Catholic Conference of Ohio
Friday, September 21, 2018

Issues - Catholic Conference of Ohio

Immigration Reform

 

The Gospel calls us to welcome immigrants with compassion and hopeful expectation. “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” (Matt. 25:35). Ohio has a large number of Hispanic immigrant workers recruited by businesses to labor year round in Ohio industries. Many are undocumented.

The Catholic Conference of Ohio believes that current federal immigration law is unjust, unnecessarily restrictive and fails to properly balance the rights of immigrant workers and their families with the state’s right to control its borders. We support comprehensive reforms at the national level.

Ohio should show judicious restraint in pursuing state enforcement legislation, especially while federal courts review such initiatives that were enacted in other states.

Catholic Teaching

"God’s love transcends every human barrier, language, culture, and country border. The Gospel calls us to welcome immigrants with compassion and hopeful expectation. “ I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” (Matt. 25:35). These words challenge each of us to see the dignity and sacredness of God that is reflected through people of all cultures and nations, regardless of legal status.

Pope John Paul II stated: “Who is my neighbor? The neighbor is every human being, without exception. It is not necessary to ask his nationality, or to which social or religious group he belongs. If he is in need, he must be helped...

We believe each person has opportunities to reach out in welcome to immigrant workers. Consider the following questions:

  • Are we as a society, as church, as employers, as consumers treating immigrants with dignity and justice?
  • Do my own attitudes toward immigrants reflect God’s love and concern for all persons?
  • How am I involved in reaching out to new immigrants in support of their pastoral and material needs?
  • What am I willing to do on behalf of the justice needs of immigrants?"

God’s Welcoming Presence: A Call To Stand In Solidarity With Ohio’s Immigrants, Ohio Catholic Bishops, February 2001

USCCB Reacts to Recent U.S. Supreme Court Decisions

Praise Free Speech Ruling, Expresses Disappoints Regarding Labor Ruling and Travel Ban Ruling

Chairman of U.S. Bishops Committee on Domestic Justice & Human Development Expresses Disappointment in SCOTUS Ruling on Janus v. AFSCME. Click Here

Chairmen of U.S. Bishops’ Migration Committee and Religious Liberty Committee Express Disappointment with Supreme Court’s Ruling in Travel Ban Case. Click Here

Chairman of U.S. Bishops’ Pro-Life Committee Praises Supreme Court’s Respect for Free Speech in NIFLA v. Becerra Decision. Click Here

Catholic Church Leaders Decry the Family Separation Taking Place Within Immigration Policies and Practices

Most Reverend Daniel Schnurr's letter to priests and deacons (Archbishop of Cincinnati) encouraging them to address the government's taking and detaining 2,300 migrant children who crossed into the United States.

A second immigration raid in Ohio raises concern for innocent children and families and reflects the need for just immigration reform. Click here for the statement of the Youngstown diocese.

Bishop Nelson Perez, Diocese of Cleveland, press interview on immigration policy. "Separating parents from their children is a moral issue."

Archbishop Schnurr's press coverage on immigration

USCCB's Office of Migration and Refugee Services concerns over pending immigration legislation

Pope Francis raises concerns over U.S. immigration policy that separates children

Ohio Bishops statements regarding immigration-related issues

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

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

Voice Your Support for Refugees

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Migration Urge Support for Refugees and Resettlement Efforts

Despite the continued global need, the number of refugees resettled by the United States has plummeted this year. For Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, our country set an annual goal to admit 45,000 refugees, the lowest target in the history of the refugee program. In addition to this low resettlement target, it is deeply concerning that at the halfway point of FY18, the U.S. has resettled a mere 9,616 refugees. At this rate, the program is not even on pace to reach 20,000 refugees, half of the year's low refugee admissions target.

Please sign-on to a Catholic partners letter to the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State, expressing your support for refugees and robust refugee resettlement.  CLICK HERE

 

Urge Lawmakers to Work Together for an Immediate Solution for Dreamers

U.S. Bishops Justice for Immigrants Project Issues Call to Action

The fate of nearly 1.8 million Dreamers remains uncertain as Congress has yet to reach a bipartisan deal to protect these youth. On January 22nd, Congress passed a short-term spending bill that will fund the government through February 8th, ending the government shutdown. The bill did not include protections for Dreamers, however, parties have agreed to continue negotiations and work towards a fix.

Unfortunately, every day that passes without a solution is a day where DACA youth fall out of status and lose their ability to go to school, serve in the military, and work legally.

National Call-in-Day to Congress Monday, February 26, 2018

U.S. Church Leaders Urge Action to Secure Legislative Protection for Dreamers

The U.S. Senate failed to achieve the 60 votes needed to move forward with debate on legislation to provide relief to Dreamers. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, USCCB President; Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, USCCB Vice President; and Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, together issued the following statement:

“We are deeply disappointed that the Senate was not able to come together in a bipartisan manner to secure legislative protection for the Dreamers. With the March 5th deadline looming, we ask once again that Members of Congress show the leadership necessary to find a just and humane solution for these young people, who daily face mounting anxiety and uncertainty.

“We are also announcing a National Catholic Call-In Day to Protect Dreamers. This coming weekend, we will be asking the faithful across the nation to call their Members of Congress next Monday, February 26, to protect Dreamers from deportation, to provide them a path to citizenship, and to avoid any damage to existing protections for families and unaccompanied minors in the process.

“Our faith compels us to stand with the vulnerable, including our immigrant brothers and sisters. We have done so continually, but we must show our support and solidarity now in a special way. Now is the time for action.”

Call-in Information

Ohio Bishops Oppose the Denial of Workers’ Compensation to Undocumented Workers

Contacting Ohio General Assembly House Members Urged

HB 380 PROPOSES TO DENY WORKERS' COMPENSATION TO UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS

In June, 2017, an attempt to amend the workers' compensation's budget bill to deny benefits to undocumented workers failed in the Ohio Senate.

The Ohio House has reintroduced this same restriction through HB 380.

All Ohioans can send an email through the Catholic Charities of Cleveland's Action Alert portal, or through the Ohio House e-mail site.

To do a zip code search for your Representative click here.

I am opposed to HB 380, which will deny workers' compensation to undocumented workers. Once undocumented immigrants are here and working, their human dignity itself should guarantee basic compensation and protections for the work they provide.

National Migration Week Underway

Theme is "Many Journeys, One Family"

Message from the President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

RSS

Prayer for an End to Human Trafficking

Oh God, we didn't see them.

But you did-

The hundreds and thousands of human beings trafficked each year to join the millions who are trapped in modern-day slavery.

Under terrible conditions, they work in factories, plow fields, harvest crops, work quarries, fill brothels, clean homes, and haul water.

Many are children with tiny fingers for weaving rugs and small shoulders for bearing rifles.

Their labor is forced, their bodies beaten, their faces hidden from those who don't really want to see them.

But you see them all, God of the poor.

You hear their cry and you answer by opening our eyes, and breaking our hearts and loosening our tongues to insist:

No mas. No more.

Amen