Tag Archives: Update

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 355

Archbishop Hartmayer supports repeal of death penalty in Georgia. House Bill 485 would repeal the death penalty in Georgia. See Archbishop Hartmayer’s strong statement supporting the bill. 

Biden Administration challenged by increasing number of unaccompanied children. President Joe Biden pledged to provide more humane treatment for unaccompanied children at the southern border; however, the numbers are increasing, and means to unite the children with families and cost of care create a logistical and human challenge. See more details. The administration is also trying to unite families in the United States and find ways to keep them together.

Support Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD). In 2019, CLINIC launched the National Immigrant Empowerment Project, or NIEP. This multi-year project was made possible with funding from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (@PovertyUSA_CCHD). Learn more about the good work that grew from this funding. Remember to contribute to the 2021 Catholic Campaign for Human Development.

ICYMI – Pray the rosary during Lent. As you pray the mysteries of the rosary during Lent (and other times as well), remember our migrating brothers and sisters with the rosary for vulnerable migrants populations.

Justice for Immigrants. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops sponsors the Justice for Immigrants campaign. Make sure 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, scroll to the bottom of any page and fill out the form.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 354

Pray the rosary during Lent. As you pray the mysteries of the rosary during Lent (and other times as well), remember our migrating brothers and sisters with the rosary for vulnerable migrants populations.

Executive orders. The Biden administration continues to affect immigration law and practice with executive orders making major changes to those issued by the previous administration. See summary of new executive orders here.

Do not become confused. With all the changes to immigration law, it remains important to seek competent help. Scammers try to mislead immigrants and refugees with false promises. Even small mistakes can affect status. See resources in English, Spanish and French at the CLINIC website.

Climate change affects migrating people. There are many reasons why people make the difficult life changing decision to leave their home country and seek a new home in a distant country. Each decision is personal, but changing climate characteristics can affect the availability of food. Food insecurity becomes an important reason for migration. See an analysis here.

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.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 353

What has the Biden administration done so far? There have been a multitude of executive orders from the president since inauguration day. Here is a good summary of the immigration and refugee orders complied by the Center for Immigration Studies. See additional information from CLINIC experts.

Immigration reform moves slowly. While the administration has issued executive orders, other reforms will move slowly. The administration is beginning the review and adjudication of backlogged asylum applications, but the border remains closed to asylum seekers. The administration has sent to Congress proposed legislation, which would allow a path to citizenship, promote integration and citizenship, embrace diversity and fairness, and grow the economy. No one expects this proposal to have a smooth passage, but it is a start toward a comprehensive reform. The USCCB and many advocates will follow the bill and encourage the reforms we have sought for many years.

Alien? Illegal Alien? Words matter. “Illegal alien” is a term used by some to describe foreign nationals who may not be documented. Many find the term dehumanizing or derogatory. The Department of Homeland Security has issued instructions stating a preference for terms such as “noncitizen,” “undocumented noncitizen” or “undocumented individual.” Everyone should use language carefully so as not to demean others.

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

ICYMI – Promoting citizenship and naturalization. The last few years have seen more and more restrictive policies related to naturalization. The Biden administration is now considering changes. It may be time for those eligible for citizenship to seriously consider the step. See materials prepared by the New Americans Campaign and consult an experienced immigration attorney to find out eligibility.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 352

Georgia General Assembly. Senate Bills 33 and 34 have already passed the Senate. They would allow victims of sex trafficking to sue traffickers for damages and victims to change their names but keep previous names confidential to keep traffickers from locating them. Although not directly directed toward immigrants and asylum seekers, they benefit those who are most vulnerable to exploitation.

Black Immigrant Advocacy Week of Action. The week has passed but the needs highlighted during February’s Black History Month continue. Catholic Legal Immigration Network is among 110 immigration advocacy groups requesting that the administration takes action to eliminate racism in the immigration process that overlooks the needs of Black immigrants and refugees.

Unaccompanied refugee minors. The plight of refugee children fleeing without parents or guardians remains a real problem even if the issue has fallen from the headlines. Read the backgrounder prepared by the USCCB office of Migration and Refugee Services. According to reports, the Biden administration is planning to expand programs to aid these children.

Immigration reform? With all the talk of changes from the new administration, where is that one of a comprehensive immigration reform, which is so sorely needed? See this thoughtful article.

