Justice Updates 10-15-19

The US Department of Agriculture just proposed another rule that would cut SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Plan).It just another in a long string of efforts to hurt hungry households.  This time, $4.5 Billion over five years would be cut based on how states take household utility costs into account to determine SNAP benefits.  19% of SNAP households would get lower monthly benefits disproportionality impacting elderly people and people with disabilities. The administration continues to defy Congress who did not include these changes in the 2018 Farm Bill.  Tell the USDA that you think this change is wrong by commenting here. Comments must be made by December 2, 2019

The administration is planning to privatize housing for unaccompanied or separated migrant children. Here’s the latest action by the administration to get around rules associated with treatment of children.

For decades, the oceans have served as a crucial buffer against global warming, soaking up roughly a quarter of the carbon dioxide that humans emit from power plants, factories and cars, and absorbing more than 90 percent of the excess heat trapped on Earth by carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Without that protection, the land would be heating much more rapidly. Read more about a UN Report explaining how the oceans are in danger.

World Food Day is October 24th. Check out this webinar, “How Our Food Choices Can Save the Planet” presented by Catholic Climate Covenant.  Our food system is responsible for over a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions. We can make food choices that are sustainable, less wasteful, and just.  The webinar is Thursday, October 24 from 2:00 – 3:00 pm (eastern time).   To register click here.

Back in January and February and later in July, our sisters and associate traveled to El Paso, TX to work with asylum seekers at Annunciation House.  The difference between the first visits and later visits were dramatic largely due to the MPP – Migrant Protection Protocol – or Remain in Mexico program.  CBS News did a three-part series on the policy and its impact on thousands of asylum seekers.

Part 1. “Leave me in a cell”: The desperate pleas of asylum seekers inside El Paso’s immigration court.

Part 2. “I fear for our lives”: Asylum seekers forced to wait in Mexico face danger and desperation

Part 3. Advocates say “Remain in Mexico” policy turns migrants into a “marketable commodity”

The administration continues to make it hard for immigrants – both legal and undocumented by using executive orders and rule changes.  Here are two examples:

Restrictions have been placed on the Diversity Visa Lottery making it harder for low-income immigrants to apply.

Another rule change may result in immigrants who have work visas will have trouble getting green cards if they need assistance.

 

Robert Ellsberg speaks on whistleblowing, truth-telling and the Pentagon Papers

Farming is critical for providing the food we eat but it is also a huge cause of climate change.  Here are two films showing farmers trying to change their practices to mitigate the impact on climate.

Farmers Footprint (20 minutes) seeks to expose the science behind glyphosate’s (i.e. RoundUp Herbicide) impact on human and environment health through the lens of human stories that illuminate the impacts on farmers and their communities.

The Need To GROW (90 minutes) highlights the hearts and innovations of three very different leaders – an 8-year-old girl challenging the ethics of a beloved organization – a renegade farmer struggling to keep his land as he revolutionizes resource-efficient agriculture – and an accomplished visionary inventor facing catastrophe in the midst of developing a game-changing technology.

If you didn’t see this yesterday in OP Peace… The Catholic Action for Immigrant Children Campaign will hold its third protest to lift up concerns about the immigration system, access to asylum, and growing racism. They have protested in Washington, DC, Newark, NY and now in El Paso, TX. To support them, they have asked us to join the National Call-In Day, A Journey for Justice, on Tuesday, October 15.  Call the Department of Homeland Security to demand justice for immigrants.  The Operator Number is 202-282-8000.  The comment line is 202-282-8495.  Here’s a suggested script but try to use your own words:

Hello, my name is (insert name) from (Location: City, State, Zip Code). As a person of faith (and a Catholic sister/lay person), I am calling DHS to demand humane changes on immigration policies. As Catholic leaders we are asking the Administration and the Department of Homeland Security to honor the dignity and rights of all immigrants and to:

Recognize the sacred covenant, internationally recognized, legal right to seek a asylum, stop the Remain in Mexico Program, stop the use of the “metering list”, make Due Process the standard NOT the exception, collaborate with NGOs and local communities to support and expand humane services for Asylum Seekers, provide additional funding for immigration courts and asylum officers.

Thank you for your time and God bless you.

 

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

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