Tag Archives: Reform

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 339

Elections are here. Early voting and mail-in voting has begun in Georgia. Get up to date information in English and Spanish thanks to St. Thomas Aquinas parish in Alpharetta.

Faithful Citizenship. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has again revised and published Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship to guide all people of good will in preparing to vote. The Archdiocese of Atlanta has produced videos on selected Faithful Citizenship issues. Catholic Charities Atlanta CEO Vanessa Russel’s comments on immigration are here.

Good research for voting. Elections have consequences in public policy. Prepare for voting with the Civic Participation Toolkit from Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC).

Prayer for refugees. For forty years, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) has had a mission “to accompany, serve and advocate on behalf of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons, that they may heal, learn and determine their own future.” Join JRS in prayer with a downloadable prayer card in three languages.

ICYMI – How can you support migrants in time of COVID-19? COVID-19 affects migrants and refugees in the United States and around the world. Justice for Immigrants (JFI) has shared ways to support them. See their archives for this and other webinars saved for continued use.JFI also continues updating its COVID-19 resource page.

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, updates on webinars and much more!

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 338

How can you support migrants in time of COVID-19? COVID-19 impacts migrants and refugees in the United States and around the world. Justice for Immigrants (JFI) has shared ways to support them. See their archives for this and other webinars saved for continued use. JFI also continues updating its COVID-19 resource page.

October is the month of the Holy Rosary. The Church encourages re-dedication to praying the rosary this month. Use JFI’s rosary for vulnerable migrant peoples as they look toward winter where many are held in refugee camps or makeshift detention centers.

Black Africans face problems in seeking asylum. Persecuted black Africans seek asylum in the United States by traveling to Mexico as a portal into the United States, bur often find themselves caught in Mexican detention centers. See more information about this underreported problem.

Please pray for Bishop Mark Seitz. Bishop Seitz of El Paso, Texas, has been a tireless advocate for migrants at the border and those who have entered the United States. Bishop Seitz has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and is quarantined at home. Read more here.

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, updates on webinars and much more!

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 337

Fee increase blocked. A federal district judge has preliminarily blocked the Administration from increasing fees for people applying for family and employment-based visas, asylum and U.S. citizenship, in a case filed on behalf of Catholic Legal Immigration Network and seven other plaintiffs. The increases would have made it more difficult for many individuals to obtain immigration benefits to which they were entitled. Anna Gallagher, CLINIC executive director, called the increases “an affront to our Catholic value of helping the poor, for when we serve them, we serve our Lord.”

Foreign born priests fill need in the United States. We in the United States are blessed by many priests who have come to share their ministry. While he was bishop of Savannah, Archbishop Hartmayer has facilitated the orientation of foreign born priests in order to increase their effectiveness. Read an article describing what he has done.

Census continues. The Administration attempted to end the census process early, at the end of September, but a federal court has required that the census continues through the end of October. The results of the census are used for many purposes, including apportionment of congressional districts and distribution of government benefits. Even the undocumented must be counted. Being counted helps everyone. If you have not responded online or to a census taker at home, go to the official website and follow instructions.

“Pope’s favorite nun” gets award. Sister Norma Pimentel, director of Catholic Charities for the Rio Grande Valley, has been named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Sister Norma ministers to immigrants on both sides of the southern border, especially those living in deplorable conditions in Mexico as they are forced to wait for determination of their asylum status. She wants to use her award as a way of bringing attention to the needs of the people she serves. Read more about Sister Norma and what she calls a humanitarian crisis at the southern border.

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, updates on webinars and much more!

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 336

Ad Multos Annos! Georgia Welcome to Bishop Stephen D. Parkes, 15th Bishop of Savannah. Bishop Parkes was installed as Bishop of Savannah on Wednesday, September 23, in the Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist. The Mass of Installation included readings in both English and Spanish, and Bishop Parkes spoke in Spanish during part of his prepared remarks. The new Bishop of Savannah will join Archbishop Hartmayer, and Bishops Shlesinger and Konzen, as a member of the Georgia Catholic Conference.

Justice for Immigrants fall webinar series. The JFI webinar series begins Wednesday, September 30, and offers an excellent opportunity to expand your knowledge of immigration and refugee issues around the world from a Catholic faith perspective.

ICYMI – 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.

Bishops continue to support immigrants who are essential workers in time of pandemic. Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington, and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, submitted testimony on Thursday, September 24, to the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship during a hearing titled “Immigrants as Essential Workers During COVID-19.” Recognizing immigrants and refugees as a blessing and as children of God with inherent human dignity, the bishop cited the many contributions they have made, and continue to make, as essential workers in this time of pandemic. The bishop urged Congress to include refugees and immigrants in future pandemic relief legislation.

