Cites ‘humanitarian crisis’
caused by border separation policy, end of DACA and TPS.
“The visceral images from the border, the disturbing audio bites of children screaming for their parents, compel
us to respond to this humanitarian crisis,” wrote Randolph McGrorty, CLS’ chief executive officer, in an email to
supporters. “We have alerted agencies in our network, working in detention facilities across the country, that if they
identify any parent who has a child in South Florida, we will represent that child.”
McGrorty noted that while an executive order has been issued ceasing the policy of separating parents from their
children at the U.S. border, some of these children remain in facilities in South Florida.
“Please know that Catholic Legal Services is working closely with our partners at Americans for Immigrant Justice,
the American Immigration Lawyers Association, others in the legal community, immigrant advocates, and the faith
community, to create an effective South Florida response to this crisis,” McGrorty wrote in the June 26 email.
He added that another humanitarian crisis is looming: “Daily, in the immigration courts of Miami and the detention
facilities of South Florida, parents of U.S. citizens, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, receive removal orders
from immigration judges and face imminent deportation. This situation worsens daily as the mechanisms of
deportation ramp up. It will get even worse as the humanitarian protections of TPS and DACA expire.”
DACA stands for Deferred Action for Dreamers, an Obama administration executive order rescinded by President
Trump, that allowed undocumented young adults, who were brought to this country as children, to work and study
in the U.S. without fear of deportation. An estimated 700,000 so-called “dreamers” are now in legal limbo unless
Congress acts to give them permanent legal status.
TPS refers to Temporary Protected Status, which was granted to Haitians, Salvadorans, Hondurans and Nicaraguans
when political unrest or natural disasters — such as Haiti’s 2010 earthquake — made it unsafe for them to return to
The Trump administration announced that TPS will end for 2,500 Nicaraguans by Jan. 5, 2019; for 50,000 Haitians,
about half of whom live in South Florida, by July 22, 2019; for 195,000 Salvadorans by Sept. 9, 2019; and for
57,000 Hondurans by Jan. 5, 2020.
Many of those affected have now been in the U.S. for over two decades. They have U.S. citizen children and own
small businesses. Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski, along with the U.S. bishops, have called on Congress to do
“what is right and just” and pass legislation giving a permanent path to legalization to those currently living under
TPS, as well as DACA recipients.
“It's not a question of sending them home because there's no home there. Home is here,” Archbishop Wenski has
said, alluding to the length of time most of these immigrants have been in the U.S.
McGrorty’s email concluded: “Help us respond to this humanitarian crisis in our midst. Help us keep South
Florida’s families together and strong. Help us to ensure that our neighbors receive fair and full due process, as our
law requires. We need your financial assistance, offers of in-kind support, commitment to undertake pro bono
representation, moral support and prayers.”
Those wishing to offer pro bono legal services should email firstname.lastname@example.org
Monetary donations may be made through the PayPal link on CLS’ website, www.cclsmiami.org.