Tag Archives: Reform

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 267

What is Needed for Dreamers and TPS Holders? Auxiliary Bishop Dorsonville-Rodriquez of Washington, DC testified on behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) before a congressional committee. He asked for legislation to include protection for DREAMERS and path to citizenship for them; a path to citizenship for temporary protected status (TPS) holders and continued protection for unaccompanied children, asylum seekers and family-based immigrants. Click here for the full statement.

11th Circuit Denies DACA Holders Request. The Georgia Board of Regents policy denies college admission to DREAMERS who ae seeking admission to flagship state universities – University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Georgia State College and University. After litigation, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of that policy.

Director of Religious Education Reflects on Effects of ICE Raid.   Mary Hood Hart, a frequent contributor to the Southern Cross, writes about the effects of an ICE raid on her fellow parishioners.

Release of Detained Children. Five days after Catholic Legal Immigration (CLINIC) and others filed a complaint warning of the increase in infants younger than a year old detained in Dilley, Texas, many have been released. This is good example of the effect of monitoring and advocating for endangered people.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 266

National Emergency: Caring for Migrants. Bishops from Mexico and the United States as well as other interested parties gathered in El Paso, Texas, to discuss ways to support asylum seekers on both sides of the border, particularly in light of the Administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy. Read about the meeting.

Bishop Mark Seitz lamented the loss of life in the desert. “The desert speaks, because on this land has fallen the blood of many who are trying to pass to find a dignified life, and we can hear the shouts of land telling us that our policies have consequences.” 

More Than 500 Interfaith Groups Oppose the “Remain in Mexico” Policy. CLINIC and Church World Service delivered a letter on behalf of the diverse groups, which opposes the policy that requires asylum seekers to remain in Mexico until claims can be considered. The policy creates greater risk for the asylum seekers. 

There are Still Infants Detained in Dilly, Texas. Despite opposing claims, there are still infants and mothers in the Homeland Security detention facility in Dilly, Texas. Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) along with other legal advocacy groups have written a letter to the Department of Homeland Security demanding release of those mothers and children as required by federal law.

Number of Undocumented in U.S. is Declining. According to the Center for Migration Studies, the number of undocumented in the United States is declining. Read the executive summary of points with a link to the full report.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 265

Causes of Mass Migration are Not Simple. Explore the reasons behind mass migration by participating in a webinar from Justice for Immigrants – “Tackling Root Causes: Mass Migration at Its Source.” Thursday, February 28th at 2:00 p.m.

Do You Work with Newcomer Families? Justice for Immigrants recommends a great handbook and other resources from Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services.

Universal Apostolic Preferences of the Society of Jesus. After two years of discernment, the Jesuits have announced four major preferences to guide their apostolic endeavors for the next ten years. Those preferences include “walking alongside the poor, marginalized, excluded and those who the world considers worthless in a ministry of reconciliation justice.” Read more online and reflect on how you can unite with them in prayer, if nothing else. Pope Francis, himself a Jesuit, finds Christ in refugees and migrants and exhorts all to do the same. Read more from Catholic News Service.

ICYMI – Myths of Immigration. As with most controversial issues, there are many myths related to immigration – jumping ahead of the line, high crime, taking jobs and more. See the facts from the Jesuits. The Jesuit Refugee Service calls on policymakers for compassion and recognition of the human dignity of asylum seekers.   

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 264

Pope Francis Speaks of Fear. Speaking at a conference about ways to help migrants and refugees, the Holy Father relied on scriptural teaching to emphasize freedom from fear when interacting with others. Follow the Pope’s teaching by encountering others and be freed from fear.

Join Pope Francis in Praying for Victims of Human Trafficking, Prostitution and Violence. Each month, Pope Francis suggests a prayer intention. For February 2019, the Holy Father asks us to pray “for a generous welcome of the victims of human trafficking, of enforced prostitution, and of violence.” Watch Pope Francis address this intention.

Bishops Speak in Opposition to Funding the Wall on U.S. – Mexico Border. On behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), president Cardinal Daniel DiNardo said, “We remain steadfast and resolute in the vision articulated by Pope Francis that at this time we need to be building bridges and not walls.” The bishops of the border dioceses expressed similar opposition.

What is So Bad About the “Remain in Mexico” Policy? The Administration continues to create difficulties for those seeking asylum, a right guaranteed by U.S. federal law. The most recent change in policy sends asylum seekers back across the Mexican border to await processing in dangerous conditions. See an analysis by Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC). Click here to send a message to the Department of Homeland Security.

