Call: 855.88CCSEM (22736)   |

Immigration and Refugee Resettlement Services

Are you rebuilding your life in America? Have you recently immigrated to the United States and need help with acclimating into a new culture? Are you resettling here after war, political or religious persecution, or national disaster altered your ability to reside in your country of origin? Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan (CCSEM) welcomes you and offers help to begin your life here. The Archdiocese of Detroit began providing services to refugees during the Vietnam War era. Since then, more than 16,000 refugees have been helped through the compassion and generosity of the Catholic faithful in the Detroit Archdiocese.
News: Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron: “We stand with our immigrant brothers and sisters.”

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me.

Matthew 25:35

You are Not Alone as You Build Your New Life

“For the first time in my life, I’m in a place where no one can hurt me because of who I am” – Iraqi Refugee. CCSEM serves people of every ethnicity, nationality, and faith. In doing so, we help refugees through the love of God and love of neighbor. Our work with you and your family can begin the moment loved ones arrive in the United States – even at the airport. Initially, we help you start your new life here – assisting you with documentation, including Social Security cards, applications for food stamps, providing you with some money for basic needs, help in filing in forms, and setting you up in new accommodations.

CCSEM’s 90 days of service guides you through the resettlement process. Our services include a health screening, employment orientation, English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, and help in completing forms to register at school, qualify for Medicaid, and to obtain a driver’s license. We also help you move into housing. Additionally, CCSEM offers immigrants a point-of-entry into a Catholic culture in which newcomers are unconditionally welcomed into parishes and integrated into communities.

Maximizing Your Potential for Self-Sufficiency and Success

the refugees who arrive in southeast Michigan are involved in family reunifications. CCSEM’s goal is to help refugee families become self-sufficient as quickly as possible. Our services include:


  • Cultural orientation
  • Opportunities to learn English
  • Spoken word translation services
  • Basic household goods and cash assistance
  • Housing counseling
  • Legal services
  • Employment counseling and orientation
  • Adjustment of status counseling

CCSEM also advocates on your behalf with other agencies and organizations. Our case workers and volunteers adhere to professional privacy standards and protocols with case details held in the strictest confidence. Our legal services are offered in many languages; learn more about our staff attorney(s), cases considered under our services, and locations (link; need this data still). There may be fees for legal services yet many of our services are free and funded by Name of Entity. To further extend services to newcomers and their communities, CCSEM has long-standing, collaborative relationships with municipalities, other faith-based institutions, schools, businesses, community organizations, and others.

Supporting Your Transition to Citizenship

The Catholic Church in the Unites States is an immigrant Church with a long history of embracing newcomers and providing assistance and pastoral care to immigrants, migrants, refugees, and people on the move. Communities in southeast Michigan also have a long tradition of receiving newcomers. A culture is in place to help support you through your transition.

CCSEM’s Refugee and Immigration Services assists in three major segments of the immigration population:

  • Refugees progressing into lawful permanent resident status and ultimately, naturalization
  • Lawful permanent resident status toward naturalization
  • Newcomers who need limited low-cost immigration legal advice or representation in areas other than naturalization

Our services include:

  • Naturalization applications
  • Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) application assistance and interview preparation and, in some cases, accompaniment to the interview
  • Status adjustments
  • Eligibility consultations
  • Family petitions
  • Legal consultations about the naturalization process, eligibility, benefits, rights and responsibilities of citizenship, and family law
  • Outreach to other organizations and agencies
  • Special services for the disabled

CCSEM Immigration and Refugee program staff are fluent in Arabic, Polish, Spanish, Russian, German, Hindi, Vietnamese, and Bosnian-Serbo-Croatian languages. We collaborate with other local agencies to maximize support for refugees and those seeking asylum.

Additional resources you may find helpful include:

  • USCIS Services

    • USCIS Citizenship
    • USCIS Forms
  • United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)

    • Immigration
  • Migration Policy Institute
  • National Immigration Forum
  • Michigan United
  • MIRC
  • Citizenship Works
  • St. Vincent de Paul
  • Archdiocese of Detroit (AOD)

To learn more about volunteering with us, contact us today.

For corporate donations, you have a privileged opportunity to make a difference in the lives of our clients. You can make a monetary donation, provide gently used furniture, or offer employment. It is more important than ever for you to have employees who are loyal and hardworking. Refugees make exceptional employees, because they are motivated to work hard and succeed. Their success becomes your success.

We also welcome the assistance of groups and organizations, such as high school associations who are looking to give back to the community. Contact us to learn more about opportunities for you and your organization to get involved!