Catholic Charities Immigration Achievements in the News

Posted on January 25, 2018 by Catholic Charities Admin  |  Share

Hot Off the Press

By C. Mario Russell, Esq.

Director, Immigrant and Refugee Services

There is much to recount and report since my last Catholic Charities NY Immigration News Roundup.  

There is much to be proud of; many times our work was deemed so important that it was reported in the news.  Here goes our Top 11 Catholic Charities Immigration Achievements in the News:


Catholic Charities Community Services helped develop and joined in an interfaith amicus brief supporting the case of Hawaii v. Trump in which a number of states have sought an injunction of Trump’s travel ban in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The brief’s quote of Pope Francis, when he addressed the United States Congress, provides powerful and clear context to begin this Roundup:

“We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us were once foreigners.”

 “In migrants, the Church has always contemplated the image of Christ, who said, ‘I was a stranger and you made me welcome.’”(Pope Francis)


1. Responding to the latest gratuitous and backward policy to terminate Salvadoran Temporary Protected Status, Catholic Charities’ Hotline—joined by its usual media and state partners—last week hosted a two day evening phone bank that netted nearly 500 calls. Thanks to our dedicated Hotline Staff and Immigration and Refugee staff and volunteers for their time and commitment. and a special thanks to two of our Migration Counselors who both went “live” with poise and clarity with Univision reporters, and to our staff attorney who brings her thoughtfulness in this Univision segment.

2. Related, our Catholic Charities program director can be heard and seen quoted about the fraud support initiative through the Hotline in this important Lohud piece about the “10-year visa” scam and other fraud committed against immigrants.

3. Our Office of New Americans coordinator in Newburgh, NY organized and coordinated a Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking training led by Safe Homes of Orange City in Newburgh for CCCS employees.

4. Recognizing the need to bring English instruction—as needed and where needed in our immigrant communities—our International Center continues to lead the way with its innovative Community Programming (think “mobile learning response unit”), which marshals the energies of volunteers with the substantive and programmatic know-how of our staff by:

  •  Beginning a new community program in collaboration with the Grand Street Guild—and affordable housing community on the Lower East Side supported by Catholic Charities (3 volunteers have provided support to 17 learners from the community); and
  •   Beginning a new community program in collaboration with Advent Lutheran Church on the Upper West Side (8 volunteers have provided support to 19 learners from the community).

5. One of our Unaccompanied Minors Program staff attorneys, thanks to terrific and tenacious work, achieved two big wins:

  • She won a first Saravia bond hearing, securing the release of her client. The hearing was to challenge the re-arrest and detention of a minor who had previously been released from Office of Refugee Resettlement custody and had been living with his mother, attending his court hearings, and pursuing legal relief. .
  • She secured the release of a child in Office of Refugee Resettlement custody for over 4 years… The child qualified for asylum, SIJS and U-visa status, and had been sexually abused while in custody. More advocacy, continued hearings, and the support of NYCLU eventually brought this to proper resolution: release and reunification before the new year.

6. And similarly, a Refugee Resettlement client who was homeless and suicidal before coming to Catholic Charities was granted asylum and received resettlement support and services by our case management staff.  He is now a member of the US armed forces and a member of the US Olympic running team! He just received his certification by the American Society of Clinical Pathologist Board from George Washington University.  

7. And, in case it wasn’t clear to some of our fellow Americans just how dynamic and engaged those who flee persecution or bring their dreams to the United States are, have them take a look at this blog about two Refugee Resettlement clients, one from Egypt and the other from Nigeria.

8. A Staff Attorney with our Unaccompanied Minors Program was quoted in this WNYC article discussing what the end of the priority docket means for unaccompanied minors.

9. In December, Special Projects hosted another successful Community Legal Clinic in Newburgh, serving 92 clients, with 28 volunteers donating 189 hours of their time.

10. That same month our office presented an overview and advocacy points in an event hosted by Pax Christi, NY,  titled “Dreamers, Refugees, and Sanctuary." Two very compelling short videos were shown, which are worth a look.

11. The US Soccer Foundation is getting a terrific return on investment supporting the La Union soccer program that our Catholic Charities Immigration and CYO staff set up at Our Lady Queen of Angels on Saturday mornings.  With nearly equal enrollment by boys and girls and with 85 kids participating (yes!), the Foundation has suggested that Catholic Charities by nominated for an innovation/impact award at the Annual Urban Soccer Symposium Awards. 


That’s it for now… But more will come soon, in our next roundup!

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