Tag Archives: Pope Francis

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 335

Elections are coming sooner than you think. Tuesday, November 3, is the official general election day for 2020, when voters in Georgia can vote for president and vice president of the United States; as well as two United States senators, one representative from each of fourteen districts and members of the Georgia Senate and House of Representatives. There are also a number of local races throughout Georgia. Keep in mind, however, that voters can vote prior to Tuesday, November 3, by mail-in ballots and in-person voting at designated locations. Monday, October 5, is the deadline for registration of those not already registered. In-person voting begins Monday, October 12. Registered voters can request mail-in ballots now by mail or on line. See details from the Secretary of State.  

Like Jesus Christ, forced to flee.” Sunday, September 27, is the 106th World Day of Migrants and Refugees. In his message to mark the day, Pope Francis speaks of the necessity of recognizing the face of Christ in every migrant and refugee. He concludes with a prayer following the example of St. Joseph who was forced to flee to Egypt to save the child Jesus.  

Women detained in Georgia and unaccompanied children detained at the southern border. It is difficult to reconcile the teaching of the Holy Father for World Day of Migrants and Refugees with the alleged treatment of women at the Immigration Detention Center in Ocilla and the unaccompanied children along the border. Complaints have been filed alleging hysterectomies performed on women detained in the Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility at Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, Georgia without consent. Since the beginning of the federal reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic, Administration policy has caused the deportation of nearly 9,000 unaccompanied children who sought asylum in the United States. Many have been housed in hotels with minimal supervision.  

ICYMI –Faces of individuals affected by the broken immigration system show those injured. Justice for Immigrants publishes pictures and stories of real individuals. Check out JFI’s “Faces of Migration” campaign.

Get more information directly from Justice for Immigrants. Go to http://justiceforimmigrants.org today and fill out the form at the bottom of the page to get the Week in Review, a series of updates on webinars and much more!

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 333

Are you still concerned about responding to the census? Time for participating in the 2020 census is getting short. You can be counted by an online response. If contacted by a census worker, everyone should respond accurately. Undocumented individuals still need to be counted. Read the reasons for the census and your protections here.

COVID-19 disproportionately affects frontline and essential workers, many of whom are immigrants. Learn from the resource page constantly updated by Justice for Immigrants here. Be well and stay safe.

Faces of individuals affected by the broken immigration system show those injured. Justice for Immigrants publishes pictures and stories of real individuals. Check out their “Faces of Migration” campaign.

International students, take note! Most international students enter the United States with an F-1 visa. As schools have changed to online courses or hybrid online/in-person classes, the Administration has attempted to change rules that could prevent international students to remain in the United States, return to the United States from overseas or entering the United States for the first time. A summary of requirements can be found here, but students should contact the international student advisers at their schools.

Get more information directly from Justice for Immigrants.Go to http://justiceforimmigrants.org today and fill out the form at the bottom of the page to get the Week in Review, a series of updates on webinars and much more!

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 328

What is the status of DACA? After the Supreme Court ruled against the Administration attempt to end the Deferred Childhood Arrival (DACA) program, one would expect that eligible individuals could initiate applications and renewals of registration. However, the Administration has refused to follow the Supreme Court order and issued a memo with the effects indicated at this link. Bishop Jamie Soto, Chair of the Board at the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., strongly criticized the announced policy calling it “irresponsible and recalcitrant” in the midst of a pandemic since “DHS is returning to the same callous posture, against which the court has already decided.”

Human trafficking. Calling human trafficking “an open wound on the body of contemporary society,” Pope Francis offered thanks to all those who work in opposition to the commodification of the human person. Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration, called for prayers for those trafficked and for education so that all people see the horror of human trafficking which is an affront to the dignity of human persons.

Census workers are coming. Beginning, Saturday, August 1, census workers will be coming to homes, which have not completed census forms. It is important that residents of the United States (including lawful permanent residents, students and the undocumented) be included because the census numbers will be used in apportioning congressional and state legislative districts as well as many government benefits and grants. How do you know that the person at your door is a legitimate census worker? See this link to identify the census worker.

ICYMI – Keep up to date on changing immigration issues. Justice for Immigrants provides webinars, action alerts and more. Go to http://justiceforimmigrants.org and fill out the form at the bottom of any page today!

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 325

Welcome Bishop-elect Stephen Parkes to the State of Georgia, the Diocese of Savannah and the Georgia Catholic Conference. The bishops of Georgia constitute the Georgia Catholic Conference and we look forward to assisting Bishop-elect Parkes in his service to the people of south Georgia.

