Executive Orders Related to Refugees. Over the weekend, a federal district court in Washington prohibited implementation of the ban and the Court of Appeals temporarily upheld the prohibition. The administration still pursues the ban. Anyone who may be affected by the ban should seek legal counsel to make sure they have current information, especially with regard to travel outside the United States.
In multiple media releases during the past week, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has vigorously spoken in opposition to executive orders issued by President Donald J. Trump regarding refugees. http://www.usccb.org/news/2017/17-026.cfm The president and vice president of the USCCB spoke in defense of religious freedom for all faiths. http://www.usccb.org/news/2017/17-026.cfm Catholic bishops expressly spoke in solidarity with Muslim peoples. http://www.usccb.org/news/2017/17-031.cfm
Damage to Families. Consistent with Catholic social teaching, Catholic organizations have focused on the disruptions caused to families by the recent executive orders and by the federal government’s unwillingness to address the problems with our country’s immigration system. https://cliniclegal.org/news/national-catholic-organizations-oppose-executive-orders-affect-immigrants-and-refugees
What is CLINIC? The Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) was established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Embracing the Gospel value of welcoming the stranger, CLINIC promotes the dignity and protects the rights of immigrants in partnership with a dedicated network of Catholic and community legal immigration programs. https://cliniclegal.org/about-us
Migration Mondays. Check out the most recent Migration Mondays, a new series of postings from the Justice for Immigrants campaign of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Every week there will be a new informative and inspirational posting. http://justiceforimmigrants.org/migrationmonday/migrationmonday-6/
Administration Changes Related To Immigration. President Trump has begun issuing a series of executive orders related to immigration and refugees, including the ordering the beginning of work on construction of a wall the length of the Mexican border and significant expansion of detention and deportation. In a press release, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) succinctly points out the social and moral problems with some of these actions http://us8.campaign-archive1.com/?u=d1e29c8d7ab34d84237ecd8ee&id=1e5feb444a.
Bishops Across the Country Continue to Speak. The leadership of the Catholic bishops spoke out vehemently against the plans for a wall on the southern border and increase detention http://www.usccb.org/news/2017/17-023.cfm. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston Houston, spoke as a bishop of a Texas diocese http://www.archgh.org/blog/main.asp?Tid=1895&id=461&cat=Archdiocesan. Also, listen to a noted Jesuit author, Father James Martin https://www.facebook.com/FrJamesMartin/videos/10154132008256496/.
Sanctuary Cities. Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Texas and chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Migration has spoken on behalf of the Catholic bishops of the United States in response to the executive order which would deny federal funding for jurisdictions that choose not to cooperate with federal efforts to deport undocumented immigrants http://justiceforimmigrants.org/statements/usccb-committee-migration-chair-responds-trump-administration-sanctuary-city-executive-order/.
Migration Mondays. Check out Migration Mondays, a new series of postings from the Justice for Immigrants campaign of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Every week there will be a new informative and inspirational posting http://justiceforimmigrants.org/migrationmonday/migrationmonday-5/.
Administration Changes Related To Immigration. As of this writing, we have not seen what the new administration will do with regard to immigration. Action is anticipated in the near future.
