Lansing Update
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CAN is an outreach of the Michigan Catholic Conference, the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Michigan
January 12, 2018

  In This Update:  
  • National Migration Week Recognizes Dignity of Immigrants, Refugees, and Trafficking Victims 
  • U.S. Bishops Express Support for Legislative Solution for Dreamers
  • In Honor of MLK Day, U.S. Bishops Call for Courage and Commitment
  • State Ok2Say Program Continues to Protect Student Safety
  • "9 Days for Life" Campaign Will Run January 18-26
  National Migration Week Recognizes Dignity of Immigrants, Refugees, and Trafficking Victims  
The U.S. Catholic Church is currently observing National Migration Week, which began on Sunday, January 7. This annual event reflects upon the circumstances confronting migrants. This year, the theme of the week-long celebration has been "Many Journeys, One Family," which draws attention to the fact that every family has a migration story. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops provided resources to dioceses and parishes across the country for the event, including fact sheets, prayers, petitions, and talking points.

In addition to hearing the stories of immigrants and refugees, National Migration Week also recognizes the stories and difficult circumstances faced by victims of human trafficking. On Thursday, January 11, individuals across the United States also recognized Human Trafficking Awareness Day as an opportunity to become more aware of modern-day slavery and what individuals and communities can be doing to stop this crime. More resources are available at
  U.S. Bishops Express Support for Legislative Solution for Dreamers  
Hundreds of thousands of immigrants make their home in America after coming to this country as children without documents. These Dreamers, as they are commonly known, were brought to America by their parents for a better life, and for most of them, the United States is the only country they have ever known. Back in September, the Trump Administration announced termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program by March 6, 2018. This program, which began in 2012, provides temporary work authorization and deportation protection for qualified individuals. Currently, approximately 800,000 young people, including many Dreamers, face the loss of DACA protections. Earlier this week, U.S. Congressional members met at the White House with President Trump to discuss legislative relief for Dreamers. Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Texas, Chairman of the Committee on Migration (USCCB/COM), issued a statement after the meeting, encouraged by the discussion. Here is an excerpt of that statement:

"We are encouraged by the consensus that Congress and the President should move expeditiously to craft and enact legislation that would provide urgently needed relief for Dreamers. For years, these young people have been living in and enriching the United States in many ways. They are contributors to our economy, veterans of our military, academic standouts in our universities, and leaders in our parishes and communities. They and their families deserve certainty, compassion, generosity, and justice."

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will continue to call for a legislative solution that meets the needs of Dreamers, ensures America's safety and security, and sets the stage for larger immigration reform. Additional updates will be provided.
  In Honor of MLK Day, U.S. Bishops Call for Courage and Commitment  
On Monday, January 15, 2018, Americans will celebrate Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy of confronting injustice, racism, and inequality during the civil rights movement. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued a statement in advance of the observance of the national holiday:

"In recent years-including last summer in Charlottesville-we have glimpsed an appalling truth that lurks beneath the surface of our culture. Even with all the progress our country has made on the issue, racism remains a living reality. As our nation celebrates the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we are given an important time to recommit ourselves to the Gospel message he preached, that the sin of racism can be defeated by active love and the light of faith."

For information about the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism and their work, click here.
  State Ok2Say Program Continues to Protect Student Safety  
For several years, Michigan has offered a school safety program and support hotline for students and teachers called OK2Say. The goal of the program is to connect these individuals and law enforcement with any confidential tips about potential violence or harmful behavior, including bullying, drugs, weapons possessions, sexual misconduct and suicide. According to a recent release, the hotline received 4,605 tips last year, up 37 percent from the year before. Suicide was the most commonly reported concern (1,205 tips). Michigan Catholic Conference supported the legislation that led to this program.
  "9 Days for Life" Campaign Will Run January 18-26  
On January 18, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will launch the national "9 Days for Life" campaign. This effort calls for Catholics to help create a culture that cherishes all human life, from conception to natural death. The "9 Days for Life" campaign also surrounds the annual Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children, which occurs on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade-the Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal in the United States. This year, the forty-fifth anniversary is on Monday, January 22. Participants are called to both prayer and action (including the sharing of online resources) unified around each day's specific "Respect Life" intention. 

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Michigan Catholic Conference, 510 South Capitol Avenue, Lansing, Michigan 48933 Michigan Catholic Conference: The Official Public Policy Voice of the Catholic Church in Michigan Phone: (517) 372-9310, Fax: (517) 372-3940,