Georgia General Assembly is Now in Session. Human trafficking is a plague in Georgia and preys on vulnerable young people, especially those who fear standing up for themselves. Over the last several years, the General Assembly has considered and enacted laws to curtail trafficking and open treatment for survivors. This session, House Bill 234 proposes additional steps in facilitating prosecution of traffickers and providing protection for survivors.

New Americans Celebration. More than three hundred people visited the Georgia State capitol to learn about refugees and ask legislators to be advocates for them. Representatives of the Georgia Catholic Conference, Catholic Charities Atlanta and the Archdiocesan Office of Life, Disabilities and Justice joined in the crowd, which made an impact on state senators and representatives. Click here to view images on Twitter.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 263

It is Not Too Late to Advocate for Refugees at the State Capitol. Thursday, February 14, is the New Americans Celebration at the State Capitol. This is an educational and advocacy event sponsored by the Coalition of Refugee Service Agencies which includes Catholic Charities Atlanta. Click here for more information and registration.

Humanitarian Crisis and Our Lady of Guadalupe. These are only two of the free webinars that Justice for Immigrants has archived. Take the time to get up to date if you missed the originals.

Listen to Catholic Scholars Putting Immigration into Perspective. On February 4, Georgetown University brought together a moral theologian, an advocate for the U.S. bishops on immigration issues, an Evangelical leader on immigration and a Georgetown student directly affected by the immigration stalemate. Listen to their views.

ICYMI – There is Still Time to Renew DACA Registration. The U.S Supreme Court has delayed hearing the Administration’s challenge to DACA. For those who want to renew their DACA registration, there is still time to submit a renewal application. As always, consult a qualified immigration attorney.

Myths of Immigration. As with most controversial issues, there are many myths related to immigration – jumping ahead of the line, high crime, taking jobs and more. See the facts from the Jesuits. The Jesuit Refugee Service calls on policymakers for compassion and recognition of the human dignity of asylum seekers.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 262

There is Still Time to Renew DACA Registration. The U.S Supreme Court has delayed hearing the Administration’s challenge to DACA. For those who want to renew their DACA registration, there is still time to submit a renewal application. As always, consult a qualified immigration attorney.

National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. January was the designated month, but the needs are still there. In February is the feast of St. Josephine Bakita, who was kidnapped as a child and sold into slavery in Sudan and Italy. As Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, former Chairman of the Committee on Migration has stated, “On [February 8th] we will lift our voices loudly in prayer, hope and love for trafficking victims and survivors. If just one person realizes from this day that they or someone they know is being trafficked, we will have made a difference.” View the toolkit for ways to combat trafficking.

An Interesting Fact, But to What Effect? According to Pew Research, at least 13% of new Congress lawmakers are immigrants or the children of immigrants. Whether these legislators will impact immigration reform in the next two years has yet to be seen. 

World Youth Day. The weeklong celebration in Panama has finished, but the blessings will continue. Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso discussed the benefits of bringing together youth from all over the world to share their faith.

Fordham University Professor is Preparing a Graduate Class on Theology and Migration. A New York professor is preparing to teach classes using Christian mystical texts to explore theology at the border. Read the story of the professor’s journey from El Salvador to California, and to a Trappist monastery to academia.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 261

Migration Policy and Human Trafficking. The more difficult we make it for people to move, the more likely they are to be trafficked,” said Canadian Jesuit and Vatican expert Father Michael Czerny. How can this not be surprising? The Church supports those who have been trafficked and migrating.

ICYMI – St. Josephine Bakhita. St. Josephine Bakhita was sold into slavery at an early age, but was later freed and served God in religious life. She died in 1947 and was canonized in 2000. Her feast day is February 8. Click here to see her icon and prayer card.

Don’t Forget to Register For New Americans Day at the Georgia State Capitol. Click here for more information and registration. This is a good opportunity to share Catholic teaching.

Lawsuit Filed Over Prolonged Detention of Children. With everything else filling the media, detained children fall into the background. However, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and others have joined a class action on behalf of the more than 10,000 children currently being held by the Trump administration in detention centers across the country. Jeanne Atkinson, Executive Director of CLINIC stated, “We cannot allow this administration to continue to intentionally keep children away from their families, it is immoral and inhumane.” The full statement and links to the briefs are available online.

