Category Archives: Immigration

Hundreds of Miles of Wall and Two Years of Title 42 Later: Are We Any Better Off?

Hundreds of Miles of Wall and Two Years of Title 42 Later: Are We Any Better Off?

Julia Morris
May 9, 2022

“Title 42 is a policy failure plain and simple. It does nothing to stop COVID from being spread and by circumventing immigration law it actually goes against the principles on which our country was founded.
Ending it was the right decision”
– Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-7)

A Trump appointed federal judge ordered a two week hold on the phasing out of the Title 42 expulsion policy, raising doubts about the Biden administration’s ability to restore asylum on May 23.

As Pope Francis said, “[T]housands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities. Is this not what we want for our own children? We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation … Let us remember the Golden Rule: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’” (Papal address to the United States Congress, 9/24/15.)

Faith and secular border reception agencies are ready to receive asylum seekers and hope that Congress and the Administration will treat them as partners in this journey so that they can provide the best service to our siblings at the border. Rather than fall victim to anti-immigrant rhetoric, we have an opportunity now to live up to our values and show compassion.

Title 42 is a death sentence for these vulnerable asylum seekers. At its core, Title 42 is an obscure public health law weaponized advance cruel, xenophobic immigration policies under the guise of public health.

We know how to curb COVID-19: vaccines, masking, and social distancing. A xenophobic and selective ban on individuals and families fleeing harm only undermines public trust in federal institutions like the CDC.

We can protect public safety without turning away vulnerable families coming to this country for a better life.

Join NETWORK activists in restoring the right to asylum, email Congress now!

President Biden in front of a microphone

Centering Solidarity and Healing for Our Democracy

Centering Solidarity and Healing for Our Democracy

A Response to President Biden’s 2022 State of the Union
Mary J. Novak
March 3, 2022

President Biden in front of a microphoneIn his 2022 State of the Union, President Joe Biden addressed people across the country who are anxious and weary as Vladimir Putin threatens the use of nuclear force in his quest for more power and the COVID-19 pandemic continues to shatter a sense of normalcy, claiming close to one million lives in this country alone. President Biden named the pain felt by families and recommitted himself to supporting policies that benefit all families and communities. This vision is grounded in his faith, which prioritizes community and solidarity over individualism and greed. He illuminated a path forward for our national community, marked by dismantling long-standing racist policies and building both a vibrant economy that prioritizes shared prosperity and a truly representative, multi-racial democracy.

Shaping an Economy Rooted in Solidarity

In this time of increasing economic stratification, President Biden spoke forcefully about the need to reorient our economy with a new economic vision built on respecting and protecting the rights of workers and putting people over profits. Given rising costs facing families, his statement: “Capitalism without competition isn’t capitalism. It’s exploitation” likely resonated with many listeners. We know that ensuring jobs pay a living wage is one of the most effective ways we can uphold the dignity of work. I appreciated hearing the President’s call to raise the minimum wage and for the Senate to pass the PRO Act to protect workers’ right to unionize.

Building Anew and Protecting the Sacred Right to Vote

President Biden’s commitments to advancing just policies in NETWORK’s Build Anew policy areas are deeply rooted in the faith values of solidarity, community, respecting the rights of workers, and caring for creation; they include strengthening our democracy and voting rights; making our tax code more just; and, investing in communities by expanding the Child Tax Credit, affordable housing, and healthcare for all. NETWORK strongly supports these efforts to build a more justice union and looks forward to partnering with the Biden administration to achieve these goals. Together, we still have a great amount of work to be done, including passing the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, but we know it is possible by working together.

Confirming a New Supreme Court Justice

Another important step for protecting the rights of everyone in our county will be the Senate voting to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Biden’s nominee to the Supreme Court Justice. The NETWORK community celebrates Judge Jackson’s nomination and the perspective she will bring to the highest court because of her years of service on the federal district court of D.C. and D.C. Circuit as well as her formative service as a public defender.

Defending the Lives of Immigrants and Asylum Seekers

While we commend President Biden clear commitments to advancing just policies for our economy and democracy, we continue to call on the President to be bold in his defense of asylum seekers at our nation’s Southern border. The President was mindful in his speech about the importance of welcoming refugees fleeing Ukraine. Likewise, we call on the President to meet that mission here. Pope Francis has said each person seeking refuge “has a name, a face and a story, as well as an inalienable right to live in peace and to aspire to a better future.” We ask President Biden to take heed of those words and end the cruel and unjust policies that he is perpetuating at the border, and end detention and deportation.

