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Bishop Olmsted and CCHD Funding Opposition to AZ Immigration Law

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Posted on July 24 2010 6:00 pm
Lisa Graas has covered politics and religion at her blog LisaGraas.com since 2008. She has served as a crisis pregnancy counselor, youth speaker, mental health advocate and legislative consultant.

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immigration rallyWhile a handful of Catholic bishops around the country are opting to cut back on support for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), none have yet cited concerns about funding for political organizing that stands in opposition to the conservative TEA Party movement. Funding for political organizing by the CCHD includes grants from the Diocese of Phoenix approved by Bishop Thomas Olmsted (.pdf) for groups actively participating in protests and recruitment of new activists to oppose Arizona’s immigration law, SB 1070.

Bishop Olmsted has approved grant applications for local organizations involved in the empowerment and development of people living in poverty. These organizations are working to bring about national immigration reform, develop economic opportunity, improve access to education and secure workers’ rights to be paid fairly by their employers. Those receiving national grants include: Valley Interfaith Project ($25,000), Arizona Interfaith Alliance for Worker Justice ($40,000.00), West Valley Sponsoring Committee ($30,000.00) and Lodestar Day Resource Center, Just B Social Enterprise ($40,000.00).

Both Valley Interfaith Project and Arizona Interfaith Alliance have participated in public protests against the Arizona immigration law which is strongly supported by Arizona’s TEA Party movement.

Valley Interfaith Project employs strongly uncharitable messaging and misinformation on its web page dedicated to immigration reform:

As the rest of the nation pulls out of the Great Recession, Arizona remains mired in an economic, political, and social crisis largely of its own making. Although pre-recessionary Arizona ranked among the worst in key social indicators for health care, education, and job readiness, during the Recession, the state dug itself into the worst fiscal crisis in its history, hastened by a meltdown in its unregulated housing industry. Politics at the state legislature has remained paralyzed by partisanship and an ideologically motivated “starve the beast” approach to the state’s budget woes. Yet as the state teetered on the edge of insolvency, and Arizonans became increasingly frustrated with their state government, Arizona’s legislators embraced a new strategy that would deflect the public ire’s toward a different target: immigrants.

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