Statement of Bishop Rhoades concerning Administration’s Decision to End DACA:
“A few weeks ago, I wrote a column expressing the Church’s strong support for the Dream Act of 2017. The passage of the Dream Act has even greater urgency now that the DACA program has been cancelled. My heart goes out to our DACA youth and their families who have been left unprotected from deportation and fear for their futures in the United States, their home. I am very saddened and disappointed in the Administration’s termination of the DACA program. I urge our legislators to support the Dream Act. It is a matter not only of mercy, but of justice. I hope and pray that Congress will act soon to protect these young people who were brought to the U.S. as minors and not responsible for the violation of our nation’s immigration laws. America is their home. They are part of our community, our churches, our schools, our workplaces, and our military. May we all stand in solidarity with them during this difficult time!”
WASHINGTON— The president and vice president, along with chairmen of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, have issued a statement denouncing the Trump administration’s termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program after six months.
The following statement from USCCB President Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, along with USCCB Vice President Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angles, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, chairman of the Committee on Migration, and Bishop Joseph J. Tyson of Yakima, chairman of the Subcommittee on Pastoral Care of Migrants, Refugees, and Travelers says the “cancellation of the DACA program is reprehensible.”
Over 780,000 youth received protection from the DACA program since its inception by the Department of Homeland Security in 2012. DACA provided no legal status or government benefits but did provide recipients with temporary employment authorization to work in the United States and reprieve from deportation.
The statement reads:
“The cancellation of the DACA program is reprehensible. It causes unnecessary fear for DACA youth and their families. These youth entered the U.S. as minors and often know America as their only home. The Catholic Church has long watched with pride and admiration as DACA youth live out their daily lives with hope and a determination to flourish and contribute to society: continuing to work and provide for their families, continuing to serve in the military, and continuing to receive an education. Now, after months of anxiety and fear about their futures, these brave young people face deportation. This decision is unacceptable and does not reflect who we are as Americans.
“The Church has recognized and proclaimed the need to welcome young people: ‘Whoever welcomes one of these children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me’ (Mark 9:37). Today, our nation has done the opposite of how Scripture calls us to respond. It is a step back from the progress that we need to make as a country. Today’s actions represent a heartbreaking moment in our history that shows the absence of mercy and good will, and a short-sighted vision for the future. DACA youth are woven into the fabric of our country and of our Church, and are, by every social and human measure, American youth.
“We strongly urge Congress to act and immediately resume work toward a legislative solution. We pledge our support to work on finding an expeditious means of protection for DACA youth.
As people of faith, we say to DACA youth – regardless of your immigration status, you are children of God and welcome in the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church supports you and will advocate for you.”
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