Donald Kerwin spoke about CMS’s Democratizing Data initiative at the 2022 International Migration Review Forum, which addresses the GCM’s Objective 1 to produce “accurate and disaggregated data as a basis for evidence-based policies.”
Economic exploitation and safety hazards are prevalent across the entire construction industry. However, despite the essential role immigrants play in the construction industry in New York City and the United States, immigrant construction workers are especially vulnerable to exploitation and dangerous conditions. Lack of employment authorization, social safety nets, English proficiency, credentials recognition, and training opportunities, as well as discrimination place immigrants at a stark disadvantage as they try to enter, negotiate, and advance in this industry.
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The US Department of Homeland Security recently announced the designation of Cameroon and re-designation of Sudan for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). CMS estimates indicate that there are at least 15,700 Cameroonian nationals in the United States who are eligible for TPS, and there are 6,800 Sudanese nationals in the United States that would be eligible for the re-designation of Sudan for TPS.
What does the Church teach and ask of everyday Catholics with regard to migrants and refugees? In Pope Pius XII’s words, it teaches us to see in refugee families the “émigré Holy Family of Nazareth, fleeing into Egypt” as “the archetype of every refugee family.” It urges us, in Pope Francis‘s words, to see migrants not as a “secondary issue,” but to “stand in the shoes of those brothers and sisters of ours who risk their lives to offer a future to their children,” as “Jesus demands of us, when he tells us that in welcoming the stranger we welcome him (cf. Mt. 25:35).” It exhorts us to move beyond political rhetoric and to go to the peripheries – whether in our own communities or elsewhere – to “encounter” immigrants and refugees. This may seem a simplistic and insufficient response to such a large problem, but encounter can change hearts and minds. It can allow natives to see newcomers clearly which, to a Catholic, means to see them the way that God does.
Undocumented immigrant women are an immigrant group whose contributions to the economy, culture, and social life in the communities in which they live often go unrecognized. According to CMS estimates, there are 4,806,000 undocumented female immigrants living in the United States. Women and girls make up 46 percent of the total US undocumented population. The vast majority (45 percent) come from Mexico, followed by El Salvador (7 percent), India (6 percent), Guatemala (5 percent), Honduras (5 percent), China (4 percent), Venezuela (2 percent), Philippines (2 percent), Dominican Republic (2 percent), and Brazil (2 percent). Female undocumented immigrants from China, the Philippines, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic outnumber male undocumented immigrants from these countries (Table 1). However, among undocumented immigrants from Guatemala, the female population makes up a relatively small proportion (39 percent) of the total population.
While gang violence, community violence, and domestic violence have been recognized as contributing factors to Central American migration, less is known about the intersection between child maltreatment and migration. This article uses secondary data from United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees interviews with unaccompanied minors from Central America and Mexico to examine child maltreatment. It provides information on the abused children, their abusers, and the questions that led to their disclosure of maltreatment. It finds that girls reported maltreatment at higher rates than boys; only girls in this sample reported sexual abuse and intimate partner violence; and boys experienced physical abuse more than any other form of maltreatment. Overall, girls experienced all forms of abuse at higher rates than boys. Fewer than half of this sample described maltreatment as an explicit reason for migration, even those who viewed it as a type of suffering, harm, or danger. In addition, some disclosures suggest that childhood transitions, such as in housing, schooling, or work status, warrant further inquiry as a potential consequence of or contributor to maltreatment.
The article recommends that professionals engaged with migrant children in social services, legal services, or migration protection and status adjudications should inquire about maltreatment, recognizing that children may reveal abuse in complex and indirect ways. Protection risks within the home or family environment may provide the grounds for US legal immigration protections, such as Special Immigrant Juvenile Status or asylum. Practitioners working with unaccompanied migrant children should use varied approaches to inquire about home country maltreatment experiences. Maltreatment may be part of the context of child migration, whether or not it is explicitly mentioned by children as a reason for migration.
With one statutory change, Congress could extend legal status to millions of undocumented residents through an existing legalization program known as the “registry.” In past decades, the program legalized thousands of long-term undocumented residents, but virtually no undocumented residents today would qualify unless Congress revises the legislation. If updated, the program could extend legal status to millions.
The American Committee on Italian Migration (ACIM) was innovative for its time, organizing immigrants and their US-born descendants to serve the immigrant community and to advocate for immigration reform. It was an experiment that offers valuable lessons for immigration activists today.