U.S. Bishops and the “Federal Shutdown.” The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) President, along with Chairman of Bishops’ Migration Committee issued a statement urging the President and lawmakers to end the shutdown. It also stated that the Administration’s proposal for temporary relief for DACA and TPS recipients was not sufficient. DACA and TPS recipients need a path to permanent relief. Furthermore, legislation should not increase the burdens on those seeking asylum.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 260

Reading About Migration and Human Trafficking. A Vatican dicastery for Integral Human Development released two documents related to migration and human trafficking. “Lights on the Ways of Hope” is a collection of papal reflections on migration, refugees and trafficking, which includes Pope Francis’ speeches, homilies, audiences, prayers and documents going back to Easter 2013. “Pastoral Orientations on Human Trafficking” focuses on the reality of human trafficking and responses to the problem. Find out more online.

St. Josephine Bakhita. St. Josephine Bakhita was sold into slavery at an early age, but was later freed and served God in religious life. She died in 1947 and was canonized in 2000. Her feast day is February 8. Click here to see her icon and prayer card.

A Day to Show Love for Refugees. February 14 is more than Valentine’s Day. Mark your calendar to attend the sixth-annual New Americans Celebration sponsored by the Coalition of Refugee Service Agencies (CRSA) at the Georgia State Capitol. Speak to legislators about welcoming people from other countries. More information and registration is available online.

It Is More Than the “Wall.” The “wall” and the federal government dominate the news media, but 2019 will be a year of conflict over other aspects of immigration and migration. Read a summary of upcoming issues, many of which have been with us for a long time.

Disappointment at the Lack of Openness. Sister Pimentel, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley in the Diocese of Brownsville, other representatives of local agencies working with migrant people and local elected officials offered to speak with President Trump when he visited McAllen, Texas last week. Unfortunately, they were not invited to speak during the roundtable discussion. Read more from America Magazine.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 259

The Wall, Asylum and All That. It would be impossible – and, for purposes of this report, a waste of time – to summarize all the developments related to the federal government shut down and the proposed wall on the southern border. Nonetheless, there are several Catholic social issues to consider. Bishop Joe Vasquez of Austin, Texas, on behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), stated, “Secure borders and humane treatment of those fleeing persecution and seeking a better life are not mutually exclusive. The United States can ensure both and must do so without instilling fear or sowing hatred.” The Jesuit Office of Ecology and Justice explored myths about asylum seekers.

Humanitarian Assistance at the US / Mexican Border and the Catholic Response. What is the Catholic Church doing at the border? Find out through a webinar sponsored by Justice for Immigrants, USCCB Migration and Refugee Service and others on Wednesday, January 30. You can login online or dial in at (267) 279-9000. The passcode: 648174#.

See the Toolkit for National Slavery and Human Trafficking Month. January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Month. February 8, the feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita, is an annual day of prayer and awareness against human trafficking. The USCCB Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) has issued a 2019 toolkit to educate Catholics. For more information and to get involved, email MRSTraff@usccb.org. Also, please also be on the lookout for an invitation to an event celebrating St. Josephine Bakhita!

ICYMI – Remember Unaccompanied Children in Prayer. Immigrant children who are not living with their parents or other relatives need all types of support. We can all give them our prayers. This prayer can help you get started.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 258

Over Christmas and New Years, the media has focused the Administration demand for $5 billion to build a wall, but individual and family immigration issues have not gone away. Indeed, some are getting worse. Here are some of the ongoing issues.

Federal Government “Shut Down” Affects Immigration Courts. Federal immigration are hopelessly backlogged and the federal government shut down is making it worse as cases are indefinitely postponed. If you have a hearing in the near future, be sure to carefully check the schedule but do not miss a hearing!

Be Sensitive – Refugee Children Have Unique Problems.  “Being a new refugee means being in constant crisis because everything is unfamiliar. I became a refugee success story, but we need a path for others.” Read the full story from @FadiaAfashe in @USATODAY. 

Are There Resources To Help Refugee Children? The website of the Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services (BRYCS) program is designed to provide technical help in addressing the unique settlement needs of refugee children.  

Justice for Immigrants Offers Webinars – Have You Missed Them? Justice for Immigrants provides several free webinars over the course of the year. If you missed one or more, you can catch up from the JFI archives.  

Remember Unaccompanied Children in Prayer. Immigrant children who are not living with parents or even other relatives need all types of support. We can all give them our prayers. Here is a prayer starter.