Posts Tagged ‘immigration status’

Catholic Charities Supports Mayor de Blasio as He Signs Municipal ID Card Into Law

Friday, July 11th, 2014
photo 2

Msgr. Sullivan with Mayor de Blasio, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Councilmen Daniel Dromm, Carlos Menchaca, Antonio Reynoso and HRA Commissioner Steven Banks

Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan joined with City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and others on Thursday, July 10, to support Mayor Bill de Blasio as he signed into law a plan to offer municipal identification cards to New York City residents regardless of their immigration status.

The program, signed into law yesterday at the Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza, is designed largely to help the estimated 500,000 immigrants living without legal status in the city.  The card, dubbed the New York City Identity Card, will be available to anyone who can prove their identity and residency in the city. It is particularly aimed at groups that are currently unable to show a form of government identification required to do things such as cashing a check, signing a lease or even entering office buildings for job interviews or public schools for parent-teacher conferences.

The cards will be available starting in 2015.

Listen to this clip on CBS News to learn more.

Immigration Reform: Political Winds Blowing Our Way

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Immigration reform may pass this year, predicts Kevin Appleby, director of migration and refugee policy at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, as he speaks with Msgr. Kevin Sullivan on JustLove radio broadcast on April 27.

“Political winds, Mr. Appleby says, “are blowing our way.”

Called the “guru of immigration reform” by Msgr. Sullivan, Mr. Appleby offers an inside perspective on immigration reform’s history, hurdles and likelihood of success.

“We don’t have a system based on the rule of law anymore,” Mr. Appleby says.  “It’s based on chaos.

“At the border we have a sign that says ‘keep out’ but at the workplace we have a sign that says ‘help wanted.’”

Eleven million people live in the shadows and form an underground economy, he added.  Massive deportations divide families and pull parents away from children.  Persons struggling for a better life die as they try to cross the desert.

Solutions have been debated for decades, ever since Congress passed its last major immigration reform bill in 1986.

What’s different now “in a word,” says Mr. Appleby, “is the election; both parties have taken note and realized that the demographics of our country are changing and they need to get out ahead of it.”
Tune in to hear the entire show on The Catholic Channel 129, SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio.

Looking for information about Comprehensive Immigration Reform?

Catholic Charities is here to help.

Click here to learn how to prepare for immigration reform

Contact us now.

Call Catholic Charities at New York State New Americans Hotline: 1-800-566-7636

How to prepare for Immigration Reform

Friday, April 19th, 2013

A. There are no new laws yet and no “amnesty;” all we have is a bill in the Senate. We are still many months away – if not longer – from any new laws. You can call us at 800-566-7636 to check if the law has passed; we’ll be happy to answer your calls.This Senate bill is only the beginning of the conversation. There will be a long time before we know what the law looks like and before anyone can apply for anything.

B. In the meantime you should NOT give anyone money to any notarios, agencies, or lawyers to prepare an application or help them gather documents. Once we have a Comprehensive Immigration Reform law, there will be many reliable agencies that will help people at low cost and possibly for free. There is no need to pay thousands of dollars now.

C. What you can do is to start preparing on your own in the following ways:

i. Start a box of important documents, including:

1. Identity documents;

2. Evidence of when you came to the US and how long you have been here (the date in the Senate bill is December 31, 2011, but people who came to the US before they turned 16 and would qualify under the DREAM Act, should gather evidence for all those years that they have been living in the US);

3. Evidence of any trips outside the US after the first arrival (evidence of how long they were out of the US);

4. Evidence of work (particularly if you are an undocumented farm worker) or education in the US (particularly for DREAM Act-eligible kids);

5. Copies of any applications you already made to INS/USCIS;

6. If ever arrested, get the certificates of disposition, because those with certain serious convictions will not be eligible to apply, so you will need to show those conviction records to an attorney.

ii. Start learning English;

iii. US citizens who want to sponsor their siblings should talk to an attorney about starting the process now (the Senate bill proposes to eliminate visas for siblings of US citizens – but that can also change);

iv. Save money because there will be penalty fees (Senate bill says $2000, to be paid in stages) in addition to application fees.

Msgr. Sullivan Leaves for Washington D.C. for the Bipartisan Senate Bill Announcement

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Msgr. Sullivan meets with immigrants before leaving for D.C. for the presentation of the bi-partisan Senate immigration reform bill.

