Tag Archives: Pope Francis

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 198

“Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” or DACA Has Been Rescinded. The DACA program has allowed legal protection for nearly one million young people brought into the country as children. At 11:00 this morning, the Trump Administration announced that the DACA program is being rescinded. The Department of Homeland Security will begin a wind down process, which was not made public at the time of this report. Individuals who have been registered under DACA and their families should be encouraged to follow legal developments and seek advice from immigration attorneys.

Archbishop Wilton Gregory Issued a Statement Expressing His Profound Regret at the Decision to Rescind DACA. Upon the announcement of the Trump Administration’s rescission of DACA, Archbishop Gregory expressed his profound regret. At the same time, he encouraged Congress to compassionately and generously reform the nation’s immigration system and expressed his assurance that the Catholic Church in Georgia would continue its care for DACA youth and their families. The full statement is available on The Georgia Bulletin website. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and other bishops throughout the United States have issued similar statements.

If Arpaio Can Be Pardoned, Why Not Immigrants with Irregular Documentation? Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami asks this question that others ask as well. Archbishop Wenski writes, “The president [pardoned] Sheriff Arpaio. Congress should ‘pardon’ irregular immigrants by passing comprehensive immigration reform.”

ICYMI – Pope Francis Offers Important Concrete Points Related to Refugees. Pope Francis has released his statement in anticipation of next year’s World Day of Migrants and Refugees which was originally established by Pope St. Pius X. More than just a call for dialogue, the pope offers a series of concrete proposals for world leaders to consider when drafting two forthcoming United Nations’ agreements. The Holy Father made it clear that the collective and arbitrary expulsion of migrants and refugees does not resolve the world’s immigrant crisis.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 197

Pope Francis Offers Important Concrete Points Related to Refugees. Pope Francis has released his statement in anticipation of next year’s World Day of Migrants and Refugees, originally established by Pope St. Pius X. More than just a call for dialogue, the pope offered a series of concrete proposals for world leaders to consider when drafting two forthcoming United Nations’ agreements. The Holy Father made it clear that the collective and arbitrary expulsion of migrants and refugees does not resolve the world’s immigrant crisis.

U.S. Bishops Continue Their Concern for Immigrants. Catholic bishops across the country continue to speak against unjust proposals related to immigrants and refugees. The California Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote against legislation that would ease deportations that divide families and support legislation that balances the need for security with the protection of human dignity.   

“Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” or DACA. The DACA program has allowed legal protection for 600,000-800,000 young people brought into the United States as children. The Trump administration still considers ending the program, but Catholic bishops continue to advocate in support of the program.

ICYMI – If You Read Nothing Else About Race and Immigration, read Archbishop Gregory’s interview with CRUX. Immigration and the race problem are really two sides of the same coin – whether the United States wants to be one, inclusive country or not. As Archbishop Gregory explained, “If we think that we can solve this (immigration) problem simply by focusing on race, we will leave the head of this dragon unaffected.”

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 196

If You Read Nothing Else About Race and Immigration, please read Archbishop Gregory’s interview with CRUX. Immigration and racism are two sides of the same coin – whether the United States wants to be one inclusive country, or not. As Archbishop Gregory explained, “If we think that we can solve this (immigration) problem simply by focusing on race, we will leave the head of this dragon unaffected.”

Proposed Anti-DACA Lawsuit. Ten state attorney generals (not including Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr) are threatening to file a law suit demanding the end of the DACA program if the Administration does not begin dismantling it. As with all lawsuits, it is difficult to predict the outcome. But the attorney generals have set a September 5 deadline for the Administration’s response. Catholic leaders continue to speak out supporting the social and individual benefits of DACA.

Pope Francis and U.S. Bishops Continue to Share Their Concern for Immigrants. Pope Francis continues to highlight the importance of assisting migrants throughout the world. In addition to Archbishop Gregory, bishops around the United States continue to speak out, and have a particular concern for protecting families in light of apparent tactics to deport individuals who work to contribute to society and have no criminal background. Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso supported the mother of a cancer-stricken eight year old threatened with deportation. Supporting immigrants is a Gospel imperative according to Bishop Mark Seitz. “I don’t think those (anti-immigrant) elements are to be found in the dumbed-down Gospel that’s out and about today,” he said.

