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Insights: More Immigration Restrictions; March Primary Election

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February 7, 2020

USCCB Voices Opposition to Further Restrictions to Immigration and Family Reunification

The President issued a proclamation last week restricting the issuance of immigrant visas to people from Burma (Myanmar), Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan and Nigeria. People from Sudan and Tanzania will no longer be eligible for certain visas to come to the United States, commonly called “Diversity Visas.”

“The proclamation restricting immigration further undermines family reunification efforts and will make ensuring support for forced migrants in the designated countries more difficult. This proclamation also serves as a painful reminder of the 2017 ban which threatened our country’s founding principle of religious freedom,” said the Bishops in their statement.

Read the full statement at


Tools for the Primary Election on March 3

California’s 2020 Primary Election is less than a month away, and the California Catholic Conference (CCC) has several resources available to become an informed voter.

The CCC’s Faithful Citizenship website page includes sample bulletin announcements and a Faithful Citizenship FAQ, answering such questions as ‘Who has a right to be engaged in civic discussions?’

As per our tradition, we also published an analysis of Proposition 13 with a non-partisan analysis and suggested principles from Catholic social teaching to help you in your decision-making. Click here to read the analysis.  (It is important to note that this ballot proposition is not related to the wider-known Proposition 13 (1978) that affects the property tax rate of homes.)

Continue reading to find more resources from USCCB.


World Day of the Sick


World Day of the Sick will be observed on Tuesday, providing us with an opportunity to remember the ill and the dying, their caregivers and all those who struggle with health issues.

The Catholic Health Association of the United States provides a library of prayers that can be used on Tuesday but also at any time illness is a concern.

It is also a time to highlight and reflect on the work under way in to transform the way society cares for the sick and dying.

Five dioceses are currently piloting the curriculum developed as part of the Whole Person Care Initiative (WPCI).  The training in the Caring for the Whole Person workshops feature sessions on Catholic end of life teaching, preparing advanced directives, advice on what to expect in a health care setting, how to support caregivers, and more. 

WPCI is a partnership between Alliance of Catholic Health Care, the Catholic bishops of California, the Providence St. Joseph Health and Dignity Health systems and other Catholic hospitals in the state.

Read more about WPCI.


International Students and the Chilling Effect of Immigration Policy Change

Dr. 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. She wrote this piece for

In August 2019, the detention and deportation of a 17-year-old Palestinian by Customs and Border Patrol at Logan Airport in Boston caught the attention of the American academic community. Ismail Ajjawi, who had already obtained a student visa to begin as a freshman at Harvard University, was singled out by CBP officers, questioned for several hours, and eventually returned to Lebanon. Ajjawi was admitted to the U.S. 10 days later, but not before his experience at the border received national and international coverage, with the higher education media reporting that it had “put a new dent in American Higher Ed’s image abroad.”

Continue Reading


A Sign of Truth and Unity

A bishop and pastor should be a sign of both truth and unity, teaching clearly and bringing our community of faith together around the values of the Gospel. Direct engagement in partisan elections would destroy this role. We cannot endorse parties or candidates. This would be theologically and pastorally unwise and could be politically counter-productive. We must speak the truth, but we must not allow ourselves to become used in partisan politics either by those who dispute our teaching on life and dignity or those who reduce our teaching to a particular issue or partisan cause.

-Interim Reflections Task Force on Catholic Bishops and Catholic Politicians Statement



February 7, 2020
Vol. 13, No. 5