BISHOPS URGE RECONSIDERATION OF ENFORCEMENT-ONLY IMMIGRATION POLICIES

Migration wordImmigration policy continues to be a topic of great public interest. The pictures of the father and his daughter who drowned in the Rio Grande, as well as reports of inhumane conditions for children in custody at the border, touch our conscience and invite action.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has made a statement in response to the climate of fear created by the Department of Homeland Security’s announced immigration enforcement actions and the Administration’s new Interim Final Rule to drastically limit asylum, which was published on July 16. The statement said, in part:

“Enforcement actions like those anticipated this week by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency separate families, cause the unacceptable suffering of thousands of children and their parents, and create widespread panic in our communities. I condemn such an approach, which has created a climate of fear in our parishes and communities across the country. I recently wrote the President asking him to reconsider this action …

“The Administration’s new rule on asylum eligibility presents a similar enforcement-only immigration approach. The rule adds further barriers to asylum-seekers’ ability to access life-saving protection, shirks our moral duty, and will prevent the United States from taking its usual leading role in the international community as a provider of asylum protection. Further, while still reviewing the rule, initial analysis raises serious questions about its legality. I urge the President to reconsider these actions, the new rule, and its enforcement-only approach.”

The complete statement can be found at http://www.usccb.org/news/2019/19-131.cfm. Here’s a few suggestions for what you can do to help from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Migration and Refugee Services:

SUPREME COURT TO TAKE UP MONTANA SCHOOL CHOICE CASE

The Supreme Court last month granted certiorari in the “Espinoza vs. Montana Department of Revenue” case which centers on an educational choice tax credit. According to John Schilling, president of the American Federation of Children, this case could be the “most impactful Supreme Court case since the pivotal Zelman decision in 2002, which ruled that state-level voucher programs are constitutional.”

“This Montana case has the opportunity to definitively establish that religious schools cannot be excluded from school choice programs by virtue of their religion due to Blaine Amendments established in 37 states beginning in the 19th century,” Schilling said. “All kids deserve to have an abundance of K-12 educational options, and vulnerable and lower income children deserve education freedom the most.”

BISHOPS VOTE FOR ACCOUNTABILITY MEASURES

Last month the U.S. Catholic bishops approved three additional measures to address abuse and bishop accountability during their annual Spring General Assembly in Baltimore. The measures are designed to hold bishops accountable for instances of sexual misconduct against minors and vulnerable adults.

The body of bishops also voted for the establishment of a Third-Party Reporting System for receiving confidentially, by phone and online, reports of possible violations by bishops of Vos estis lux mundi. The action item commits to activating the system no later than May 31, 2020.