About the Project

Neighbors, Not Strangers is an interactive digital storytelling project by the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., or CLINIC. Through this initiative, funded in part by the Catholic Communication Campaign at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, we hope to share powerful immigration stories from the CLINIC network to show how immigrants are our neighbors to be encountered and embraced. 

We know these stories are powerful.

Anti-immigrant sentiment remains prevalent, but we believe the Church and all people of good will can share stories of welcome to help shift the narrative. 

Our Stories

"I See My Own Family:" Fatima Hernandez and the UFW Foundation

Fatima, the daughter of formerly undocumented farm workers, begins work as an administrative assistant at the United Farm Workers Foundation, but is nervous to seek accreditation to take on her own clients for immigration legal services. A series of powerful encounters with members of her community gives her the courage to say “yes” to serving as a DOJ accredited legal representative. 

Guided by Grace: A Catholic Woman's Journey to Enter Religious Life Amid Immigration Challenges

Tabu, a Catholic woman from South Asia, feels a call from God to enter a community of religious sisters located in the northeastern United States. Numerous roadblocks in her immigration process force her to leave the country in order to pursue permanent legal status, but she perseveres in her vocation despite all odds.

Rooted in Service: Ricardo Morales Bermúdez and the Leadership Academy for Immigrants

After immigrating from Mexico, Ricardo Morales struggled to find work and to integrate into his new community of Tucson, Arizona. Years later, with the help of a CLINIC grant, he founded the Leadership Academy for Immigrants of Southern Arizona to help empower his immigrant neighbors and build a more inclusive society.

Expanding Representation, Building Hope

Geeta Sharma, a former refugee from Bhutan, obtained DOJ accreditation with the help of her colleague Nick and CLINIC staff so that she could aid in representing immigrant clients and addressing the high caseload at Building Hope in the City in Cleveland, Ohio.

A Dream Uncaged: Part Two

Blocked from entering the United States, teenage Jessica and her family struggle to apply for U.S. asylum while living in a crowded shelter in Mexico during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

A Dream Uncaged: Part One

Jessica, a teenage Nicaraguan asylum seeker, bravely undertakes a treacherous journey with her family to reach the United States, facing numerous roadblocks along the way.

"In the Name of Compassion"

A Somali refugee finds safety in the United States, and the compassionate welcome he receives inspires a lifetime of work resettling other refugees. 

Neighbors, Not Strangers

On January 22, 2023, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., launched “Neighbors, Not Strangers,” a new digital storytelling initiative to spread the message that immigrants are our neighbors to be encountered and embraced.


"I was a stranger and you welcomed me."

With immigration at the forefront of current public debate, this familiar call from Matthew 25:35 is as relevant today as ever. The complexities of immigration to the United States are not only matters of law and policy, but also deeply felt social and ethical issues. For nearly 35 years, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., has protected the legal rights of immigrant families and promoted their dignity in the Catholic tradition of welcoming the stranger.

Founded in 1988, CLINIC’s mission is to carry out the gospel message of “welcoming the stranger” through providing training and support to charitable immigration law offices as well as specialized direct legal representation and advocacy for immigration policy at the federal, state and local levels.

CLINIC advocates for humane and just immigration policy. Its network of nonprofit immigration programs — over 450 organizations in 49 states and the District of Columbia — is the largest in the nation.