Posts Tagged ‘asylum’

Threatened Gambian Journalist Wants to Rescue His Daughter

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

photo 3By John Otis

The New York Times

Friends are few in number and relatives live an ocean away, but since moving from his native country, Gambia, Buya Jammeh has gained something precious,” writes John Otis in this New York Times Neediest Cases article.

“This is the land of liberty,” Mr. Jammeh, 32, said. “Since I stepped my foot in the United States, I feel like I’m O.K., I’m a free man. I’ve regained the life I lost. I have nothing to fear in the U.S.”

Mr. Jammeh grew up in the north bank region of Gambia. After high school, he began a career in journalism. Gambia has a weak independent press, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists; Mr. Jammeh said he had been threatened many times, and beaten by the military police…

With help from the immigration department of Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New York, Mr. Jammeh was granted asylum in June.

Catholic Charities, one of the agencies supported by The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund, is also helping Mr. Jammeh petition to bring his wife and 2-year-old daughter to the United States. He wants them to arrive before his child gets much older.

“In Africa, they still practice female genital mutilation,” Mr. Jammeh said. “I have a daughter. If she’s 4 or 5, she’s going through the same process, and I don’t want her to be subjected to that kind of process. It’s tradition. They don’t need to take permission from you as the father.”

Read the full New York Times story now.

Help us help the Jammeh family and fellow courageous New Yorkers.

Catholic Charities Welcomes Unaccompanied Minors While Upholding Law

Friday, August 8th, 2014

NOTE: All photos require the written permission of copyright holder Maria R. Bastone for usage. NO MODEL RELEASES; NO SALES; NO TRANSFER OF RIGHTS TO THIRD PARTYCatholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan stressed in a Catholic New York  front page story that the Church’s stance on helping unaccompanied minors seeking asylum is “entirely in keeping with the law, specifically a law passed by Congress in 2008 and signed by President George W. Bush to curb child trafficking.”

That law requires that the government allow minors from Central America time to seek protection in the United States, and not be subject to immediate deportation as is the case with illegal immigrants from Mexico.

‘The current situation of the surge of children arriving at the southern border is one in which in the tradition of this country, those who are fleeing violence, fear of persecution or abuse in their own countries are given refuge in this country for a humanitarian purpose,” he explained . “What we are doing now as a country and what Catholic Charities is doing is providing that safe haven for those seeking to flee from abuse and violence in their native countries.’

‘Where this relates to the overall immigration question is, and this needs to be said very clearly, the Catholic Church is not in favor of illegal immigration. It is for that reason that we believe the laws of this country need to be reformed and a comprehensive approach needs to be taken, which provides for a fair and humane legal immigration system that doesn’t precipitate illegal immigration.’

Read the full interview in Catholic New York.

First-Hand Stories of Tragedy and Survival; JustLove Celebrates World Refugee Day

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

A Nigerian man had his finger tips sawed off.  A Muslim child was threatened with death by her Serbian playmates.  They are two of the thousands of refugees helped by Catholic Charities Immigration and Refugee Services whose stories Mark Von Sternberg, Senior Attorney of Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Department, shared with Msgr. Kevin Sullivan on the recent JustLove radio program in celebration of today, World Refugee Day.

Millions of families have lost their homes to violence and war.  Some, such as the Nigerian man for whom Mr. Von Sternberg successfully gained asylum, lost body parts.  Others lost husbands, wives and children.

Tune in to our recent show on JustLove on The Catholic Channel 129, SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio to learn more.

World Refugee Day is a time when the United Nations, Catholic Charities and other civic and religious groups honor the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homes under threat of persecution, conflict and violence.

The Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Program is dedicated to serving survivors of violence and persecution who have fled their home countries to seek a new life in the United States. Catholic Charities Community Services assists family members and sponsors in making applications for refugees who are outside the United States, and for asylees with recently obtained status.

Multilingual, multicultural staff assist in the processing of refugee applications with overseas posts and make pre-arrival arrangements to assure that the refugee will be cared for upon arrival to the United States. After arrival, the office provides direct services, material assistance, job search assistance, job training and placement, ESL classes, school enrollment and other social services.

Do you need help?

Catholic Charities operates the New York State New Americans Hotline , a statewide information and referral hotline that gives general information and referrals to appropriate service agencies in response to immigration and citizenship-related questions. Hotline operators speak English, Spanish, French, Haitian-Creole, Italian, Polish, Arabic, Turkish, Albanian, Macedonian, Bosnian, Serbo-Croatian, Chinese (Mandarin), Hindi, Urdu, and Punjabi. New Americans Hotline provides an expanded menu of language options, previously not available, via a language service line, as well.

Call the New York State New Americans Hotline at 1-212-419-3737 or 1-800-566-7636 (Toll-free in NYS)