IAUSA Irish Apostolate

Update on the Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform  

Issue: # 113

 March 2015

In This Issue
Catholic, Evangelical Lutheran Bishops Visit TX Detention Facility
Launch of New Website
New Poll on Immigration Reform
News on Executive Action Lawsuit
Quick Links 
Current Articles 


A Way Out on Immigration Reform

by Alan SImpson and Bruce Morrison


New York Times



Administrative Relief Resources




DOJ Asks Appeals Court To Lift Order Blocking Immigration Programs



Other Links 


Join Our List
IAUSA Annual General Meeting  
May 19, 2015
 The Annual General Meeting of the member centers of the Irish Apostolate USA will be held on Tuesday, May 19th in Boston, MA
in conjunction with the AGM of the Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers.  

For more information, please email Geri Garvey, Administrator, at 


 Catholic, Evangelical Lutheran Bishops Visit Texas Detention Facility, Call for an End to Detention of Families

Catholic and Evangelical Lutheran bishops visited with young mothers and children who have fled violence in their home countries and are now incarcerated at Dilley Detention Center in Dilley, Texas, on March 27. The faith leaders called upon the federal government to halt the practice of family detentions, citing the harmful effects on mothers, children and the moral character of society.


Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller of San Antonio, Texas, whose archdiocese includes Dilley, was joined by Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop of Seattle, and Bishop James Tamayo of Laredo, Texas. Bishops Michael Rinehart and H. Julian Gordy of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America also joined them on the visit. Since last summer, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has detained hundreds of families at detention centers in New Mexico, Texas, and Pennsylvania, under a new family detention policy aimed at families fleeing violence in Central America.


"After this visit, my primary question is: Why? Why do we feel compelled to place in detention such vulnerable individuals -traumatized young mothers with children fleeing persecution in their home countries?" said Archbishop García-Siller following the visit. "A great nation such as ours need not incarcerate the most vulnerable in the name of deterrence. The moral character of a society is judged by how it treats the most vulnerable in our midst. Our nation's family detention policy is shameful and I implore our elected officials to end it."


Bishop Elizondo, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Migration, added: "The detention of families serves no purpose and undermines due process. It especially harms children, who experience emotional and psychological harm from detention. The policy is a stain on the administration's record on immigration."


Bishop James Tamayo of Laredo, Texas, said humane alternatives to detention exist and should be used for the population.


"The government should consider placing these families in humane alternatives to detention, where they could live in the community and access needed services, including legal representation," Bishop Tamayo said. "The Church is ready to assist in this effort."


Information on the USCCB position on family detention can be found at the USCCB website.


Launch of New Website

 Young Irish emigrants open up about coping with emigrating


On March 5th, Minister for the Diaspora Jimmy Deenihan launched a new website that charts seven different stages of emigration and gives anyone planning to leave honest, realistic accounts of what to consider before making up your mind, before you go and when you arrive. 


The site was developed following extensive consultation with 500 recent emigrants to establish how they were coping emotionally with their new lives. With guarantees of anonymity, the honest responses paint a picture of sadness and longing for home that Skype and social media have not been able to overcome.

The site,  www.mindhowyougo.ie, was funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs Emigrant Support Programme and developed by Crosscare Migrant Project, one of the programmes of Crosscare (the social support agency of the Archdiocese of Dublin). 


New Poll on Immigration Reform

While Congress has kept comprehensive immigration reform bottled up, a majority of liberals, conservatives, and moderates alike support passing comprehensive immigration reform. 

  • Sixty-nine percent of voters indicated they would rather have Congress focus on passing immigration reform than forcing the president to reverse his executive order. * A majority of Democrats (82%) and Independents (72%), and 50% of Republicans, support moving forward with immigration reform over reversing the president's action. 

  • Similarly, majorities of white, Hispanic, and African American voters want Congress to move forward on a comprehensive reform plan .
 To download the entire report, go to Beyond the Beltway.



News on Executive Action Lawsuit


Support of the President's Executive Action


On Thursday, March 13, fourteen (14)  states and the District of Columbia filed an amicus brief with the 5th Circuit in support of the president's executive actions on immigration. The group includes those that signed an earlier brief -- that is, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington state and the District of Columbia -- but also Delaware and Rhode Island, which had previously stayed out of the legal battle.



Last week the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans announced that it will soon hear oral arguments on granting an emergency stay that could lift the injunction blocking the President's immigration actions from being implemented. 

That hearing will be on April 17th and local and national groups will continue to lift up the voices of those directly impacted by DACA and DAPA as this court case unfolds. 


For more information about the lawsuit filed by 26 states to stop President Obama's Executive Action, go to the

Alliance for Citizenship website.




Join the Justice for Immigrants Campaign

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: 
Geri Garvey, Administrator
Irish Apostolate USA
Phone/Fax:  301-384-3375     Email: administrator@usairish.org