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
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.
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.
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
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.
Policy and Human Trafficking. The
more difficult we make it for people to move, the more likely they are to be
Canadian Jesuit and Vatican expert Father Michael Czerny. How can this not be
surprising? The Church supports those who have been trafficked and migrating.
– 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.
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
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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#.
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!
– 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.
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.
WorkingWith City and County Governments.Primary solutions for our broken immigration system must come from the federalgovernment. Nonetheless, for immigrants in local communities, city and countygovernments can help or hinder. Learn ways to work cooperatively with localgovernments by attending a free webinar series from the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC).
is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. After our Christmas celebrations, let us prepare for
prayer and activities necessary to recognize the significance of the special month.
Resources are available in a toolkit
from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
Migration Week – January 6 -13, 2019.
For nearly a half century, the Catholic Church in the United States has
celebrated National Migration Week, an opportunity for us to reflect on the
circumstances confronting migrants, including immigrants, refugees, children,
and victims and survivors of human trafficking. Find suggestions for your
participation in a toolkit
prepared by USCCB.
Charge Proposed Rules.
The US Department of Homeland Security proposed changes that would make it more
difficult for lawful permanent residents to obtain citizenship if they lawfully
accessed welfare benefits or would make those residents hesitant to use
benefits for themselves or their children. The USCCB and Catholic Charities USA
prepared detailed comments on these proposed rules and the Georgia Catholic
Conference joined in, seeking withdrawal of the proposed rules. At the close of
the public comment part of the rulemaking process, over 210,000 comments were
submitted with the majority opposing the rule. Read the comments online.
a Happy and Holy Christmas!
As you listen to the Christmas Gospels, keep in mind how much they refer to
travel and migration and pray for our brothers and sisters who are migrating
throughout the world.
Thanksgiving Has Passed, But Other Celebrations Are Coming. A CLINIC affiliate in North Carolina followed a multi-cultural Thanksgiving tradition. Christmas, New Year, Hanukkah and Chinese New Year can be celebrated to include brothers and sisters from around the world in order to build a loving community.
Why Would a Methodist Pastor Join a Caravan? Gavin Rogers, a Methodist Pastor wanted to examine for himself the allegations about the caravan members. Click here for his report.
Immigrants Seeking Asylum Are Not Breaking the Law. Immigrants have the right to seek asylum under United States law. Those who deprive them of that right are the lawbreakers. Read an explanation.
Catholic Charities Attorneys Volunteer Services at the Border. Catholic Charities in Arlington, Virginia, and other locations have volunteered their time and expertise to help asylum seekers at the border. Read about their experiences.
Beyond the Political Debate and News Reports, the “Caravan” are People in Need. Bishop Jorge Rodriguez, auxiliary bishop of Denver, summed up the Catholic and human approach, saying, “It pains me to see how a human tragedy of this size is used for political [means] by parties – for heartless rhetoric, for sensationalism by social mass media and even for exploitation and human trafficking, instead of working together to reach a solution.”
Catholic Leaders Speak on Behalf of Asylum Seekers. United States federal law says that migrants may seek asylum from within the U.S. or upon arrival at its borders, “whether or not at a designated port of arrival” and irrespective of their legal status. However, an interim final rule from the departments of Homeland Security and Justice and a presidential proclamation, both issued Nov. 9, bar migrants who cross the border between ports of entry from applying for asylum. Leaders of Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Legal Immigration Network (or CLINIC), Catholic Relief Services and the bishops’ conference Committee on Migration urged the administration to seek other solutions, saying the rule will “restrict and slow access to protection for hundreds of children and families fleeing violence in Central America.” See further background from CLINIC.
ICYMI – What Can One Person Do To Stop Human Trafficking? Human trafficking is all around us – what can we do? For recognizable signs and “take action” suggestions, visit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) website.
Her Feast Day Passed, But Her Words Remain. St. Frances Xavier Cabrini said, “In the adorable heart of Jesus, I can always find you.” Please reflect on these words as you pray for immigrants from Latin America and the Caribbean.
The Ninth Federal Circuit Court of Appeals Continues to Block the Administration’s Attempt to End DACA. The Administration cannot arbitrarily end the DACA program, according to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The program remains in effect temporarily while other cases wind through the courts. Ultimately, the Supreme Court will decide whether the program can continue.
Important Information on Temporary Protected Status (TPS). TPS holders from Nicaragua and Sudan had their status extended until April 2, 2019. For details affecting someone’s individual legal status, contact a qualified immigration attorney. Click here for more information on TPS from Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC).
Seeking Asylum is a Right Protected by International and U.S. Law. Under U.S. law, a person may apply for asylum at a port of entry or from within the United States. The law explicitly permits people who are in the United States to seek asylum whether they entered with documentation or not. An application for asylum may also be filed as a defense from deportation. See background information from CLINIC.
What Can One Person Do To Stop Human Trafficking? Human trafficking is all around us – what can we do? For recognizable signs and “take action” suggestions, visit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) website.
Muslims and Jews in Pittsburgh – Jews and Catholics in Atlanta. In the wake of the mass shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue, Muslim and Jewish communities in Pittsburgh continue a supportive relationship that has existed since before 9/11. Both communities recognize their predecessors as immigrants and join in opposition to hatred. Likewise, Catholic and Jewish communities in Atlanta have developed a continuing relationship based on the Second Vatican Council document Nostra Aetate.
Prayer Reminder. Born in Italy in 1850, Frances Xavier Cabrini founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and brought them to the United States to minister among Italian immigrants. She was canonized in 1946 as the first U.S. citizen saint of the Catholic Church. Click here to read more about her life. St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, pray for us and all migrating people.
The “Caravan” From Central America Consists of Our Brothers and Sisters. National Catholic leaders put the “caravan” of migrants moving through Mexico in a Christian perspective. Catholic agencies assisting poor and vulnerable migrants in the United States and around the world have affirmed that seeking asylum is not a crime, urge all governments to abide by international law and existing domestic laws that protect those seeking safe haven and ensure that all those returned to their home country are protected and repatriated safely. Read the complete statement.
CLINIC Stands Ready. Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) and its affiliates stand ready to assist refugees and asylum seekers, especially those who are fleeing intolerable conditions in their homeland.
Humanitarian Groups Prepare. No matter how many people come to the border, humanitarian groups such as the Jesuit Kino Border Initiative are ready to assist with dignity and compassion. Click here to read more.
ICYMI – Rulemaking and Advocacy. ICYMI – Rulemaking and Advocacy. Federal rules and regulations can have a dramatic impact on immigration, but how can someone effectively advocate in the rulemaking process? On October 17, staff from Justice for Immigrants and core affiliates discussed the potential harm to immigrants and refugees based on current proposed changes, how to promote Catholic priorities and why we should comment on proposals. A very helpful webinar is available online. Also, check out this resource from Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC).