The Office of Migration and Refugee Services carries out the commitment of the Roman Catholic Bishops of the United States to serve and to advocate for immigrants, refugees, migrants and people on the move.
Opening our hearts and minds to all those in need.
“So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God. . .” (Ephesians 2:19)
Migration and Refugee Services meet the pastoral and service needs of immigrants, migrants, refugees and victims of human trafficking.
"...for I was a stranger and you welcomed me" ~ Matthew 25:35-36
Migration and Refugee Services, of the Society of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lafayette, is an agency recognized by the federal government’s Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) as a program that provides low-cost immigration counseling and has the necessary knowledge and experience relating to immigration law and procedures.
Our goal is to ensure that individuals and families have access to affordable immigration related services.
All consultations are confidential. If you are eligible for certain immigration benefits, accredited staff can prepare your case for submission to the appropriate United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) office.
As an affiliate of Catholic Legal Immigration Network Incorporated (CLINIC) we receive continuous education, updates and technical assistance from a team of experts who work in collaboration with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to advocate with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to improve immigration policies and practices. To learn more about CLINIC’s advocacy work follow this link to: www.cliniclegal.org
- Immigration Services
- Advantages of Citizenship
- Justice for Immigrants (Catholic Social Teaching)
~ A Pastoral Statement of the Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops
In 2000 Congress passed the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, which provides assistance to eligible individuals. Congress defines trafficking as……
· The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt, bondage or slavery.
· Sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud or coercion
HOW TO RECOGNIZE A VICTIM:
In cities throughout the United States, women, men and children are subjected to forced prostitution, domestic servitude, debt bondage, or labor for little or no pay. They may come from almost any region of the world. Victims are difficult to identify therefore the public is asked to report anything suspicious, to law enforcement.
- A victim may not have any immigration documents, because these may have been confiscated by the traffickers.
- A victim may believe that he/she was coming to the US to be reunited with family members, to work in a legitimate job or to attend school.
- A victim may owe a significant debt to the trafficker.
May have been subjected to psychological intimidation or to threats of physical harm to his/herself or to family members.
Victims are eligible for special services and have a right to be protected. For more information please contact Migration and Refugee Services.