IAUSA Irish Apostolate

Update on the Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform  

Issue: # 82  June 2012
In This Issue
Irish J-1 Students Welcomed Across USA
White House Briefing for Community Leaders on Immigration Reform
Catholic Church Supports Evangelical Statement on Immigration Reform
Overview of Key SB 1070 Provisions in Supreme Court's Ruling
Immigration Statistics
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Bishops Greet Supreme Court Decision with Hope and Caution





Pressure Is Growing on Both Parties to Compromise on Immigration

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The Court Got It Right on Arizona Law




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Irish J-1 Students Welcomed Across USA

Irish students coming to the USA this summer are availing of the assistance provided by the Irish Immigration Centers and Volunteer Outreach Offices.  The Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers has reported that large numbers of Irish students have arrived in Chicago, New York, Boston, San Diego, San Francisco, and Ocean City.   At this point many young arrivals have found jobs and accommodations, but there are still others who are struggling to get settled.  

This year the Ocean City Irish Outreach Volunteers have set up an office near the Boardwalk to enable easier access for the students to pick up some of the donated linens, towels, and teapots.  These items have been generously donated by the local AOH/LAOH divisions, members of the St. Luke/St. Ann parish, and the Irish Society of Delmarva.  Monetary donations have also been received from other AOH Divisions across the State of Maryland.

Pat Fairbend and Joe Babbit welcome some of the Irish J-1 students to Ocean City at the new office.

The CIIC and IAUSA will continue to monitor the situation at the Immigration Centers this summer to determine ways to better serve the students in the future. 



White House Briefing for Community Leaders on Immigration Reform


Billy Lawless, Chair of the Chicago CELTS for Immigration Reform, and Geri Garvey, Administrator, Irish Apostolate USA, attended the White House Briefing on Immigration Reform on Monday, June 18.  Participants in the conference represented businesses, faith groups, immigration advocates, law enforcement, education, and hi-tech corporations.   One of the objectives of the meeting was to inform the attendees of the administrative efforts to strengthen the immigration system.   Although the conference had been on the calendar for weeks, it came on the Monday following the President's announcement on "deferred action" for DREAMers who met certain criteria.  That announcement had a strong impact on the participants' good will toward the Administration and its immigration efforts.


Secretary Janet Napolitano spoke on the DHS efforts over the last few years with their emphasis on deporting those with criminal records and not wasting resources on illegal immigrants who are law-abiding.   She emphasized that DHS has the authority to do this and that it is a logical progression of their actions.  The U.S. Customs and Immigration Services have been tasked to develop the procedures to handle the DREAMers who come forward and the operation should begin in about 60 days.  ICE is tasked with educating their agents on this new policy.


Other Administration speakers included Alejandro Mayorkas, Director, USCIS, John Morton, Director, ICE, David Aguilar, Deputy Commissioner, USCBP, and Thomas Perez, Asst. Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, Department of Justice. 


The two main points of the DREAM "deferred action" policy that they wanted attendees to take away and SHARE WITH THEIR COMMUNITIES are:  1)  The process has not yet begun.  USCIS will REJECT any application before the process begins in 60 days; 2)  Those attending should warn THEIR COMMUNITIES about scams and Notario fraud.  Any organizations discovering a local scam should report it to the DHS authorities.


A panel of Administration experts also gave the economic case for Immigration Reform, focusing on the highly skilled workers and the benefits they bring to the U.S. economy.  The audience also noted the need for low and semi-skilled works for the Agriculture, Construction, Textile, and Health sectors.


The afternoon was spent attending one of four breakout sessions that were offered.


In conclusion, the Administration acknowledged that comprehensive immigration reform continues to be a goal and that the participants should look to the other groups represented here today to build coalitions in order to move Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform.



 Catholic Church Supports Evangelical Statement on Immigration Reform


The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) announced its support for the Evangelical Statement of Principles for Immigration Reform last week at their bi-annual meeting, which was held in Atlanta.


Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, archbishop of Los Angeles and chairman of USCCB's Committee on Migration, announced the group's support not long after the Evangelical Statement was unveiled at a press conference in Washington, D.C. yesterday.


"We welcome today's statement by evangelical leaders in support of immigration reform. They, along with many others, recognize that our immigration system is broken and impacts basic human rights and dignity," said Gomez.


"Our elected officials should heed their call for immigration reform. We look forward to working with them in pursuing a more just and humane immigration system in our nation."


