Wafa Abdin, Vice President of Immigrant and Refugee Services, was appointed to the newly-elected Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez’s Transition Team, where she will represent the work of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. The Transition Team is comprised of high-level local community leaders, including Rabbi Samuel Karff, Mustafa Tameez, along with former Catholic Charities Board Member, Gordon Quan. Throughout the campaign, Sheriff Gonzalez made many commitments to the citizens of Harris County to take large, inclusive strides toward equity for citizens and law enforcement.
Wafa will serve on the Policy Committee. Policies include two areas that are relevant to Catholic Charities’ mission-driven initiatives: working to oppose 287(g) that authorizes the federal government to enter into agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies, permitting designated officers to perform immigration law enforcement functions. This mandate has prompted unwarranted deportation of many immigrants who may have otherwise qualified for immigration relief and has caused unfortunate separation of families in the process.
The other is working with our law enforcement on behalf of human trafficking victims, which is a core service of the agency’s Immigration and Refugee Services Division. Victims of human trafficking receive social services from Refugee Resettlement and legal representation from the St. Frances Cabrini Center for Immigration Legal Assistance.
Gonzalez, as former Mayor Pro Tem, has a history of supporting the good work of Catholic Charities.