Courtesy of the office of Rep. Bobby Scott

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.)

New criminal justice reform effort announced

On June 25 a new, bipartisan criminal justice reform bill was introduced in the House by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.).

The bill would make much-needed reforms to the broken U.S. criminal justice system, which currently incarcerates more people than any other country in the world and disproportionately affects communities of color.

The SAFE Justice Act would limit mandatory minimum sentences in drug cases and provide job training and re-entry programming to reduce recidivism. Learn more.

Policy updates

Dominican Republic/Haiti: Many are waiting to see whether the Dominican Republic will begin mass deportations of migrant workers, most of whom are Haitian, now that a June 17 deadline for registering has passed. Dominicans of Haitian descent who were left stateless by a 2013 court decision also face possible deportation. Read more and sign a petition to the U.S. government.

Health care: On June 25, the Supreme Court upheld provisions related to the Affordable Care Act that allow low- and moderate-income individuals to access tax credits, regardless of whether their state runs its own health insurance exchange or uses the federal exchange. Read more.

Palestine and Israel: Last month, 19 members of Congress sent a letter to Secretary of State Kerry, raising concerns about Israel's military detention and abuse of Palestinian minors. The letter cites a UNICEF report that says “in no other country are children systematically tried by juvenile military courts that, by definition, fall short of providing the necessary guarantees to ensure respect for their rights.”

Upcoming events

July 17: MCC Washington Office staff are leading two workshops at the Global Youth Summit in Grantham, Pa.

July 21-26: Join us at Mennonite World Conference's Assembly Gathered in Harrisburg, Pa. Several MCC Washington Office staff will be there and leading workshops on advocacy and travel to the Middle East.

Recent articles

Father's Day without Dad (immigration)

Speaking the language of peace (Colombia)

Waiting for rain (climate change/food security)


The UN's role in the cholera outbreak in Haiti is shown in this infographic.

Staff updates

In June Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach traveled to Palestine and Israel, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon to visit MCC programs and learn more about the current context. Contact us at if you would like to have her speak about the Middle East in your congregation.

Tammy Alexander was at Houston Mennonite Church June 8-10 with other MCC staff from the U.S. and Mexico to discuss MCC's work on U.S.-Mexico border issues. Invite Tammy to speak about border-related policies at your church or event.