Catholics Against Racism in Immigration
In March 2022, NETWORK Lobby and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) launched Catholics Against Racism in Immigration (CARI), a new initiative and task force to build Catholic voices to oppose systemic racism in the U.S. immigration system.
Together, CARI member organizations will create a pro-active agenda, uplifting the work of Black, Asian, Indigenous, and other immigrant-led organizations. CARI membership is open to Catholic-affiliated organizations committed to and active in anti-racist work in immigration.
Our Positions on Immigration Issues
Letter to President Biden: On June 26, 2023, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY) led 65 of her colleagues in a letter to the Biden-Harris Administration urging the Administration prioritize much-needed relief for immigrant communities, particularly those from African and Caribbean diasporas. The letter highlights the moral imperative to address the challenges faced by Black migrants and families and emphasizes the importance of comprehensive immigration reform. It further calls on the Administration to exercise existing legal authorities to bestow TPS designations and redesignations for Caribbean and African countries, protect DACA recipients under threat of the courts, and address the unacceptably long green card and work permit backlogs.
The letter has received support from NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice and our partners in immigration advocacy: The Immigration Hub, African Communities Together, UndocuBlack, Haitian Bridge Alliance, Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), Border Network for Human Rights, FWD.us, National Immigrant Justice Center, Communities United for Status and Protection (CUSP), Nigerian Center, African Public Affairs Committee, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Church Women United in New York State, Wilco Justice Alliance, International Institute of New England, United Nigerian American Council – MD, GoodLife Church, Inc., National Empowerment Advocacy and Humanitarian Foundation (LEAH), Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP), and Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights.
The letter is six (6) pages. Use the arrows at the bottom edge of the letter to move between pages, and to zoom in or out.Clarke Black Immigrants Letter to Biden Administration - Final 06.26.23
Letter to House Members: On May 10, 2023, 14 Catholic organizations that serve immigrants and asylum seekers asked Members of the House of Representatives to VOTE NO on H.R. 2 Secure the Border Act of 2023. We oppose this bill because it will criminalize immigrant children and their families, and it will harm faith-based organizations and our ability to serve our communities. Read the letter to the House.
Letter to House Members: On April 6, 2023, Catholic organizations working on behalf of migrants and asylum seekers, urged President Biden to end the practice of requiring CBP One app appointments as the primary means of accessing ports of entry for asylum and to rescind other restrictions that continue to limit the right to seek asylum at the U.S. southern border and harm our border communities. Read the Catholic Letter on Ciudad Juarez and Asylum Ban.
Immigration and Racial Justice: Here's What We're Talking About
CARI is a Task Force founded by NETWORK Lobby and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) in 2022 to build Catholic voices against racism in immigration. Ronnate Asirwatham, NETWORK Government Relations Advocate, manages CARI.
Each member organization, through their own missions and scopes of work, will incorporate an active agenda aimed at lifting up the work of Black, Asian, Indigenous, and other immigrant-led organizations. Activities will include but not be limited to:
- Attending coalition meetings and engaging directly with impacted community-led organizations to be up-to-date on priorities and how CARI can be a resource and provide support;
- Amplifying and participating in grassroots and grasstops actions;
- Strategic communications (such as press releases and social media); and
- Organizing individual Catholics and Catholic organizations to participate in actions against racism in immigration.
Called by and following Catholic social teaching, Catholics Against Racism in Immigration (CARI) is a broad Catholic task force taking action against systemic racism in the U.S. immigration system.
In July 2023, NETWORK Lobby hosted Restoring Asylum & Dignity for Immigrants, a webinar that explained the investments needed to improve immigration laws and policy; and the areas (like militarization of the southern border) that the U.S. must divest from to restore dignity to immigration. Immigration justice partners who work directly with immigrants also provided insight, and a Catholic Letter was introduced. You can read and sign the Catholic Letter to show Congress your support!
In July 2022, Catholics Against Racism in Immigration (CARI), hosted their first online webinar: Confronting Racism: What People of Faith Can Learn from the Experience of Haitian Asylum-Seekers at the US/Mexico Border. The event featured stories at the border told by Haitian immigrants. Watch the webinar below.