Catholic Conference of Ohio
Thursday, April 27, 2017

Issues - Catholic Conference of Ohio

Legislative Action Alerts

Ohio Bishops Issue Letter of Concern regarding Changes to Immigration and Migration

Call for comprehensive reform, support for children and intact families, enforcement efforts that focus on threats to public safety, and maintaining programs for refugees

The Bishops call upon Congress to address our nation's broken immigration system through comprehensive reform that improves security and creates more legal and transparent paths to immigration. 

While not advocating for the breaking of laws, the Bishops urge a more humane enforcement of immigration laws that distinguishes between actual criminals and otherwise law-abiding, undocumented immigrant family members. 

In Ohio, the Catholic Church has a refugee resettlement network that resettled over 1000 refugees in 2016. Catholic parishes and diocesan offices also work in collaboration with other refugee resettlement programs in Ohio. These programs have safely and compassionately resettled refugees from all over the world, including a small number from Syria.  The refugee program is one of the most vetted processes for entry into the United States.  The Bishops do not oppose efforts to improve on the system, should there be a need.  However, the temporary shutdown of all refugee admissions, and the more than 60 percent reduction in the number of refugees who can be resettled, create a chilling effect on our ability to maintain programs and ongoing assistance. 

The Bishops also encourage Congress to pass the BRIDGE Act: S.128/H.R. 496. This Act will protect the dignity of DACA-eligible youth by ensuring that these individuals, who were brought to the United States as children and are contributing so much to our nation, can continue to live their lives free of the anxiety that they could be deported at any time.

Catholic Conference of Ohio Issues State Budget Recommendations

Health, Human Services and Education Areas Addressed In Letter To Ohio House Members

The Conference encourages House members to keep the needs of the poor and vulnerable foremost in mind. "The basic moral test for our society is how we treat the most vulnerable in our midst. This preferential option for the poor and vulnerable includes all who are marginalized in our nation and beyond—unborn children, persons hungry, homeless or unemployed, the elderly, persons in need of health care, persons with disabilities, persons in need of quality education, immigrants and refugees, and persons who are victims of injustice and oppression." 

Full Letter to House
Background Page on Health & Human Services
Background Page on Supporting Families Who Choose Catholic Schools

Phone-In Fridays

Voice Your Support for Immigrants and Refugees during Lent

In addition to fasting and prayer during this Lenten season, please join us in voicing support for vulnerable immigrants and refugees. You can do so by calling the offices of your Members of Congress during JFI’s weekly Phone-In Fridays, an advocacy event which we are undertaking this liturgical season. Every Friday between now and April 14th, please call your federal lawmakers and urge them to cosponsor legislation that supports immigrants and refugees seeking protection and safety in the U.S.

Please Support the BRIDGE ACT and DACA Youth

The BRIDGE (Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy) Act, S.128/H.R. 496, was recently introduced in Congress as a bipartisan effort to sustain the temporary relief from deportation and employment eligibility offered to youth through the Department of Homeland Security's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Under the BRIDGE Act, young people who came to the United States as children would maintain their eligibility to work and live in the U.S. without the fear of deportation and family separation so long as they meet certain requirements, such as showing a commitment to education or honorable service in our military and having no history of serious crime.

There are more than 750,000 young people who have received and benefitted from DACA. These youth entered the U.S. as children and know America as their only home. They are contributors to our economy, veterans of our military, academic standouts in our universities, and leaders in our parishes and communities. As Catholics, we have long supported DACA youth and their families as we believe in protecting the dignity of every human being, especially that of our children. 

Ask your Senators and Representative to support and co-sponsor the BRIDGE ACT 

CONTACT INFORMATION

Urge President Trump to Sign Executive Order Respecting Religious Freedom

Religious freedom in America has suffered years of unprecedented erosion.  President Trump can correct some of this within the executive branch.  He can restore the federal government's respect for the religious freedom of individuals and organizations by signing an Executive Order that establishes a government-wide initiative to respect religious freedom.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Let Lawmakers Know Your Support for Immigrants and Refugees

USCCB's Justice for Immigrants Issues Action Alert

Background: 
President Donald Trump has issued an Executive Order that has devastating impacts on refugee resettlement in the United States. The Executive Order:

  • Halts the entire refugee admissions program for 120 days to determine additional security vetting procedures;
  • Cuts the number of refugees admitted in FY 2017 from 110,000 to 50,000;
  • Suspends resettlement of refugees from Syria;
  • Suspends the issuance of visas to individuals from countries of concern, including Syria, Iraq, Iran and other countries.

The U.S. refugee resettlement program is a life-saving program for the most vulnerable of the world's refugees. Welcoming people fleeing violence and conflict in various regions of the world is part of our identity as Catholics. We seek to protect the vulnerable and recognize the human dignity of all. Moreover, when the United States through its resettlement program shares responsibility with refugee host countries, it helps the refugees, supports the countries, and helps to enhance peace, security, and stability to sensitive regions in the world. Today, with more than 65 million people forcibly displaced from their homes, the need for the U.S. to show leadership in welcoming refugees and provide freedom from persecution is more urgent than ever.

Refugees who come through the program go through a rigorous, extensive vetting process. The Executive Order halts the arrival of refugees for at least 120 days, including those who have already gone through up to two years of vetting. This will affect some families already in transit. Standing up for refugees and for the life-saving resettlement program is consistent with our values as Americans and as Catholics.

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