Pilot Program to develop national standard of practice in providing comprehensive referral and social services to asylum-seekers
Alexandria, Va. — Catholic Charites USA (CCUSA) announces “The Border is Everywhere” (TBIE) pilot initiative, a first-of-its-kind national effort to ensure asylum-seekers — individuals and families — are properly referred from border communities to an interior city destination where they will receive ongoing support and social services, including access to legal assistance.
“The Border is Everywhere program aims to better coordinate and improve the services currently provided to asylum-seekers,” said Sister Donna Markham OP, PhD, president and CEO of CCUSA. “By developing a national standard of practice for comprehensive referral and social services, Catholic Charities can promote the healthy integration and wellbeing unique to these brave individuals as they start their lives in the United States.”
For decades, the Catholic migration services community has been a leader in welcoming the stranger and providing essential support to newly arriving families. Many asylum-seekers leaving detention on the border pass through a Catholic Charities humanitarian respite center where they receive food, clothing, showers, basic healthcare and other fundamental services. TBIE supports the respite centers by offering newcomers direct referrals to Catholic Charities migration services programs at their final destination. It is there that asylum-seekers are connected with social workers with specialized skills in culturally-responsive services and trauma-informed care.
Catholic Charities agencies partner closely with immigration legal services and other providers to support asylum-seekers in addressing and breaking down barriers that impact their ability to comply with immigration court requirements. They also guide them throughout the process of establishing asylum.