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Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, Dec. 20, 2023

Stay informed about the 2024 legislative session

The Iowa Catholic Conference (ICC) invites you to join a Zoom webinar featuring Executive Director Tom Chapman. Hear about the ICC’s priorities and advocacy efforts on important issues. The webinar will be held on Thursday, Jan. 18th at 7 p.m. Don't miss this opportunity to learn and engage. Sign up here.

The ICC’s updated list of legislative concerns is available on our website. We are meeting with legislators on many of these items, including improvements to the Iowa MOMS program, extending Medicaid coverage for mothers from two months to 12 months post-partum, preschool funding and additional state support for refugees.

Caucus like a Catholic

On caucus night, Jan. 15th, 2024, Iowans gather by party preference at their precinct sites to elect delegates to the 99 county conventions. Learn more about the process.

The Iowa caucuses are designed as assemblies that welcome the participation of not only the most politically active, but everyday citizens. By our participation, Catholics can help create a foundation built on a moral vision that reflects the life and dignity of the human person.

Urge Congress to reject harmful changes to immigration law

According to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, a handful of senators have been negotiating changes to U.S. immigration law that could be attached to an emergency appropriations bill. This is in response to calls by some members of Congress to condition the enactment of supplemental funding on the inclusion of extraneous policy provisions for which there is no precedent in the appropriations process.

Proposals reportedly being discussed in the context of these negotiations include curtailing due process through rapid expulsions and nationwide expedited removal, mandating harmful and excessive detention, and making it even more difficult to attain asylum through heightened legal standards. But none of these steps will meaningfully reduce migration to the U.S-Mexico border.

On December 15, four chairmen of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote a letter to Congress, stating that “a country’s right and responsibility to manage its borders in accordance with the common good… need not and should not occur at the expense of our nation’s fundamental commitment to humanitarian protection … Simply doubling down on enforcement and restrictive measures alone in the way recent proposals would do will not reduce irregular migration, especially when it is the result of desperation. Rather, such efforts will have the unintended consequence of further empowering smugglers, traffickers, gangs, and other bad actors who seek to exploit vulnerable persons, most often women and children.

“This is why we have long called for targeted enforcement measures, combined with actions to modernize and increase capacity at ports of entry, as well as increasing the number of, and access to, lawful immigration pathways… Finally, to reiterate, no sustainable reduction in irregular migration can be achieved without a long-term commitment to addressing its root causes in countries of origin.”

And finally,

We wish you a prayerful end to your Advent and a peaceful Christmas season.


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