"I was a stranger and you welcomed me."
With immigration at the forefront of current public debate, this familiar call from Matthew 23:35 is as relevant today as ever because immigration is one of the most pressing issues facing the United States and the world today. The complexities of immigration to the United States are not only matters of law and policy, but also deeply felt social and ethical issues. For more than 30 years, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., has protected the legal rights of immigrant families and promoted their dignity in the Catholic tradition of welcoming the stranger.
CLINIC provides training and support to a dedicated network of more than 400 Catholic and community-based immigration law providers in 49 states. By supporting approximately 3,000 network employees with diverse and in-depth training, real-time updates and best practices, CLINIC ultimately serves nearly 500,000 immigrants a year, making it the largest nonprofit immigration law organization in the country. In addition to supporting the network, CLINIC offers highly specialized direct legal representation, and training and technical assistance for immigrant defenders about current practice and strategy before the courts. We also have a dedicated team that specializes in religious immigration law to assist religious workers coming to the United States.
CLINIC's program areas are Advocacy; Capacity Building; Defending Vulnerable Populations; Training and Legal Support; and Religious Immigration Services. We are guided by the Catholic principle of subsidiarity — to support our affiliate network in doing their best work within their communities, stepping in to provide direct legal service only when necessary. CLINIC operates with financial support from the Catholic Church, foundations and individual donors.
Migration is as old as human experience. People migrate today for the same reasons as throughout history: to escape oppression, famine, war and danger; to search for justice and security; and to create better and safer lives for themselves, their families and future generations. But the issue of immigration in the United States today is fraught with division and is in vital need of reform, and CLINIC's work and its Catholic values are more important than ever.