More than 1,400 women and children—mostly from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala—are detained at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, TX. A significant number of these families come to the United States forced out of their communities by death threats, rape, extortion, or they are running away to keep their children from forced recruitment by the MS-13 or La 18 gangs.
Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS), a CLINIC affiliate located in Sacramento, California, focuses its wide array of services through a lens of immigrant integration. Clients coming to SFBFS are screened for eligibility for any of the available services including immigrant legal services. SFBFS views it as their responsibility to serve the whole client, thus leading them, after almost 30 years of serving as the community’s food bank, to establish an immigrant legal services program to further assist their community.
On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced his support for the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program and the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. These programs are expected to prevent some immigrants from being deported and grant temporary permission for many to stay in the US. As of right now, the number of qualified attorneys and Board of Immigration Appeal (BIA) accredited representatives available to provide affordable and quality immigration legal services does not meet the demand for services.
In call to faithful service to all whom the Lord sends our way, we remember that there is a name and human story (and often a story of Faith) behind each name and form we fill out , and we remember to always step forward in faith each day in the call and the mission that the Lord gives to each one of us in all of the ways that we are involved with CLINIC to serve “the least among us.”
I grew up in Denver Colorado in a pious Catholic family, the middle of three children. Both of my parents considered the possibility of entering religious life when they were young people, so the thought of a priestly or religious vocation for us children was always present alongside that of the married state. I attended the parish school, and then went on to an all-boys Catholic preparatory school run by the Jesuit Fathers. It was there that I first met religious order priests, and it was there in high school that I first seriously considered becoming a priest and a religious myself.