July 5, 2018  
 Inside this issue
  Are You Registered to Vote?  
  Washington's Primary Election day is August 7. In order to vote, you must be registered. The primary registration deadline is July 9 for people registering online. People who are not registered in Washington state have until July 30 if they register in person (at their county election office). Voter registration information can be found on the Secretary of State's website.
 
 

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  US Supreme Court Ends Term with Significant Decisions  
 
 
On June 26, the Supreme Court ended its session by issuing several important decisions. Among the more notable will allow pregnancy counseling organizations to provide life-affirming support by overturning a California State law requiring these organizations to provide information about access to abortion (King County adopted a similar ordinance in 2017). In a USCCB statement, Cardinal Timothy Dolan commented, "The decision is an important development in protecting pro-life pregnancy centers from future efforts to compel speech in violation of their deeply held beliefs."
 
The other decision unfortunately upheld President Trump's immigration travel ban. The USCCB issued a statement that read in part, "We are disappointed in the Court's ruling because it failed to take into account the clear and unlawful targeting of a specific religious group by the government. The Catholic Church takes a strong stand against religious discrimination, and we will continue to advocate for the rights of people of all faiths, as well as service to migrants and refugees through our various ministries." 
 

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  Immigration Crisis Worsens  
 
 
In addition to the travel ban ruling (see above), America's long-broken immigration system has worsened over the past month. On June 13, USCCB President Cardinal Daniel DiNardo decried the Administration's recent asylum changes and urged "courts and policy makers to respect and enhance, not erode, the potential of our asylum system to preserve and protect the right to life."
 
On June 20, President Trump issued an Executive Order that ended the cruel policy of separating children from their parents. Unfortunately, the order gives no guidance for how soon the more than 2,000 children will be reunited with their parents. While the order stops the separation of families, it fails to address reunification of parents with their children and calls for further detention of families in government facilities.
 
Earlier this week, Cardinal DiNardo led a delegation of six U.S. Bishops to inspect firsthand the situation of migrants and asylees in Brownsville, Texas. Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain shared the following statement of support: "Our prayers of support go to the delegation of bishops visiting the U.S.-Mexico border. The Catholic Church stands with our brothers and sisters facing the challenges of immigration and we continue to call on public officials to enact comprehensive immigration reform."
 
What You Can Do to Help Immigrants: The bishops continue to call for action on the immigration issue. Here are 3 ways you can assist:
 
1.  Pray: You can find a prayer for migrant children here.
2.  Take Action: Contact your local Catholic Charities affiliateto learn about their material/volunteer needs, consider fostering an unaccompanied child, or join the Share the Journey global solidarity campaign with migrants and refugees. 
3.  Learn More: Visit the USCCB's Justice For Immigrants (JFI) "Family Separation Webpage" to review backgrounders, educational material and a webinar. 
 

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  Two Versions of U.S. Farm Bill Advance  
 

In late June, the Senate passed its reauthorization of the Farm Bill by a vote of 86-11. Prior to the vote, the USCCB along with other Catholic groups wrote to the Senate, praising the bipartisan efforts and welcoming many of the bill's improvements in programs that benefit those living in poverty. Earlier, the House narrowly passed their version of the bill by a vote of 213-211. Overall, the Senate version of the Farm Bill is much stronger in terms of protecting core funding than the House version. The two will now have to be reconciled before the current legislation expires in September.
 

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  Article Published by Cornerstone Speaker  
  Richard Doerflinger has written an article developed from his workshop presentation at the 2017 Cornerstone Catholic Conference. The article lays out "A Distinctive Catholic Vision for Politics" and focuses on how the consistent ethic of life has had a positive impact on national policies over the last four decades. The article appears in the Spring issue of Human Life Review.  

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  Did you know...  
 

...that PREPARES served over 6,500 families (including pregnant women) last year through 124 parishes throughout the state of Washington?
 

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