Tag Archives: Reform

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 368

DACA is nine years old! President Obama instituted the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012 by executive order so that individuals brought to the United States at an early age could obtain deferral of deportation. The executive order was issued with the expectation that Congress would enact legislation these individuals. Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration, issued a statement marking the anniversary. The bishop also noted the need for congressional action to protect DACA registrants on a permanent basis.

Solidarity with seafarers as key essential workers. Sailors, fishers and their families live as people vulnerable to exploitation, abuse and human trafficking.  See the Solidarity with Seafarers toolkit, which includes background information, prayers, social media and other materials for knowledge and advocacy.  

Immigrant integration. Every immigrant has a personal story and those stories can extend to following generations. Laura Niño, a project coordinator with CLINIC, shares her story as a second-generation descendant of immigrants from Colombia.

ICYMI – Do you want more? Immigration news and policy modifications are coming from the government daily. Do you want migration more action alerts, weekly reviews, updates on webinars, backgrounders and much more? Go to http://justiceforimmigrants.org, scroll to the bottom of any page and fill out the form. Justice for Immigrants stays on top of changes for you.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 367

More from bishops’ summit meeting on church’s response to immigration.

Cardinal Michael Czerny, undersecretary of the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, addressed via Zoom an emergency meeting of bishops from the U.S., Central America and Mexico. The cardinal referred to migrants as your “parishioners” whether for a short or long time. Although people cross national borders, they should experience “the uninterrupted or seamless care of Christ” carried out by his followers along the way. The cardinal particularly praised the religious sisters who came from all across the United States to minister to children at the southern border. The bishops were accompanied by the prayers and notes from children in border tent camps. Organizations joining the bishops included a representative of the Catholic Legal Immigration network (CLINIC).

Civic integration. Refugees and immigrants can be successfully integrated into the community. Get help from CLINIC’s Civic Participation curriculum and resources.

How and why to broaden access and naturalization. With the change in national administrations, there are opportunities to consider ways to reform and improve the immigration system. The Center for Migration Studies has published research and conclusions suggesting a reasonable and fair way forward.

What are you doing for World Refugee Day 2021? World Refugee Day is June 20. Justice for Immigrants and USCCB Office of Migration and Refugee Services offers a tool kit with suggestions.

ICYMI – Do you want more? Immigration news and policy modifications are coming from the government daily. Do you want migration more action alerts, weekly reviews, updates on webinars, backgrounders and much more? Go to http://justiceforimmigrants.org, scroll to the bottom of any page and fill out the form. Justice for Immigrants stays on top of changes for you.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 366

Bishops hold summit meeting on church’s response to immigration. On June 1 and 2, a group of United States, Mexican and Central American Catholic bishops joined representatives of the Vatican and immigration service organizations to discuss the best ways to serve migrants departing their homeland and passing through other countries enroute to the borders of the United States. The bishops emphasized the importance of treating all with dignity. They also recognized the need for conversion among many Catholics who see immigration as only a political issue, not a moral issue. More reports from the meeting are likely in the future.

National Immigrant Heritage Month. President Joseph Biden has issued a proclamation designating June as National Immigrant Heritage Month. In addition to caking upon all to learn their own heritage, the president “directed federal agencies to rebuild trust in our immigration system that has been lost, to reach out to underserved communities unable to access the opportunities our nation offers them, to offer again a welcoming humanitarian hand to the persecuted and oppressed, and to reduce barriers to achieving citizenship and equality.” Read the full declaration here.

Lawyers in immigration court. The Administration has recently expanded the availability of pro bono lawyers in civil cases and immigration advocates are seeking such representation for defendants in immigration courts. Immigration law can be quite complicated and parties without adequate representation are at a dramatic disadvantage against government lawyers. Defendants have a right to legal representation but the government has no obligation to provide counsel for those who cannot afford that representation.

ICYMI – Do you want more? Immigration news and policy modifications are coming from the government daily. Do you want migration action alerts, weekly reviews, updates on webinars, backgrounders and much more? Go to http://justiceforimmigrants.org, scroll to the bottom of any page, and fill out the form. Justice for Immigrants stays on top of changes for you.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 365

The Asian Pacific American Heritage month is being celebrated in May.

Special immigrant juvenile status (SIJS): SIJS is an immigration status that allows children who have survived parental abuse, neglect or abandonment to apply for permanent residency in the United States. Congress created SIJS — with its direct pathway to a green card — to provide young people with tools to achieve stability: eligibility for federal financial aid for college, work authorization and protection from deportation. Applicants, however, face multiple years waiting for administrative processing. A group of 400 professionals and child protection organizations, including Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC), has written to senior immigration officials requesting action to eliminate the backlog. Read the statement from CLINIC and follow the links to learn more.

