In Annapolis Immigrant Justice, Immigration, Maryland State
Members of CASA, JUFJ, and Health Care for All Coalition rally for access to care for immigrants in Annapolis

April 4, 2023

Senate President Bill Ferguson, House Speaker Adrienne Jones, Finance Chair Melony Griffith, Health and Government Operations Chair Joseline Peña-Melnyk, and members of the Maryland General Assembly: 

We, the undersigned clergy and leaders representing faith-based organizations and places of worship throughout the State of Maryland, call for your support and leadership in passing crucial immigrant rights and healthcare legislation during the 2023 General Assembly session. We write to you with moral urgency and implore you to protect our state’s most vulnerable populations. 

Caring for the vulnerable and welcoming the stranger are indispensable theological commitments. They lay the foundation for treating all human beings with dignity and respect. It is critical for the General Assembly to pass the Access to Care Act (SB365/HB588) to ensure that all Marylanders have access to the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange regardless of immigration status. We are grateful that the House passed HB588 on March 15, and are hopeful that the Senate will soon do the same. This bill is especially important as the pandemic continues and undocumented Marylanders continue to make deep contributions to our state and our communities. 

This bill seeks to ensure that immigrant families in Maryland are able to buy into the marketplace and that this program is funded equal to any other programs in the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange.

The displacement of people caused by war, violence, and persecution has resulted in thousands of people coming to our nation seeking relief — many forced to live without documentation. We know that there are deep inequities in our healthcare system. Black and Latino residents become sicker, are hospitalized at higher rates, and die younger as they are forced to face life or death situations due to their exclusion from programs such as the Affordable Care Act. We have grieved over the countless stories in Maryland of families who have been irreparably impacted by illness and disease, and struggled to obtain needed medical care. Our houses of worship and organizations have done our part to provide sanctuary and support for our neighbors. Our state must act as well.

We ask that you consider not only the moral obligation we have to love our neighbors, but the equal obligation to fight for the rights of all of our neighbors to be healthy and well, regardless of documentation or country of origin. Society as a whole suffers when the families in our communities are denied healthcare.

Our ethical and theological commitments compel us to publicly call for our legislators to act boldly and courageously to defend the rights and health of community members resisting their own marginalization, whose safety is our collective responsibility. We urge you to prioritize passage of SB365/HB588, the Access to Care Act, during the 2023 General Assembly Session.


Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation
Anna Rubin, Chair of Jews United for Justice’s System Reform and Immigrant Rights Committee
Baptist Ministers’ Night Conference of Baltimore & Vicinity
Bishop Ángel Núñez – Bilingual Christian Church
Brian Frain, SJ
Cantor Rochelle Helzner
Central Maryland Ecumenical Council
Changing Lives Ministries of Baltimore
Columbia Jewish Congregation
Delaware-Maryland Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
The Ecumenical Leaders Group of Maryland
Emily Stern, Kol HaLev
Empowerment for Collective Change
Episcopal Diocese of Maryland
Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director, New Ways Ministry
Fr. Ty Hullinger, St. Anthony of Padua/St. Dominic/Most Precious Blood Catholic Churches (Baltimore)
Gwynn Oak United Methodist Church
Har Sinai-Oheb Shalom Congregation, Baltimore, MD

Hazzan Stephanie Weishaar
Homewood Friends Meeting
Imam Earl El-Amin

Immigrant Justice Ministry, Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Congregation
James Caldiero, Lead Advocate, Immigration, Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of MD
Jews United for Justice
L’chaim! Jews Against the Death Penalty
Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA)
National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
Pastor Timothy S. Stern
Patricia DeLorenzo, active parishioner at Christ Episcopal Church, Columbia, MD
Rabbi Aderet Drucker
Rabbi Andy Gordon, Bolton Street Synagogue
Rabbi Ariana Katz
Rabbi Binyamin Biber, President of the Association of Humanistic Rabbis
Rabbi Bruce E. Kahn
Rabbi Charles Arian
Rabbi Daniel Cotzin Burg
Rabbi Daria Jacobs-Velde
Rabbi Derek Rosenbaum
Rabbi Dr. Susan Grossman Rabbi Emerita Beth Shalom Congregation Columbia MD
Rabbi Fred N. Reiner
Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb
Rabbi George B. Driesen
Rabbi Gordon Fuller
Rabbi Hannah Goldstein, Temple Sinai DC
Rabbi Ilan Glazer
Rabbi Jennifer R. Greenspan

Rabbi Jennifer Weiner
Rabbi Jeremy Kridel
Rabbi Jonathan Schnitzer
Rabbi Josh Jacobs-Velde, Oseh Shalom
Rabbi Kim Blumenthal
Rabbi Marc Israel
Rabbi Michael Safra
Rabbi Mitchell Berkowitz
Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin
Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi, Ph.D.
Rabbi Rachel Simmons
Rabbi Rain Zohav
Rabbi Rory Katz, Chevrei Tzedek Congregation
Rabbi Ruth Smith
Rabbi Sid Schwarz, Founding Rabbi, Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation
Rabbi Tyler Dratch
Rabbi Yaakov Komisar
Rabbi Yaffa-Shira Sultan
Rev. Abhi Janamanchi, Senior Minister, Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church
Rev. Alexa Fraser
Rev. Anne Derse
Rev. Betty E. Landis
Rev. David Slagle Peck, Epiphany Lutheran Church
Rev. Denise Schiavone, Deacon, Christ Episcopal Church Columbia
Rev. Dr. Eliezer Valentin-Castanon
Rev. Dr. Stacey Cole Wilson
Rev. Julia Hart
Rev. Kari Parsons
Rev. Kenneth O. Phelps, Jr., Maryland Episcopal Public Policy Network
Rev. Madeline Tallman
Rev. Isaac Vineyard
Rev. Lyn Cox
Rev. Sandra Carlson Alexis, First English Lutheran Church
Rev. Zelda Childs
Shaare Tefila Congregation
Shepherd’s Heart Missionary Baptist Church
St. Ignatius Baltimore Justice and Peace Committee
Temple Emanuel of Kensington, MD
Viviana Westbrook, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC)

Want to send a message to your legislators in support of expanding Affordable Care Act eligibility to all Marylanders regardless of their immigration status?

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Otherwise, click the button to fill out our Action Alert to contact your elected officials.

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