Ever wonder how many religious workers obtain permanent residence in the United States every year? Me too! While the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service may not always operate as smoothly as we would like it to, it does provide annual reporting data that is useful to identify immigration trends. For instance, the annual number of all religious workers, and their spouses and children, obtaining permanent residence fell approximately 44 percent from 2008 to 2017. You may recall that 2008 was a significant year for the religious worker visa program. That year, USCIS implemented new regulations for these programs. If the intended effect was to curtail those numbers, it seems to have had that result.
Parents, family members and other potential sponsors of immigrant children held in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, or ORR—the agency tasked with the care and custody of unaccompanied immigrant children apprehended by immigration authorities—fear immigration enforcement actions if they volunteer to be a sponsor. CLINIC published a new fact sheet with information on the risks of ORR sponsorship and guidelines to important resources.
Holy Cross Sister Kathleen Moroney is one of many professionals whose service exemplifies the contributions of Catholic sisters in our communities. Perhaps one of her most significant roles has been a legacy of immigration justice work as part of the Holy Cross Ministries of Salt Lake City Legal Immigration Program, a CLINIC affiliate. Her legacy there included starting and directing the immigration department at Holy Cross and expanding it to provide for the needs of a growing Latino/a immigrant community in the state.
In the eyes of many, the zero tolerance policy and the family separation crisis came and went as one of the darkest times in U.S. policy toward families, children and asylum seekers. The latest news reviving the issue, particularly Judge Sabraw’s decision to expand the class in Ms. L v. ICE to include thousands beyond the 2,800 separations previously acknowledged, reminds us that our work to bring justice to these families is far from over. CLINIC, along with partners and affiliates, has built a multi-faceted response to the family separation crisis that supports hundreds of families and stands to help thousands.
Cabrini Immigrant Services of NYC and Justice for Immigrants promote immigrant integration through leadership by empowering, strengthening and educating members of the community.
On March 19, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Nielson v. Preap, held that immigrants with certain criminal convictions can be detained without bond, even if their release from criminal custody occurred long before their arrest by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Clients who are inadmissible or deportable for old criminal convictions should be aware of the risk of mandatory detention.
Are you going to Convening this year? Has the presence of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in your local courtrooms and community made your clients anxious? Has your community experienced ICE sweeps and raids in workplaces? How can community members reach out to others and offer support in times when a quick and informed response is needed? To learn more and share your perspective, join us at Convening for a brown bag lunch to dialogue about the power of community preparedness and offer feedback on a new CLINIC resource.
After two years as a project within Training, Litigation and Support, Defending Vulnerable Populations on March 1 became a separate department within CLINIC. Though it comes as an acknowledgment of the importance of the work DVP has developed, the change primarily affects administrative functions within CLINIC.
CLINIC’s network grew in one big step in February with the addition of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service agencies: 26 organizations with an additional 11 sub-offices. The CLINIC network stands at about 360 organizations with affiliates now in the District of Columbia and 49 states (lacking only Wyoming). LIRS and CLINIC have long had partnerships on different fronts. In the 1990s they cofounded the Detention Watch Network. At about the same time, LIRS contracted to use CLINIC’s attorney-of-the-day hotline for its affiliates that offered immigration legal services. The legal staff of LIRS agencies have long taken CLINIC immigration trainings.
In a Jun. 2018 meeting, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Pueblo, the Latino Chamber of Commerce and several city officials grappled with the troubling fact that the local immigrant community was uncomfortable reporting a crime to the police. To address the issue, the organizations developed a plan for community integration that included sustained collaborations and community outreach.