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Prisoners of Domestic Violence Detained in Artesia

There are currently about 539 women and children detained at the temporary family detention center run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Artesia, New Mexico.  This facility is one of three family detention centers currently operating in the United States.  The women and children detained at the facility are asylum seekers and a vast majority of them are survivors of violence and sexual assault.  Having recently returned from Artesia myself, supporting staff and volunteers assisting detainees, my thoughts go out to detained victims of abuse this October, Domestic V

Landmark Asylum Decision for Domestic Violence Victims

The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) recently issued a landmark decision that impacts domestic violence victims who are seeking asylum in the United States.  Asylum applicants must show that the persecution they have or will face is on account of one of five protected grounds: race, religion, national origin, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.  It is the last ground that has received the most interest and litigation. 

Supporting Welcoming Communities

Recently our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has reminded us of the imperative, as the Body of Christ, to “respond to the globalization of migration with the globalization of charity and cooperation” for the 2015 World Day of Migrants and Refugees.

The Human Cost of Family Detention in Artesia and Berks

I recently participated in trips to two of the family detention centers currently managed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE): the Artesia Temporary Facility for Adults with Children in New Mexico and the Berks County Residential Center in Pennsylvania.

Each of Us is a Masterpiece of God’s Creation

October is upon us and Catholic churches across the nation are observing Respect Life Month. Here in the Diocese of Orange, I have been blessed to encounter so many individuals, groups and parishes committed to upholding the life and dignity of the human person.

An Immigrant Gateway Continues to Welcome and Inspire: Catholic Charities of Syracuse, New York

Syracuse, New York has a long history as an immigrant gateway city, and was home to many immigrants from Italy, Germany, Ireland, Ukraine, and Russia who arrived in the U.S.

Hope for Detainees in Artesia

I was afforded the opportunity to visit Artesia, New Mexico to assist the on-the-ground immigration attorneys providing free legal services to the over 500 detained women and children. The families have fled their home countries in Central America due abject poverty and increased violence.

A Visit to Artesia

Since the Artesia, New Mexico detention facility for families who cross our border without documents opened three months ago I have hoped for an opportunity to see it and to visit those who are detained there.  My opportunity came this past Saturday, September 13th when I decided to attend the funeral of the father of a priest serving in my Diocese of El Paso.  Accompanied by a transitional Deacon for the Diocese I began the 200+ mile journey at 6:00 a.m..  We drove west out of El Paso and within two hours of travel through sparsely populated desert landscape we found ourselves d

Celebrating Citizenship

Each year on September 17, we come together as a nation of immigrants to celebrate Citizenship Day. This is an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of being a U.S. citizen and recognize the many lawful permanent residents (LPRs) in our communities who are on their journey to becoming U.S. citizens.

Sharing the Gift of Citizenship

On September 17th we celebrate Constitution and Citizenship Day across the nation. This observance recognizes not only the signing of the Constitution but also the status of citizenship. In the world of immigration, status can be the difference between wealth and poverty, health and sickness, and admission and deportation.

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