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Catholic Group Reports Amnesty Overload

October 11, 1987|Associated Press

FRESNO — Catholic Charities has stopped accepting amnesty applications from illegal aliens in the Fresno Diocese because a backlog has built up, officials said.

"What we're doing is taking no more applications because we're swamped," said Father Ralph Belloumini, executive director of the program for the diocese. The diocese has 81 parishes in the San Joaquin Valley.

Merced-Mariposa Catholic Social Services is one of the Catholic Charities units that has stopped taking applications but plans to take more applications if the backlog is cleared before the May 4, 1988, deadline, program coordinator Ramiro Coronado said.

"I hate to take any new ones because I want to make sure I can serve the ones who applied prior," Coronado said.

The Merced office has finished processing about one-third of the applications it has received, he said.

Coronado blamed poor planning by both the church and the Immigration and Naturalization Service for the action. "I think they undertook a big task without ample time to fulfill it," Coronado said.

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