What does CLINIC do? The Catholic Legal Immigration Network was formed over thirty years ago by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to build and support a dedicated network of Catholic and community legal immigration programs and to advocate for vulnerable populations. CLINIC involves itself in a wide range of issues to advance its mission. Learn more here.

Immigration priorities for 2021. Each year, CLINIC prepares a list of advocacy priorities for its staff and networks. See its priorities for 2021.

ICYMI – Promoting citizenship and naturalization. The last few years have seen more and more restrictive policies related to naturalization. The Biden administration is now considering changes. It may be time for those eligible for citizenship to seriously consider the step. See materials prepared by the New Americans Campaign and consult an experienced immigration attorney to find out eligibility.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 351

St. Josephine Bakhita pray for us. Monday, February 8, is the memorial of St. Josephine Bakhita who was born in Sudan, kidnapped, sold into slavery and eventually reached Italy where she ultimately gained freedom. She joined a religious order of sisters where she was known for simplicity, humility and a constant smile even in suffering. She died in 1947 and was canonized in 2000. She is patron saint of trafficking victims. Read her story.

Presidential executive orders (continued). Tuesday, February 2, President Biden signed three executive orders related to immigration policy. One executive order established a task force to identify and reunite families separated at the United States-Mexico border under the policy of the previous administration. The second executive order will focus on stemming the flow of migrants from Central America by providing aid to the region to support initiatives combating corruption and revive the Central American minors program that had been ended by the Trump administration and allows certain at-risk youths to live in the US. That order will require review of the “Remain in Mexico” policy. The third order reestablishes the Task Force on New Americans and initiates a review of the naturalization process. These executive orders are only a first step and may seem far away from people in Georgia. Many in the state have relatives and friends caught in the policies of the Trump administration, but may now see help on the horizon. While some of our brothers and sisters may have renewed hope, they still need support as the implementation of these policies will take time.

Asking for patience. With thousands of asylum seekers waiting in Mexico to present their cases for asylum, the Biden administration asks for patience as it tries to find a way to adjudicate these cases even tough many advocates raise concerns about the suffering caused by delay. Read more here.

Bishops’ conference welcomed executive orders. On behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Mario Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and chair of the USCCB committee on migration said: “We welcome these executive orders on migration, which will help to ensure that immigrants and refugees are treated humanely and in accordance with their God-given dignity…. We also offer our assistance and cooperation on these urgent matters of human life and dignity.” Read the complete statement here.

ICYMI – Promoting citizenship and naturalization. The last few years have seen more and more restrictive policies related to naturalization. The Biden administration is now considering changes. It may be time for those eligible for citizenship to seriously consider the step. See materials prepared by the New Americans Campaign and consult an experienced immigration attorney to find out your eligibility.

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 349

New comprehensive immigration bill introduced. On its first full day in office, the Biden administration sent to Congress proposed legislation addressing many of the issues that have marked our broken immigration system. This immigration reform bill proposes to (1) create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented in the United States; (2) reform the immigration court system; (3) modernize border security; (4) address root causes of undocumented migration; and (5) institute other actions. The bill would also provide greater protection for unaccompanied child migrants. There is no expectation that this bill will be adopted as proposed, but the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has already expressed support for many of these reforms. See the statement from Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration.

President Biden executive orders. Among other executive orders, President Biden reversed or modified executive orders related to immigrants and refugees. The president issued an executive order continuing and fortifying the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program originally adopted by President Obama. The USCCB has long supported the DACA program and affirmed the Biden administration action while recognizing the need for congressional action. The Department of Homeland Security has announced that it will pause deportations for certain noncitizens in the United States for 100 days and stop new enrollments in the Migrant Protection Protocols policy, also known as the “remain in Mexico” program, a program that requires asylum seekers on the southern border to remain in Mexico pending scheduling of a hearing. Currently about 60,000 prospective asylees are camped in the Mexico side of the border.

Quick summary. Need a quick summary of Catholic principles and issues related to immigration? See https://justiceforimmigrants.org/what-we-are-working-on/immigration/

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. 347

Happy New Year! 2020 was a difficult year in many ways for all of us. The pandemic was particularly difficult for immigrants and refugees, but the problems were made more difficult for them as the administration made oppressive regulatory changes. We offer prayers that the new administration will bring relief through more reasonable regulations.

