Catholic Conference of Ohio
Monday, May 21, 2018

Issues - Catholic Conference of Ohio

Legislative Action Alerts

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

Governor Kasich Commutes William Montgomery's Death Sentence to Life Without Parole

After reviewing the recommendations from the Parole Board, Governor Kasich commuted the death sentence of William Montgomery to life without parole.

The Parole Board, by a 6-4 vote, recommended life without parole.  Case inconsistencies were noted in the recommendations. 

Link to Ohioans to Stop Executions regarding case documents and background materials

Thank Governor Kasich here.

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

 

Ohio Parole Board Recommends Clemency for William Montgomery

Contacting Governor is Urged

The  Ohio Parole Board recommended that Gov. John Kasich show mercy toward William T. Montgomery by a vote of 6-4. Mr. Montgomery is scheduled for execution on April 11, 2018. 

The Catholic Bishops of Ohio have sent a letter urging Governor Kasich to commute Mr. Montgomery's sentence to life without parole.

Link to Ohioans to Stop Executions regarding case documents and background materials

 

Ohio Bishops Issue Statement on Gun Violence

Encourage elected leaders to adopt prudent policies to help curb gun violence.

The Catholic Bishops of Ohio call upon Ohio’s elected leaders to adopt prudent policies to help curb gun violence. Now is the time for action. Now is the time to promote the culture of life.

We urge open and civil discourse that will result in the enactment of bipartisan reforms. We pray that Ohio’s leaders will set aside political agendas and achieve solutions that promote the common good and safety of all people. We believe just solutions can be found that will not violate the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

We commend state leaders who are actively seeking solutions to the pressing issue of gun violence. We applaud Governor Kasich for calling together persons with differing perspectives and for his leadership in seeking points of common agreement...

Governor Kasich's Recommendations

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

Action Alert on Payday Lending Legislation

Catholic Conference of Ohio encourages support for HB 123

The Catholic Conference of Ohio supports continued reform of Ohio’s payday lending practices. House Bill 123 provides consumer protections consistent with the intent of Ohio’s 2008 Payday Reform Act. HB 123 will help protect borrowers from excessive payday lending fees while allowing lenders to maintain reasonable cost-of-business fees. Please contact your state Representative and encourage a YES vote.

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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