Advocacy‎ > ‎



A federal judge will soon be ruling on the Administration's "Remain in Mexico" policy. Here is an explanation of the policy. Bishops from both Mexico and the United States also shared a statement expressing ‘total disagreement’ with the "Remain in Mexico" policy, and ask us to dismantle misconceptions about immigrants.

The USCCB has also endorsed the ‘American Dream and Promise Act of 2019’, which would offer permanent protections to millions of beneficiaries of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Temporary Protected Status. Meanwhile, Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville, Texas addressed the conflicting principles the Church needs to uphold on this issue -- the legitimate claims of national sovereignty as a principle and the need to respond in charity and solidarity to persons in a dire situation.

Finally, two stories that can help us understand both the human and the systemic dimensions of this crisis:

After 9 Months in a Cage, 9-Year-Old Byron Remains Separated From Parents

Who’s Profiting from Detaining Kids?

There is much more happening than we have space to cover here. For more, check out the Immigration Reform page of the Priests of the Sacred Heart Justice and Peace webpage.

Mark Peters
Director of Justice, Peace and Reconciliation
Priests of the Sacred Heart, US Province

Immigration Updates:
Read about Catholic leaders concerns about the administration’s new immigration proposal here and here. Also, ICE has a 5 year plan to transport 225,000 children to immigrant shelters. Meanwhile, a Catholic coalition is forming in SE Wisconsin to intensively lobby our legislators and education within Catholic communities. To get on the mailing list or volunteer to help, contact Mark Peters at or call 414-427-4273.

Children Separated from their Parents
Latest News: According to federal lawyers, more than 400 parents of separated children are no longer in the country, furthering concerns among advocates that the parents were deported without their children. Some call ICE the “American Gestapo” and calls to abolish it grow, as the agency steps up its arrests of immigrants in formerly “safe spaces.” Meanwhile, TPS for Somalia extended but not redesignated.

Going Deeper:

A way out: 15 years after the U.S. Bishops pastoral letter, "Strangers No Longer," how do its principles translate into concrete legislative proposals?

Action: The Families Belong Together coalition is calling on Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase to stop financing for-profit prison companies benefiting from family separation and detention (here is a recent report of abuse in these centers). You can sign one group’s petition here.

Action to Protect TPS Holders
Join us for a national week of action to protect TPS holders. Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee have reported evidence that Trump administration appointees ignored strong and persistent warnings from State Department officials and diplomatic experts that terminating Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, for Haiti, El Salvador and Honduras would put lives at risk and harm U.S. interests. The administration must be held accountable for this. Hundreds of thousands of lives are at risk.

Here are the top 3 ways to take action:

1) Call your members of Congress today and urge them to support further investigation and hold the administration accountable for endangering lives and national security.

Sample script: My name is [name] and I am [Senator/Representative name]'s constituent. I am calling today to ensure that [Senator/Representative] and their staff are aware of the recent findings of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s investigation into the Temporary Protected Status terminations of El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti. The investigation found that the administration terminated TPS for these countries against warnings from U.S. diplomats and other State Department officials that doing so would be against U.S. national security interests and would risk the lives of hundreds of thousands of TPS holders. The investigation also found that the White House improperly attempted to influence the decision and that U.S. citizen children would be put in danger if their parents were forced to return to unsafe countries. I request that [Senator/Representative] ask the U.S. Government Accountability Office to further investigate these findings and hold the administration accountable for acts that endanger U.S. national security and lives. I respectfully request follow up from [Senator/Representative].
2) Share on social media: Click this link for sample social media posts.
3) Refer to this toolkit for more resources on how to take action to protect TPS holders.

The Refugee Crisis is a Test of our Character
 A TED Talk featuring David Miliban, who says the the refugee crisis is a test of who everyone is and what he or she stands for -- and that each person has a personal responsibility to help solve it. Miliband offers specific, tangible ways to help refugees and turn empathy and altruism into action. Watch now. For more on Refugees, click here.

Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki’s Statement on President Donald Trump’s Decision on DACA
Last January Pope Francis addressed the world with these words: “Among migrants, children constitute the most vulnerable group, because as they face the life ahead of them, they are invisible and voiceless: their precarious situation deprives them of documentation, hiding them from the world’s eyes; the absence of adults to accompany them prevents their voices from being raised and heard. In this way, migrant children easily end up at the lowest levels of human degradation, where illegality and violence destroy the future of too many innocents, while the network of child abuse is difficult to break up” (World Day of Migrants 2017). I am saddened to see our nation joining in the unjust treatment of thousands of young men and women when Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the Trump administration is “rescinding” the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program that protects hundreds of thousands of immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as young children. This decision will bring frustration to many young people who dream with truly making our country great again; they play in our schools; they pray in our churches with us; they walk in our malls; they enjoy a good football game or a Sunday cookout with us; and they also dream with us in an America where justice and peace are our flag.

We offer our support to all those affected by this decision, and urge the members of Congress to act immediately in defense of human rights and the “invisible and voiceless” among us. I trust that our constant prayers and ongoing dialogue will bring us to a better time, when these young men and women could finally come out of the shadows; a time when our lawmakers come together to protect human dignity and justice; we pledge to work with legislators to fashion a law that promotes justice for 

Raids & Enforcement Actions: Nine Ways to Protect Yourself 
The Justice for Immigrants website provides Enforcement Resources in English and Spanish designed for immigrants to know their rights when confronted by ICE / law enforcement. Please share with those who may need this information.
Video resources are also available
Video Resources
Written Resources
Ten Things You Can Do to Accompany Undocumented Immigrants

Cardinal Tobin Urges Solidarity with People Facing Deportation

Wyatt Massey, 5/17/17, America Magazine
“You really have to believe in inflicting cruelty on innocent people to choose to support the policies we’ve seen in recent months while possessing the power to change the law,” “They [Republicans] could bring nearly 12 million people out of the shadows, if they wanted to,” “This isn’t about border security. It’s about being attentive to the reality of people who are already in our communities.” Cardinal Tobin, US Conference of Catholic Bishops Read the full article.

Express Cardinal Tobin’s message to your Federal legislators.

Open Letter on Immigration and Refugee support from Archbishop Jerome Listecki

Please insure your legislators are aware of the Church’s position on immigration.  This letter can be used as a support position when writing your legislators

"The Church proclaims the non-negotiable right of a person to migrate: “Every human being has the right to freedom of movement and of residence within the confines of his own State. When there are just reasons in favor of it, he must be permitted to emigrate to other countries and take up residence there.  The fact that he is a citizen of a particular State does not deprive him of membership in the human family, nor of citizenship in that universal society, the common, world-wide fellowship of men” (St. John XXIII, Pacem in Terris, 25)."  Find the letter here.

USCCB Pastoral Letter, March 22, 2017 Living as a People of God in Unsettled Times

 Justice for Immigrants "Monday Meme".

Resources for visiting with your Representatives and Senators during Easter break can be found here

Justice for Immigrants Faces of Immigration

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

Current Issues

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
*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
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]