ICYMI – What More Can I Do? Pope Francis Is Leading the Way. On September 27, 2017, the Holy Father will launch a Caritas-led campaign, “Share the Journey,” which is aimed at increasing support and solidarity for immigrants and refugees. This campaign will be international in scope. In the United States, this campaign will be coordinated by Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Relief Services and several offices at the USCCB. It will focus on a variety of important topics, including the Church’s engagement with immigrants and refugees, Catholic social teaching on migration, and the need to address the root causes that drive migration. The “Share the Journey” campaign is expected to run for two years. Click here for more details.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 195

How To Teach Young People About Immigration. Children hear about immigrants and refugees from the media and other sources. Here is a resource for teaching them from a more balanced perspective.

Interested in State Immigration Legislation Around the Country? Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) is providing a mid-year roundup of State legislative activity. Join the webinar.

Bishops Reflect on Immigration in Light of the Gospel and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Bishop Kevin Vann of Orange, California, reflected on how the Gospel and the Catechism call us to generosity as he celebrated with 100,000 Vietnamese pilgrims in Carthage, Missouri. Bishop Vann lamented the proposed reduction in allowable immigrants to the United States. The Catholic bishops of the United States have also spoken against the reductions as well as other provisions of the RAISE Act proposal. Read more here.

Deferred Action Childhood Arrival (DACA) Anniversary. DACA marks its fifth anniversary on August 15, 2017. Despite calls for ending the program, which has helped over 800,000 young people to contribute to our society, many experts continue to see it as an important program that benefits America in many ways. In addition, the Catholic bishops of the United States continue their support of the DACA program.

ICYMI – What More Can I Do? Pope Francis Is Leading the Way. On September 27, 2017, the Holy Father will launch a Caritas-led campaign, “Share the Journey,” which is aimed at increasing support and solidarity for immigrants and refugees. This campaign will be international in scope and, in the United States, will be coordinated by Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Relief Services, and several offices at the USCCB. It will focus on a variety of important topics, including the Church’s engagement with immigrants and refugees, Catholic social teaching on migration, and the need to address the root causes that drive migration. The Share the Journey campaign is expected to run for a two-year period. See more here.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 194

What More Can I Do? Pope Francis Is Leading the Way. On September 27, 2017, the Holy Father will launch a Caritas-led campaign, “Share the Journey,” which is aimed at increasing support and solidarity for immigrants and refugees. This campaign will be international in scope. In the United States, this effort will be coordinated by Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Relief Service, and several offices at the USCCB. It will focus on a variety of important topics, including the Church’s engagement with immigrants and refugees, Catholic social teaching on migration, and the need to address the root causes that drive migration. The Share the Journey campaign is expected to run for a two-year period. Click here for more information.

Bishops Oppose Recently Introduced RAISE Act. Senator David Perdue of Georgia, supported by President Trump and others, introduced the federal RAISE Act in Congress. The USCCB released a statement against this legislation, explaining, “The RAISE Act would have our nation turn its back on this long tradition of welcoming families setting out to build a better life.” If passed, the bill would replace the current process for obtaining legal permanent residency (green cards), creating a skills-based point system for employment visas. The bill would also eliminate the preference for U.S. residents’ extended and adult family members, while maintaining priority for their spouses and minor children. The bill would slash immigration by 41% in the legislation’s first year, and 50% in its 10th, would cut the number of refugees in half and eliminate a program that provides visas to people from countries with low rates of immigration. Click here for more information on the bill.

ICYMI – DREAM ACT / DACA. In all the discussion about the Administration’s approach to those the government has given DACA registration status, it is important to remember that DACA was always intended as a temporary remedy for young people brought to the United States as children. Legislation is necessary for permanent status. While advocating for comprehensive immigration as a long-range goal, the Dream Act would give immeasurable help to those who were brought to this country as children. Senators Graham and Durbin have introduced federal Dream legislation. Hence, Catholic bishops continue to support the Dream Act.

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