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, updates on webinars and much more!

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. 334

Pope Francis: ‘Windows,’ not barriers. Speaking of migration and returning to his theme of encounter, Pope Francis said: “Borders, long considered as barriers of division, can instead become ‘windows,’ spaces of mutual knowledge, of mutual enrichment, of communion in diversity; they can become places where models are experimented with to overcome the difficulties that the new arrivals bring for the indigenous communities.”

Action alert supporting refugee resettlement. Every year the president of the United States must set a limit on the number of refugees who will be allowed into the country in the next fiscal year, beginning October 1, but he must first consult with the senate and the house judiciary committees of the congress. Join the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and other religious leaders across the country in asking the committees to support a goal of 95,000 refugees, a number that is more than recent years but less than others. This website gives more information and includes a link to easily allow communication with legislators. 

Be people of prayer! Even when isolated, we can all support migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. Join spiritually through Justice for Immigrants’ rosary for vulnerable migrant peoples.  

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 their “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. 332

Immigration requirements are complicated. Immigration policy and regulations are constantly changing. It is important that immigrants and refugees get help only from qualified attorneys or Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) representatives. Unfortunately, there are scammers who want to take advantage of those seeking help. Notarios cannot offer legal advice in the United States and cannot represent individuals in seeking immigration benefits. CLINIC offers resources to differentiate between those who are qualified and those who are not. Immigration applications are too important to allow anyone to be scammed. 

What does the Vatican say about human trafficking? Pope Francis has frequently spoken out against the horrors of human trafficking. The Vatican Office of Migrants and Refugees has issued “Pastoral Orientations on Human Trafficking,” a document with succinct explanations of trafficking practices and recommendations for pastoral responses. See additional thoughts here.   

ICYMI — What is needed to apply for DACA registration or renewal. Despite the Supreme Court ruling that the Department of Homeland Security had unlawfully tried to end the DACA program, the department continues to reject new applications for DACA registration, but it does accept renewal applications. See more detailed information here. Encourage those who are eligible for renewal to act quickly since changes are always a possibility. See also the DACA resource page from Justice for Immigrants.

Get more information 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. 331

DREAM Act still needs support. Urge your U.S. senators to co-sponsor and support S. 874, the DREAM Act, which would protect Dreamers and provide a path to U.S. citizenship. Also urge your senators to introduce and co-sponsor a companion bill to H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act. Although the Supreme Court has temporarily prevented the Administration from ending the DACA program, which allows undocumented individuals to stay, work and go to school if they had been brought into the United States at a very young age. Read more about the issue and support Dreamers with letters to Congress.

What is needed to apply for DACA registration or renewal. Despite the Supreme Court ruling that the Department of Homeland Security had unlawfully tried to end the DACA program, the department continues to reject new applications for DACA registration, but it does accept renewal applications. See more detailed information here. Encourage those who are eligible for renewal to act quickly since changes are always a possibility. See also the DACA resource page from Justice for Immigrants.

Increased immigration application fees are coming. Effective Friday, October 2, many application fees will be dramatically increased. Those who are considering applications should act before October to avoid the increased fees.

Many essential workers in medicine are immigrants. Archbishop José Gomez, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, reflected on the commitment of all essential workers and asked all to share in prayer for them.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 330

USCIS may come to a standstill. United States Customs and Immigration Service is the federal agency responsible for granting citizenship, providing immigration benefits and processing visa applications. The agency may have to furlough two-thirds of its workforce at the end of August, after negotiations over the next stimulus package stalled. Much of this agency is funded by service fees but with immigration and government activity reduced in this time of pandemic, many services and fees have been reduced to the point that congressional action is needed to appropriate funds. If the Congress does not act, there will be insufficient funding available to continue services. Read more here.

Another recommendation from JFI. Justice for Immigrants (JFI) and Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) offer resources for cultural orientation for refugee children, but JFI also suggests additional resources from Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services (BRYCS).  Especially as children head back to school, whether in-person or virtually, there is always a need for more information to ease that transition.

Writing a letter takes little effort, but it is invaluable to detainees. Immigrants in detention facilities feel abandoned and thirst for human contact. Jesuit Ministries provides a way to write letters of support to detainees. Scroll to the bottom of the page for instructions. While on that page, take time to read the stories of brothers and sisters caught in the immigration system.

ICYMI — This is meant for immigration lawyers… However, you can use it too. The Catholic Legal Immigration Network has developed a downloadable flyer to encourage participation in the census that is now being conducted. Share the information with any immigrant, documented or undocumented. Even if you do not have people coming to see you, this flyer can be attached to emails and other virtual communications. Participation in the census helps everyone.