Thomas J. Shea, former CLINIC attorney, compiles a weekly migration digest for pastoral workers that highlights key developments nationally and internationally. It is designed to educate faith leaders regarding vulnerable immigrant populations, developments in the immigration field, pastoral resources and the religious touchstones of diverse faith traditions on migrants and newcomers. Information on how to subscribe (for free) can be found at

Earlier this summer, at the height of the crisis involving unaccompanied children arriving on the U.S. southern border, Congress considered legislation that would strip the protections created by the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2008.  Talk of changes to this important piece of legislation was tied to the President’s request for emergency funds needed for the border crisis.

The Immigrant Legal Resource Center has created a chart that provides links to resources for working with unaccompanied children.  This resource includes general information on working with and representing children, immigration options for unaccompanied children, practice advisories on different forms of relief, immigration consequences of delinquency, overview of the immigration detention and deportation process for immigrant children, legal know your rights for children, the intersection of child welfare and immigration, and juvenile justice and immigration.

Q:  A U.S. citizen petitioned for his over-21-year-old, unmarried daughter with her two minor children being named as derivatives.  The daughter immigrated and moved to the United States. Six years later the unmarried daughter now wants to immigrate her minor children.  Unfortunately, the U.S. citizen petitioner passed away.  What can be done?

The Department of State recently published an interim final rule changing the fees that it currently charges for certain nonimmigrant and immigrant visas, in addition to other forms and services. 79 Fed. Reg. 51247 (August 28, 2014).  The agency is authorized to establish fees for consular services and to set them based on the cost of the services it provides.  The agency recently completed a fee review using its activity-based Cost of Service Model. The new fee schedule took effect on September 12, 2014.  The agency will accept comments from interested parties until October 21, 2014.

By Tatyana Delgado

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.