immigration

Charities' CEO visits border, hears immigrants' stories of fleeing danger

NOGALES, Mexico — Dominican Sister Donna Markham, president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, grew emotional talking about the harrowing stories she heard from immigrants about the life they left behind to seek refuge in the United States.

"The suffering they are going through is unimaginable," she said after listening to stories from families waiting to apply for asylum at the international border at Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora.

Catholic organizations playing role in reunification of children

Javier, a 30-year-old immigrant from Honduras, kissed his 4-year-old son, William, July 11 in New York when they were reunited after being separated for 55 days during detention at the Texas border. Catholic Bishops’ Migration and Refugee Services and Catholic Charities USA are among the organizations helping reunite children separated from family at the border.

WASHINGTON — Some of the migrant children under age 5 separated from their families by the government were reunited with loved ones July 9 with help from Catholic organizations.

About two dozen families in all were brought back together on that date with help from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Migration and Refugee Services, Catholic Charities USA and a network of other agencies from around the country.

In all, the Catholic agencies will help reunite 55 families by mid-July and provide short-term care, such as food and shelter, said Bill Canny, executive director of MRS.

Supreme Court upholds travel ban, says directive within president’s scope

Mehrad Ansari, a university student from Iran, held a sign outside the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., June 26. After the Supreme Court upheld the travel ban on several predominantly Muslim countries including Iran, Ansari said he cannot go home to see his family now if he wants to return to the U.S.

WASHINGTON — In a 5-4 decision June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld President Donald Trump's travel ban on people entering the U.S. from some Muslim-majority countries, saying the president's action was within his power.

The court's much-anticipated decision in the last case it heard this term reversed a series of lower court decisions that had struck down the ban as illegal or unconstitutional.

After national outcry, Trump signs executive order seeking resolution to family separation policy

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump signed an executive order June 20 that halts his administration's family separation policy for families who have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally.

The executive order seeks to work around a 1997 consent decree that bars the federal government from keeping children in immigration detention — even if they are with their parents — for more than 20 days. The executive order instructs the attorney general to seek federal court permission to modify the consent decree.

Supreme Court declines DACA case

Sisters of Mercy and others prayed inside the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington Feb. 27 as part of a “Catholic Day of Action for Dreamers” protest to press Congress to protect “Dreamers,” as those covered under DACA program are known.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a blow to the Trump administration's effort to end a program in March that protects young adults brought to the U.S. without legal permission as minors.

On Feb. 26, the court declined to hear and rule on whether the administration has the right to shut down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program.

In September, President Donald Trump announced his administration was ending the program, giving lawmakers until March 5 to find a legislative solution to protect the young adults benefiting from DACA.

Missouri Catholic Conference urges support for DREAM Act

The Missouri Catholic Conference (MCC) is asking people to contact their U.S. senators and congressional representatives to pass the DREAM Act.

The DREAM Act is a proposal brought up in the past in Congress — the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act — which would provide a path to citizenship for people brought to the United States as minors without documentation.

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