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Deacon Rick Birkel Asks for Support as Germaine's Cafe Launches to Serve Critical Needs

Posted By | Connor Skaggs

As Catholic Charities prepares to launch Germaine’s Cafe, Executive Director Rick Birkel asks for the community to rally behind a project that promises to expand professional opportunities for men and women experiencing disabilities. His piece, including an overview of Germaine’s Cafe and what a food service business would look like at Catholic Charities, can be found in the Catholic Sentinel.

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Catholic Charities takes part in a demonstration supporting Oregon's refugee resettlement agencies

Catholic Charities Board Member Featured in "Lower Refugee Cap Concerns Catholic Groups"

Before joining the Catholic Charities Board of Directors, Francis Kham was a refugee. Today, he is an outspoken advocate for both the Portland Zomi community, of which he is a part, and refugee resettlement in general, which has been reduced from 80,000 in 2016 to just 18,000 today. Read the full story from the Catholic…
Case management and advocacy pave the road to self-sufficiency

Case Management and Advocacy Pave the Road to Self-Sufficiency

What does it take to help someone move past the trauma and culture shock experienced by so many new arrivals? Agencies like Catholic Charities help refugees rebuild their lives and become participating members in our community through a myriad of services, ranging from case management to advocacy. Case Manager Supervisor Fowzia Abdulle has dedicated her…

Keep Oregon Open: The Welcoming Refugees Bill Passes, Sets National Example

After a nearly 8 months of uncertainty, Oregon House Bill 2508, AKA the Welcoming Refugees Bill, passed in late June, at the eleventh hour of the legislative session. The bill paves the way for the state’s three resettlement agencies, Catholic Charities among them, to continue serving refugees as they rebuild safe, sustainable lives for themselves…
A book of immigration law under a gavel

Public Charge: What You Need to Know/Carga Pública: Lo Que Debe Saber

On October 3, Catholic Charities hosted a Facebook Live event in an attempt to clarify some of the misinformation going around about the recent public charge rule change. Kat Kelley (Director, Strategic Initiatives), John Herrera (Director, Immigration Legal Services), and Sarah Purce (Assistant Director, Immigration Legal Services) presented important information in English and Spanish: What…
John Herrera gives legal advice

Catholic Charities featured in "Amid immigration crackdown, undocumented domestic abuse victims fear reporting abuse, seeking assistance"

In her highly anticipated follow-up to “‘A blanket of fear’: How deportations affect children,” the Catholic Sentinel’s Katie Scott examines the relationship between undocumented immigrants and local police and why many survivors of domestic abuse don’t feel safe going to the police. Read the full article here or in the October 4 issue of the…
Hands gripped around a chain-link fence.

Our Crisis of Character

I spent a week touring and working in respite centers along the southern border. While we were there, our team tried to help arrivals work through the trauma they had experienced, hoping to alleviate their intense anxiety. In this report, I walk you through the challenges faced by asylum seekers coming to the U.S. and…
View from the State Capitol in Salem

What Is Public Charge? The State of Oregon Addresses Frequently Asked Questions on DHS Rule Change

Background: On August 12, 2019, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that it has finalized the new public charge rule. The new rule will take effect October 15, 2019; it is not retroactive. Changes include, but are not limited to, expanding the kinds of public benefits considered in the public charge test. Under the…
A Rohingya man accesses information about atrocities that occurred in his village

OPB Explores the Challenges Faced by Rohingya Genocide Survivors in Portland

“There are complications [for resettling Rohingya people in the U.S.],” says by Arya Surowidjojo at OPB. “Khin Niang Cing, Hussein’s resettlement case manager with Catholic Charities of Oregon, said Hussein managed to bring his children’s birth certificates but not his marriage certificate. “This missing document, compounded by the slashing of the refugee resettlement quota by…
John Herrera gives legal advice

Catholic Charities, Portland City Council, others among those providing legal services to local immigrants

Using property tax collections, the Portland City Council approved $500,000 last year to provide legal aid to local immigrants. With lawyers from Catholic Charities, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, Immigration Counseling Service, Innovation Law Lab, and Metropolitan Public Defender, more than 341 people were provided lawyers to represent them in deportation hearings, and 105 (including 23…

Migration Services Featured in "'A blanket of fear’: How deportations affect children"

A recent article in the Catholic Sentinel discusses the destructive effects of deportations and detentions on children and families. The Catholic Sentinel’s Katie Scott spoke to Pope Francis Center Director Vanessa Briseño, Intercultural Counseling Center Manager Lucrecia Suarez, Immigration Legal Services Director John Herrera, and retired immigration judge Michael Bennett. Read the article on their…

Resources for Those at Risk of Detention or Removal

The Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) has developed two resources that may be useful in the event of a detention or removal attempt: “Know Your Rights” cards in several languages and the rapid response toolkit. If you need further assistance, please contact our Immigration Legal Defense team at (503) 542-2855 or by emailing immigrationemail@ccoregon.org.