from the new administration, even though it is likely that definitive information will not be available until after January 20, 2017. Remember that no matter who is president, all persons have rights that a president cannot just eliminate. Be sure to review your rights. https://www.nilc.org/issues/immigration-enforcement/everyone-has-certain-basic-rights/

DACA. Many observers believe that the new administration will end DACA registrations. Nonetheless, here are some of the benefits to individuals and the country from the DACA program. https://twitter.com/hashtag/WithDACA?src=hash

Pope Francis on Video. Pope Francis addressed the bishops at their Baltimore meeting by video. The Holy Father gave particular recognition and support to the Fifth National Hispanic Pastoral Encuentro, which will occur in 2017. http://usccb.org/about/leadership/usccb-general-assembly/2016-november-meeting/message-of-his-holiness-pope-francis-for-the-v-encuentro.cfm

Deportations? As the time for the new administration approaches, concerns grow about the possibility that there will be deportation of large numbers of undocumented migrants. Do not underestimate the risk from the new administration, but mass deportation will not be easily accomplished. See an analysis from NBC News. http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/four-roadblocks-to-trumps-unprecedented-deportation-plan/ar-AAklM0l?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=iehp

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Update 161

Election and New Administration. The Trump administration does not take office until January 20, 2017 but those concerned with immigrants cannot ignore the changes that President-Elect Trump has promised with respect to immigrants and refugees. Immigration experts, such as those at the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, sponsored by the bishops of the United States, are giving careful consideration to the effects of the election and will be developing plans to help individuals and families as exact policies emerge. In the meantime, those working with immigrants and refugees should proceed with caution so as not to create unwarranted alarm but recognizing the need to begin planning for whatever dramatic changes come. We will keep you apprised of the this developing situation over the next months.

ICYMI – TEXT4Refugees – Citizenship Information for Refugees and Asylees. CLINIC is providing a new service. Refugees, asylees and anyone interested in learning more about citizenship will benefit from CLINIC’s monthly text messages about the citizenship application process. See more information at: https://cliniclegal.org/citizenshipnavigator/texting

Pope Francis. In an interview during the past week, Pope Francis expressed his concern for the plight of immigrants and refugees. Mindful of the election in the United States, the Holy Father emphasized that the Church does not judge individual politicians but the policies that affect the poor and marginalized. http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2016/11/11/popes_concern_for_immigrants_in_la_repubblica_interview/1271490


Comprehensive Immigration Reform Update 158

Archdiocese of Atlanta Produces Faithful Citizenship Videos with Local Focus. Look at the Archdiocese of Atlanta website for the new videos encouraging conscientious voting http://archatl.com/catholic-life/faithful-citizenship/. In particular, look at Archbishop Gregory’s introduction and the video on immigrants and refugees presented by Vanessa Russell, CEO of Catholic Charities Atlanta.

ICYMI – Vote “Yes” for Safe Harbor! The Georgia election ballot will contain a proposed constitutional amendment to secure funding for rehabilitative services for minors who have been trapped in human trafficking for sex. Traffickers prey on vulnerable youths, including those in migrant families without papers. See more about this important constitutional amendment and consider supporting rehabilitation services in the year of mercy and beyond. http://www.safeharboryes.com/

Political Promises. As the 2016 election cycle moves toward November 8, immigration promises and threats from candidates become more numerous. Now is also the time to study those promises and question their sincerity. Keep in mind that after the election it will be important to hold elected officials accountable http://ht.ly/JVOy305iwTO.

Pope Francis on the Importance of Welcoming the Stranger. Strong words from the Holy Father to pilgrims from Germany. “It’s hypocrisy to call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee or someone seeking help, someone who is hungry or thirsty, toss out someone who is in need of my help,” he said. “If I say I am Christian, but do these things, I’m a hypocrite” https://cnstopstories.com/2016/10/13/christians-who-reject-all-refugees-are-hypocrites-pope-says/.

Young People Are Benefiting From DACA. As the DACA program comes to its fourth anniversary, government reports tell us that 741,546 unauthorized young people have received DACA. If you are eligible for DACA but have not applied, now is the time to do so https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/news/2016/10/18/146290/new-study-of-daca-beneficiaries-shows-positive-economic-and-educational-outcomes/.


Comprehensive Immigration Reform Update 157

Immigration Updates Related to Hurricane Matthew. USCIS has issued new rules related to Hurricane Matthew. See more details if you are affected: http://us8.campaign-archive1.com/?u=d1e29c8d7ab34d84237ecd8ee&id=b0cdbfbe8c  Removal flights to Haiti have been temporarily suspended despite an earlier announcement by on September 22 that DHS was resuming regular deportations of Haitians.

Pope Francis Continues to Speak on the Suffering of Migrating People Throughout the World. Remembering World Refugee Day, Pope Francis highlighted the needs of “invisible and voiceless” refugee children https://cruxnow.com/vatican/2016/10/14/pope-issues-sos-invisible-voiceless-refugee-children/.