Future of DACA. All agree that the Obama administration program for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals was a temporary measure which has remained in effect since 2012 and that Congressional action is needed. The Trump administration tried unsuccessfully to halt the program and the Biden administration has continued it by executive order. Felicia Escobar Carrillo, chief of staff in the office of the director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, spoke in the annual convening of CLINIC and outlined additional proposed administrative action. Ms. Carillo acknowledged the logjam of actions due to staff reductions and COVID-related issues, but assured attendees that the administration was committed to preservation of DACA and had increased budgets for staff. Nonetheless, only Congress can institute real reform. Read more here.

Irwin County Detention Center. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has announced that it will cancel its contract with a private contractor for detention of immigrants. The cancellation follows allegations of mistreatment of detainees, including hysterectomies for which women had not given consent.

ICYMI – Do you want more? Immigration news and policy modifications are coming from the government daily. Do you want migration action alerts, weekly reviews, updates on webinars, backgrounders and much more? Go to http://justiceforimmigrants.org, scroll to the bottom of any page, and fill out the form. Justice for Immigrants stays on top of changes for you.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 364

Do you want more? Immigration news and policy modifications are coming from the government daily. Do you want migration action alerts, weekly reviews, updates on webinars, backgrounders and much more? Go to http://justiceforimmigrants.org, scroll to the bottom of any page and fill out the form. Justice for Immigrants stays on top of changes for you.

Dig into Fratelli Tutti. In his most recent encyclical, Pope Francis extensively explains the moral basis for welcoming migrants and refugees. Justice for Immigrants provides migration related excerpts to focus reflection. 

Climate change and migration; immigration and COVID. When you want to know more about these and other subjects related to immigration and refugees, be sure to visit the JFI website, which makes its previous webinars available.

Helping undocumented immigrants. There are undocumented immigrants living in the shadows among us. What can parishes do to help them? See ten suggestions from Justice for Immigrants.

ICYMI – Toward an Ever Wider “We.” This is the theme Pope Francis has chosen for the 107th World Day of Migrants and Refugees scheduled for September 2021. Read the Holy Father’s message for the occasion. The Good Samaritan story is central in Pope Francis encyclical Fratelli Tutti and guides the church and all humanity ‘Towards an ever wider WE’ in our one common home according to Cardinal Czerny during the presentation of the pope’s message.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 363

Toward an Ever Wider “We.” This is the theme Pope Francis has chosen for the 107th World Day of Migrants and Refugees scheduled for September 2021. Read the Holy Father’s message for the occasion. The Good Samaritan story is central in Pope Francis encyclical Fratelli Tutti and guides the church and all humanity ‘Towards an ever wider WE’ in our one common home according to Cardinal Czerny during the presentation of the pope’s message.

The administration has increased the number of refugees who can be admitted to the United States. The number of permitted refugees was increased to 62,500 during the current fiscal year. Bishop Mario Dorsonville, chair of the USCCB Committee on Migration, welcomed the increase. The bishop emphasized the inherent dignity of every human being and viewed the Administration’s action as a step toward a restructured resettlement program.

Invitation to the president. With increasing focus on the plight of asylum seekers at the southern border, Sister Norma Pimentel, Director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley and a nationally known advocate for migrating people, has invited President Biden to visit the border to see firsthand the needs of those seeking security on both sides of the border.

ICYMI – Pope Francis: “Vaccines for all.” “Vaccines for all, especially for the most vulnerable and needy of all regions of the planet.” (Pope Francis, January 2021). See Vatican resources for church leaders.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 362

Pope Francis: “Vaccines for all.” “Vaccines for all, especially for the most vulnerable and needy of all regions of the planet.” (Pope Francis, January 2021). See Vatican resources for church leaders.

Want to discuss migration and Fratelli Tutti? Pope Francis discusses migration extensively in his most recent encyclical Fratelli Tutti. Take time to study the Pope’s teaching with helpful resources prepared by Justice for Immigrants.

Are you working with refugee children and their families? Immigrant and refugee children have special needs related to human trafficking, welfare, education, genital cutting, youth development and resettlement. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children Services (BRYCS) provides resources to focus on their needs.  

ICYMI – Pell grants may become available for undocumented students. Pell grants are awarded to low-income students, who can use the funds to pay for postsecondary education at any of around 6,000 participating postsecondary institutions, but they have not been available to undocumented students. The Biden administration, however, is proposing to make those grants available in its 2022 budget. Keep an eye on developments that may open college to eligible undocumented students next year.

