Catholic Conference of Ohio
Thursday, April 27, 2017

News & Press - Catholic Conference of Ohio

Archdiocese of Cincinnati Pleads for the Non-deportation of Maribel Trujillo

Previous Immigration ruling had declared her case "low priority and no treat to public safety" - new hearing issues a deportation order

On April 5, 2017, ICE officials arrested Trujillo-Diaz. who has no criminal record and no repeat immigration violations. The breadwinner of her family and primary caretaker to her children, ages 14 to 3, faces an April 11 deportation. On April 6, 2017 the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, issued the follwing statement: 

"The Trump Administration has repeatedly announced that its approach towards immigration enforcement would focus on public safety and removing criminal elements from our communities.  Today, we plea to our political leaders and law enforcement to live up to that in the case of Maribel Trujillo Diaz, a devoted wife and mother and outstanding member of her church and community.  

Maribel, a wife, a mother of four and an active member of St. Julie Billiart Parish in Hamilton, fled Mexico in 2002.  She currently has a pending asylum case, based on the situation that her family has been targeted by Mexican cartels because they have refused to work for them. 

Last year, when Maribel was close to deportation, thousands of Catholic faithful and other supporters throughout Butler County and Cincinnati sent letters, pleading for her to stay.  Immigration officials then responded by granting her prosecutorial discretion, considering her too low of a priority and no threat to public safety.  Maribel has been reporting regularly since then to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), as instructed.  At her check-in appointment on Monday, she was told that she could remain at home as her asylum case was further reviewed.  Suddenly yesterday, ICE arrived at her brother’s house as she prepared to go to work, taking her into custody for imminent deportation without having the chance to say goodbye to all her children.  This is cruel and unacceptable.

Maribel has made a life in Ohio based on positive contributions to her church and her community.  She has no criminal history.  She is a lay leader at her parish, whose members are surrounding her with prayers that she be permitted to remain with them and her family.  Maribel’s children, ages 14, 12, 10 and 3, are all U.S. citizens.  Her 3-year-old daughter has recurring seizures and requires the attention and care of her mother.

We urge that prosecutorial discretion for Maribel be extended.  We fully respect the Department of Homeland Security’s duty to enforce our immigration laws, and we recognize that this is not an easy task.  At the same time, it is clear that the common good cannot be served at this stage by separating this wife and mother from her family.  Our community gains nothing by being left with a single-parent household when such a responsible and well respected family can be kept together.  We urge that our elected and administrative officials exercise mercy for Maribel."  

More information

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 Principals Encouraged to Invite their Elected Officials to Visit their School

  • Posted: Mar. 28, 2017
  • Categories: Education

Inviting legislators into Catholic schools provides an opportunity for elected officials to see -- firsthand – the many ways our schools serve students and their families and make a difference in local communities.  It is also an opportunity to share how state-funded programs benefit students. 

Many Catholic students participate in programs such as the EdChoice, EdChoice Expansion, Cleveland, Autism, and Jon Peterson Scholarship Programs.  Student services and resources are utilized through Auxiliary Services, while Administrative Cost Reimbursement funds are reinvested into the school for the betterment students.

Hosting a Legislative Visit (PDF)
Legislative Agenda 2017: Catholic Schools (PDF)

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

Ohio Opportunity Scholarship Program Seeks to Expand Parental Choice

SB 85 seeks to help low and middle income families send their children to the school of their choice

 SB 85: the Opportunity Scholarship Program is a game changer.  It combines the current Ed Choice Scholarships and the Cleveland Scholarship into a new income-based program that allows full and partial scholarships to families earning up to 400 percent of poverty.  An important benefit of this program is the increased opportunity it will provide for many low and middle income families to send their children to the school of their choice.

2017 School Choice Rally

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 – 11 AM – Statehouse

Catholic school administrators, teachers, students and their parents are invited to the May 2 School Choice Rally at the Statehouse in Columbus. 

This is an opportunity to show your elected leaders that school choice is an essential social justice issue for parents to have the freedom, without financial burden, to choose  schools that are best suited for their children.  

Presently, there are five school choice programs in Ohio. SB 85 was introduced earlier this month that would reform and expand school choice opportunities for Ohio’s families.

 Click here to sign up today for more information!

Catholic Conference of Ohio's Education Associate Testifies on Budget Bill

Larry Keough offers input on issues impacting Catholic Students and Schools

The Conference calls for increased support for the auxiliary services and administrative cost reimbursement programs, as well as scholarship programs.

In Ohio there are 376 Catholic schools enrolling more than 118,000 students. Catholic and other chartered nonpublic schools save the taxpayers of Ohio millions of dollars in educational costs that the state would pay if these students were attending public schools.

USCCB Chairmen Call On Congress To Consider Moral Criteria During Debates On Health Care Policy

The Bishops called on Congress to ensure coverage for those who now rely upon it after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, and expressed concern about any structural changes to the social safety net that could impact access to health care for millions.

In a letter from March 8, 2017, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, urged Congress: to respect life by preventing the use of federal funds to facilitate abortion or purchase health care plans that provide abortion; to honor conscience rights; and to ensure access for all people to comprehensive, quality health care that is truly affordable.

“A repeal of key provisions of the Affordable Care Act ought not be undertaken without the concurrent passage of a replacement plan that ensures access to adequate health care for the millions of people who now rely upon it for their wellbeing."

Any modification of the Medicaid system as part of health care reform should prioritize improvement and access to quality care over cost savings."

 

New Executive Order On Refugees Still Leaves Many Innocent Lives At Risk

Catholic leaders remain concerned

The Most Reverend Joe S. Vásquez, Bishop of Austin and Chair of the USCCB Committee on Migration, says that President Trump's latest Executive Order still puts vulnerable populations around the world at risk. In a statement issued after the announcement of the travel suspension, Bishop Vásquez says that while we seek to maintain our values and safety, we must also exercise compassion in assisting and continuing to welcome the stranger. 

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.

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