Catholic Immigrant Integration

Catholic Immigrant Integration

Immigrant Integration and Disintegration in an Era of Exclusionary Nationalism

This is a working paper and draft chapter for the forthcoming book, Christianity and the Law of Migration, eds. Silas W. Allard, Kristin E. Heyer, and Raj Nadella (London: Routledge, 2021).

Will the nation’s historic genius at integrating immigrants persist? With a record 44 million foreign-born U.S. residents and nearly double that number counting their US-born children, the stakes could not be higher. This chapter will explore the integration successes and challenges of U.S. immigrants and their progeny.  It examines the conditions in receiving societies that improve and diminish the integration prospects of immigrants.  These include, on the one hand, rising nationalism, nativism, and a rapidly changing labor market due to automation, robotization, and artificial intelligence, and, on the other hand, integration initiatives and strong mediating institutions. The chapter will begin by exploring different conceptions of integration, and conclude by reflecting on how Christianity might inform national and local integration policies.  While this chapter focuses on the U.S. context, the issues discussed are pertinent in a wide variety of countries experiencing significant immigration.

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Thoughts from the First Floor: How Do We Move Forward?

It has been a remarkably interesting three months from the fourth floor at the Casa del Migrante in Tijuana. The virus has not disappeared, and to be honest, I doubt that it ever will.  So, the question on everyone’s mind is, “How do we move forward?”  Well a few things are certain: 1) You need to wear a mask; 2) You need to stay six feet from people you do not live with; 3) You need to wash your hands very often. It seems to be a rather simple roadmap to success, but for some reason, a lot of people do not get it. Meanwhile, after almost five months confined to the fourth floor, with an occasional trip to the US Post Office, I came to the conclusion that I cannot stay on the fourth floor forever and we cannot keep the Casa closed indefinitely.

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CMS Estimates on DACA Recipients by Catholic Archdiocese and Diocese

This paper provides estimates on beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) by Roman Catholic archdiocese and diocese (“arch/diocese”) in order to assist Catholic institutions, legal service providers, pastoral workers and others in their work with DACA recipients.  In addition, the paper summarizes past estimates by the Center for Migration Studies about DACA recipients, which highlight their ties and contributions to the United States. It also offers resources for Catholic institutions, educators, and professionals that serve this group.

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Migrant Children and Blessings at The Casa

In early 2019 life at the Casa changed dramatically when men started arriving with children. “We were being invited to become more welcoming to an entirely new population,” writes Fr. Pat Murphy, c.s. in this blog. “I am amazed at how rapidly things can change in the world of migration and how rapidly we are invited to adapt in helping the migrants we are called to serve. The good news is that I believe we have adapted well to serving our new population at the Casa.”

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The Effects of Immigration Enforcement on Faith-Based Organizations: An Analysis of the FEER Survey

This paper analyzes the impact of the Trump administration immigration policies on Catholic organizations, presenting the results of CMS’s Federal Enforcement Effect Research (FEER) Survey. It finds that US policies in the Trump era have significantly increased immigrant demand for the services provided by Catholic institutions and, in general, that these institutions have expanded their services in response. However, 59 percent of respondents – the highest total for this question – identified “fear of apprehension or deportation” as “negatively” impacting immigrants’ access to their services. In addition, 57 percent reported that immigration enforcement has “very negatively” or “somewhat negatively” affected the participation of immigrants in their programs or ministries. The FEER Survey illustrates the need for broad immigration reform. It shows that the status quo prevents immigrants from accessing the services they need and it impedes people of faith from effectively exercising their religious convictions on human dignity, protection, and service to the poor and vulnerable.

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