Bishops Across the Country Continue to Speak. Whatever changes may come from the administration, Catholic bishops continue to speak in support of immigrant and migrant peoples. Bishop Kevin Vann of Orange – we are side by side. http://occatholic.com/essential-message-to-immigrants/ Also, Cardinal Blasé Cupich of Chicago. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3eTfAuB7yU
DACA and BRIDGE Act. In advance of the inauguration of Donald Trump as 45th president of the United States, nearly 900 religious, civil rights, ethnic and immigrant rights organizations, including the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC), have written to the president elect urging that the new protect the more than 740,000 individuals who currently hold Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA. They also have urged support of the BRIDGE Act which would legislatively protect those individuals at least until Congress can act in a more comprehensive fashion. https://cliniclegal.org/news/cusp-inauguration-day-nearly-900-organizations-urge-president-elect-trump-continue-daca
In-State Tuition on Hold. Although a Superior Court has rules that students lawfully present in Georgia under DACA are entitled to pay in-state tuition at public colleges, the Court of Appeals has placed the ruling on hold until further hearings are held. http://www.ajc.com/news/state–regional-govt–politics/georgia-judge-order-state-tuition-for-daca-immigrants-hold/qTfmmOm6fYpijodCiGXXBP/
Cardinal DiNardo Responds to Video Message From Pope Francis. As part of National Migration Week, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued a statement in response to a video message from Pope Francis that was played at a parish Mass in Los Angeles http://www.usccb.org/news/2017/17-007.cfm. The Cardinal said: “Ultimately, the question is this: Will our nation treat all migrants and refugees, regardless of their national origin or religion, in a way that respects their inherent dignity as children of God? Pope Francis reminds us we are all equal before God…. Achieving ‘one nation under God’ has not always been easy, but each earlier period of immigration has ultimately strengthened our society. Those who seek to do us harm must be kept from our shores, but those fleeing persecution in need of hope and ready to help us build a better America must be welcomed.”
New President Inaugurated January 20. Donald Trump will be inaugurated president on January 20 and it is still not known how he will implement his campaign promises regarding immigration. Whatever changes come forward, CLINIC has prepared materials to assist immigrants and refugees and it will update materials as changes are announced https://cliniclegal.org/presidentialtransition.
Continued Support from Bishops. Cardinal Blasé Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, is among the latest bishops speaking in support of protection for young people brought to the United States and raised here. The Cardinal suggests that these DACA recipients be protected, not prosecuted or deported. Immigrants, he said, have “made America great.” http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-immigrants-cardinal-cupich-dream-act-perspec-0110-20170109-story,amp.html
ICYMI – Resources for Workers and Students. While we wait to see what changes may emerge in immigration law in the coming year, there are resources available to help immigrants know their rights. See CLINIC publications explaining rights for students https://cliniclegal.org/resources/know-your-rights-students and for workers. https://cliniclegal.org/resources/know-your-rights-workers.
Bishops Support BRIDGE Act Proposal. On behalf of the Catholic Bishops of the United States, Bishop Joe Vasquez, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, asked members of Congress to support the BRIDGE Act, which would provide temporary relief similar to that provided by DACA.
In-State Tuition for Georgia DACA Students. A Superior Court Judge in Fulton County has ruled that students who are “legally present” in the United States by virtue of DACA may be assessed in-state tuition only in Georgia public colleges and universities http://ht.ly/Z6UU307GVuY. While this ruling could save students thousands of dollars, it is less significant with the possibility that the DACA program will be discontinued under the Trump administration.
Georgia General Assembly Convenes. The Georgia General Assembly began its 2017 legislative session on January 9. While immigration is primarily a federal issue, Georgia legislators will seek to increase restrictions on immigrants, refugees and other foreign nationals. http://www.myajc.com/news/state–regional-govt–politics/georgia-lawmakers-readying-raft-tough-bills-immigrants-refugees/JOTJhhuKFhnY2npRkdt4iN/?ecmp=newspaper_email&user-access=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJpYXQiOjE0ODM2NTAwMDEsImV4cCI6MTQ4Mzc2NTE5OSwicHJvZHVjdHMiOlt7InBpZCI6Ind3dy5teWFqYy5jb20iLCJleHAiOjE0ODM3NjUxOTksImF1dGhlbiI6ImJ5cGFzcyJ9XX0.DYzOPy_oZ2qBkPpC6gTMnzal0U64AqGaTkpPb9w0_pQ&uuid=CA42305D-4292-49C5-AB9A-829AC42ED786
ICYMI – Resources for Workers and Students. While we wait to see what changes may emerge in immigration law in the coming year, there are resources available to help immigrants know their rights. See CLINIC publications explaining rights for students https://cliniclegal.org/resources/know-your-rights-students and workers https://cliniclegal.org/resources/know-your-rights-workers.