Less than a week to have your voice heard. Wednesday, July 15, is the deadline for public comments on the administration’s banning immigrants and visa seekers from entering the U.S. It is not just about protection against COVID-19. See an easy to use template for sending an email.

The DACA saga is not over. Although the Supreme Court would not approve the administration’s attempt to end the DACA program, the court left open the possibility that the administration could rectify the procedure it used to issue the attempted closure of the program. The administration has announced its intent to issue a new order that may comply with the supreme court’s order. The process will take time, but those who are eligible for DACA registration or renewal, should contact a qualified attorney to seek registration or renewal.

Pope Francis and Lampedusa. Pope Francis’ first trip outside Rome after his election was to Lampedusa, an arrival point for immigrants from Africa. The Holy Father has continued to demonstrate his concern for migrating people throughout his pontificate. He recently celebrated Mass remembering the seventh anniversary of that trip and continued his advocacy focusing on the humanity of all immigrants and refugees.  Ad multos annos, Pope Francis.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 317

What can DACA registrants do? As of today, the Supreme Court has not ruled on the question of whether the DACA program can be terminated by the current administration’s executive order, although it is expected to do so in the near future. In the meantime, what should those who are eligible do? Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. offers brief advice, but those who need to take action should act without delay.

Immigration law is complex. Don’t be misled! Notarios and other scammers still try to take advantage of those needing legal help, but they cause more damage that help. Qualified is available in Georgia.

World Day of Migrant and Refugees – September 27. The worldwide commemoration of migrants and refugees may seem a long way off, but Pope Francis has already issued his message for the day. This is a good time to reflect on the Holy Father’s words showing the Church’s broad concern for all vulnerable and displaced people.

Keep up to date. Justice for Immigrants offers current information delivered to your inbox. Sign up for their alerts today. It is simple. Go to http://justiceforimmigrants.org and scroll to the bottom of any page, then fill out the form. You will get action alerts, webinar updates and more!

Catholic bishops continue to advocate on behalf of migrant people. The coronavirus can affect anyone, but it can be particularly devastating for immigrant detainees and unaccompanied children in detention. Bishop Mario Dorsonville, on behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has written to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security with suggestions for those vulnerable brothers and sisters.

ICYMI — It’s quick and easy. It’s not too late. It’s secure. Respond today. An accurate census is important for our future apportionment of legislative representation and allocation of social benefits. Everyone counts whether documented or not. Respond online.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 300

Blessed Christmas!   Joyeux Noël!  Frohe Weinachten!  Feliz Navidad!
Buon Natale!  Feliz Natal!  Nollaig shona dhuit!

The Georgia General Assembly begins its 2020 session on January 13.  Please pray that legislators will act for the common good of everyone in Georgia and remember that the common good is not based on the desires of the majority. In theological terms, the common good is defined in Pope John XXIII’s encyclical Mater et Magistra (On Christianity and Social Progress) as “the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfillment more fully and more easily.”

Congressional legislation. There are very few bills making their way through Congress but the Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2019 (H.R. 5038) passed the House last week with the public support of the Catholic bishops of the United States. The bill would improve conditions for immigrant farmworkers and their families, as well as ensure the stability of the U.S. agricultural industry. The bill must still pass the Senate and be signed by the president before it can become law. Read more on the bishops’ position here.

State level advocacy project. On December 10, USCCB Office of Migration and Refugee Services, Catholic Charities USA and Catholic Charities Oregon offered the first of several webinar sessions to assist in developing state activity to support for immigrants and refugees. See slides and other information about the project here.  

Migrants have a role in their new parish communities – “smugglers of the Gospel.” Speaking to Filipino migrants in St. Peter’s Basilica and recognizing how they have enlivened many parishes in Rome and around the world, Pope Francis said they have “a special mission: may your faith be a leaven in the parish communities you belong to today.” Using a non-biblical metaphor, he told them to be smugglers of the Gospel to new lands. Read more here.

The end of Advent and the Christmas season. As we meditate on the Scriptures read during the next few weeks, remember those who are forced to migrate around the world and in our own country. Catholic bishops continue to oppose incarceration of those fleeing tyranny and poverty in their home countries.  See, for example, the strong statement of Bishop Steven Biegler of Cheyanne, Wyoming, in opposition to a new detention facility in his diocese.

ICYMI – Stay up to date on immigration news, alerts and resources. Justice for Immigrants offers a “week in review,” action alerts, webinar information and more. Take two minutes today to visit their web page and sign up. You won’t regret being better informed.

This is the last immigration report for 2019, as the next Communique will be published on January 13, 2020.