Tag Archives: Update

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.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 329

Immigration fees are increasing. The U.S. Department of Homeland security has issued a final rule increasing many fees for immigration related services by a weighted average of 20 percent. The rule also eliminates many exemptions which non-profit legal services have asserted on behalf of their clients. The increased fees will make it more difficult for low-income immigrants to obtain services. Many advocates, including Anna Gallagher, characterized the increase as a form of “wealth test for citizenship” and contrary to the dignity of immigrants. Read more here.

Have you missed a Justice for Immigrants (JFI) webinar? JFI presents valuable webinars. If you missed one or want to watch it again, you still have the opportunity. Visit their archives.

Are you looking for a good resource for Catholic social teaching and immigration? Justice for Immigrants has a good tool. Pope Francis is also focusing on Catholic social teaching as he begins a new series at his Wednesday general audiences.

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.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 328

What is the status of DACA? After the Supreme Court ruled against the Administration attempt to end the Deferred Childhood Arrival (DACA) program, one would expect that eligible individuals could initiate applications and renewals of registration. However, the Administration has refused to follow the Supreme Court order and issued a memo with the effects indicated at this link. Bishop Jamie Soto, Chair of the Board at the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., strongly criticized the announced policy calling it “irresponsible and recalcitrant” in the midst of a pandemic since “DHS is returning to the same callous posture, against which the court has already decided.”

Human trafficking. Calling human trafficking “an open wound on the body of contemporary society,” Pope Francis offered thanks to all those who work in opposition to the commodification of the human person. Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration, called for prayers for those trafficked and for education so that all people see the horror of human trafficking which is an affront to the dignity of human persons.

Census workers are coming. Beginning, Saturday, August 1, census workers will be coming to homes, which have not completed census forms. It is important that residents of the United States (including lawful permanent residents, students and the undocumented) be included because the census numbers will be used in apportioning congressional and state legislative districts as well as many government benefits and grants. How do you know that the person at your door is a legitimate census worker? See this link to identify the census worker.

ICYMI – Keep up to date on changing immigration issues. Justice for Immigrants provides webinars, action alerts and more. Go to http://justiceforimmigrants.org and fill out the form at the bottom of any page today!

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 327

The Administration must re-start acceptance of DACA applications! The Supreme Court’s decision holding that the Administration did not act lawfully in trying to close the DACA program is only a temporary reprieve for DREAMERS because there are ways for the Administration to end the program. Nonetheless, until the Administration uses the proper procedures, the program must process applications and renewals. The Administration has tried to delay but has been ordered by the courts to take action immediately. See a discussion. Anyone who has been turned away should continue to insist on filing applications and renewals.

Less than a week until World Day Against Trafficking. Justice For Immigrants is offering a webinar next Thursday, July 30, to explore the human trafficking that plagues the world and especially affects vulnerable migrating people. Register today.

ICYMI — How to integrate immigrants into your community. Catholic Legal Immigration Network “believes that the most successful integration initiatives are local and seek input, buy-in and participation from a wide range of groups, individuals and institutions of both the receiving and newcomer community. This white paper will guide your organization through this process to help you design, implement, evaluate and reassess your integration initiatives while demonstrating how to actively promote integration in your community.”

Keep up to date on changing immigration issues. Justice for Immigrants provides webinars, action alerts and more. Go to http://justiceforimmigrants.org and fill out the form at the bottom of any page today!

Always seek qualified assistance. Unfortunately, there are scammers who want to take advantage of people in trouble. Immigration law is complex. Whenever legal help is needed, avoid notarios or even lawyers who are not experienced in immigration law. Catholic Legal Immigration Network has resources to identify dangers.