Catholic Conference of Ohio The official representative of the Catholic Church in public matters affecting the Church and the general welfare of the citizens of Ohio.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Latest News

USCCB President Issues Statement of Concern Regarding Recent Immigration Policies

Changes Regarding Immigrant Asylum and Family Separation Causing Irreparable Harm And Trauma

Daniel Cardinal DiNardo issued the following statement during the USCCB Spring General Meeting addressing recent immigration policy changes that are harmful to immigrants.

"At its core, asylum is an instrument to preserve the right to life. The Attorney General's recent decision elicits deep concern because it potentially strips asylum from many women who lack adequate protection. These vulnerable women will now face return to the extreme dangers of domestic violence in their home country. This decision negates decades of precedents that have provided protection to women fleeing domestic violence. Unless overturned, the decision will erode the capacity of asylum to save lives, particularly in cases that involve asylum seekers who are persecuted by private actors. We urge courts and policymakers to respect and enhance, not erode, the potential of our asylum system to preserve and protect the right to life.

Additionally, I join Bishop Joe Vásquez, Chairman of USCCB's Committee on Migration, in condemning the continued use of family separation at the U.S./Mexico border as an implementation of the Administration's zero-tolerance policy. Our government has the discretion in our laws to ensure that young children are not separated from their parents and exposed to irreparable harm and trauma. Families are the foundational element of our society and they must be able to stay together. While protecting our borders is important, we can and must do better as a government, and as a society, to find other ways to ensure that safety. Separating babies from their mothers is not the answer and is immoral."

Additional information on Immigration and Migration

Recent Ohio Deportation Raid Not Serving the Common Good of All

Ohio Bishops reiterate call for comprehensive, compassionate immigration reform

Ohio Bishops Daniel Thomas (Toledo) and Nelson Perez (Cleveland) issues letters of concern regarding the June 5, 2018 deportations raids in the Sandusky Ohio area.

In a recent statement ( April 2017),  the Ohio Bishops issued a joint statement encouraging legislative support for comprehensive and compassionate immigration reform  They wrote in part:

At both the state and national levels, our Church has long spoken out in favor of policies that ensure safety and compassionate treatment for immigrant and refugee persons and families in need. We continue to call upon Congress to address our broken immigration system through a comprehensive reform that improves security and creates more legal and transparent paths to immigration.  As for enforcement, we do not advocate for the breaking of laws.  Yet, we do urge for a more humane enforcement of these laws in a way that distinguishes between actual criminals and otherwise law-abiding, undocumented immigrant family members.  We believe immigration officials should prioritize removal to those who are real threats to public safety...
Ohio does not benefit from separating good families and traumatizing children in our schools who each day live in fear of finding that their mothers or fathers are no longer at home to greet them. In these instances, justice should be sought, but the punishment should be commensurate with serving the good of the family unit, which is the fundamental cell of all society.


Read Bishop Thomas statement
Read Bishop Perez statement

U.S. Bishops’ Migration Chairman Reacts to Policy Separating Families at U.S./Mexico Border: “Children are Not Instruments of Deterrence”

More Information on immigration

Payday Lending Reform Passes Ohio House

Advocacy Moves to the Senate

 

 HB 123 will help protect borrowers from excessive payday lending fees while allowing lenders to maintain reasonable cost-of-business fees.  The Catholic Conference of Ohio supports passage.

Under the bill:

• Payday lenders would be prevented from operating as credit service organizations or mortgage lenders or under Ohio’s Small Loan Act. 

• A limit on the annual interest rate would be set at 28 percent, plus allowing a monthly 5 percent fee up to $20.

• Monthly payments would be limited to 5 percent of a borrower’s gross monthly income.

 

USCCB Committee on Migration Chairman Endorses USA Act and Calls for Immediate Legislative Solution for Dreamers

The USA Act is a compromise bill that while not perfect, is one step our country can take in the direction of protecting Dreamers now. The border security measures in the USA Act, as currently written, are reasonable and do not include the building of the Wall.

The Catholic Bishops will not continue support for the USA Act if there are substantive changes or additions in interior enforcement, eradication of protection of unaccompanied children and asylum seekers and cuts to family-based immigration. The USA Act would protect and provide Dreamers with a path to citizenship as long as they satisfy residency, age and education, military or employment requirements. Additionally, H.R. 4796 augments border security with the use of new technology; and increases staffing resources for immigration courts to carry out their work.
 

Background Information 
USCCB Letter of Support

Conference Urges Support for Ohio Legislation Further Protecting Victims of Human Trafficking

"Protect Trafficked Minors Act" Protects Victims Up to Age 18

HB 461, the Protect Trafficked Minors Act, sponsored by Representative Fedor (D - Toledo) and  Representative Galonski (D - Akron), would mirror Ohio law with federal law in cases involving the human trafficking of minors aged 16 and 17-years-old. This bill will increase the penalties for people who traffic 16 and 17-year-olds. Additionally, HB 461 will require a juvenile court to appoint a guardian ad litem for a minor child if the court has reason to believe that the crime charged is prostitution or human trafficking-related. The bill is pending in the House Criminal Justice Committee.

Conference Resources

 

Contact Your House Representative and urge support for the Protect Trafficked Minors Act, HB 461.

Ohio "Consensus" Legislation Introduced to Curb Gun Violence

Governor Kasich's Workgroup Recommendations Introduced in both House and Senate

HB 585, sponsored by Representative Henne (R - Clayton),  and SB 288 sponsored by Senator Eklund ( R - Munson Township) and Senator Kunze (R - Hilliard), are companion bills that reflect the recommendations made by Governor Kasich's responses to gun violence workgroup.  The Catholic Conference of Ohio staff participated in the workgroup.

 

Contact Your Representative and Senator.  Urge Support for HB 585 & SB 288.

 

Recommendations from the Workgroup

Catholic Bishops of Ohio Statement on the Workgroup Recommendations

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Drug Awareness Program

Start Talking! is a website with resources to give parents, guardians, educators and community leaders the tools to start the conversation with Ohio’s youth about the importance of living healthy, drug-free lives.


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