Press Releases

Posted on July 31, 2020

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced July 31 that it is charging ahead with unprecedented fee increases, expected to price people out of vital immigration benefits, including naturalization and asylum. The rule is scheduled to go into effect on Oct. 2, 2020. 

Posted on July 29, 2020

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — The administration announced on July 28 that it is considering rescinding DACA, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s June ruling that the previous attempt violated the law. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and that DACA recipients are well-rooted members of society, Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf stated that there may be “important policy reasons” to end DACA.

Posted on July 16, 2020

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — The administration's efforts to effectively end asylum have been met with a massive outpouring of opposition from the public, particularly the interfaith community. The public comment period closed on July 15, with over 79,000 comments recorded. The Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., or CLINIC, gathered nearly 10,000 public comments from faith voices.

Posted on June 23, 2020

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — The administration’s June 22 extension and expansion of its April proclamation blocking many visa entrants from coming to the United States is a thinly veiled attempt to use the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout as cover for the administration’s racist, anti-immigrant agenda. The expansion cuts off H-1B, H-2B and L-1 employment visas and and many J visa programs.

Posted on June 18, 2020

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — The June 18 Supreme Court ruling stops the administration from terminating DACA, but Congress must still take immediate action.

Posted on June 17, 2020

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — Proposed new regulations will eviscerate the American asylum process, making it nearly impossible for asylum seekers to succeed in receiving protection in the United States from dangers in their home countries, said Anna Gallagher, executive director of CLINIC. 

Posted on June 3, 2020

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — CLINIC Executive Director Anna Gallagher issued the following statement, June 4, 2020.

Posted on April 23, 2020

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — CLINIC’s Board Chairman Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, joined with Archbishop José Gomez, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Auxiliary Bishop Mario Dorsonville of Washington, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, in decrying the April 22 presidential proclamation declaring a halt to immigration.

Posted on April 15, 2020

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — A year after the administration said it would “monitor” whether conditions warrant designating TPS to protect Venezuelans in the United States, the ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic make the need for TPS even more pressing. More than 215 organizations asked in 2019 for TPS to safeguard Venezuelans from the humanitarian crisis there, providing work authorization and protection from deportation.

Posted on March 31, 2020

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — On the eve of its expiration on March 30, the White House announced that Deferred Enforced Departure, or DED, for Liberia is extended until Jan. 10, 2021. DED provides protection from deportation and work authorization for thousands of Liberians who have been living in the United States for decades. This extension was needed in order to make it possible for many Liberians to be able to apply for green cards under a new law that went into effect in Dec. 2019, called Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness, or LRIF. 

Posted on March 30, 2020

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — Joined by more than 100 organizations, CLINIC called on the Justice Department to freeze the rulemaking process on proposed significant fee increases, in light of the coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis. The increases would apply to fees for appealing decisions and filing applications for relief in the immigration court system. In spite of the national emergency and related work disruptions from stay-at-home orders, the Justice Department has not extended the comment deadline, or even responded.

Posted on March 2, 2020

WASHINGTON — In a case brought by CLINIC and partners, a federal court ruled March 1 that the Trump administration illegally appointed Ken Cuccinelli to serve as acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. As a result, the court concluded that Cuccinelli “lacked authority” to perform the exclusive functions of the director. The court further voided as “invalid and without legal force or effect” two immigration directives Cuccinelli issued that eviscerate important legal protections for asylum seekers.

Posted on February 28, 2020

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — A ruling today by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals restored asylum rights for tens of thousands of people fleeing violence and harm. The decision in Innovation Law Lab v. Wolf reinstated an injunction blocking implementation of the Migrant Protection Protocols — also known as the Remain in Mexico policy. It appropriately reins in administration efforts that fly in the face of asylum law and American humanitarian values.

Posted on February 28, 2020

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto has been named to chair CLINIC’s Board of Directors by Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops of Catholic Bishops. Bishop Soto has served on CLINIC’s board since 2002, including a previous term as chairman from 2007-2010. 

Posted on February 24, 2020

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — The State Department rushed to implement its new public charge rule —  giving only a weekend’s notice of changed requirements before they were implemented Feb. 24. The agency finalized its new public charge questionnaire and policy guidance late on Friday and made them effective today, giving no time for applicants, practitioners, or consular officers to adjust to the changes.

Posted on February 3, 2020

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — CLINIC joined with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Relief Services and Catholic Charities USA in this statement decrying the latest expansion of the Trump administration’s ban on travel to the United States from certain countries.

