As the CLINIC Fellows Program heads into its final months, participants gathered for CLINIC’s 2017 Convening to rejuvenate goals and share strategies. Here are their takeaways.
Catholic Charities of Dallas’ Immigration Legal Services program, a CLINIC affiliate, has teamed up with the City of Dallas to protect the rights of immigrant residents who may be forced out of their homes at the end of the 2016-2017 school year.
Aliyah Donsky, CLINC Fellow with Catholic Charities New Orleans, describes her decision to work in the immigration field as the result of moral instinct and fruitful circumstance.
Since Mayor John Cranley’s 2015 announcement affirming his commitment to making Cincinnati the most immigrant-friendly city, Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio was at the forefront of this endeavor.
Cranley assembled a task force to write Cincinnati’s welcoming plan, which included creating a community ID as a priority initiative. Alisa Berry, chief operating officer of the CLINIC affiliate, in particular, was instrumental in turning this goal and legislative premise into action.
For 11 years, the Tax EZ program, offered by Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County has helped clients prepare nearly 15,000 returns, generating millions of dollars in refunds.
For the 2016 tax season, Steve Hicken, Division Director of Economic Development Services, shifted the location of services from the Catholic Charities offices to parishes. This approach encourages interactions between newcomers and the people of their new hometowns, epitomizing immigrant integration on the local level. Ultimately, it may also result in higher numbers of tax returns being filed.
In the pretty college town of Ithaca, New York, Sue Chaffee, a BIA accredited representative, heads the Immigrant Services Program of Catholic Charities Tompkins /Tioga.
At the start of 2015, John Cranley, the Mayor of Cincinnati, made public his commitment to make Cincinnati the most immigrant friendly city in the United States. He assembled a taskforce that wrote a plan to make Cincinnati more welcoming for all. A community ID was chosen as a priority initiative. The ID is set to be distributed in the first quarter of 2016. Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio (CCSWOH), and in particular, Ms. Alisa Berry, Chief Operating Officer, have been instrumental in making this goal a reality.
Catholic Charities of Orange County (CCOC) is doing an excellent job to build capacity and integrate immigrants into the community in Orange County. This beautiful area on the Southern California coast is very diverse and home to almost one million immigrants. Orange County has one of the highest immigrant populations of any county in the United States. Unfortunately, Orange County is also sorely lacking in immigration legal services and many immigrants in Orange County are not able to access immigration legal assistance.
Reflections on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina elicit dark memories of loss of life, displacement and destruction. But looking back also reminds us of great acts of heroism and abundant generosity. For social and political reasons, we should take a long, hard look back at 2005 and where we are as a nation today. CLINIC looks back and recalls its own response to the destruction and how the Gulf Coast looks today from the perspective of welcoming immigrants and creating opportunities for social integration in the process.
The Inland Empire region of Southern California, east of Los Angeles, is home to over one million foreign-born persons. Comprised of Riverside and San Bernardino counties, the Inland Empire (or the “The IE” as it’s known) has a severe shortage of low-cost, professional immigration legal service providers.