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  • Jul 24, 2014: Unaccompanied Migrant Children and the "Pursuit of Hope"
    Jul 24, 2014: Tragic images of unaccompanied minors crossing the U.S.-Mexico border are flooding the airwaves, begging a humanitarian response, as well as hard questions.  Why are these children coming here?  Why now and why in such large numbers?  According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, approximately 57,000 unaccompanied minors have crossed into the United States since the 2014 fiscal year began in October—twice the number apprehended in 2013 and three times the 2011 total.
  • Jul 22, 2014: A Pastoral Response to a Humanitarian Crisis
    Jul 22, 2014: Like most of us these days, we are all faced with how to respond in a pastoral way to the humanitarian challenges in front of us with unaccompanied minors coming into our country. I recently visited with a number of these young people with some of our staff members of the Diocesan Pastoral Center here in Orange.
  • Jul 17, 2014: Maryland Law Expands Eligibility for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
    Jul 17, 2014: Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) allows undocumented minors who have suffered abandonment, neglect, or abuse by a parent to become lawful permanent residents.  To qualify, the child must have an order from a juvenile court demonstrating that he or she is dependent on the state and cannot be safely reunited with parents.  Federal law allows children under the age of 21 to qualify, but many potential beneficiaries between the ages of 18 and 21 are left out.  Their state courts only have jurisdiction over children younger than 18, so they cannot obtain the...
  • Jul 11, 2014: The Immigration Journey of Sr. Bertha L. Montiel STJ
    Jul 11, 2014: I was born in Managua, Nicaragua, the second of 5 children. I was about 15 months old when I had my first contact with the United States of America. This happened through my father returning home after spending a year at the University of Florida, Gainsville in a graduate course of Sanitary Engineering.
  • Jul 8, 2014: Catholic Charities of Indianapolis Expands its Welcome to New Americans
    Jul 8, 2014: The Midwest has a history as a gateway for immigrants even if not as heralded as port cities in the east and west.  Think of Chicago with its diverse ethnic population as early as the late 1800’s, especially among Eastern Europeans, that continues today with the largest Bosnian refugee population in the country.  Think also of Detroit, Motor City, at the turn of the last century when Ford Motor Company attracted immigrant workers from Southern Europe and the Middle East to build the earliest automobiles.  Detroit now has the largest Middle Eastern population in the...
  • Jul 3, 2014: Celebrating U.S. Citizenship
    Jul 3, 2014: As we celebrate our country’s birthday and independence on the Fourth of July, many of us will contemplate what it means to be Americans.  Being an American for the foreign-born goes beyond the ability to vote in elections or obtain a U.S. passport.  Many immigrants already feel American at heart long before they take their first step to becoming naturalized U.S. citizens – a pre-requisite to vote and obtain a passport.  Many of them have integrated into their communities long before – going to weekly church services, volunteering in their children’s schools, and...
  • Jun 30, 2014: A Voice For Children: Bishop Seitz’s Testimony Before the House of Representatives
    Jun 30, 2014: On June 25, 2014, Bishop Mark Seitz of the Diocese of El Paso testified before the House Judiciary Committee about the plight of unaccompanied minors seeking safety from violence and drug trafficking in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.  Bishop Seitz told a largely unsympathetic House Committee of his personal experience listening to the st
  • Jun 23, 2014: Affiliate Highlight: Kellie Draper
    Jun 23, 2014: Our affiliate highlight this month is Kellie Draper of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Grand Island, Nebraska. Recommended by Program Director Rev. Jonathan Sorensen, Kellie brings commitment, passion, and years of experience to her role as a Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) Fully Accredited Representative.

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