Bishops of the Arizona Catholic Conference offer guidance
as early voting begins October 12
Watch a video from the bishops
Arizona has long been known as a place of tremendous growth and opportunity. We come from many different backgrounds and share a common desire that our children will also be able to have a life of opportunity and hope.
For many Arizona high school graduates college provides the opportunity to escape poverty and live a better life. Upon graduating from college, students are more likely to pay substantially more in taxes while contributing significantly to their community.
Unfortunately, however, some students graduating from Arizona high schools do not have the same ability to attend college as the rest of their peers because they cannot receive in-state college tuition.
The legal reason these graduating Arizona high students cannot receive in-state college tuition is because their parents brought them to this country as undocumented immigrants. These children, however, were brought here through no fault of their own. They have grown up in Arizona, attended our schools, and know no other country.
Proposition 308 attempts to remedy this unjust situation by allowing all Arizona high school graduates to be treated more similarly for educational purposes. Specifically, it will allow in-state college tuition for those undocumented students who graduate from an Arizona high school after having spent at least two years there.
Allowing these students the opportunity to better afford college tuition will not only help them live a better life, but will also benefit Arizona and our economy, especially at a time when we need more qualified workers.
For these reasons, and others, the Bishops of the Arizona Catholic Conference strongly support Proposition 308 and encourage your prayerful consideration of this measure as well when casting your vote.
As Bishops of the Arizona Catholic Conference, we are concerned with the increasing struggles of poor and vulnerable families, especially in today’s economic climate. We also believe that Arizona families should not lose their homes, cars, or ability to make ends meet because of emergency medical debt and predatory collection practices. Accordingly, we are supporting Proposition 209.
If approved by voters, Proposition 209 will better protect Arizona consumers who are already suffering from high inflation and significantly higher housing costs. In particular, this measure will increase the protected value of people’s primary homes from debt collection to better match current home values. Similarly, the proposition will increase the protected value of vehicles, household goods, and bank accounts, with all these amounts adjusted for inflation annually.
Proposition 209 will also help Arizonans avoid being trapped by debt by limiting the wage garnishment for debt to no more than 10 percent of disposable earnings and the interest rate on medical debt to no more than 3 percent.
It is our hope that if Proposition 209 passes it will result in fewer Arizonans losing their homes when they fall into debt. Furthermore, by protecting more cars from being seized, additional people will retain the ability to get to their jobs and take care of their families.
Our prayers are with all families who are facing economic challenges at this time. It is our hope that the passage of Proposition 209 will make this situation better for many of these people and, therefore, are gladly supporting its passage.
Most Rev. John P. Dolan
Bishop of Phoenix
Most Rev. Eduardo A. Nevares
Auxiliary Bishop of Phoenix
Most Rev. James S. Wall
Bishop of Gallup
Most Rev. Edward J. Weisenburger
Bishop of Tucson
Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted
Holy Protection of Mary Byzantine Catholic Eparchy