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Migration and Refugee Legislation

The USCCB works to ensure that persons fleeing persecution and other refugee-life situations have special standing and consideration and that family reunification remains the just basis for our immigration policy. The USCCB supports legislation that would make comprehensive reforms in the nations immigration laws, including increased opportunities for immigrants to legally enter or remain in the United States. The USCCB is also concerned that immigrants are welcomed as if they are part of our own families; that our immigration and refugee processes are comprehensible and user-friendly; that workers have the right to work and live without exploitation; that efforts to stem undocumented migration maintain the dignity, humanity, and due process rights of those who are either seeking to come here or who are already here in suspected undocumented status. We encourage you to visit the web site of the USCCB department of Migration and Refugee Services for more information.

Legislative Issues in the 111th Congress:


Oppose unjust bars for asylum seekers; reduce instances where aliens are held in detention and support codification of detention standards for immigration detainees.


Support adequate funding for the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) to care for and place unaccompanied alien children.

Support adjusting the status of undocumented high school and college students, and oppose detaining non-criminal illegal aliens by local authorities.

Citizenship and Immigration Services:

Support adequate funding for naturalization, eliminate current backlogs, and assist immigrants and refugees in integrating into American society.

Comprehensive Immigration Reform:

Support increased opportunities for immigrants to legally enter the U.S., legalization for the undocumented, a temporary worker program and restoration of due process rights.

Detention of Aliens:

Support increased funding for Legal Orientation, Alternatives to Detention, and the Pro-Bono representation Project for immigration detainees.

Due Process for Aliens:

Support discretionary relief from removal for aliens with U.S. minor children, due process reforms and broader discretion for aliens in removal proceedings.

Family Immigration:

Support reunification of U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) with close family members and efforts to increase discretion to waive grounds of inadmissibility.

Immigration Enforcement:

Support the respect of human and civil rights of individuals by immigration enforcement personnel including mandating human rights training for such personnel.

Refugee Admissions:

Support reforms in the refugee admissions process, an increase in the number of refugee admissions, and better management of the flow of refugees to the U.S.

Support the repeal of unjust bars to admission, clarification of the definition of a refugee including special immigrants or immediate relatives of United States citizens.

Refugees  Overseas Assistance to Refugees:

Support increased appropriations for overseas refugee assistance.

Refugees - Resettlement in the United States:

Support increased assistance for the self sufficiency of refugees in the United States, including increased funding for the Voluntary Agency Matching Grant Program.

Religious Worker Visas:

Support making permanent the special immigrant non-minister religious worker visa program and religious worker visas for foreign-born religious seminarians.

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