Category Archives: Immigration USA

Forty arrested at Catholic-led DACA Protest

Catholic News Agency
By Christine Rousselle

Catholic-led DACA protest in Washington, DC, Feb. 27, 2018. Credit: Jonah McKeown, CNA

Washington D.C., Feb 27, 2018 / 04:20 pm (CNA).- A group of about 100 people–including Franciscan friars, religious sisters, and laity–gathered in the rotunda of the Russell Senate Building in Washington on Tuesday, and were led away in flex cuffs in a planned act of civil disobedience.

The protest was intended to pressure Congress to take action on “Dreamers,” or people who were brought to the United States illegally as children. It was organized as part of the Catholic Day of Action with Dreamers, an event planned by Catholic social advocacy groups.

One of those arrested was Sr. Tracy Kemme, a Sister of Charity of Cincinnati. Prior to her arrest, Kemme told CNA that she considered her actions to be worthwhile to help protect the immigrant community.

“Myself, two of my sisters, and one of our associates will be doing civil disobedience,” said Kemme. She continued, “It’s a moral moment of truth and it’s worth it to us to try to raise the consciousness of our legislators.”

Registered “Dreamers” are afforded renewable protection from deportation under an Obama-era policy called the “Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals” (DACA). President Donald Trump sought to end DACA in September of 2017 and gave Congress a six-month period to come up with a solution before the protections would expire on March 5.

Two federal courts have issued injunctions preventing the President from ending DACA.

On Monday, the Supreme Court declined to consider the Administration’s expedited appeal of those injunctions, ensuring that the program will remain as-is until a final court decision is made later this year.

Congressional legislators have been unable to pass compromise bills that would have codified parts of DACA into law. On Monday, the USCCB urged Catholics to call their Congressmen as part of the “National Call-in Day for the Protection of Dreamers.”

The PICO National Network, along with Faith in Public Life and the DC Catholic Coalition, organized Tuesday’s “day of action.” The day featured a prayer rally and peaceful civil disobedience, culminating with the arrests.

Kemme told CNA that she hopes Congress is able to pass a DREAM Act unconnected to other proposed immigration reforms, and that her faith inspires her passion of working with the immigrant community.

“As a Catholic, my end goal would be comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship that keeps families together,” she said.

Kemme’s desires were echoed by Sr. Elise Garcia, O.P., from the Dominican sisters in Adrian, Michigan. Garcia said she was in D.C. on Tuesday to pray for the Dreamers as well as for elected leaders, and she too would like to see comprehensive immigration reform.

“Ideally, I would like to see an entire comprehensive package of immigration reform. That’s the ideal. Short of that, I’d like to see justice for Dreamers,” who have only known the United States as their home.

Before the Capitol Police attempted to disperse the protest, Bishop John Stowe, OFM Conv., Bishop of Lexington, addressed the crowd. Once the crowd began loudly praying a decade of the rosary, the police started to make arrests.

A total of 40 people were arrested and charged with “Crowding, Obstructing, or Incommoding.”



Join March 16th Airport Protests Against Rewritten Refugee and Muslim

cwsWe are fast approaching the March 16 date on which President Trump’ re-written Executive Order will take effect. As you well know, the order will discriminate against individuals from certain countries and grind the refugee resettlement program to a halt. It also significantly reduces the number of refugees we welcome in the United States, turning our backs on more than 60,000 individuals who we have pledged to protect. After the first refugee and Muslim ban was stopped by litigation and thousands mobilizing at airports it is time to once again show up and resist these unjust and discriminatory policies.

Take Action! We are calling for community mobilizations at airports on Thursday, March 16th to publicly oppose Trump’s refugee ban. Continue reading Join March 16th Airport Protests Against Rewritten Refugee and Muslim

Tell President Obama: Stop ICE Raids of Immigrants Fleeing Violence


As  many of us were celebrating Christmas with our loved ones, news of immigration raids provoked fear and despair in immigrant communities across our nation. The Obama Administration, specifically Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, indicated that the raids were intended to deport families fleeing violence in Central America that entered the United States in recent years and had been denied asylum. We know that these vulnerable families are provided very little information about their rights and are in many cases denied legal assistance when presenting their case in immigration court. Email President Obama now and let him know that this unjust treatment of our immigrant sisters and brothers MUST end.

Since the latest raids began on January 2, more than 121 Central American adults and children have been taken into custody and placed into deportation proceedings. We are hearing heartbreaking stories of children who were taken from their homes in the middle of the night and families that were torn apart. Reports from around the country indicate that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is using many of the actions to detain and deport a broader group of immigrants than families recently here from Central America. Fear in the immigrant community is extremely high. Continue reading Tell President Obama: Stop ICE Raids of Immigrants Fleeing Violence

Sign Petition to Obama Administration Asking to End Family Detention

Dear Friends,

In the summer of 2014, the Obama Administration responded to an increase in the arrival of families from Central America by expanding its capacity to imprison asylum-seeking families. Over the course of a year, our country went from having less than 100 family detention beds to having 3,000. More than 2,900 of these beds are owned by private prison companies.

Persons of faith and persons of conscience organized against this increase in the use of family detention. As a result, the Administration has made small concessions and changes in the way they implement family detention. On July 24th Judge Dolly Gee, in the Central District of California, ruled that the government’s use of family detention was in material breach of a legal agreement governing the treatment of immigrant children. This decision would result in the release of almost every mother and child now in detention and could be the tipping point that finally ends family detention.

Today is your opportunity to tell the Administration to not appeal this ruling. Add your name to this letter to let President Barack Obama, Secretary Jeh Johnson of the Department of Homeland Security, and Attorney General Loretta Lynch know that you want them to #EndFamilyDetention and you want #NoDHSAppeal of this case.

Sign this petition which will be delivered to the Administration on August 3, 2015.

Then share that you have signed on social media!

Please forward this to your networks!


Ann Scholz, SSND, PhD
Associate Director for Social Mission
Leadership Conference of Women Religious
8808 Cameron St.
Silver Spring MD, 20910
301-588-4955 (W)