Webinar – Immigration Policy for the Incoming Administration. In anticipation of the incoming Biden administration, Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) has developed policy recommendations and justifications that would reverse policies of the current administration and benefit immigrants and refugees. Join CLINIC experts for a free webinar explaining these policy recommendations on Thursday, January 21.

Immigrant families have benefits in the recently signed stimulus bill. The new bill allows payments of $600 for an individual U.S. citizen and $600 for each dependent child in households with an undocumented spouse. Families may also  recover the COVID-19 relief check denied in the spring 2020 first round of stimulus payments — $1,200 for each U.S. citizen taxpayer and $500 for each U.S. citizen child — when they file their 2020 taxes in the spring. Read more.

Elections do have consequences. Newly elected Gwinnett County Sheriff Keybo Taylor announced that the county would no longer participate in the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s 287(g) program, under which local law enforcement are deputized to carry out immigration enforcement responsibilities typically performed by ICE agents. This constitutes a significant change for law enforcement in the county, which has one of the state’s largest populations of people who are living in the country illegally.

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. 346

It is not too late to journey with black immigrants. Interfaith Immigration Coalition offers a seven week journey through Advent and Christmas with actions, stories, prayers and more focused on Black immigration.

What does the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) want from the new administration? CLINIC has identified actions it will advocate with the new administration on behalf of the immigrant and refugee population. See the bold transition proposals to support human dignity.

DACA update. On December 4, a federal district court ordered U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to resume accepting initial DACA, renewal and advance parole applications according to the terms of the original 2012 DACA program. Find details and practice tips for filing applications in the wake of these developments. It is a little technical but worth the read.

Need immigration information? Justice for Immigrants continually updates its resources on a variety of topics. Head to the @USCCBJFI website to see resource pages on the following topics:

COVID-19: http://ow.ly/pk2130qt0Dn
Immigrant Benefits: http://ow.ly/U5PQ30ql1pN
Anti-trafficking: http://ow.ly/GeQ730qf1ww
Family Separation: http://ow.ly/VxRO30qf1wT

ICYMI – One Church, Many Cultures. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church, chaired by Archbishop Nelson Perez of Philadelphia, has published its fall/winter newsletter filled with informative and current articles.

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!

“The world belongs to everyone, because all of us were born with the same dignity.” Pope Francis

Comprehensive Immigration Report No. 345

DACA restored! A federal court has ordered the Trump administration to fully restore DACA, instructing DHS to open the Obama-era program to new applicants for the first time since 2017. Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, chair of the USCCB Committee on Migration, welcomed the court’s decision and expressed hope for even greater progress in finding a path to citizenship for these young people.

New administration on the horizon. Immigration advocates are anticipating changes benefiting immigrants and asylees after the Biden administration takes office in January. Early action is expected for restoring the DACA program and the ban on travel from majority Muslim countries. Additional changes are still needed to fix the broken immigration system, not the least of which are legislative changes.

In the midst of pandemic, foreign medical personnel are needed. Hospital administrators and medical advocacy groups are seeking support from the Biden administration to loosen procedures so that necessary medical personnel from other countries can enter the United States when the need is so great.

ICYMI – One Church, Many Cultures. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church, chaired by Archbishop Nelson Perez of Philadelphia, has published its fall/winter newsletter filled with informative and current articles.

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. 344

ICYMI — Advocacy in 2021. Most elections are over, but the work of advocacy lies before us. Learn why we advocate, how we advocate and on what issues we advocate in a webinar offered by the Archdiocese of Atlanta Justice and Peace Ministries and the Georgia Catholic Conference on Thursday, December 10, at 7:00 p.m. All are welcome. See further information here.

Our Lady of Guadalupe. Sunday, December 12, is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas. It is not too late to make preparations for your celebration. See resources from Justice for Immigrants here.

One Church, Many Cultures. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church chaired by Archbishop Nelson Perez of Philadelphia has published its fall/winter newsletter filled with informative and current articles.

Human trafficking. Pope Francis teaches “Human trafficking is a crime against all humanity. We must unite our efforts to free victims and stop this crime.” In these turbulent times of pandemic and economic stress, we must continue vigilance against human trafficking that goes on in our midst and around the world. Justice for Immigrants offers resources

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!