President Biden, our nation’s second Catholic President, often credits the Jesuits and Catholic Sisters with keeping his faith strong. The vision he laid out in his State of the Union reflects a roadmap to rebuilding solidarity, based in encounter. As President Biden said “We can’t change how divided we’ve been. But we can change how we move forward—on COVID-19 and other issues we must face together.”  If we want to rebuild the soul of the nation, we must rebuild it together, with a broad embrace of our human family.

Unnecessary and Harmful: The Security Bars and Processing Rule

Unnecessary and Harmful: The Security Bars and Processing Rule

Ronnate Asirwatham
February 17, 2022

While the preposterous Title 42 expulsion policy and ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy continue at the border, we are very concerned that the Biden Administration would install yet another Trump Era policy – Security Bars and Processing Rule.

In December 2020, one of the Trump Administration’s last acts on immigration was to propose the Security Bars and Processing Rule to go into effect in 2021. This rule would label asylum seekers a “danger to the national security of the United States” merely because they transited through or come from a country with a communicable disease, or exhibit symptoms “consistent with” such disease. This is ANY communicable disease ranging from the flu, to cholera, to HIV AIDS — not just COVID-19. Under the rule, covered asylum seekers would be barred from refugee protection in the United States. Which violates both U.S. law and international treaty obligations; all but ensuring their deportation to persecution or torture.

The Biden administration extended the period of comment in 2021 so that it didn’t go into effect then. However, now it is closing the comment period on February 28th, and advocates fear that the administration will then work to make the rule permanent.

A plethora of experts have already highlighted grave concerns that this rule is both fatally flawed and “xenophobia masquerading as a public health measure.” In their comments leading public health experts, including at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health and Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and School of Nursing, found no public health justification for this sweeping ban. In a comment submitted by Physicians for Human Rights, Dr. Monik Jiménez of Harvard Medical School concluded that the targeting and classification of asylum seekers as a public health threat is “not based on sound epidemiological evidence.” Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders, a humanitarian organization with 50-years’ experience responding to disease outbreaks, characterized the rule as “counterproductive” and noted that “public health measures work best when they are inclusive. They fail when vulnerable people, like migrants and asylum seekers, are excluded.”

As the African Human Rights Coalition commented, the rule “exacerbates racist tropes and myths of immigrants as carriers of disease.” Deeply rooted in eugenics, this ideology echoes throughout this rule. Many LGBTQ groups and HIV advocacy and treatment organizations also expressed alarm that the rule, similar to the discriminatory immigration ban on individuals living with HIV that was finally lifted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2010, would discriminate “against individuals on the basis of immigration status [and the] countries in which the person has lived or traveled” and would put particularly vulnerable populations such as “women, people from the LGBTQ+ community, and people from ethnic or religious minorities at risk.”

The rule violates U.S. law and treaty obligations, including those adopted by Congress through its passage of the Refugee Act of 1980. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus stressed in its comment that the rule would have “devastating and senseless consequences” for asylum seekers and violate the clear intent of Congress, “reiterated over and over for four decades,” “that the United States provide a meaningful and fair path to protection for those fleeing persecution.” The American Bar Association and the Round Table of Former Immigration Judges, a bipartisan group of dozens of former immigration judges, similarly objected to the rule as inconsistent with domestic and international law.

We urge the administration to withdraw this unjustifiable, illegal, and harmful rule. The Departments have repeatedly paused the rule’s implementation due to ongoing litigation against a related regulation and as they are “reviewing and reconsidering” the rule and “whether to modify or rescind” it. The Departments now request comment on whether to further delay implementation. Ample time to study the legality and impact this baseless ban would have on asylum seekers has already elapsed. There is no need for additional delay. The administration can and must swiftly and completely rescind the rule.

Comment here to join our call for the Administration to rescind the Security Bars and Processing Rule.

A Catholic President at One Year

A Catholic President at One Year

Mary J. Novak
January 20, 2022

In January 2021, NETWORK celebrated the historic inauguration of the United States’ second Catholic President and first female Vice President “heartened by the administration’s focus on racial equity and economic justice.” Let us take a closer look at how their leadership has lived up to our values of Catholic Social Justice.

The first year of the Biden administration has largely been a series of responses to the crises that surfaced during the previous administration. These included the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic downturn, racist policies enacted at the U.S.-Mexico border, and growing distrust in our elections, which has led to the passage of restrictive voting legislation across the country.

