On March 12, 2019, Most Reverend Oscar Cantú, Bishop of San Jose, delivered the welcoming keynote at the 2019 Catholic Immigrant Integration Initiative Conference at Santa Clara Law School in Santa Clara, California. In his remarks, Bishop Cantú considers how the Church has and can deploy its limited resources and implement successful models of integration to better address immigration and better welcome immigrants.
This paper examines the characteristics of deportees from the United States and the effects of deportation on deportees, their families, and their communities. It analyzes the findings from 133 interviews with deportees at a migrant shelter in Sonora, Mexico and interviews with family members of deportees and others affected by deportation in three Catholic parishes in the United States. These findings include: 1) the deportees had established long and deep ties in the United States, including strong economic and family ties, 2) deportation severed these ties and impoverished and divided affected families, 3) most deportees planned to return to the United States, and 4) the US deportation system treated deportees as criminals and the Trump administration sought to instill fear in immigrant communities. The paper concludes with policy recommendations to mitigate the ill effects of the administration’s policies and promote the integrity of families and communities, including: using detention as a “last resort”; reducing funding to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); and limiting collaboration between police and ICE and Customs and Border Protection.
The Kino Border Initiative (KBI), CMS, and the Office of Justice and Ecology (OJE) of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States released a new report examining the characteristics of deportees and the effects of deportation. This report details findings from the CRISIS Study (Catholic Removal Impact Survey in Society), which interviewed deportees at KBI’s migrant shelter in Nogales, Sonora, and those affected by deportation in Catholic parishes in Florida, Michigan, and Minnesota. The interviews explored: (1) the impact of removals on deportees, their families, and other community members; (2) the deportation process; and (3) the relationship between deportees and their families. The report also includes policy recommendations to mitigate the ill effects of the administration’s policies and promote the integrity of families and communities, including: using detention as a “last resort;” reducing funding to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); and limiting collaboration between police and ICE and Customs and Border Protection (CBP).