Maryland Catholic Conference joined with advocates from across Maryland this week to work on behalf of legislation that would provide immigrants who are victims of serious crimes — such as rape, kidnapping and human trafficking — and assist police in the investigation or prosecution of the crime, a greater ability to obtain federal U-Visa status.
"This is an important bill that works to build trust between law enforcement and our immigrant communities," said Anne Zmuda Wallerstedt, associate director of Social and Economic Justice at the Conference. The Conference supports both humane and just immigration policies and keeping our communities safe.
The U-Visa bill streamlines the process by which Maryland certifies a crime victim's petition for a U-Visa, an important part of the process for those applying for the status. To learn more about SB 144 CLICK HERE. To read the Conference's full testimony CLICK HERE.
The Maryland Catholic Conference joined with advocates across the state on Jan. 25, 2019 to spread awareness of the state's recently-expanded Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
The EITC is a federal and state program that provides qualifying working individuals and families with a credit on their federal and state taxes. In Maryland, it provides qualifying individuals with a credit on their state taxes of up to 50 percent of their federal tax credit.
"EITC is one of the anti-poverty programs that we know works," said Anne Zmuda Wallerstedt, associate director of Social and Economic Justice for the Conference. "The program puts money — and for some, a significant amount — directly back into the pockets of hard-working Marylanders."
The Conference has been a long-time supporter of efforts to expand the EITC to enable more Marylanders to qualify. In the 2018 legislative session, Maryland's General Assembly voted to expand the credit to an estimated additional 40,000 individuals by lowering the age to qualify from 21 to 18. The change took effect on July 1, 2018.
As a founding member of the Maryland Alliance for the Poor, the Conference continues to support in the current legislative session efforts to further expand the EITC. Limitations that remain in the current state program prevent many single adults from qualifying for the credit. Advocates have been working on legislation to expand the state EITC to match 100 percent of the federal credit and increase the maximum income allowed for single individuals to qualify.
To learn more about the EITC and if you might qualify CLICK HERE.
During the upcoming legislative session, the Maryland Catholic Conference will weigh in on dozens of issues and take positions on issues of importance to Maryland Catholics.
All Conference testimony submitted in the 2019 session in support or opposition of a bill, as well as testimony offered in neutrality, will be available on the Conference’s website.
To access the latest testimony, visit www.mdcatholic.org/2019testimony
The page is updated on an ongoing basis as testimony is submitted. Be sure to check the 2019 Testimony page often throughout the session for the latest updates.
To stay up-to-date and get engaged on key issues, be sure to join the Catholic Advocacy Network. Click HERE to join.