Posted on February 2, 2020

WASHINGTON The President issued a proclamation Friday restricting the issuance of immigrant visas to people from Burma (Myanmar), Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan and Nigeria. People from Sudan and Tanzania will no longer be eligible for certain visas to come to the United States, commonly called “Diversity Visas.”

Posted on January 31, 2020

WASHINGTON — Today, the administration announced an expansion to the Muslim ban that includes Nigeria, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, and Myanmar. It also bans individuals from Sudan and Tanzania from obtaining “diversity visas.”

Posted on January 27, 2020

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — The Supreme Court’s Jan. 27 order allowing the federal government to enact new standards for deciding when immigration benefit applicants might constitute a “public charge” is far from the last word on whether the rule is legal.

Posted on January 17, 2020

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — The federal government’s decision Jan. 17 to extend Temporary Protected Status for Somalia for 18 months allows about 500 people protection from deportation but does nothing to help other Somalis who have arrived in the United States since 2012. 

Posted on January 6, 2020

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — The Jan. 3 decision to extend Temporary Protected Status for Yemen allows the 1,250 people it currently covers another 18 months in the United States, yet does not allow potentially thousands of more recently arrived Yemenis to apply for protection from the war-ravaged country.

Posted on December 20, 2019

WASHINGTON — As the deadline approaches to submit comments about proposed changes in fees for immigration benefits, three Catholic agencies highlighted the benefits of naturalization and opposed the proposed changes by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that would make immigration unattainable for low-income and vulnerable immigrants.

Posted on December 19, 2019

WASHINGTON — CLINIC joined other legal service organizations Dec. 18 filing a federal lawsuit challenging the “weaponization” of the U.S. immigration court system to serve the administration’s agenda of hostility to immigrants. 

Posted on November 14, 2019

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — A new round of proposed regulations from the administration would make it impossible for most asylum seekers to be permitted to work while their cases are pending.

Posted on November 8, 2019

WASHINGTON — A coalition of leading immigrant rights organizations has condemned the Trump Administration’s proposal to drastically increase the cost of applying for citizenship, a radical policy shift that would prevent millions of green card holders from beginning the naturalization process.

Posted on October 25, 2019

WASHINGTON — Changes to a fee waiver process announced Oct. 25 by the Department of Homeland Security will create significant barriers to citizenship for tens of thousands of non-wealthy applicants each year. CLINIC and a group of organizations that provide legal assistance, social services and other support to immigrants intend to file suit in California on behalf of people and communities who will be harmed by the changes.

Posted on October 24, 2019

MIAMI, FL. — Attorney Whitney Untiedt, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., or CLINIC, and Florida Justice for Our Neighbors, or JFON, are pleased to announce that through their joint efforts, an immigrant who had been blocked from naturalization was able to become a U.S. citizen.

Posted on October 11, 2019

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — A federal judge’s Oct. 11 decision blocking implementation of a new “public charge” rule for immigrants confirmed arguments raised by CLINIC and other plaintiffs that the rule is “arbitrary and capricious” and should be blocked nationwide.

Posted on October 9, 2019

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — CLINIC affiliates make up more than one third of grant recipients nationwide for a program that funds citizenship and naturalization programs.

Posted on September 27, 2019

WASHINGTON — More than 100 international, national, state, and local organizations urged Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Director Kevin McAleenan to grant Bahamian nationals Temporary Protected Status (TPS) due to Hurricane Dorian’s massive destruction and displacement of Bahamian nationals. Click here for a media backgrounder on TPS for the Bahamas.

Posted on September 23, 2019

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — Press coverage is invited for a full day of expert panels and a keynote speaker — Homeland Security Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan — at the annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference, Monday, Oct. 7. The conference will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington  D.C. (near Union Station — not the main campus in Georgetown).

Posted on September 19, 2019

WASHINGTON — Today, the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and ImmigrationNiskanen CenterFWD.usUnited We DreamCatholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.; and TheDream.US released a groundbreaking report that urges Congress and state legislatures to expand access to professional, business, and commercial licenses (also known as “occupational licenses”) to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, recipients, Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, holders, and all other immigrants with the ability to lawfully work. Over 1,100 different occupations require a license and approximately 25 percent of all workers nationwide are required to obtain a license in order to work in their occupations. And yet, federal and state laws prevent many immigrants — even those with legal permission to be in the country — from even applying for those licenses.

Posted on September 14, 2019

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — A new package of dramatic increases in the cost to apply for naturalization, get a green card or renew DACA could have devastating consequences for low-income immigrants.

