CCHD Approves Nearly $1 Million to Make Comprehensive Immigration Reform a Reality

The Catholic Campaign for HumanDevelopment (CCHD), the official domestic anti-poverty agency of the U.S. bishops, has approved special grants totaling nearly $1 million to mobilize Catholics on behalf of comprehensive immigration reform and to prepare Catholic institutions for the prospects of reform legislation.

Bishop Jaime Soto, chairman of CCHD's subcommittee, announced the grants on March 05, 2012, after the bishops of the subcommittee determined that swift action by the Catholic community was essential in advancing the recently emerging prospects for immigration reform. CCHD has taken significant steps to contribute in a swift and meaningful way to this most important national conversation.

As Bishop Soto noted, "There is an urgent need to mobilize resources efficiently in order to meet the challenge when the possibility for real immigration reform has never been closer. "With these grants, CCHD is poised to make a significant difference in a way consistent with our mission and identity. The efforts supported are rooted in Catholic social teaching and reflect our deep ties to generations of immigrants." Bishop Jaime Soto With these grants, CCHD is poised to make a significant difference in a way consistent with our mission and identity. The efforts supported are rooted in Catholic social teaching about the dignity of the human person and reflect our deep ties to generations of immigrants who have come to America. These grants represent a distinctively Catholic contribution in promoting comprehensive immigration reform. They will strengthen the capacity of our institutions to help immigrant families come out from the shadows and participate more actively in American society."

These special grants represent CCHD's history of support for immigrants and immigration reform, as well as CCHD's mission to foster Catholic participation in the work of justice and anti-poverty efforts. They are uniquely reflective of CCHD's Catholic identity, strengthen our relationship with other agencies of the USCCB and Catholic community, and strengthen our bonds with those pursuing justice, peace and progress. With these recently announced grants, CCHD will have committed more than $3,500,000 in the past year to support to grassroots organizations promoting comprehensive immigration reform.

Summary of Grants

Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC)     $375,000
Catholics United for Immigration Reform

CCHD has a history of collaboration with CLINIC in promoting immigration reform. The joint National Immigrant Empowerment Project in the early part of the last decade helped catalyze and strengthen some of the nation's most effective immigrant-led grassroots organizing agencies, many of which still receive CCHD support. This grant supports a similar project, Catholics United for Immigration Reform. Consistent with CCHD grassroots funding, CLINIC will take the lead in a strategic RFP process that will support the best grassroots organizing agencies in the country in order to catalyze political support for meaningful reform. CLINIC will also take the lead on convening the Catholic community across the United States in strengthening our Catholic agencies to promote reform and prepare to assist those who will benefit from reform legislation.

PICO National Network                                                    $150,000
Campaign for Citizenship

CCHD support has long been essential to the many PICO-affiliated institutions working in Catholic parishes across the United States. PICO National Network has collaborated with USCCB Migration and Refugee Services in developing grassroots strategies for the promotion of the USCCB's Justice for Immigrants Campaign and has worked over the past several years to advance the reform principles of the bishops of the United States among the Catholic community. PICO has an established track record of grassroots organizing and collaboration with our Catholic institutions. The prospects of reform in 2013 led PICO National Network to launch its Campaign for Citizenship. Funds will support this national campaign and strengthen the capacity of local PICO affiliates in their collaboration with Catholic dioceses, parishes and the USCCB.

USCCB Migration and Refugee Services                          $275,000
Justice for Immigrants Campaign

The United States bishops' Justice for Immigrants Campaign (JFI) works to educate Catholics about the facts of immigration, to build support and work for the passage of comprehensive immigration reform, and to help strengthen relationships between immigrant communities and Catholic dioceses. CCHD' support for the grassroots organizing efforts of JFI in the past has been instrumental in maintaining the vitality of this campaign. This grant will be utilized to intensify the campaign for comprehensive immigration reform in 2013 by strategically promoting education in parishes and mobilizing the political support of Catholics across the country.