Following up on its $5 million win from the last legislative session in 2013, Texas IAF leaders succeeded in ensuring that the Adult Career Education (ACE) Grant program (and its $5 million in funding) stayed on the Texas budget. This means that Texas IAF workforce development programs like Capital IDEA, Project ARRIBA, VIDA, Project QUEST, SkillsQuest and Capital IDEA-Houston can apply again for these funds, to expand the training they already offer.
Texas IAF faith leaders across the state arrived at the Capitol to fight Senate Bill 185, which would outlaw sanctuary cities in Texas and threaten local efforts to build better relationships between police and communities. Sponsored by State Senator Charles Perry, from Lubbock, the bill would prohibit cities from forbidding police to enforce immigration laws.
Click on testimony and press below:
Reverend John Ogletree of First Metropolitan Church and TMO
Reverend Carlos Zuniga of St. Pius X Catholic Church and Valley Interfaith
South Texas Groups to Oppose ‘Show Us Your Papers’ Legislation, Rio Grande Guardian
Religious Leaders Urge Senators to Protect Local Communities, Network of Texas IAF
Asserting that anyone under 18 should have an attorney and never be subjected to expedited processing, hundreds of bishops and clergy from every major religious denomination in Texas denounced proposed changes to the Trafficking Victims Act of 2008 and called on the White House for a better approach to the humanitarian crisis at the border.
In El Paso, San Antonio, Houston, Austin, Fort Worth and Dallas, religious leaders preached about the crisis at the border, organized relief efforts and held press conferences reminding the White House and Congress of the Judeo-Christian admonishment for nations to “not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner or the poor (Zechariah 7:10).”
Texas IAF organizations are spearheading an effort to ensure that the 2008 Trafficking Victims Protection Act not be weakened, that expedited deportations of children be halted and that religious congregations be granted access to attend to the spiritual needs of the children currently detained in detention facilities. [In photo, El Paso Catholic Bishop Mark Seitz delivers joint statement.]
Border Interfaith & EPISO (El Paso):
COPS / Metro Alliance (San Antonio)
Allied Communities of Tarrant (Fort Worth):
Dallas Area Interfaith:
Religious leaders and clergy from throughout the state gathered at the north entrance the Capitol to rally in support of Medicaid expansion” not just once, but twice.
Weeks later, leaders joined “hundreds on the front steps of the Capitol.” Willie Bennett, along with 45 other Dallas Area Interfaith leaders, turned up for the march that snaked down Congress Avenue and up to the Capitol. Bennett reported that more than 3,000 individuals and 38 institutions had signed up in favor of Medicaid expansion” by that time.
“Anderson and her 66-year-old mother, Martha Anderson, were among about 60 Tarrant County residents who gathered at the St. Andrews United Methodist Church in Fort Worth … for the 200-mile bus trip to Austin. The trip was organized by the Allied Communities of Tarrant (ACT)” in coordination with the Network of Texas Organizations, including Austin Interfaith, The Border Organization, EPISO, Border Interfaith, TMO, WIN, WTOS, Valley Interfaith and COPS / Metro Alliance.
[Photo Credit: Tamir Kalifa, Texas Tribune]
Interfaith Groups Rally for Medicaid Expansion, Texas Tribune
Faith Leaders Rally at Capitol for Medicaid, KXAN
Faith Leaders Rally for Bipartisan Support for Medicaid Expansion, Texas Observer
Death, Taxes, God and Medicaid, San Antonio Express-News
County Judges, Clergy Rally in Favor of Expanding Medicaid, Dallas Morning News
Rally at Capitol Urges Texas to Spend More on Medicaid, Star Telegram
Interfaith Groups Rally for Medicaid Expansion, The Monitor
El Paso Group Joins Others to Urge Expansion of Medicaid, El Paso Times
Protesters March on Texas Capitol for Expanded Medicaid, Star Telegram
Hundreds March to Capitol to Show Support for Medicaid Expansion, Dallas Morning News