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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Learn more about human trafficking. Justice for Immigrants is supporting World Day Against Trafficking in Persons by offering a webinar about local and national actions, Thursday, July 30, at 1 p.m. Click here to register for the webinar. It will be time well spent as you continue to stay at home as much as possible.
Teaching children at home? Many parents will be teaching children at home in the near future and principles of civic participation are important for all to understand. Consider using these resources for classroom teachers, designed by Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC), available to all. As an important element for citizen education, CLINIC teaches the dignity of every human being.
Federal immigration requirements are difficult to understand. Yes, they are difficult to understand so it is important to seek advice from qualified legal representatives when questions arise. In addition to supporting non-profit legal services, such as those offered by Catholic Charities Atlanta Legal Services, Catholic Legal Immigration Network advocates for changes to those regulations. Very few people outside government may pay attention, but rules affect real people, such as asylum seekers. See for example a 101 page set of comments drafted and submitted by CLINIC attorneys to help those seeking asylum in the United States. Asylum is important. Over 79,000 comments were submitted.
COVID-19 affects everyone. Take a look at the #COVID19 resource page on the Justice for Immigrants’ website today. They continually update their health, prayer and government resources. As you pray for those exposed to the coronavirus, especially remember those in immigration detention and in prisons where many (staff, detainees and prisoners) are testing positive.
Welcome Bishop-elect Stephen Parkes to the State of Georgia, the Diocese of Savannah and the Georgia Catholic Conference. The bishops of Georgia constitute the Georgia Catholic Conference and we look forward to assisting Bishop-elect Parkes in his service to the people of south Georgia.
Less than a week to have your voice heard. Wednesday, July 15, is the deadline for public comments on the administration’s banning immigrants and visa seekers from entering the U.S. It is not just about protection against COVID-19. See an easy to use template for sending an email.
The DACA saga is not over. Although the Supreme Court would not approve the administration’s attempt to end the DACA program, the court left open the possibility that the administration could rectify the procedure it used to issue the attempted closure of the program. The administration has announced its intent to issue a new order that may comply with the supreme court’s order. The process will take time, but those who are eligible for DACA registration or renewal, should contact a qualified attorney to seek registration or renewal.
Pope Francis and Lampedusa. Pope Francis’ first trip outside Rome after his election was to Lampedusa, an arrival point for immigrants from Africa. The Holy Father has continued to demonstrate his concern for migrating people throughout his pontificate. He recently celebrated Mass remembering the seventh anniversary of that trip and continued his advocacy focusing on the humanity of all immigrants and refugees. Ad multos annos, Pope Francis.
Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Litany of Loreto). Showing again his closeness and concern for migrating people, Pope Francis asked that the traditional Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary, also known as the Litany of Loreto, have three added invocations seeking Mary’s intercession under the titles “Mother of mercy,” “Mother of hope” and “Solace of migrants.”
How to integrate immigrants into your community. The 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.”
Asylum seekers (a continuing story). El Paso Bishop Mark Seitz crossed the border to Ciudad Juárez where he lamented his expectation that the “fundamental right to asylum here at the border really is effectively over.” Based on the current Administration policy of keeping asylum seekers in camps in Mexico as well as the recent Supreme Court decision denying court review of border patrol agent decisions regarding asylum seekers, the United States will no longer be open to persecuted refugees seeking asylum.
ICYMI – COVID-19 affects us all. Keep up to date with the latest information on testing and protection as it affects everyone, including migrant and refugee populations. Justice for Immigrants provides resources.