Kevin Appleby, director of USCCB's Office of Migration Policy and Public Affairs, told The Christian Post that he considered the Evangelical Statement "a very important development."


"The Evangelical community can reach into a constituency to educate them on the issue of immigration reform and that may move the ball forward in Congress," said Appleby. "We always welcome the addition of other faith groups into the debate and I believe that this faith community in this country will really make the difference."




Overview of Key SB 1070 Provisionsin Supreme Court's AZ v. US ruling



Section 3 (state crime for failure to carry federal immigration registration documents)


      The Supreme Court struck down 3, which sought to create a state crime for not carrying immigration papers.  The Court invalidated Sec. 3 on the grounds that it adds a state-law penalty for conduct already regulated by federal law.  The Court explained that the federal government is responsible for maintaining a system to keep track of non-citizens within the U.S. If 3 were valid, every State could give itself independent authority to prosecute federal registration violations and that would diminish the federal government's control over enforcement. 


Section 5(C) (state crime for unauthorized work by immigrants)


      The Supreme Court also struck down Sec. 5, which sought to make it a state crime for a non-citizen to work without authorization.  Again, the Court pointed to the fact that the federal government already regulates employment by non-citizens and decided not to impose criminal penalties for unauthorized work.  The Court ruled that "Under 5(C) of S. B. 1070, Arizona law would interfere with the careful balance struck by Congress with respect to unauthorized employment of aliens."  



Section 6 (authorization for local law enforcement to arrest individuals without a warrant for a removable offense)


       The Supreme Court also struck down Sec. 6, which sought to give state and local police officers greater power than federal officers to arrest immigrants they believe are removable from the U.S.  The Supreme Court ruled that such a law would allow Arizona to achieve its own immigration policy and that "this is not the system Congress created."  Slip Op. at 17.  The Court concluded that "6 violates the principle that the removal process is entrusted to the discretion of the Federal Government." 


Section 2(B) (mandate for local law enforcement to determine immigration status of any detained person reasonably suspected of being undocumented)


      The Supreme Court decided that it was too early to block Section 2B, which requires state and local officers to make a reasonable attempt to determine the immigration status of any person they stop, detain, or arrest if reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien unlawfully present in the United States. 

      However, the Supreme Court warned that "Detaining individuals solely to verify their immigration status would raise constitutional concerns."  Slip Op. at 22. 

      The Court stated that "if 2(B) only requires state officers to conduct a status check during the course of an authorized, lawful detention or after a detainee has been released, the provision likely would survive . . ."  Slip Op. at 23. 

      The Court ruled that because "There is a basic uncertainty about what the law means and how it will be enforced," the state courts should give an interpretation of the law. 

      The Court made clear that "This opinion does not foreclose other preemption and constitutional challenges to the law as interpreted and applied after it goes into effect."  Slip Op. at 24.

Source:  MALDEF 



Immigration Statistics


 Immigrants are concentrated at the high and low ends of the education continuum:


Nationally, 27 percent of immigrant adults had a bachelor's degree or higher (compared to 28 percent of the native born). In contrast, the share of immigrant adults with less than a high school diploma was 32 percent (compared to 11 percent for the US born).  


Immigrants who became naturalized US citizens were much more likely to have a college degree than non-US citizens (33 percent versus 22 percent)



Some states benefit (or are poised to benefit) more than others from having a highly educated immigrant workforce: College-educated immigrants accounted for more than 40 percent of all immigrant adults in the District of Columbia (50 percent), West Virginia (42 percent), and Vermont and Maryland (41 percent each) compared to 27 percent in the United States overall. 


At the other end of the spectrum, nearly half of foreign-born adults in New Mexico (49 percent) and Idaho

(48 percent) lacked a high school diploma.


Migration Policy Institute Data Hub


Join the Justice for Immigrants Campaign

The Justice for Immigrants Campaign continues to build its grassroots support for comprehensive immigration reform.  
If you want to be notified of immigration legislation updates , NOW is the time to join the JFI Action Alert list.  Sign up at: 
The Irish Apostolate USA is the umbrella organization for the Irish Immigration Pastoral and Outreach Centers in the United States, under the direction of the Irish Episcopal Council for Emigrants. 

Please visit our website for more information: Irish Apostolate USA 
Geri Garvey, Administrator
Irish Apostolate USA
Phone/Fax:  301-384-3375     Email: administrator@usairish.org