“We are hopeful that the filing of a bipartisan Senate bill on immigration seems, after many years, to make comprehensive immigration reform a real possibility. We appreciate the hard work of the group of Senators and others that has made this possible. We note with special pride and recognition the work of so many Catholic organizations and the leadership of the Bishops on this issue. While we are hopeful and supportive, the bill is complex and requires careful analysis.  There will be opposition.  We look forward to making suggestions for improving the bill to even better reflect our longstanding concerns for family unification, a fair, legal immigration system, protections for temporary workers, effective, yet humane border security and due process in enforcement.  We look forward to working in partnership with many to ensure that this reform happens for a straightforward reason—concern for the common good of the nation and the well-being of individual immigrants and their families.”

- Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York

 

 

 

Massive Mobilization on Immigration Reform; The Time for Change Is Now

Friday, April 12th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Waving signs and chanting slogans, thousands of New Yorkers added their voices Wednesday to a massive national mobilization for immigration reform.  They included Oberos Unidos de Yonkers, day laborers assisted by Catholic Charities, who rallied in White Plains.  Residents also took part in candlelight vigils in Rockland and Putnam Counties, marched in Newburgh and joined busloads that wound their way from New York City and the Hudson Valley to Washington, D.C.  Together they united with tens of thousands of people who met on the Capital lawn to insist that the time for change is now.

“Catholic Charities is both proud and privileged to work with newcomers who contribute to the growth and well-being of this country, the one they call home,” Catholic Charities Executive Monsignor Sullivan said yesterday.  “We join immigrants and advocates who will make this case in Washington D.C. and in other parts of the country at a massive mobilization and faith community vigil for citizenship, and fair and humane legal immigration opportunities.”

Wednesday’s outdoor rallies took place as a bipartisan group of senators worked inside the Capital. Known as the “Gang of Eight,” they are negotiating a bill aimed at securing the border, tapping foreign workers for critically needed jobs and creating a path to citizenship.

Catholic Charities helps immigrants reunite legally with their families, obtain proper work authorization, learn English and civics, and prepare to pass citizenship exams. Catholic Charities also assists immigrants in avoiding exploitation by unscrupulous practitioners by providing correct information and realistic counsel about immigration status.

For example, Catholic Charities works with Obreros Unidos de Yonkers, a group of more than 300 day laborers in Yonkers.  Together, we educate workers regarding employment rights and responsibilities to prevent exploitation and workplace abuse.  We also assist in integrating workers into society and provide local resources to assist them in this process.

We do this by:

  • Hosting workshops and trainings on worker rights, safety in the workplace, basics of immigration and other topics as needed
  •   Issuing membership cards with identifying information
  •  Providing office and meeting space and administrative support for workers
  •  Assisting in the collection of unpaid wages, access to healthcare services, emergency food, English as a Second Language programs and computer classes.
  • Facilitating conversations with local business owners, police elected officials and the community.

 

Looking for more information about Obreros Unidos de Yonkers?

Call (914) 375-6729/48 for more information on or visit the office at St. Peter’s Church basement, 91 Ludlow Street, Yonkers, NY  10705.

Call the Catholic Charities Help Line  — (888) 744-7900 — for more help finding the services you need.

Immigration Reform: Mass Mobilization “from the Bottom Up”

Monday, April 8th, 2013

 By Alice Kenny

As the Senate “Gang of 8″ completes its work on a Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill (CIR) and Congress prepares to debate its provisions, key leaders of New York’s diverse faith communities joined with elected officials at a press conference held at the Community Church of New York, 40 East 35th Street in Manhattan, on April 5. One leader after another spoke to promote just and humane comprehensive immigration reform, urging Congress to use moral values as a guidepost.

Speakers included Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of New York; Pastor Gilford Monrose, Vice President of CUSH; Imam Talib Abdur Rashid, Mosque of the Islamic Brotherhood; Rabbi Michael Feinberg, Greater NY Labor-Religion Coalition; Congresswoman Yvette Clarke; Congressman Joseph Crowley; Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez; Chung-Wha Hong of the New York Immigration Coalition; along with several young New York City immigrants.

David Lopez, 19, an undocumented resident of Staten Island and victim of Superstorm Sandy, spoke about challenges he faces since the hurricane destroyed the apartment where he lived and the business where he worked. Now homeless, he is ineligible for FEMA assistance because of his immigration status.

“I started working from the bottom up,” David said. “I want to become something to be able to help this country but I am unable to because of my status.”

When Msgr. Sullivan came to the podium he thanked Mr. Lopez for sharing his story.

