Sister Mary's Justice Notes | March 7

CSJ Justice Notes: March 7, 2018
Today is National Call-In Day: Tell Congress to Reduce Detention, Deportation Funding
Today is national call-in day to tell our Senators and Representatives to see detention, deportation, and border militarization funding is reduced. President Trump is requesting billions of dollars in additional funding to expand a deportation force to tear families and communities apart, detain an unprecedented 52,000 people daily, and further militarize communities living in border regions. Congress needs to exercise its “power of the purse” and reject this proposal. Call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121. Here's sample script:  “I’m your constituent from [CITY/TOWN], and as a person of faith, I urge you to cut funding for detention, deportation, and border militarization. I don’t want Congress to write a check to deport and detain members of my community. I urge you to do everything you can to see detention, deportation, and border militarization funding is reduced. I also urge you to stand with all Dreamers in the United States and support the Dream Act, or another bipartisan, legislative solution that protects as many dreamers as possible without compromising family unity, undercutting other immigrants, or extending or increasing funding for the detention and deportation machine or border militarization.” 
Urgent: Let the EPA Know that 70 Percent Removal of the Bridgeton Landfill is NOT Enough
A letter writing campaign regarding the serious issue of radioactive materials present in the unlined West Lake Landfill is under way through March 22. On January 31, the EPA issued a less-than-ideal decision to remove only 70 percent of the radioactive waste at West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton, Mo., and leave the remaining 30 percent.  The period of Public Comment on the proposed decision is open until March 22. Your letter is important! The Franciscans Sisters of Mary offer some sample letters supporting three points: 1.) Full removal of the radioactive wastes; 2.) Storage off-site in a well-prepared place for such; 3.) Voluntary buyout for residents within a one-mile radius of the landfill BEFORE excavation begins. Please send your letter today! 
Thank Dick’s For Its Stand against the NRA
Many have been inspired by the survivors of the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL and the wave of activism that it has set off. More than a dozen companies have announced decisions to sever ties with the NRA. But perhaps the most important announcement came this week from Dick’s Sporting Goods. Dick’s announced it was immediately ending sales of assault-style rifles and high capacity magazines in all its stores, and that it would not sell a gun to anyone under 21 years of age, regardless of local laws. NRA members are upset by Dick’s decision and have been calling their customer service line and harassing those who answer the phones. Please take a moment to thank Dick’s at 866-677-4771.
Forty Arrested at Catholic-led DACA Protest
A group of about 100 people--including Franciscan friars, religious sisters, and laity--were arrested while protesting peacefully on Capitol Hill last week.   The protest was intended to pressure Congress to take action on "Dreamers," or people who were brought to the United States illegally as children. It was organized as part of the Catholic Day of Action with Dreamers, an event planned by Franciscan Action Network and other Catholic social advocacy groups. Read more here.
USCIS Will Remove "Nation of Immigrants" from Mission Statement
US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has changed its mission statement to remove reference to the United States as a "nation of immigrants."  Jonathan Withington, USCIS Chief of Media Relations, stated: "The [new] statement speaks for itself and clearly defines the agency's role in our country's lawful immigration system and commitment we have to the American people." More information here.
Stop the Loan Sharks in Washington
As soon as this week, the House will vote on H.R. 3299, a bill that would give the green light to payday lenders to charge debt trap-level interest rates to low-income consumers.  Consumer advocates and 20 state attorneys general have warned that this bill is dangerous.  Americans for Financial Reform urge us to tell our House members we expect them to vote no.  Click here.
More Companies Invest In Training to Prevent Sexual Harassment
The recent high-profile reports of sexual harassment in the workplace have prompted a surge in training courses, which experts are updating to reflect the latest examples making front-page news.  One Dallas-based company that provides sexual harassment training reports 2,150 requests for its services last month, compared with 267 in January 2017. Read more here.
Pentagon Can't Account For Hundreds of Millions in Spending
An internal audit of the Defense Logistics Agency revealed that the Pentagon could not properly account for $800 million in construction projects, as well as hundreds of millions in property and equipment. This news comes the same week that Congress is debating an increase to the defense budget of tens of millions of dollars. To read more, click here

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