In March 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan – a $1.9 trillion COVID relief package – into law. It provided relief to families in the form of healthcare, rental assistance, housing vouchers, access to food programs, and other benefits. It also expanded Child Tax Credit payments and made the credit fully refundable, meaning that families most struggling from poverty had access to monthly payments of cash through December of last year.

The expansion of the Child Tax Credit in the American Rescue Plan was an incredible achievement, providing millions of families funds that they used for necessities including housing, food, clothing, utilities, and education, and living up to NETWORK’s values of supporting families’ economic security. However, if the credit’s refundability is allowed to expire this March, 65 million kids will pay the price.

The passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act last November – with its investments in broadband internet, climate-friendly public transit, and clean water –  was an important step toward building our country anew. Unfortunately, the Build Back Better Act – the administration’s landmark proposal to invest our nation’s families and communities – has stalled in the Senate. So have efforts to protect voting rights, which President Biden said should be passed even if it required a Senate rules change in the form of altering or eliminating the filibuster. Given the filibuster’s racist history, NETWORK fully supports this call.

A major disappointment for the NETWORK community has been President Biden’s failure to roll back the previous administration’s cruel and xenophobic border policies: the Migrant Protection Protocols and the misuse of Title 42. Under these measures and in violation of international law, asylum seekers are either expelled from the U.S. without being allowed to claim asylum or being turned away and told to wait in Mexico while they await their pending court dates. Both of these policies are resulting in assaults and significant harm against our siblings seeking asylum.

In solidarity with migrant-led organizations, President Biden’s continuation of these unjust border policies brought over 80 Catholic Sisters to Washington in early December to process prayerfully past the White House to protest these policies. In 2022, President Biden must significantly shift his administration’s border policies to align with our faith teaching to “love our neighbor.”

Every year of our 50-year existence, NETWORK has analyzed the voting records of Members of Congress, but we have never reflected on one year of a Catholic president’s administration. This is certainly a significant milestone for Catholic justice-seekers, even as the lived reality has included both progress and setbacks for our justice agenda.

President Biden has credited Jesuits and Catholic Sisters with keeping him Catholic, and he has taken office at a time when the vision of a Jesuit – Pope Francis – and the witness of Catholic Sisters offer him a roadmap to rebuilding solidarity, based in encounter. NETWORK advocates for policies that center people who have been pushed to the margins by our systems and structures. And Pope Francis calls us, individually and at the structural level, to seek out, encounter, and integrate those living on the periphery.

Joe Biden is the son of a working class Catholic family who prides himself on remembering his roots. The clear moral measure for his administration going forward is whether it has prioritized the struggles of individuals and families over powerful interests, whether at the border, the ballot box, or simply their day-to-day efforts to stay safe and healthy.

Transforming our politics from a system that upholds the status quo to one that honors the dignity of every person requires dismantling systemic racism, cultivating inclusive communities, and rooting our economy in solidarity. One year into the Biden administration, we can see with greater clarity than ever just how daunting these challenges are and how much work we have to do. We call on President Biden to join us in this necessary transformation.

Advent 2021: The Moral Demands of Migration

Advent 2021: The Moral Demands of Migration

Ronnate Asirwatham
December 3, 2021

The Second Sunday of Advent symbolizes Faith or Love with the “Bethlehem Candle” reminding us of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem. In this week’s Advent reflection, Ronnate Asirwatham, NETWORK of Government Relations Director, looks at how the journeys surrounding the birth of Jesus align with the suffering of migrant people in our world today:

Advent Evokes the Moral Demands of Migration

Jesus entered the world as a victim of forced migration with nowhere to go. Just as Joseph and Mary traveled far from home and were turned away, so too our world faces a refugee crisis that manifests itself across different continents and intersects with crises and conflicts sparked by political oppression, drug trafficking, and climate change.

As Jesus spent his first night in a cave used to shelter livestock, countless families around the world have spent years in refugee camps, living in conditions that most people in the U.S. cannot fathom. And just as the Holy Family fled into Egypt, so also the people at our border flee unimaginable violence and other threats to their well-being.

On Christmas Eve 2017, Pope Francis preached on this stark reality and its religious dimensions:

“So many other footsteps are hidden in the footsteps of Joseph and Mary. We see the tracks of entire families forced to set out in our own day. We see the tracks of millions of persons who do not choose to go away but, driven from their land, leave behind their dear ones. In many cases this departure is filled with hope, hope for the future; yet for many others this departure can only have one name: survival. Surviving the Herods of today, who, to impose their power and increase their wealth, see no problem in shedding innocent blood.”

