Immigration Updates

»Click here for a Holiday Guide: Sharing Why You Care About Refugees and Immigrants

»Migrant Caravan: How You Can Learn More and Act 

Help us answer the call to welcome the stranger. Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Dubuque’s Immigration Legal Services team answers this call daily to welcome the stranger. We provide quality, affordable legal services to help immigrants navigate the complex and frequent changes to immigration policies.  We need your help to respond to the call and welcome immigrants.  Below are ways in which you can get involve and answer the call. 

  • Visit Justice for Immigrants website for the article “Migrant Caravan: How You Can Learn More and Act”

  • Volunteer & Serve Immigrant Families at the Border and in Family Detention. Consider volunteering with one of the Catholic Respite Centers on the Border such as Annunciation House in El Paso, Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, or Catholic Charities of Southern Arizona. You can also volunteer with the CARA Pro Bono Project to help stop family detention.
  • Educate yourself about what’s going on in Central America and about U.S. policies in the region. Seek out credible sources of information about asylum and migration. Have conversations with others about it.

  • Organize and attend local events and demonstrations in support of a compassionate response to the refugees. Support speaking tours with Central Americans who can address the root causes of forced migration.

  • Let your congressional delegation know how you feel. Visit the U.S. House of Representatives website and enter your ZIP code to find out whom to contact. To reach your U.S. senator, go to the U.S. Senate website and choose your state.

  • Donate to an organization providing support at the border. Click here for a list of agencies

»Increase Deportation Risks for Immigrants under New Immigration Policies: Immigrants Can Be Deported as a Result of Denied Immigration Applications

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) issued a new policy guidance on when to issue a Notice to Appear (NTA) against a non-citizen immigrant.  The NTA document is the official charging document issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to begin deportation/removal proceedings against a non-citizen under federal immigration law.  The new policy will have significant negative consequences even for legal immigrants applying for immigration applications. 

Therefore, now more than ever, it is critical that immigrants seeking help with their immigration applications seek qualified, competent immigration legal service providers.  Immigrant lives and their future are at risk because any mis-step or wrong legal advice or guidance could lead to them being denied immigration relief or more importantly lead to severe consequences such as deportation. To view the list of Catholic Charities’ Immigration Attorneys and their contact information, visit our Immigration Legal Services webpage.

Click here to view full article on this topic. For more information on this topic, please visit the CLINIC (Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc) website.

»Summary of Proposed Changes to Public Charge Determination

On October 10, 2018, the Trump administration formally announced a proposed regulation that would dramatically broaden the ‘public charge’ test that has been part of the federal immigration law for decades. The rule targets legal immigration to the United States and will have dramatic negative impacts on economic security, public health and the ability of families to stay together.

To view a summary of the proposed changes and a handout outlining who would be subject to this rule and what public assistance programs would be considered, please click here

»Family Separation at the Border

For information on the Executive Order on Family Separation, click on the following resources:

»Immigration Bill SF-481, signed April 10, 2018

  • Click here for information about Immigration Bill SF – 481

  • Click here for SPANISH version of information about Immigration Bill SF – 481

»DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) Information

November 8, 2018 – Update from CLINIC (Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc)

“Today the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that DACA was a permissible exercise of executive discretion and upheld the nationwide injunction in Regents of the University of California, et al., v. DHS, et al. that has been in effect since January. Under the injunction, until there is a final decision on the merits of the case, USCIS must continue to accept DACA applications from anyone who has previously held DACA. However, new initial DACA applications and advance parole requests from DACA recipients are not being accepted at this time. 
For now, clients eligible to renew DACA should continue filing their requests without delay to ensure that their applications are accepted before any change in USCIS policy.” Please click here to read updates from CLINIC on DACA.

February 26, 2018 – The U.S. Supreme Court denied the Administration’s request for expedited review of the decision partially blocking the termination of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.  That decision by the Supreme Court in Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California sends the case back to the Ninth Circuit to follow the traditional appeals process, which is expected to take months. This means that for now DACA renewals remain available to those who currently have DACA status.

Click here for the Feb 2018 DACA update in SPANISH.

January 13, 2018 – Beginning January 13, 2018, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must resume accepting DACA renewal applications. This change is due to a lawsuit challenging USCIS’s decision to end the program last fall. USCIS will continue accepting DACA renewal applications, at least while the lawsuit is pending, unless a higher court over rules the injunction.  IT IS NOT CERTAIN HOW LONG THE COURT’S ORDER WILL REMAIN IN EFFECT. If you believe you are eligible to renew your DACA, you should take steps to file your application as soon as possible.

Below is a brief summary of the changes to the DACA program as of January 9, 2018:  

  • If you have never had DACA before, no new DACA applications will be accepted. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/USCIS will not accept or process first-time applications.
  • If you currently have DACA, your DACA is valid until its expiration date.  Both DACA and work permits/EAD will remain valid until their designated expiration date.
  • If you have ever had DACA in the past, you may now apply to renew your DACA, even if it has expired.
  • However, if your DACA expired before September 5, 2016, you will need to file for renewal as though you are making an initial request, and include proof that you are eligible, such as school records, leases, car titles and utility bills.
  • Your application must include a check or money order for $495 made payable to “US Department of Homeland Security.”

If you are not sure whether you are eligible to renew your DACA, or if you have had any criminal convictions or you have ever been in deportation, exclusion, or removal proceedings, you should speak with an immigration attorney as soon as possible.