New York: Catholic Charities braced for Trump's ICE raids

Source: Catholic Charities

The Trump administration was due to begin Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids in a dozen cities across the USA on Sunday, pledging to arrest and deport thousands of migrants. Faith communities across the country have been preparing emergency responses - from offering accommodation to legal advice.

Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of New York, issued the following statement on Friday:

"The Catholic Charities city-wide and state-wide hotlines will be staffed and activated this weekend and there will be real-time legal support provided by CCNY's attorneys and volunteers for certain callers in need of emergency help. Catholic Charities is also distributing materials in impacted communities and expanding its intake triage and case capacity. The hotline numbers are: Catholic Charities New York State New Americans Hotline: 800 566 7636; Catholic Charities ActionNYC Hotline: 800 354 0365

"Once again, as the media reports threats of deportation and family separation, Catholic Charities is responding with increased services to support immigrant families, adults and children." Monsignor Sullivan said. "Rash harsh talk and actions harm not only immigrants but also communities and neighbourhoods throughout the country. I have seen pain on the faces of immigrants who fear the threats that raids pose to their families, their jobs, and their safety. We support and encourage legal immigration, as we also insist on the humane treatment of those who enter without proper documentation seeking protection and opportunity."

Mgr Sullivan also reminded New Yorkers and those in the area that there are resources available if they feel they have been unfairly targeted by immigration officials, or others.

As part of their mission to provide support to newly arrived immigrants, Catholic Charities is proud to collaborate with both NYS and NYC to operate the New York State (NYS) New American Hotline and the Action NYC Referral Line. The State Hotline is a statewide multilingual immigration information and referral phone service that provides fast, confidential and accurate answers about immigration and citizenship-related questions in over 200 languages. The Action NYC Referral Line provides thousands of legal referrals for consultations throughout New York City. In this time of increased need, the Hotline and ActionNYC Referral Line ensure that individuals receive accurate and confidential information and are referred to the appropriate resources in an expedited fashion. In an expansion of this service, lawyers are also on-hand for individuals in situations that require emergency legal counseling.

Additionally, Catholic Charities has instituted an administrative action response protocol to prepare for and respond to emergency immigration situations at parishes, schools, and other Archdiocesan agencies. When a person in their community experiences an immigration emergency, parish leaders, school principals, Catholic Charities agency directors, and other administrators in the Archdiocese can contact the Immigrant and Refugee Services Division and receive an immediate legal assessment and follow up legal and case management assistance should it be necessary."

Catholic Charities is a federation of approximately 90 agencies and programs located throughout the 10 counties of the Archdiocese of New York, helping to solve the problems of New Yorkers in need - non-Catholics and Catholics alike - with services that protect and nurture children, strengthen families and resolve crises, assist the hungry and homeless, support the physically and emotionally challenged, and integrate immigrants and refugees.

In 2017, Catholic Charities marked a 100-year legacy of service and launched the next century of providing help and creating hope for New Yorkers in need. Catholic Charities has recommitted to providing basic human services that are efficient, effective, accountable and caring - and to being a valued partner in building the fabric of a caring New York.

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Tags: Migration, Deport, ICE, Trump, Migrants, New York, Catholic Charities, Monsignor Kevin Sullivan

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