The Religious Immigration Section of CLINIC, along with immigration practitioners around the country, breathed a sigh of relief on September 13, 2012,when the House of Representatives passed an extension of the Non-Minister Provision of the Special Immigrant Worker Program. Unless this extension passed, individuals pursuing religious vocations and religious occupations would no longer have been eligible to become legal permanent residents. This would have meant that nuns, brothers, seminarians, pastoral associates, religious teachers, missionaries, and those in formation would have been excluded from permanent residency.
The incredible service that is performed by these individuals often reaches those far outside the boundaries of the United States. By using the resources that only a country such as the United States has to offer, these “non-ministers” are able to spread their message of compassion and charity throughout the world.
For example, sisters of various religious communities are currently serving at the United Nations. While their ministry encompasses many areas, there is a primary focus on poverty, education, and bringing awareness to the global epidemic of human trafficking.
In the event that Hurricane/Tropical Storm Isaac (Isaac) triggers the need for an officially ordered
evacuation or an emergency government response, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) highest priorities are to promote life-saving and lifesustaining activities, the safe evacuation of people who are leaving the impacted area, the maintenance of public order, the prevention of the loss of property to the extent possible, and the speedy recovery of the region
As such, there will be no immigration enforcement initiatives associated with evacuations or shelteringrelated to Isaac, including the use of checkpoints for immigration enforcement purposes in impacted areas during an evacuation. If a state or local law enforcement agency determines that individuals in their custody should be transferred or released due to Isaac, the state or local law enforcement agency should not decline to do so solely on the basis of an immigration detainer issued by ICE or CBP. If a state or local law enforcement agency does decide to release an individual subject to an ICE or CBP detainer based on Isaac, the agency should, wherever possible, contact the local ICE or CBP office prior to any such release to ensure that the release does not pose a danger to the community.
On August 14, 2012, USCIS issued the DACA "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" application form, posted a new FAQ, and held a stakeholder call that provided additional information on DACA program. The FAQ and stakeholder call, led by USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas, reviewed basic eligibility requirements for DACA as well as the education requirements, disclosure provisions and filing procedure.
This update will discuss the information released on August 14th and review details of the program previously reported in CLINIC's August 6th article on DACA. The DACA application form, Form I-821D, is available here and the FAQ is posted here.
Additional resources on DACA may be found on the CLINIC website and include:
CLINIC is pleased to announce our updated handbook, Strategies for Naturalizing the Most Vulnerable Applicants: A Guide to Helping Refugees and Immigrants Who Are Elderly, Disabled, Low-Income, Low-Literate, and Limited English Proficient. The handbook, initially released in 2008, has been updated to reflect the latest naturalization policies and procedures. It discusses English exemptions, due consideration, reasonable accommodations, disability waivers, oath waivers, fee waivers, and expedited processing. It also contains approximately 30 links to various references and resources such as USCIS policy guidance and sample letters.
The handbook is available here as a free resource on the CLINIC website.
SALT LAKE CITY -- In case you haven't heard, the U.S. bishops' conference has a special campaign directed toward immigration work. And some parishes have even started committees named after the group.
John Wester, bishop of Salt Lake City’s Catholic Archdiocese, said Wednesday he was “sad” to hear Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney accept the endorsement of the key architect for several state-based enforcement-only immigration laws.