Joint Press Release: NETWORK Lobby and CLINIC Launch New Catholic Initiative Against Racism in Immigration

WASHINGTON — NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), today announced the launch of a new initiative and task force, Catholics Against Racism in Immigration, or CARI, which will “[take] action against systemic racism in the U.S. immigration system,” according to their mission statement.

Recognizing the need for a strong, unified Catholic voice against racism in the U.S. immigration system in the wake of the continued use of Title 42, the Remain in Mexico policy, and the treatment of Haitian refugees at our Southern border, CARI member organizations will create an active agenda that centers the work of Black, Asian, Indigenous, and other immigrant-led organizations. This will include supporting policy advocacy, amplifying grassroots efforts, and organizing Catholic actions against racism in immigration. In the months ahead, NETWORK Lobby and CLINIC will expand CARI membership to other Catholic-affiliated organizations committed to and active in anti-racist work in immigration.

Mary J. Novak, Executive Director of NETWORK Lobby, said:

“As Catholics, we cannot be indifferent to the suffering of immigrants. It is a sacred obligation and central to our Catholic identity. We are also called to proclaim all life has value and dignity, thus we are painfully aware of the blatant discrimination experienced by our Black and Brown siblings as a result of the U.S. immigration system. Disparate treatment in our system is most apparent when the U.S. welcomes refugees from majority-white nations — such is the case with families from the Ukraine — while refusing to make those same policies and protections available to the people of Cameroon, Ethiopia, Mauritania, Haiti and other Black-majority nations facing similar turmoil.

“Violence, political oppression, and starvation as a result of climate change are drivers of migration. We must have an asylum system that functions for all people so that we are not deporting the most vulnerable back to violence or even death. As Pope Francis said in his message for the 107th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, ‘God created us in his image … a communion in diversity.’ We are honored to work with CLINIC, a deeply knowledgeable and respected organization, to answer answer with the call to love one another by ending racial discrimination in our laws.”

Anna Gallagher, Executive Director of CLINIC, said:

“As the nation’s largest network of immigration legal services providers, CLINIC knows that systemic racism creates blockades for human beings seeking security, stability, and opportunities in every corner of the U.S. immigration system. It manifests in lack of language access and cultural competency, disproportionate detentions and deportations, failures to designate countries for Temporary Protected Status, and much more. Our Catholic faith calls us to action to ensure that the rights and dignity of all are upheld in U.S. immigration law and policy. Today, as we launch this initiative with our esteemed partners at NETWORK Lobby, we recommit to the anti-racist work demanded by our faith and to standing shoulder-to-shoulder with impacted communities and all working to eradicate racism in immigration.” 


CARI (Catholics Against Racism in Immigration) is a Task Force founded by NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) in 2022 to build Catholic voices against racism in immigration.