Posts Tagged ‘refugee’

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

 

 

 

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:

Venezuelan Finds Asylum & Career in New York

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

By Alice Kenny

It is very difficult for Maria Marquez, 33, to talk about her past. She can be specific about certain things, but not many. The danger just feels too real.

“I’m afraid,” Ms. Marquez said anxiously in her Elmhurst, Queens, apartment, an intensity in her eyes. “There have been kidnappings. People killed.”

A refugee from Venezuela, Ms. Marquez turned to Catholic Charities for help.
Read her story published on Sunday in The New York Times.