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).
Is It a Crisis? Migration is often called a “crisis,” but some would say it is not one. “I think one of the things we need to do is tone down the hysteria,” said Michael Czerny, S.J., undersecretary of the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Vatican’s Office for Integral Human Development. America Magazine quotes Father Czerny, suggesting that the cause is mismanagement and poor policy, both can be rectified with sufficient political will.
The “Caravan” and Catholic Social Teaching. Catholic social teaching helps us look at world events through the lens of the Gospel and our Catholic tradition. David Hollenbeck, S.J. shares his reflection on the Gospel and political positioning related to those from Central America making their way toward the United States, many seeking lawful asylum.
An Early Christmas Present. The Justice for Immigrants annual conference will be in Arlington, Virginia December 5-7, 2018. This very important conference is filled with information and a good way to prepare for supporting immigrants in the new year. Scholarships are available. Learn more and register online.
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 now available online. Also, check out this resource from Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC).
Synod of Bishops. The Synod of Bishops in Rome focuses on youth and vocations, but immigration issues are often discussed. A young graduate of Georgetown University shares her life as an immigrant in America. See other stories on Twitter using #caring4migrants.
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 now available online. Also, check out this resource from Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC).
Family Separation. Not just talk but action is needed. Lutheran Immigration Services and USCCB Office of Migration Services issued a press release and report on the work of faith-based organizations to assist separated immigrant and refugee families.
ICYMI – Ask to Hear a Story or Share Yours. Everyone has family stories, but immigrant stories have special sacrifices and heroism. Read this reflection. Think about your story and ask others to share theirs.
Ask to Hear a Story or Share Yours. Everyone has family stories, but immigrant stories have special sacrifices and heroism. Read this reflection. Think about your story and ask others to share theirs.
Children are Still Being Detained. Voices are needed to stop the detention of children. Read more and send an email. Also, click here for pictures of migrants that tell their stories.
Federal Rulemaking is Different from Legislation. Citizens can directly comment on rules proposed by the federal government. Click here for background information and to make comments on rules related to detention.
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is Temporarily Protected. A federal judge has temporarily blocked the Trump administration from terminating TPS for roughly 300,000 people from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan. The injunction is temporary and subject to review, but it gives protection to those with TPS who would otherwise be required to leave the United States in the near future. Federal legislation is still needed. Click here for a comparison of bills still pending in Congress.
Do You Want a Deep Dive Into Immigration Issues From a Catholic Perspective? Consider attending the Justice for Immigrants 2018 National Conference on December 5 – 7 in Arlington, Virginia.
Administration is Changing Rules That Apply to Legal Residents Who Accept Public Benefits. The Trump administration is proposing a new regulation that would make it extremely difficult for many immigrants to come to the US or receive green cards if they are deemed likely to use public benefits like food stamps or Medicaid. The rules are technical and somewhat difficult to follow, but click here for an explanation. Anyone with questions about coming to the United States or staying here legally should consult a knowledgeable immigration attorney.
Refugee Ceiling for Fiscal Year 2019 Will Be Lowest in History. President Trump has set the ceiling on refugees into the United States at 30,000 in fiscal year 2019, beginning October 1, 2018. The ceiling reduces refugees from every part of the world except Latin America and the Caribbean by fifty percent over 2018. The reduction also includes those fleeing religious persecution.
ICYMI – Time to Vote. Elected officials make immigration laws that affect all of us. The Church cannot support or oppose political candidates, but all citizens should be attentive to political platforms to vote responsibly and prudently. The general election will be November 6, 2018. All voters must be registered by October 9, 2018. Don’t miss the opportunity to have an impact on our future.
National V Encuentro. The four-day national gathering of Hispanic and Latino Catholics reflected the needs of immigrants and recipients of temporary protected status. Read personal reflections from Catholic News Agency. Some of the nation’s most outspoken bishops who support immigrants also attended and showed support.
Proposed Rules May Limit Important Services for Undocumented. The Administration is proposing new rules that could prevent legal permanent residents from obtaining naturalized citizenship if they have lawfully received public benefits. Bishop Joe Vasquez, Chair of the USCCB Committee on Migration and Bishop of Austin, Texas, with Bishop Frank Dewane, Chair of Committee on Domestic and Social Development and the Bishop of Venice, Florida, issued a statement criticizing the proposal.
Be Careful of Immigration Scams. As immigrants seek ways to obtain citizenship, please be aware of scammers who are out to defraud the vulnerable.