ICYMI – National Migration Week Is Coming. National Migration Week is January 8 – 14, 2017. Please use this USCCB Justice for Immigrants toolkit in your parishes and other communities. http://justiceforimmigrants.org/2016site/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/NMW-2017-Toolkit.pdf
Let us Join Together in Prayer for a Safe and Happy New Year!
Resources for Workers and Students. While we wait to see what changes may emerge in immigration law in the coming year, there are resources available to help immigrants know their rights. See CLINIC publications explaining rights for students https://cliniclegal.org/resources/know-your-rights-students and for workers https://cliniclegal.org/resources/know-your-rights-workers.
National Migration Week Is Coming. National Migration Wek will be January 8 – 14, 2017, Make us of this USCCB Justice for Immigrants toolkit in parishes and other communities http://www.justiceforimmigrants.org/documents/NMW-2017-Toolkit_000.pdf.
New Immigration Facility May be Coming to Georgia. GEO, a provider of private prison services, announced that it has contracted to operate a new immigration detention center in Folkston, Georgia. The operation will be housed in an existing 780 bed facility in Folkston, Georgia. http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20161219005621/en/GEO-Group-Announces-Contract-780-Beds-Existing#.WFkA2ssbEds.email.
Breaking News – USCCB Announces New Bishops Working Group in Anticipation of Immigration Changes. The new bishops working group will look at what is being done pastorally in U.S. dioceses and will share best practices with bishops throughout the country. Details at: http://www.catholicnews.com/services/englishnews/2016/usccb-forms-working-group-to-monitor-needs-of-migrants-refugees.cfm. Archbishop Jose Gomez, archbishop of Los Angeles will chair the working group. See also comments by Cardinal Blaise Cupich of Chicago. http://www.catholicnewworld.com/column/archbishop-cupich/2016/12/11/us-bishops-to-immigrants-we-stand-with-you.
“Am I not with you, I who am your mother?” This Our Lady to St. Juan Diego. Celebrating the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, bishops across the country addressed the increased concern for immigrants and refugees. “We might be poor, but we’ll never be alone,” said Bishop Mario Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington, as he reflected on the Holy Family with people in the pews. some who were likely facing similar situations. https://cnstopstories.com/2016/12/15/after-a-year-of-setbacks-uncertainty-looms-for-immigrants-in-2017/
Likewise, Bishop Stephen Blair invoked Our Lady of Guadalupe: https://togoforth.org/2016/12/12/bishop-blaire-of-stockton-issues-strong-statement-on-feast-of-our-lady-of-guadalupe/
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio spoke of the security needed for all. https://www.ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/brooklyn-bishop-pledges-support-dioceses-immigrants-against-deportations?utm_source=CLINIC+Mail&utm_campaign=e21acd62e3-CLINIC_Daily_12-12-16&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_a33179621a-e21acd62e3-279160521
ICYMI — All Students Have Rights. At a time when anti-immigrant behavior is appearing in schools (https://www.splcenter.org/20161128/trump-effect-impact-2016-presidential-election-our-nations-schools#executive), a good source of information about the rights of students is found at: https://cliniclegal.org/resources/know-your-rights-students This booklet can be shared with parents as well as school administrators.
Happy Christmas! Feliz Navidad! With family and friends over the upcoming weeks, we pray in particular for peoples around the world who are forced to flee their homes.
Prayer Reminder. December 12 is designated as a day of prayer and solidarity with families of immigrants. Throughout Advent and the New Year, a good way to pray for migrant peoples is by praying the rosary with Our Lady of Guadalupe and Families of Immigrants. http://www.usccb.org/news/2016/16-168.cfm
A Catholic Way Forward. In this time of transition, Catholic leaders consistently point forward in a way forward that serves humanity consistent with our beliefs. https://cnstopstories.com/2016/12/05/a-way-forward-on-immigration/ ; http://stcloudvisitor.org/2016/09/14/catholics-urged-reject-partisan-views-migration-heed-gospel-message/ “It’s the work of the church to be a presence and to make available a space for people to feel welcome,” said Bishop Flores of Brownsville.