“Catholic Charities is both proud and privileged to be part of these new New Yorkers that contribute to the growth and well-being of this country, the one they call home,” Msgr. Sullivan said. “We welcome comprehensive reform that provides a path out of the shadows, strengthens and reunites families and provides for fair and humane legal immigration opportunities.”

Immigrants and advocates will make this case in Washington D.C. on April 10th at a massive mobilization and faith community vigil for citizenship. More than 2000 New Yorkers are expected to participate.

“It is both overdue and heartening that the critical issue of immigration reform is moving to the top of Washington’s agenda,” Monsignor Sullivan said. “Immigrants have not only helped build this nation, but so many of our vibrant institutions, including our parishes.”

Good Friday – A Commemoration and a Call to Assist Victims of Today’s Crucifixions

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Photo Credit: Sr. Marylin Gramas, S.U.

By Alice Kenny

At the largest public Christian peace witness in New York City, Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New York Director of Justice and Peace Thomas Dobbins stood with Sr. Maureen Jerkowski, a member of the Lifeway Network of Religious Against Human Trafficking, as she read at the Catholic Charities of New York-sponsored Tenth Station of the Cross; Jesus is Stripped of His Garments, on Good Friday, March 29, 2013.

More than 500 people joined with them at this thirtieth annual Good Friday Way of the Cross, a modern-day enactment of the Stations of the Cross, to pray for peace and justice on the streets of New York.   The walk began at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza (47th Street at First Avenue) and proceeded along 42nd Street to Ninth Avenue.  Participants were encouraged to reflect on “How do I do for others what Jesus is doing for me? How am I called to live in this world?”

Catholic Charities and the LifeWay Network chose the tenth station of the cross to raise awareness of human trafficking.  LifeWay Network’s mission is to provide safe housing for survivors of human trafficking and to offer educational opportunities for the general public.  Catholic Charities helps immigrants reunite legally with their families, obtain proper work authorization, learn English and civics, and prepare to pass citizenship exams. The organization also assists immigrants, non Catholics and Catholics alike, to avoiding exploitation by unscrupulous practitioners by providing correct information and realistic counsel about immigration status.

The Good Friday Way of the Cross is organized each year by Pax Christi Metro New York, a regional section of Pax Christi, the international Catholic movement for peace.

“The Pax Christi Good Friday Way of the Cross has become an important part of my Good Friday observance over the past few years,” Mr. Dobbins said.  “It helps me to remember that Good Friday is not only a commemoration of events that took place 2,000 years ago, but more importantly is a call for us as Christians and people of good will to reach out and assist the victims of today’s crucifixions – the poor and the marginal, victims and refugees of war and violence, trafficked persons and others in desperate situations who don’t know where to turn – that, through our services, we at Catholic Charities seek to assist not only on Good Friday, but every day.”

Critical Issue of Immigration Reform Moves to Top of Washington Agenda

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

President Barack Obama plans to lay out his vision for immigration reform in Las Vegas today, January 29, 2013, a vision, CBS news reports, that he originally laid out in a major immigration speech in El Paso, Texas in May 2011.

A group of bipartisan senators formally unveiled their framework for comprehensive immigration reform yesterday that is said to be similar to the president’s plan.

“It is both overdue and heartening that the critical issue of immigration reform is moving to the top of Washington’s agenda,” said Catholic Charities Executive Director Monsignor Kevin Sullivan. “Each day Catholic Charities responds to many calls for assistance from immigrants who needlessly struggle and are threatened by the dysfunctions in our current system.”

Day in and day out, Catholic Charities helps immigrants reunite legally with their families, obtain proper work authorization, learn English and civics, and prepare to pass citizenship exams. Catholic Charities also assists immigrants in avoiding exploitation by unscrupulous practitioners by providing correct information and realistic counsel about immigration status.

In any given year…

3,378 families counseled and protected from exploitation
40,651 calls answered in 18 languages with accurate information
445 breadwinners helped to obtain authorization to work
417 immigrants reunited with their families
281 refugee and asylee families resettled
291 immigrants taught English

“Keeping families together, fair and humane legal immigration policies, reducing illegal immigration, protecting against exploitation and an earned way out of the shadows for the undocumented are all parts of broad immigration reform that this country needs,” Msgr. Sullivan continued. “Catholic Charities is ready and willing to work with many partners to achieve this critical goal.”

Do you need help? Get correct information in 17 languages:

Call Catholic Charities at the New York State New Americans Hotline: 212-419-3737 or 1-800-566-7636 (toll-free in NYS).

For more information please visit the following web links: