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Learning About Immigration
What Constitutes Refugee Status? Three Common Myths about Refugees - USCCB Justice for Immigrants
Immigration Agents Discover New Freedom to Deport Under Trump - The New York Times

Immigration: Support the Bridge Act

Last week President Trump issued executive orders greatly increasing our immigration enforcement system, challenging sanctuary cities, and moving forward with building a wall at the U.S./Mexico border. Bishop Vasquez, Chair of the Committee on Migration and Bishop of Austin responded with these remarks on behalf of the USCCB.

Action Alert: Support the Bridge Act
US Bishops support the BRIDGE (Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy) Act, S.128/H.R. 496 that was recently introduced in Congress as a bipartisan effort to sustain temporary relief from deportation and employment eligibility offered to youth through the Department of Homeland Security's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. You can deliver a letter to congress in support of the BRIDGE Act through the JFI website Bridge Act Talking Points

Fact: The U.S./Mexico border, spanning approximately 2000 miles, already has roughly 700 miles of fencing and barrier that was constructed under the George W. Bush administration. Under the Secure Fence Act, the pedestrian border fencing completed in fiscal year 2007 was estimated to cost about $2.8 million per mile, according to a 2009 report from the Government Accountability Office.


Migration Monday - I Am Migration
USCCB Justice for Immigrants campaign has begun a social media campaign to promote migration and Catholic Social Teaching. Entitled #MigrationMondays . Each week they will share a new meme to promote on social media. To participate, share and promote this effort go to their website

I Am Migration: I am the cause, I am the solution. Climate change. Human trafficking. Migration. The world is facing some of its most serious challenges ever. Just as humanity has contributed to these problems, we have a shared responsibility to help solve them. Visit Catholic Relief Services advocacy site I Am Migration to learn what you can do to advocate for migrants and be a part of the solution.


Immigration Concerns - Transitioning to a New Administration
From USCCB Justice for Immigrants Campaign
How Can We Assist Immigrants and Refugees?
Communicate to your parish/congregation that the Bishops and the Catholic Church support immigrants and refugees. The US Bishops are committed to working with the new administration to ensure that refugees and immigrants are humanely welcomed to the US without sacrificing our nation's security.
What guidance can we provide to undocumented immigrants?
*Meet with an immigration legal services provider to get screened for forms of relief.
*Apply for citizenship if you are eligible. Over 8 million immigrants in the US are eligible for citizenship.
*Avoid immigration scams and notario fraud
*U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service is the government entity that processes immigration application. Go to uscis.gov
*Get Legal Assistance. Contact Catholic Charities in Milwaukee
*Learn about your rights in an enforcement situation.  See important details here.
*Organize your family’s documents and points of contact. See important details here.
What guidance can we provide to DACA recipients?
It is not known if the new administration will repeal the program for deferred action for childhood arrivals. More information here.
What guidance can we provide to refugees?
*Continue to work to integrate into your new community
*Report Hate Crimes See important details here.
How can we be supportive of immigrants and refugees at this time?
*Host a solidarity event or interfaith prayer service
*Engage in dialogue about Catholic Social Teaching on migration
*Pray together
*Host a multicultural potluck night
*Participate in Ethnic Celebrations of the Church
*Educate members of your community and ask them to take action on the Justice for Immigrants website
Engage your parish community in National Migration Week Tool Kit Here
 


Wisconsin Dairy Farmers Concerned about Immigration
By Jessica Arp, jarp@wisctv.com 
Immigrant labor makes up a huge part of the Wisconsin dairy workforce. A University of Wisconsin-Madison study in 2009 estimated 40 percent of dairy farm workers were immigrants. But farmers say to expand, they'd like to allow even more workers into the country.  Read the full article 

ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE:
• Ask your state legislator to co-sponsor the bill: find the contact information here.
• Tell your auto insurance agent about this and suggest s/he support as well.
Drivers' Cards for the undocumented is important for all of us! Learn more about this issue .

Justice for Immigrants
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops Campaign for Immigration Reform
  

The Campaign's primary objectives are:
*To educate the public about Church teaching on migration and immigrants;
*To create political will for positive immigration reform;
*To enact legislative and administrative reforms based on the principles articulated by the bishops; and
*To organize Catholic networks to assist qualified immigrants obtain the benefits of the reforms
 
The Catholic Church supports these 5 basic elements for Comprehensive Immigration Reform:
1. Provide a path to citizenship for undocumented persons in the country.
2. Preserve family unity as a cornerstone of our national immigration system.
3. Provide legal path for low-skilled immigrant workers to come and work in the United States.
4. The U.S. should treat asylum seekers, refugees, and other forced migrants with respect and dignity.
5. Address the root causes (push factors) of migration, like persecution + economic disparity.
 
Good explanations of the Catholic bishops’ position on Comprehensive Immigration Reform can be found in
the Feb 12, 2013 testimony of Most Rev. Jose H. Gomez to the Senate Committee on Comprehensive Immigration Reform   

Education and Prayer Resources
 
Immigration Speakers Bureau - list of individuals connected with the JFI campaign in Milwaukee area that speak on immigration
Immigration Films and Documentaries - list of films with summaries that can be shown to groups
Bulletin Inserts, Scripture and Petitions - materials that can be used to educate parish members
Little Book of Immigration Myths - a small book that can be printed and assembled for handout to parish members
"Traveling Together in Hope" Wisconsin Conference of Catholic Bishops Dec 2011 letter on Immigration [well written resource]
Justice for Immigrants Resources
 
 
Immigration Basics - JFI document
Immigration Objections - JFI document
Bulletin Articles - Advent related articles that can be addapted to ordinary time
 Social Teaching Resources
 
Immigration Baics [2 page Ed for Justice document on immigration facts]
Root Cause of Immigration [2 page Ed for Justice document on why people come to the U.S.]
Catholic Position on Immigration [a summary of the US Bishops position on immigration including their 5 principle guidelines for immigration policy]
Immigration Fact Quiz [discussion resource: myth/fact quiz to raise awareness of some of the myths surrounding immigration]
Strangers No Longer, Together on the Journey of Hope [A Pastoral Letter Concerning Migration from the Catholic Bishops of Mexico and the United States, dated January 22, 2003-Links to USCCB]