ICYMI – Do you want a “deep dive” into current immigration law and practice? Every year CLINIC offers a comprehensive set of seminars and courses analyzing the current state of the law. Never has it been more important to keep up to date as the new Biden administration makes changes instituted by the Trump administration. The annual convening will be virtual this year. See registration information at https://cliniclegal.org/training/convening.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 361

Welcome, protect, promote, integrate. These four verbs express Pope Francis’ teaching on the acceptance of immigrants and refugees. Children, particularly those traveling without adult care, need this type of care, but rarely receive it in detention centers. The bishops of Mexico and the United States border dioceses continue to advocate for the Holy Father’s vision.

Failure to protect: Biden administration continues illegal Trump policy. Almost 100 days into the Biden administration and it still grapples with ways to reverse policies of the previous administration. The Biden administration campaigned on a policy that would stop blocking and returning asylum seekers to places of danger, but the new policy has not been implemented. Read an extensive report critical of the Biden lack of action.

A constant presence at the border. Missionary of Jesus Sr. Norma Pimentel has become a face for Christian service to migrants because of her work as executive director of Catholic Charities in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, but she is not the only religious sister ministering among migrants. Read about the many nuns who serve the marginalized on our border.

Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day. We are in the midst of Easter season, and Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are coming soon. Celebrate with prayers for each occasion and remember migrating people.

Pell grants may become available for undocumented students. Pell grants are awarded to low-income students, who can use the funds to pay for postsecondary education at any of around 6,000 participating postsecondary institutions, but they have not been available to undocumented students. The Biden administration, however, is proposing to make those grants available in its 2022 budget. Keep an eye on developments that may open college to eligible undocumented students next year.

ICYMI – Do you want a “deep dive” into current immigration law and practice? Every year CLINIC offers a comprehensive set of seminars and courses analyzing the current state of the law. Never has it been more important to keep up to date as the new Biden administration makes changes instituted by the Trump administration. The annual convening will be virtual this year. See registration information at https://cliniclegal.org/training/convening.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 360

What can the Pope teach about immigration? From the earliest days of his pontificate Pope Francis has called the human family to solidarity with migrating people. See a summary of what the pope is teaching.

Fratelli Tutti and immigration.  Fratelli Tutti, the encyclical of Pope Francis, extensively addresses the needs of immigrating people and the opportunity of all to love and care for them. See resources and study guide for exploring the issues from a Gospel perspective.   

Is there a “Crisis” at the border? Politicians characterize the situation at the border to fit their own narrative. Read an enlightening interview with the new executive director of the Hope Border Institute, a grass-roots organization sponsored by the Jesuits and guided by the tenets of Catholic social teaching. 

Human Trafficking. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, First Lady Marty Kemp and Attorney General Chris Carr have actively supported anti-human trafficking efforts in Georgia. See the recent public service announcement they have released. In addition, see the resource page on human trafficking from Justice for Immigrants.

ICYMI – Do you want a “deep dive” into current immigration law and practice? Every year CLINIC offers a comprehensive set of seminars and courses analyzing the current state of the law. Never has it been more important to keep up to date as the new Biden administration makes changes instituted by the Trump administration. The annual convening will be virtual this year. See registration information at https://cliniclegal.org/training/convening.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 359

New Americans Campaign. In 2011, a diverse nonpartisan national network of respected immigration organizations, legal services providers, faith-based organizations, immigrant rights groups, foundations and community leaders, including the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC), founded the New Americans Campaign. Now ten years old, the campaign educates and informs those eligible for naturalization. See the benefits of naturalized citizenship and an introduction to the naturalization process here.

Border patrol processing specialists. U.S. Customs and Border Protection is, for the first time, fielding teams of social service workers to relieve some of the agents from non-enforcement duties. The first class of coordinators has graduated and will be assigned to give humanitarian services to detainees. Read more here.

Task force on Black immigrants needed. A group of over 100 advocacy groups, including CLINIC, are requesting that the Biden Administration establishes a high level task force on Black immigration issues. “Examining and addressing issues affecting Black immigrants in the U.S. immigration system is necessary to meaningfully address systemic, anti-Black racism in America, as the Biden administration has pledged to do. Accordingly, a Task Force and dedicated resources are needed to begin this crucial work.”

ICYMI – Justice for Immigrants.  The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops sponsors the Justice for Immigrants campaign. Make sure that you are not missing out on any of the new materials we are putting on the @USCCBJFI  website. See JFI transition documents and the new FAQs on recent executive actions. Go to http://justiceforimmigrants.org and scroll to the bottom of any page and fill out the form.

Who cares for the “unaccompanied children” after they cross the southern border? When children cross the border without adult accompaniment, Catholic Charities from the border dioceses and throughout the United States reach out with shelter and assistance in family reunification.

ICYMI – Do you want a “deep dive” into current immigration law and practice? Ever year CLINIC offers a comprehensive set of seminars and courses analyzing the current state of the law. Never has it been more important to keep up to date as the new Biden administration makes changes instituted by the Trump administration. The annual convening will be virtual this year. See registration information here.