Immigration Policy

Immigration Policy

Venezuela in Crisis: the Plight of Venezuelan Refugees
While US public and media attention has been focused on  Central American families fleeing violence in the Northern Triangle states, a crisis of larger proportions has been unfolding farther south. Since 2015, more than 1.6 million Venezuelans have left their...

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The US Refugee Resettlement Program — A Return to First Principles: How Refugees Help to Define, Strengthen, and Revitalize the United States

This paper examines the integration, achievements and contributions of 1.1 million refugees resettled in the United States from 1987 to 2016. It does so in three ways. First, it compares the household, demographic, and economic characteristics of refugees that arrived between 1987 and 2016, to comparable data for non-refugees, the foreign-born, and the total US population. Second, it compares the characteristics of refugees by period of entry, as well as to the foreign-born and total US population. Third, it examines the characteristics of refugees that arrived from the former Soviet Union between 1987 and 1999, measured in 2000 and again in 2016. By all three measures, it finds that refugees successfully integrate over time and contribute immensely to their new communities. Perhaps most dramatically, the paper shows that refugees that arrived between 1987 and 1996 exceed the total US population, which consists mostly of native-born citizens, in personal income, homeownership, college education, labor force participation, self-employment, health insurance coverage, and access to a computer and the internet. The paper also explores the successful public/private partnerships — with a particular focus on Catholic agencies — that facilitate refugee well-being and integration, and that leverage substantial private support for refugees. Overall, the paper argues that the United States should expand and strengthen its refugee resettlement program. The program has advanced US standing in the world, saved countless lives, and put millions on a path to work, self-sufficiency, and integration.

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Protecting Families and Facilitating Their Integration
“Our shared response may be articulated by four verbs: welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating migrants and refugees.” – Pope Francis I, August 2017 Who Are the Migrants? Where Do They Come From? Where Are They Going? Individuals and families around...

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From IIRIRA to Trump: Connecting the Dots to the Current US Immigration Policy Crisis
This paper examines the effects of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA). It traces the evolution of US immigration law and policy from IIRIRA’s implementation, to recent measures that seek to diminish legal immigration, restrict access to the US asylum system, reduce due process protections for non-citizens in removal proceedings, criminalize immigration violations, and expand the role of states and localities in immigration enforcement. The paper draws from a collection of papers published in the Journal on Migration and Human Security on IIRIRA’s multi-faceted consequences, as well as extensive legal analysis of IIRIRA and the current administration’s immigration agenda.

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The Separation of Immigrant Families: Historical Anecdotes

the separation of families has been a problem within the US immigration system for many years. This post highlights some of the stories preserved in the National Catholic Welfare Conference (NCWC) Bureau of Immigration Records in the CMS archive when family separation was in the headlines and enforcement of immigration laws was seen as protecting American jobs.

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Address by Most Rev. John Stowe, OFM Conv., Bishop of Lexington
The Most Reverend John Stowe, OFM Conv., Bishop of Lexington, addressed the CMS conference "Promoting Just and Inclusive Communities in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana: A “Whole of Community” Approach to Immigrants and Refugees" in Cincinnati, Ohio from July 16-18, 2018. Bp. Stowe addressed the cruel enforcement actions against immigrants and refugees, the need for comprehensive immigration reform, and the work of local and regional groups to protect and care for the vulnerable populations impacted by harsh government policies.

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