Posted on September 6, 2019

WASHINGTON — Today, on behalf of RAICES and seven asylum seekers, Democracy Forward, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. and Proskauer Rose LLP sued the Trump administration to challenge several unlawful immigration directives issued by Trump appointee Ken Cuccinelli that eviscerate protections for asylum seekers fleeing persecution. The unlawful directives violate federal law because they curtail asylum seekers’ statutory rights, were implemented without considering the devastating impact on asylum seekers, and were issued without any notice.

Posted on September 5, 2019

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — Starting this week, lawyers at major law firms across the country will begin representing immigrants detained by ICE’s raids of poultry plants and facilities, in bond cases. It is estimated that several hundred immigrants remain in detention. Of that, nearly 100 immigrant workers arrested in the raids have requested pro bono legal representation for their bond applications and hearings.

Posted on August 23, 2019

SILVER SPRING, Maryland – CLINIC condemns the joint final rule issued Aug. 23 by the Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services that allows the federal government to hold immigrant children in family detention indefinitely. 

Posted on August 16, 2019

SILVER SPRING, Maryland – More than 250 faith leaders and organizations urged the federal government to withdraw “a backdoor asylum ban” in the form of a requirement that asylum seekers be turned away from the United States if they don’t first seek protection in countries along their way to U.S. borders.

Posted on August 12, 2019

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — The Department of Homeland Security’s final rule on public charge, which is expected to be formally published Aug. 14, is a direct assault on the American immigration system and threatens one of its core principles: family unity. The new rules are scheduled to take effect 60 days after formal publication.

Posted on August 6, 2019

GREENBELT, Maryland — A Maryland-based federal court granted a temporary restraining order Aug. 2 to protect the rights of thousands of unaccompanied immigrant children seeking asylum. The order by U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel blocks the government’s implementation of a policy that would significantly limit vital protections for children under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA).

Posted on August 1, 2019

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — The failure of the administration to redesignate Temporary Protected Status for Syria, along with the 18-month extension of TPS approved Aug. 1, is hardhearted and wrong, according to the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.

Posted on July 29, 2019

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — Thousands of people fleeing violence and persecution will be denied safety in the United States under a precedent decision issued July 29 by Attorney General William Barr as the administration continues its attacks on asylum.

Posted on July 16, 2019

WASHINGTON — The political leadership at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has increasingly turned its efforts toward enforcement and away from its congressionally mandated purpose, CLINIC’s Advocacy Director Jill Marie Bussey told the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship July 16.

Posted on July 8, 2019

GREENBELT, Maryland — Four young asylum seekers are suing the Department of Homeland Security saying that a new policy unlawfully limits their ability to seek asylum. In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Maryland, the asylum applicants say a May 31 policy by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services violates their rights under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA), the Administrative Procedure Act, and the 5th Amendment to the Constitution.

Posted on July 1, 2019

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — At a time when each day brings news of another example of inhumane and shameful treatment of asylum-seekers at the Mexican border, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc. will launch a project to provide legal guidance to people waiting in Juarez, Mexico, to pursue asylum claims.

Posted on May 1, 2019

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — Escalating political tensions and protests in Venezuela this week illustrate the threats awaiting Venezuelans currently in the United States should they be forced to return. CLINIC’s new report, Lives in the Balance: Why TPS is Needed for Venezuela Now, summarizes why the law and basic human decency call for the Trump administration to designate Temporary Protected Status. TPS would protect Venezuelans from being forcibly returned to an unstable, physically dangerous homeland.

Posted on April 12, 2019

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — An April 11 ruling by a New York federal judge blocking the termination of Temporary Protected Status for Haitians is the second to prevent the administration from ending the program while legal challenges continue. The ruling affirmed arguments made by CLINIC and other advocates for TPS that the administration did not follow the statutory process in terminating TPS for Haiti.

Posted on April 10, 2019

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — A California federal judge took an appropriate first step April 8 by issuing a preliminary injunction that temporarily halts the administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, said CLINIC Executive Director Anna Gallagher. The Migrant Protection Protocols, as the administration calls the policy, force non-Mexican asylum applicants to stay in Mexico while waiting for their cases to be heard.

Posted on March 28, 2019

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — The Trump administration’s expansion of the Remain in Mexico policy to El Paso, Texas, piles on to its two-year history of cruel and unjustified attacks on asylum seekers. 

Posted on March 11, 2019

SILVER SPRING, Maryland—The administration’s decision not to redesignate Temporary Protected Status for South Sudan, allowing more people to be covered by it is “morally reprehensible,” said Anna Gallagher, executive director of CLINIC.

