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.

Justice for Immigrants

The past two weeks saw the Trump Administration take new actions against immigrants with the announcement of the implementation of the Public Charge Rule and efforts to end the Flores Agreement

On August 12, the Trump Administration announced that they would enact the Public Charge Rule (or “wealth test”), allowing immigration officials to determine if an immigrant can enter the U.S. or obtain a green card based on their potential use of public assistance programs. This rule will disproportionately impact millions of low-income immigrants, causing individuals and families to not seek assistance when hungry, in need of medical care, etc.

The Flores Agreement has provided a standard for the care of children in immigrant detention since it was enacted in 1997—including guidelines about their safety, humane treatment, and a 20-day limit on their detention. Since the beginning of 2018, seven children have died in U.S. Customs and Border Protection custody, ranging in age from one year old to sixteen—showing that even with the Flores Agreement in place, there is still work to be done to ensure the safety of immigrant children.

Migrant Families Would Face Indefinite Detention Under New Trump Rule [The New York Times]

Three more states sue over 'public charge' immigration rule [The Hill]

Senate GOP plans to divert health, education funds to border wall [Roll Call]

ACTION: Join the Catholic Coalition for Migrants and Refugees, a new group in southeastern Wisconsin dedicated to ending the demonization of migrants and standing up for humane immigration policies. Email to get on our mailing list and find out how you can get involved.

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 hereJustice for Immigrants Faces of ImmigrationLearning About ImmigrationWhat Constitutes Refugee Status? Three Common Myths about Refugees - USCCB Justice for ImmigrantsImmigration 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]

Traveling Together in Hope Q&A and Letter in Spanish

Justice for Immigrants Resources

Immigration Basics - JFI document

Immigration Objections - JFI document

Bulletin Articles - Advent related articles that can be addapted to ordinary time

National Migration Week Resources - JFI resources

Information on the Catholic Justice for Immigrants Campaign - JFI background resource

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]

More Ideas for Education

Are you looking for ideas for how to bring attention to the issue of migration and immigration reform at your parish?

Below is a list of some ideas you can use or offer to your staff or human concerns group to create awareness and

educate on migration and the need for comprehensive immigration reform.

1. Educate your parish pastor and staff on the issues and need for immigration reform – consider bringing in a

speaker to address staff and human concerns members of your cluster.

2. Ask your pastor to incorporate support for immigration reform into their migration week homily

3. Post information about Migration week on the front cover or other prominent place of your parish bulletin

4. Include the bishop’s letter in your bulletin or newsletter [letter available 12/12/11]

5. Include bulletin articles throughout advent, the month of January and beyond

6. Ask for a prayer for migrants to be included in weekend petitions.

7. Post copies of the USCCB National Migration Week poster throughout the church building

8. Hand out copies of the St. Josephine Bakhita prayer card or Welcoming Christ in the Migrant pamphlet

9. Advertise a parish wide book reading of “Rescuing Regina” then host a discussion session

10. Host a speaker from the Justice for Immigrants Speaker’s Bureau

11. Offer a film screening and discussion on immigration and/or trafficking from this list

12. Ask parishioners to bring a food item from and marked with their country of origin to Fellowship Sunday

13. Post an over-sized map of the world in a prominent place and ask families or youth to place a pin on their

ancestral country of origin with their family name or picture

14. Bring attention to and draw connections to how your parish is currently standing in solidarity with the poor

and displaced

15. Hand out copies of the Little Book of Immigration Myths

16. Ask parish members to contact their legislative representatives asking them to work for comprehensive

immigration reform