Justice for Immigrants
Justice for Immigrants (JFI) is a Catholic campaign for immigration reform. In June 2004, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Migration and The Catholic Legal Immigration Network, INC. (CLINIC) Board of Directors resolved to make comprehensive immigration reform, with special emphasis on legalization, a major public policy priority within the Church.
The JFI campaign's primary objectives are:
- To educate the public, especially the Catholic community, including Catholic public officials, about Church teaching on migration and immigrants;
- To create political will for positive immigration reform;
- To enact legislative and administrative reforms based on the principles articulated by the bishops; and
- To organize Catholic networks to assist qualified immigrants obtain the benefits of the reforms.
Unaccompanied Migrant Children
Central American children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras are migrating to the United States alone in record numbers. While not a new phenomenon, the number of children who are making the perilous journey alone has increased exponentially—6,775, on average, arrived between 2003—2011, and upwards of 90,000 are projected to arrive in Fiscal Year 2014. The Catholic Church has taken seriously the humanitarian and policy oriented aspects of this situation and is advocating on behalf of increased protections for migrant children and their families who are arriving in the United States.
Events & Opportunities:
Small Grants Program: Through this initiative MRS/USCCB seeks to assist Catholic parishes, schools and organizations to more fully integrate Catholic teaching and the bishops' priorities concerning migration into new or existing programs, materials, events, and other activities. As a result, these organizations and their members will demonstrate a new understanding of the Church's teaching on the moral dimensions of migration (with a particular emphasis on children's issues) and a willingness to engage in practical and public policy efforts, educational outreach, and liturgical celebrations consistent with this teaching. The deadline for submission is Friday, October 31, 2014.
Children and Youth Poster Contest: MRS/USCCB is sponsoring a migration themed Children and Youth Poster Contest that highlights the various ways in which migration manifests itself in the United States and around the world. Posters could focus on the experience of refugee children and youth who want to creatively express what resettlement in the United States has meant to them, immigrant children and youth who want to reflect on their immigration experience, and native-born American children and youth who want to express their understanding of migration in our contemporary world and welcoming newcomers. The deadline for submission for the poster contest is October 31, 2014.
Photo credit: CNS Photo, Joseph Kolb.