All Students Have Rights. At a time when anti-immigrant behavior is appearing in schools (https://www.splcenter.org/20161128/trump-effect-impact-2016-presidential-election-our-nations-schools#executive), a good source of information about the rights of students is found at: https://cliniclegal.org/resources/know-your-rights-students This booklet can be shared with parents as well as school administrators.
Family Detention Centers. A state court judge in Austin, Texas, ruled that the state could not license detention centers as childcare facilities — a victory for common sense. This decision impacts two federal immigration detention centers in Dilley and Karnes City, Texas, which incarcerate migrant and refugee women and children. These facilities are located within the Archdiocese of San Antonio. Their archbishop reacted with approval, but was dismayed when the state appealed the decision. See more at: https://www.archsa.org/news/statement-of-archbishop-gustavo-garcia-siller-msps-on-state-district-judge#sthash.GbvmnhZ4.dpuf. CLINIC and other immigration advocates have opposed these prisons while seeking to help those detained receive fair treatmen
Breaking News from the USCCB. On December 1, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops announced that the feast of Our Lady Of Guadalupe, December 12, would be commemorated as a Day Of Prayer And Solidarity With Families Of Immigrants. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo said: “To all those families separated and far from home in uncertain times, we join with you in a prayer for comfort and joy this Advent season” http://www.usccb.org/news/2016/16-168.cfm.The announcement made reference to the Scriptural Rosary reflecting on aspects of the mysteries related to migrating peoples http://www.justiceforimmigrants.org/documents/Scriptural-Rosary-Eng.pdf.
DACA Students in Colleges and Universities. It is no secret that there is a high likelihood that the Trump Administration will end the DACA program for young people brought into the United States at an early age although the terms of ending the program are still uncertain. Nonetheless, the leadership of Catholic colleges and universities have announced their intention to protect their students to the greatest extent possible https://cnstopstories.com/2016/11/30/catholic-college-presidents-pledge-support-for-students-with-daca-status/. Emory University in Atlanta has announced that it is becoming a “sanctuary university” even though it could be punished by the lass of Georgia state funding. http://politics.blog.ajc.com/2016/11/29/emory-could-lose-state-funding-if-it-declares-a-sanctuary-campus-to-shield-immigrants/
Alternatives to DACA. Over 700,000 individuals have taken advantage of the DACA program since its inception but the program had a fundamental weakness in that it was instituted by executive order, not a Congressional statute. In light of the possibility that President-elect Trump will do away with DACA when he takes office, several senators are considering legislation to shield children living in the country illegally from being deported if they grew up in the United States and have stayed out of trouble. http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/308380-senators-crafting-legislation-to-limit-deportations-under-trump
Pope Francis Decries the Animosity Toward Immigrant Peoples. Pope Francis continues to support migrating people and refugees by decrying the negative positions of people who reject them http://www.reuters.com/article/us-pope-cardinals-idUSKBN13E0HE.
Archbishop Gomez Also Speaks Out in His Quiet Way. Archbishop Jose Gomez, archbishop of Los Angeles and newly elected vice president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, was recently profiled in the Los Angeles Times as he asked for prayer to fix the broken immigration system before people were hurt by needless deportations. “Not politics. It’s about people.” http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-archbishop-gomez-trump-20161122-story.html
Justice for Immigrants Campaign. The USCCB Justice for Immigrants has also published materials to help parishes and religious communities in talking about immigration under the new Administration in light of the fears among parishioners. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-archbishop-gomez-trump-20161122-story.html
ICYMI — What Can Be Done To Prepare? Exactly what the new administration will do or how quickly it will act is uncertain. CLINIC has published information for addressing issues that will be raised with the new administration. https://cliniclegal.org/presidentialtransition These issues are continuously developing as information comes from the new administration even though it is likely that definitive information will not be available until after January 20, 2017. Remember that no matter who is president, all persons have rights that a president cannot just eliminate. Review your rights. https://www.nilc.org/issues/immigration-enforcement/everyone-has-certain-basic-rights/