Recent Blog Entries
- New Americans Campaign comes together for Citizenship Drive in Los Angeles
- Ushering in a New Season for CLINIC and our 11 Million Undocumented Neighbors
- Living in God's Image, Embracing the Immigrant
- Lent: A Reform of the Heart
- Immigration Policy and New Estimates of the U.S. Unauthorized Population
- A Lenten Call to Embrace Acts of Charity
- CLINIC Holds Unique, “Mega” Workshop Training Event in Los Angeles
- Do Immigration Laws Deny Religious Freedom?
- Joyful Anticipation
- Las Posadas: An Invitation to Hospitality
By: Julia Alanen*
Each year, approximately 1.4 million persons are physically assaulted by an intimate partner in the United States, according to the National Institute for Justice. Domestic violence can include physical, sexual, psychological, emotional or even financial abuse. It can occur in public or in private life. Domestic violence cuts across gender, race, ethnicity, age and socio-economic lines. The victim can be male or female, and a batterer can be the victim’s spouse, child, parent or other family member. Domestic violence can occur within the context of marriage, live-in family members, dating or in a non-intimate co-parenting relationship.
By: James Porter*
With only 2 months until mid-term elections, politicians on both sides of the aisle are doing their best to gain support from their bases. Democrats introduced the DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act) as an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill and Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) introduced a comprehensive immigration bill right before the Senate adjourned for campaign season. The DREAM Act failed in a procedural vote, and it is unclear what will happen with the CIR bill. Not to be left out of the political posturing, Republicans released a “Pledge to America,” which included several immigration related items. As the outcome of the November elections still remains to be seen, these were the most popular stories in September in immigration news.
By: Natalia Ricardo*
On Friday, September 24, 2010, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced its final rule on the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) fee schedule, first proposed on June 11, 2010. The rule results in an average 10% increase in fees. Additionally, the rule establishes three new fees associated with the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program, the Civil Surgeon Designation, and processing of Immigrant Visa requests. There is also an adjustment of the Premium Processing service fee. USCIS maintained that the fee increase was a necessary means to recover operating costs. The rule will take effect on November 23, 2010; meaning that all applications or petitions mailed, postmarked, or otherwise filed on or after November 23, 2010 will be subject to the fee increase.
Update: On Tuesday, September 21, the U.S. Senate voted against proceeding to debate on the Defense Authorization bill, to which the DREAM Act was amended. The vote was 56-43 with all 40 Republicans voting "no" along with Senators Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Mark Pryor (D-AR). Though he is a supporter of the bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), switched his vote to "no" at the last minute to provide him the opportunity to call for a re-vote through a procedural maneuver. The DREAM Act may also be voted on as a stand alone bill.
By: Allison Posner*
This week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced his intention to add the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act to the Department of Defense Authorization bill that will soon be coming up for a vote in the Senate – maybe as early as next week.
This is a welcome development, since the DREAM Act was first introduced in 2001. It was most recently introduced in 2009 in the Senate by Richard Durbin (D-IL) and in the House by Howard Berman (D-CA). The legislation would provide a chance for young undocumented high school graduates who entered the United States before they turned 16 to gain lawful immigration status. Passage of the bill would mean eligibility for student loans, federal work-study programs, and other services. It would provide incentive for the approximately 65,000 undocumented graduates each year to continue their schooling and improve their job prospects.
By: Hiroko Kusuda, Helen Chen, and James Porter
On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Southeast Louisiana ravaging parishes, towns, and cities across the Gulf Coast. When the levees broke that protected the city of New Orleans from the surrounding waterways, 80% of the city wound up under water. The city has begun to rebound with the population at 90% of its pre-Katrina numbers. This year, CLINIC had its annual convening in downtown New Orleans, and it was a major success.
By: James Porter
According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), an asylum seeker is “a person who has left their country of origin, has applied for recognition as a refugee in another country, and is awaiting a decision on their application.” There is often much attention paid to refugees by those in the nonprofit sector. However, asylum seekers are unique from refugees and face unique challenges of their own such as detention in the U.S. and the uncertainty of the asylum adjudication process.
By: James Porter and Maria M. Odom
During the week of July 25,CLINIC board members Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami and Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn, and CLINIC’s Executive Director, Maria M. Odom participated in a United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)/Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) fact-finding delegation. They investigated the situation of unaccompanied children, displaced Haitians, and other populations left vulnerable by the January 12 earthquake. The group travelled to Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and the Bahamas.
By: James Porter
This July was one of the hottest on record across the country. Also hot in July was immigration, thanks in part to the continued focus on Arizona’s immigration law. The Obama administration’s challenge of Arizona’s law saw part of it overturned, while the rest went into effect at the end of the month. Additionally, President Obama gave his first major speech on immigration to mixed reviews from those on either side of the debate. Overall, the month certainly saw an increase in anti-immigrant rhetoric such as a list of supposed undocumented immigrants that was sent to government officials in Utah. As we rapidly head towards mid-term elections in the fall, it will be interesting to see what role immigration will play. These stories and more were the most read immigration related news items for July.
By Crista Cornavaca
Students from the United We Dream Coalition and DREAM Act supporters gathered at Lafayette Square in front of the White House and on Capitol Hill last week to promote awareness for the DREAM Act and to give visible presence to the previously invisible undocumented student population. These activists are striving to pressure Congress to move the DREAM Act to a vote. The Act would allow undocumented students who have lived in the United States for most of their lives to receive a higher education, allow students to accept the academic and athletic scholarships they have been unable to access due to their immigration status, and after two years of military service or successful completion of higher education, continue on their path to being productive and patriotic Americans with legal permanent residence.