We should ask ourselves this Advent with whom we’re identifying, the refugee child who is God incarnate or the insecure tyrant who devalues his existence. One example of this is the Biden administration’s continued use of Title 42, a Trump-era policy used to expel an unknown number of asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border, putting them in harm’s way and denying them the opportunity to seek life-saving protection. The coming of Jesus at Christmas is an urgent present day reality when we choose to recognize his presence in those who still seek refuge today.

Take Action!

Title 42 Livestream

Stay Tuned!

Livestream will begin Friday December 3 at 10:00 AM Eastern.

Contact the White House 

Email the White House about this event – Tell them to Rescind Title 42 

The White House comment line is only open Tuesday-Thursday from 11 AM-3 PM Eastern. 
Dial 1-888-496-3502 to call the comment line. 

Write a Letter to the Editor about Title 42  

Tuesday, December 7, 2021 at 7:00 PM Eastern

Register for NETWORK’s Title 42 LTE Training here.

Post on Social Media 

Use the Title 42 Social Media Toolkit and share to your, or your organization’s, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook Accounts.  

What’s In the Latest Build Back Better Framework?

What’s In the Latest Build Back Better Framework?

Audrey Carroll
November 10, 2021

On October 28, President Biden unveiled the framework for his Build Back Better Plan. The $1.75 trillion package includes key provisions such as permanent refundability of the Child Tax Credit, closing the Medicaid coverage gap in the 12 non-expansion states, a $150 billion investment in affordable housing and vouchers, $100 billion for immigration system reforms, four weeks of paid family leave, and more.


Source: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/10/28/build-back-better-framework/

Here’s a breakdown of the NETWORK priorities included in the Build Back Better framework:

Health Care

*Expand Medicaid coverage in 12 non-expansion states
*Address the Black maternal health crisis

The $130 billion health care investments in the Build Back Better framework will expand Medicaid coverage to 4 million uninsured people in 12 non-expansion states. Medicaid expansion will help elders, rural communities, low-income communities, and other folks with health care accessibility issues receive care. Also included in the package are historic maternal health equity investments to address the Black maternal health crisis.

Tax Credits

*Permanent refundability of the Child Tax Credit
*One-year extension of the expanded Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit

The proposed Build Back Better framework includes permanent refundability of the Child Tax Credit, and will provide more than 35 million households with the expanded Child Tax Credit of up to $3,600 per child for one year. Full refundability of the Child Tax Credit means that low-income families who do not typically file a tax return will still qualify for the credit and get the support they need.

The framework also extends the expanded Earned Income Tax Credit for about 17 million low-wage workers. The American Rescue Plan tripled the credit for childless workers, many who  are essential workers, and the Build Back Better framework will extend this provision to work towards alleviating poverty.

Housing

*$150 billion for housing investments including: $25 billion in new rental assistance; $65 billion to preserve public housing infrastructure; and $15 billion for the national Housing Trust Fund 

President Biden’s plan would invest $150 billion in housing affordability, especially for rural communities. These investments will fund more than 1 million new affordable homes, rental assistance, public housing, and expand housing vouchers to hundreds of thousands of families in the U.S. This is one of the biggest affordable housing investments in history and will help eliminate the racial wealth and income gap by allowing first-generation homebuyers to build wealth.

Paid Leave

*Four weeks of paid family and medical leave

After initially being gutted from the original Build Back Better framework, four weeks of paid family and medical leave is now included thanks to the tireless advocacy of workers and families across the country. The U.S. is one of the only countries in the world without a national paid family and medical leave program. A federal paid leave program will allow low-income workers and workers of color to access paid leave for the first time. Workers will no longer have to choose between a paycheck and caring for themselves or their family members.

Immigration

*Reforms to our immigration systems
*Work permits and deportation protection for undocumented people in the U.S. 10 years or longer

The Build Back Better framework includes a $100 billion investment for immigration systems reforms, contingent on a Senate parliamentarian ruling. While the current framework includes access to work permits and deportation protections for nearly 7 million undocumented people living in the U.S. for a decade or longer, it disappointingly does not include a pathway to citizenship Dreamers, TPS holders, farm workers, and other essential workers despite strong bipartisan support.

Additional Investments in Children, Families, and Our Communities

In addition to these NETWORK priorities, additional investments the Build Back Better plan will establish universal and free preschool for more than 6 million 3- and 4-year-olds, expand access to high-quality, affordable child care, improve Medicaid coverage for home care services for seniors and people with disabilities while improving the quality of caregiving jobs, and provide $550 billion of investments in clean energy and other climate change initiatives.

