Governor Newsom has signed into law a bill aimed at providing help to single parents in college as they balance classwork and parenting. One of our Catholic Advocacy Day bill, the Conference has been working diligently on the passage of AB 809 for the entire session.
Twenty-five years ago, the U.S. Bishops issued a landmark 99-page pastoral letter entitled Economic Justice for All: Catholic Social Teaching and the US Economy. Today, with a record number of people suffering in a flailing economy, the letter’s call to promote human dignity in economic, policy and individual actions is as relevant as ever.
We believe that each person has a right to access the basic necessities of life. We advocate for food and income security for all—especially children and the elderly. We believe in policies for decent housing and shelter, especially for farm workers. We support access to basic health care for all. We advocate for employment and promote the idea of fair wages and fair taxes. We oppose unjust discrimination, racism, torture and human trafficking.
In recent years, chain migration has become a contentious concept in debates over immigration to the U.S. Those who support a particular vision for changes to pathways to legal immigration present chain migration as a form of immigration to the United States that is constantly proliferating, uncontrolled by current laws and, by its size and nature, a threat to the nation’s security, economic stability, and character.
Originally posted on October 23, 2018
Last month, the Trump Administration announced a dramatic change to long-standing definitions of what constitutes a “public charge” for legal immigration purposes. Bishop Vasquez, Chairman of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ migration committee said that the changes, if enacted, would “undercut decades of administrative policies and guidelines on how immigrants are treated…it is likely to prevent families from accessing important medical and social services vital to public health and welfare.”
Violence, Racism Raise Fears but
Bishops Call for Determination in Addressing the Issues
Horrific mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton merged with the national debate on racism last week, leaving many people exasperated but also forging renewed determination to combat the evils of violence and racism in our society.
In their recent pastoral statement, God Calls Us to Care for Our Common Home, the California Bishops asked all to heed the call to a spiritual conversion that respects our common home and cares for all. They also identified specific responsibility for lawmakers, public officials and other policy makers who “because of their influence over institutions, have extra responsibilities for upholding the common good.”
Gráinne McEvoy is an independent scholar based in South Bend, Indiana, and is currently writing a book on American Catholic social thought and immigration policy in the 20th century.
The California Senate has created a new Select Committee focused on the social determinants of health – the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age. Science is increasingly showing that children’s well-being, in particular, is linked to their social determinants. As an example, nearly a quarter of young children in California live in poverty – a fact that has profound educational, health, and economic repercussions now and in the long term in that they create inequities that could be mitigated. The Committee is looking at people from birth through age 26.
During National Migration Week, the Church asks us to reflect on the conditions faced by migrants around the world. Traditionally, the Pope issues a statement for World Day of Migrants and Refugees but this year, at the request of bishops around the world, that day has been moved to September 29, the feast of the archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. Until then, here is a brief thought from Pope Francis’ 2018 message:
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops recently approved a new pastoral letter - Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love – examining the “persistent” history of racism in this nation. The report is particularly timely in that the FBI recently reported that hate crimes increased by 17 percent in 2017 with the most common bias being “race/ethnicity/ancestry.” Fr.
Last week more than 1,600 migrant children were quietly moved during the night to a new tent facility in Tornillo Texas. After a national outcry over the separation of children and parents during the summer, the number of separated children remains high with no remedies in sight. Dr. Gráinne McEvoy, a regular contributor on the history of migration, looks at the ongoing situation:
“Children are not instruments of deterrence but a blessing from God.” - Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, Chairman of USCCB Committee on Migration