Posted on February 27, 2019

SILVER SPRING, Maryland – More than 500 interfaith leaders and organizations have called on the Department of Homeland Security to end its so-called “Remain in Mexico” policy (Migration Protection Protocols) that requires asylum seekers at the southern border to wait in Mexico for months - or even years -while their asylum cases are processed in the United States. A letter delivered to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on Feb. 26 condemned the policy as “baseless and immoral.”

Posted on February 21, 2019

SILVER SPRING Maryland – As co-counsel to a Mexican immigrant threatened by a drug cartel because of his family, CLINIC filed a brief with the Justice Department Feb. 19 in Matter of L-E-A-, a case which may have wide repercussions on future asylum eligibility. The immigration appeals case will be decided by the attorney general.

Posted on January 29, 2019

SILVER SPRING, Maryland – CLINIC is calling on the administration to prioritize human lives above its baseless and immoral “Remain in Mexico Plan,” or the Migrant Protection Protocols.

Posted on January 23, 2019

SILVER SPRING, Maryland – The Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., joined a class action lawsuit, as an organizational plaintiff on an amended complaint, on behalf of the more than 10,000 children currently being held by the Trump administration in detention centers across the country.

Posted on December 20, 2018

SILVER SPRING, Maryland - The Department of Homeland Security’s newest plan to prevent asylum seekers from applying for safety in the United States leaves them in danger, and possibly violates their due process rights, said the Catholic Legal Immigration Network.

Posted on December 11, 2018

SILVER SPRING, Maryland—­­The administration’s proposal to drastically change the way it calculates whether immigrants pose a risk of becoming a financial burden on society is morally and legally flawed, said the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., in a formal comment submitted to the Department of Homeland Security Dec. 9.

Posted on November 27, 2018

SILVER SPRING, Maryland—­­Anna Marie Gallagher, an experienced litigator and immigration law expert, will join the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., as executive director, effective Feb. 1, 2019, announced Bishop Kevin J. Vann Nov. 27. Bishop Vann is chairman of CLINIC’s board of directors and head of the Diocese of Orange in California.

Posted on November 9, 2018

SILVER SPRING, Maryland—­­Today’s presidential proclamation coupled with the publication of an interim final rule will make it more difficult for those fleeing violence and other harm to seek asylum in the United States. 

Posted on November 1, 2018

SILVER SPRING, Maryland—­­CLINIC and our network of 330 nonprofit immigration legal services providers stand ready to protect the legally guaranteed right to asylum, including for any person who seeks it at our borders or other ports of entry.

Posted on October 29, 2018

SILVER SPRING, Maryland—­­Current events and political rhetoric have pushed the U.S. asylum system into the spotlight. Here are some key facts about the legal grounding of our asylum system.

Posted on October 9, 2018

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — Fifteen CLINIC affiliates were among the 40 organizations in 19 states that received a funding award through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Citizenship and Assimilation Grant Program. USCIS received more than 90 applications for the highly competitive grant program.

Posted on October 4, 2018

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — ­The decision Oct. 3 by a California federal judge to block the cancellation of Temporary Protected Status for four countries is a welcome step toward protecting about 300,000 people who are facing loss of the status that has allowed them to stay in the United States.

Posted on September 24, 2018

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — The Department of Homeland Security proposal announced Sept. 22, aims to change the policy for who may qualify to become a lawful permanent resident, putting the interests of the wealthy ahead of the needs of poorer families who have waited years to be reunited.

Posted on September 7, 2018

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — The administration’s proposed regulations to dismantle the Flores Settlement Agreement are a blatant attempt to make an end run around the agreement that protects the dignity, respect and consideration for the vulnerability of children held in immigration custody. The proposed regulations were published in the Federal Register Sept. 7.

Posted on July 19, 2018

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — The administration’s decision July 19 to extend Temporary Protected Status for Somalia will give the 500 people it covers 18 months to remain in the United States while providing no protection from deportation for other Somalis who arrived later.

Posted on July 9, 2018

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — In another policy change that could dramatically increase the number of legal immigrants who face deportation, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, in guidance made public July 5, said that almost everyone who is denied an immigration benefit will be issued a Notice to Appear in court for potential deportation.

Posted on December 16, 2016

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — The Department of Justice’s rule on the Recognition and Accreditation of Non-Attorney Representatives is now available at the Federal Register website. The final rule is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on Dec. 19. It will take effect Jan. 18, 2017.