How will the Build Back Better plan be paid for?

The Build Back Better plan will be paid for by requiring ultra-wealthy millionaires and billionaires and corporations to pay their fair share. The framework reverses some of the 2017 Trump-era tax cuts for the wealthy to raise revenue for families and workers in the U.S. The tax justice provisions include:

  • A surtax of 5% on personal income above $10 million, and 3% on income above $25 million.
  • A 15% minimum tax on corporate profits of large corporations with over $1 billion in profits.
  • A 1% tax on stock buybacks.
  • A 50% minimum tax on foreign profits of U.S. corporations.
  • Closing loopholes that allow wealthy taxpayers to avoid Medicare taxes, and more.

Unfortunately, the Billionaires Income Tax was left out of the framework. With the tax changes in the Build Back Better framework, we will raise more than enough revenue to pay for the $1.75 trillion plan.

It’s time to pass Build Back Better!

The Build Back Better framework outlines transformational investments in workers and families that will work towards eliminating the racial wealth and income gap and building a new, equitable society. The framework falls short by not including a pathway to citizenship, but is overall a significant step towards dismantling systemic racism in our federal systems. House Democrats are currently working on moving the Build Back Better plan across the finish line before the end of the year. Email your Representative today or dial 888-738-3058 to call your Representative and tell them you support the Build Back Better framework!

164 Catholic Organizations Call on President Biden to End Title 42 on Vatican World Day for Migrants and Refugee

164 Catholic Organizations Call on President Biden to End Title 42 on Vatican World Day for Migrants and Refugee

Ronnate Asirwatham
September 23, 2021

164 Catholic organizations joined together to send a letter to President Biden ahead of the World Day for Migrants and Refugees demanding he end the misuse of Title 42. Title 42, first invoked by the Trump administration and affirmatively continued by the Biden administration, has been used to expel an unknown number of asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border, putting them in harm’s way and denying them the opportunity to seek life-saving protection.

After a federal district court ordered the Biden administration to stop using Title 42 to expel migrant families with children on September 16, giving the Administration two weeks to comply, the Biden administration doubled down on its support for this unjust policy by immediately appealing the decision. President Biden can and must take action to stop the misuse of the policy once and for all.

The letter calls on the President to listen to and act on Pope Francis’ message to the world for this Sunday’s  107th World Day for Migrants and Refugees, to make, “no distinction between natives and foreigners, between residents and guests, since it is a matter of a treasure we hold in common, from whose care and benefits no one should be excluded.”

The letter was co-lead by the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., or CLINIC and NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice. Notable signatories include: Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, National Black Sisters’ Conference, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph, Pax Christi USA, Kino Border Initiative, Hope Border Institute, the Center for Social Concerns at the University of Notre Dame, Catholic Charities Atlanta, Catholic Charities of North Louisiana, and many more. See the letter and full list of 164 signers here.

Still Advocating a Pathway to Citizenship

Still Advocating a Pathway to Citizenship

Virginia Schilder
September 22, 2021

Last week, the House Judiciary Committee approved the inclusion of a pathway to citizenship in the upcoming budget reconciliation bill. This pathway would allow an estimated 8 million undocumented neighbors — including Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, farmworkers, and other essential workers — to apply for permanent residency in the U.S. Without this pathway, there is no way for those 8 million people, who already live and work in the U.S. under threat of deportation, to change their immigration status.

In order to pass through the budget reconciliation process, the Senate parliamentarian must agree that the immigration provisions have a direct fiscal effect. On Sunday September 19, the parliamentarian rejected Democratic leadership’s initial proposal to include the pathway to citizenship, on the grounds that its impact goes beyond the budget — even though that’s true of everything in the bill! This news is frustrating, but not the end of the line for establishing the pathway to citizenship. As we hope the parliamentarian will realize in the forthcoming meetings, the status of immigrant workers and families is acutely relevant to the budget. Moreover, the Senate (even when it has been Republican-controlled!) has included immigration provisions in the budget reconciliation before.

The COVID-19 public health crisis has made our nation’s reliance on immigrants and their labor even more visible than before. More than 5 million undocumented immigrants have been risking their lives as “essential workers” throughout the pandemic.  To call immigrant workers in front-line jobs “essential” to the functioning of the U.S., while failing to provide them with the basic safety and dignity of a secure immigration status, is hypocritical, exploitative, and unjust.

