June 1, 2018  
 Inside this issue
  Update on Immigration Bills  
  Our thanks to all of you who responded to last month's Action Alert to protect Dreamers. Congressional action on the DREAM and USA bills remains stalled. Some Members of Congress have started a special legislative vehicle called a discharge petition that could force the House to vote on four immigration bills, including the DREAM and USA Acts, if the petition receives enough signatures from Representatives. The petition has already been signed by 213 Members of the House. Seven from Washington State, including Rep. Reichert, are among those who have signed. The petition needs at least 218 signatures in order to force action by late June on a special Congressional rule that could lead to votes on the immigration measures.  

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  Poverty Programs at Risk with Farm Bill Votes  
 
 
On May 18, the House Farm Bill (H.R. 2) failed to garner enough votes to pass the chamber because 30 Republicans voted against it due to a dispute involving unrelated immigration legislation. The House may reconsider the Farm Bill by June 22. The House is attempting to find more votes for the Farm Bill, but without a vote on immigration legislation, it appears the House leadership will not have enough votes for passage. The Senate is working on its own version of the Farm Bill.  Passage of a suitable version of the  legislation is critical to ensure the continued availability of important poverty-related food and nutrition programs.
 

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  World Refugee Day  
 
 
June 20 is designated as World Refugee Day. The Catholic Church has for decades taken seriously the plight of vulnerable refugees and through advocacy, education efforts, and service provision sought to provide increased protections for them. These efforts are led by various Catholic organizations who provide support in camps and communities across the world to refugees. In the United States, services are provided by Catholic Charities and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Both organizations advocate for further protections and provide support for newly arriving refugees. The USCCB has prepared a toolkit and other resources for Catholic parishes and organizations to mark World Refugee Day.
 

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  Religious Freedom Week  
 
U.S. Catholics can pray and act in support of religious liberty at home and abroad during Religious Freedom Week this month.  "Serving Others in God's Love: Religious Freedom Week 2018" runs from June 22 to June 29, the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. In his June column in Northwest Catholic, Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain wrote: "Religious Freedom Week gives us the opportunity to reflect on a precious part of our American heritage... and the heroism and holiness of those who would not act against their faith in God and all it implied." Click here for  more background tied to this important week. WSCC will be Tweeting reflections during Religious Freedom Week on the value of religious liberty and the need to protect it. Follow us on Twitter: @WACatholicConf.
 

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  Did you know...  
 
Archbishop Murphy High School, class of 2018
 
...that 28,000 students attend 100 Catholic K-12 schools in Washington, saving the state $300 million per year? The WSCC congratulates all those graduating at this time!


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