Attorneys in Immigration Court. No one should try to represent themselves in court and that is particularly true for immigrants in U.S. Immigration Court. Atlanta Immigration Court is getting a reputation as a difficult court for immigrants in the southeast. https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/in-an-immigration-court-that-nearly-always-says-no-a-lawyers-spirit-is-broken/2016/10/11/05f43a8e-8eee-11e6-a6a3-d50061aa9fae_story.html

Early Voting Begins in Georgia on October 17! Early in person voting begins in Georgia on October 17. Find details based on your voting location at: https://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do

ICYMI – Vote “Yes” for Safe Harbor! The Georgia election ballot will contain a proposed constitutional amendment to secure funding for rehabilitative services for minors who have been trapped in human trafficking for sex. Traffickers prey on vulnerable youths, including those in migrant families without papers. See more about this important constitutional amendment and consider supporting rehabilitation services in the year of mercy and beyond. http://www.safeharboryes.com/


Comprehensive Immigration Reform Update 154

Vote! The national election is coming soon. In order to vote in November, you must be registered by October 11. Absentee ballots may be submitted now. Early voting in person in Georgia begins on October 17. Election day is November 8. Information on registering and voting is available on the Secretary of State’s website: http://sos.ga.gov/index.php/elections/2016_election_dates.

The 13th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference Reflected Hope. The Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference, co-sponsored by CLINIC in Washington, DC, typically focuses on nonpartisan policy discussion with an academic focus. This year it offered an electorally timely twist: not just policy, but politics as well. Here is a good summary of what is going on https://cliniclegal.org/news/ilpc-immigration-immigration-policy/13th-annual-immigration-law-and-policy-conference-reflected.

Citizenship Day 2016. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) celebrated Constitution Day and Citizenship Day on Sept. 17 with nearly 240 naturalization ceremonies across the country. More than 38,000 candidates became America’s newest citizens https://www.uscis.gov/news/news-releases/uscis-celebrates-constitution-day-and-citizenship-day-federal-partners-and-welcomes-more-38000-new-citizens-during-constitution-week. At Atlanta’s Turner Field, 755 new citizens were naturalized.

Pope Francis Joins Other Religious Leaders in Prayer for Peace.  In Assisi, home of St. Francis, Pope Francis participated in a day of prayer for peace, openness toward refugees and calls for religions to marginalize fundamentalism http://ht.ly/yHcd304rm7T.

Pope Francis Pleads in the Year of Mercy. The Holy Father says that the world needs a merciful response to refugees http://angelusnews.com/articles/the-world-needs-a-merciful-response-to-refugees-pope-francis-says.

Number of Undocumented Immigrants Remains Stable. According to Pew Research, the number the undocumented immigrants in the United States has remained stable at around 11.1 million http://ht.ly/BR5L304rkv0. Nonetheless, the Gospel calls us to serve those who are among us.

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Update 150

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.

Unaccompanied Children. Over 26,000 unaccompanied children have come to the United States in 2016 and they risk everything, including their lives. Read an update on their experience when they reach the U.S.: http://ht.ly/Nwl9303xMIL.

ICYMI – Voting Is Important for Those Who Are Eligible. Study the positions of candidates with respect to the treatment of immigrants and refugees and vote your conscience. ONLY REGISTER AND VOTE IF YOU ARE ELIGIBLE. In the rush to register voters and in the enthusiasm for one candidate or another, do not register or attempt to vote or help someone who is not eligible to register or vote. An ineligible individual can jeopardize future citizenship by registering or voting fraudulently. The Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) has more information and helpful flyers at https://cliniclegal.org/vote

ICYMI – Do you know of a DACA renewal that has been delayed? It is always advisable to file DACA renewals early to allow for normal delays in processing. Nonetheless, many applications filed between February 14, 2016 and May 14, 2016 have been delayed due to technical issues at the U.S. Custom Service which is responsible for processing applications and cases were placed on temporary hold while the technical issues were resolved. Case processing has now been fully restored. However, for any applicants who may have suffered a lapse in their registration, important information is available at: https://cliniclegal.org/resources/articles-clinic/daca-processing-delays-and-tips-escalating-cases

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Update 147

Advocacy needed! There is a “temporary” provision in immigration law that provides a way for non-ministerial religious workers (that is, religious sisters and brothers) to become permanent residents in the Unites States. This provision will “sunset” or cease to exist unless Congress acts before the end of September. Read more about the issue and, if you can, contact members of Congress. An easy and effective way to contact members of Congress is included here:  https://cliniclegal.org/programs/ris/provisions/sunset.

Family Detention. The news cycle moves on and there is less in the news about the problems at the ICE family detention centers in Dilly, Texas and elsewhere. Nonetheless, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) in collaboration with others has not forgotten about these sisters and brothers and continues to advocate for their due process. See several articles at: https://cliniclegal.org/news/press-releases

Second Reminder – Undocumented K through 12 Children. As schools in Georgia re-open, keep in mind that they cannot require proof of immigration status for admission to grades K through 12. If children are denied admission, parents must be encouraged to demand admission so that their children can receive the education which will help them progress.

ICYMI – Refugees or Asylees Seeking Answers About Citizenship. Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) has made available an innovative way for refugees and asylees to learn about obtaining citizenship – through texting on their telephones. #text4refugees Get more information at https://cliniclegal.org/citizenshipnavigator/texting