Reflection and gratitude: A year-end message
As we at CLINIC embrace this 2021 holiday season and reflect on the ongoing challenges we all face, we do so with gratitude for all of your support. The immigration landscape continues to be complicated as we deliver many services and trainings remotely and still cope with untenable policies, such as Title 42 and MPP at the U.S. Southern border.
We continue to provide support for over 400 affiliates doing work locally in the nonprofit legal community and helping immigrants themselves. CLINIC has accomplished many things thanks to supporters like you.
- This year, CLINIC’s network grew to nearly 450 affiliates. Efforts of the Capacity Building program resulted in 47 nonprofits in 22 states becoming affiliates in the network. Each affiliate receives a host of dedicated services. Some affiliates join CLINIC to grow their immigration legal services programs. This year, of the total joining the network, 24 nonprofits are starting an immigration legal program.
- Our State and Local Immigration Project responds to state and local legislation in all 50 states while simultaneously working to build stronger, safer communities for us all. A July Baltimore Sun op-ed by CLINIC’s State and Local Advocacy Attorney, Viviana Westbrook, made serious waves in Frederick County, Md., and beyond. The project also published a major report tracking more than 400 pieces of state legislation affecting immigrants in 2021.
- CLINIC’s BIA Pro Bono Project had another successful year before the Board of Immigration Appeals. Volunteer attorneys took on over 40 new BIA appeals and federal court petitions for review. Because of this work, vulnerable asylum seekers from more than 12 countries — including Eritrea, Somalia, El Salvador, Cuba and Bangladesh — won protection in the United States.
- International religious workers support the Catholic Church every year. They dedicate their lives to teaching the Gospel and supporting those in need. CLINIC’s Religious Immigration Services, or RIS, plays an important role helping those workers enter the United States and remain permanently if needed. In 2021, RIS completed approximately 630 cases on behalf of foreign-born religious workers.
- With CLINIC’s affiliate network expanding to close to 450 members, there has been an equivalent increase in requests for legal assistance with ongoing immigration cases and demand for training. CLINIC’s Training and Legal Support, or TLS, section responded to an average of 30 requests per day on a wide range of substantive law questions. TLS also conducted approximately 130 webinars attended by almost 7,000 practitioners.
Whether or how Congress and the Biden administration will deliver a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants that have lived and worked the United States, CLINIC is already preparing how best to serve the immigrant community and our network in 2022.
We wish you and your family a safe and healthy holiday season.