Yet the necessity of creating a pathway to citizenship is about more than labor: it is about human dignity. The millions of undocumented immigrants in our communities have a right to protection not because of their valuable economic contributions, but because of their invaluable humanity. Pope Francis (himself the son of an immigrant) affirmed this in his message for the 2014 World Day of Migrants and Refugees:

“Migrants and refugees are not pawns on the chessboard of humanity. They are children, women, and men who leave or are forced to leave their homes for various reasons, who share a legitimate desire for knowing and having, but above all for being more.”

Catholic teachings have long affirmed the rights of immigrants and refugees and the responsibility of nations like the U.S. to welcome and support them. Pope Francis and the U.S. Bishops, alongside Catholic Sisters and laity in the U.S., have made responding to unjust immigration policies a priority of the 21st century. Our call to protect immigrants and their families draws not only from Church teaching and lived tradition, but also from the myriad scriptural references to the treatment of migrants:

“When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born” (Leviticus 19:33-34, NIV).

At the core of our faith is the command to love our neighbors as ourselves — and immigrants are our neighbors, integral to the fabric of our communities. Immigrants and their families are made in the image of God, with loves, hopes, and rights, and deserve according treatment. No one should have to live in constant fear of being ripped away from their family, home, job, and community. As human beings, we all have a right to safety, and those with security have a particular obligation to ensure the security of others.

Creating a path to citizenship is a moral imperative, full stop. But passing a budget reconciliation bill that offers a way to citizenship for many immigrants will also boost economic growth, create jobs, and increase wages for all people in the U.S. This makes clear that promoting the good of our immigrant neighbors promotes the good of everyone. Catholic Social Justice, especially the principle of the common good, teaches us that we live in an interconnected society in which individual and communal flourishing are inseparable. Pope Francis expressed this idea directly to U.S. lawmakers during a joint session of Congress in 2015:

“Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves. In a word, if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities. The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us.”

When we treat our immigrant neighbors as human beings with intrinsic and immeasurable dignity — which includes taking structural action to ensure their care and protection — our society becomes more humane for everyone.

After the recent federal district court ruling in Texas threatening DACA, the need to create a path to citizenship is increasingly urgent. Luckily, an overwhelming bipartisan majority of voters — including Independents and Republicans — support Congress creating a pathway to citizenship. What’s more, the budget reconciliation process only requires 50 Senate votes to pass.

NETWORK calls on all Senators to support including a pathway to citizenship in the recovery package. If we are truly committed to protecting workers, families, and those who are most marginalized by our systems and structures, then we must pursue just immigration policies. Including a pathway to citizenship in the budget reconciliation will help ensure that our recovery is equitable and humane. Now is the time to align our policies with our values and enact a path to citizenship.

Read NETWORK’s press release following the release of the Senate Parliamentarian’s initial guidance.

Due Process Denied: New Report from Kino Border Initiative and NETWORK

New Report from Kino Border Initiative and NETWORK

Trey Espinosa
August 25, 2021

Due Process Denied,” a new joint report from Kino Border Initiative (KBI) and NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, documents patterns of abuse by the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency in the Nogales sector.  The purpose of this report is to provide a snapshot of what occurs at the border and to press for external oversight to end CBP’s systemic culture of abuse of migrants.

The report details 35 cases of complaints against CBP agents. The abuses range from migrants being denied due process, such as not given an opportunity to seek asylum or destruction of documentation, to outright physical violence. The victims are men, women, and children and all from Latin America or the Caribbean. Almost all of the abuses documented here are in the Arizona sector but both Kino and NETWORK can say with confidence that this snapshot is the latest of numerous reports highlighting CBP’s systemic pattern of abuse which violates U.S. laws and regulations, as well as international law all along the border.

All of the immigrants who were interviewed in this report came to the United States hoping to escape persecution or violence in their home countries. Many of them directly told the CBP agents that they are desperate to evade abusive partners, organized gang activity, extortion, and/or political strife. However, none of them, were referred to an Asylum Officer of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as is required by law.

As members of Congress continue to push for increased funding for CBP and the Biden administration increasingly relies on CBP to do the work of asylum officers and trained Health and Human Services (HHS) employees, this report demonstrates that CBP is not the appropriate agency to afford migrants the due process guaranteed to them by law; rather, it is woefully inadequate in such a role. The Biden administration and Congress must exercise all their powers and initiate external oversight mechanisms over CBP that will end impunity and change the systemic culture of abuse within the CBP.


Trey Espinosa is a summer volunteer on NETWORK’s Government Relations Team. Trey is originally from Louisville, KY and is in grad school at University of Maryland studying public policy.