IIC Members Mark One Year Since DACA Termination

Interfaith Immigration Coalition Members Mark One Year Since Administration Ended DACA; Urge Compassionate Solutions For Dreamers

WASHINGTON – In the year since the Trump administration announced the cancellation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), faith communities have tirelessly worked alongside DACA recipients and the broader immigrant rights community to find compassionate, lasting solutions. DACA allows young adults to learn, work, get legal identification and travel without fear. There have been multiple court challenges and attempts at legislative reform. People of faith continue to stand in support alongside immigrant friends and neighbors and again urge Congress to pass legislation that provides a pathway to citizenship to Dreamers without harming other immigrant communities.

 

“One year ago, President Trump and Congress failed to renew DACA, throwing the lives of 800,000 DREAMers into uncertainty and forcing them to wait and see if they would have to leave their homes. Having DREAMers in the United States only benefits our country and communities. Given the uncertainty surrounding litigation in the courts, it is even more important for Congress to step up and pass the DREAM Act, finally offering protection and citizenship for DREAMers that they deserve.” Jim Wallis, President and Founder of Sojourners, said.

“Our faith teaches us to love our neighbors. Dreamers are our neighbors, and their home is here. It’s been one year since President Trump created a crisis by terminating the DACA program. The courts have temporarily mitigated the damage, but Congress must act to end the widespread fear and uncertainty immigrant communities face. Dreamers can’t wait. Congress must quit procrastinating and act to end the crisis. Our faith and constitutional justice demand it.” said Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, Executive Director of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice

“This decision was not the first, nor will it be the last, in President Trump’s pursuit of an ideological agenda that hews to the aims of the extremists and white supremacists on his team, led by White House Senior Policy Advisor Stephen Miller. We urge Congress to pass legislation immediately providing a path to citizenship for these young people, who know no other home than the United States.” Nancy K. Kaufman, CEO National Council of Jewish Women, said.

 

“President Trump’s decision last September to terminate DACA was unfair and wrongheaded. DACA provided a common sense path to stability for families, communities, and local economies and a reaffirmation of core American values. The President’s action has added to the fear and uncertainty facing communities across this country. DACA recipients and DACA-eligible young people deserve the chance to realize their dreams to contribute to this nation that is for many, the only home they have ever known. We will continue to work to ensure that the dignity of our immigrant brothers and sisters is fully protected. We call on Congress to immediately take up and pass the bipartisan Dream Act.” Carol Zinn, SSJ, Executive Director, Leadership Conference of Women Religious, said.

 

“One year after the Trump administration’s termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the futures of 800,000 DACA recipients remain at risk. While we celebrate the court decisions that have allowed DACA renewals to continue, we implore Congress to enact the Dream Act or another bipartisan legislative solution that offers a pathway to citizenship for all dreamers. Our faith calls on us to welcome our immigrant brothers and sisters, and we will continue to do whatever is necessary to stand in full solidarity with dreamers and urge Congress to act so that they can live their lives without the fear of deportation. I call on all congregations to work side-by-side with dreamers, who are as much the future of this country as their peers born here, to realize the welcome God commands us to fulfill,” said Rev. John L. McCullough, Church World Service President and CEO.

 

“I am honored to know hundreds of young people in my community who have been able to pursue their dreams because of DACA. They have attended college, joined the military, pursued meaningful careers, and serve their communities on many levels. My community depends on these young men and women as contributing members and leaders in their own right. I urge the Administration to continue the DACA program and Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform that provides a path to citizenship for all who are DACA-eligible,” said Ava Steaffens, CEO of the Christian Community Development Association.

 

“These young people deserve our support.  I have known several DACA recipients and without fail they represent what is finest about our country.  As soon as possible, we should provide them with a path to citizenship. They will bring honor to our nation,” said Lawrence Couch, Director of National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd.

 

“The trauma caused by the administration’s ending of DACA protections for nearly 800,000 young adults has been immense; affecting not only the young adults themselves, but the schools they had attended, the communities where they have worked, and our congregations where they are members.  In the midst of their pain, DACA recipients have demonstrated unending courage, knowledge of US government, strong values of civic engagement, and commitment to doing all they can to push for solutions. Their efforts deserve our unfailing partnership in pushing for a permanent passage of the Dream Act or other path to protection and eventual citizenship.  To stand in solidarity together helps them embrace God’s promise, through the prophet Jeremiah, that ‘I have plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to offer you hope and a future.’ (Jer. 29:11)” said Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea, Director of  Refugee & Immigration Ministries, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the U.S. & Canada.

 

“The Ignatian Solidarity Network stands with undocumented young people whose dignity was undermined one year ago today when the Trump Administration initiated the repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Over the past year, through our work in partnership with Ignatian network schools, parishes, and social ministries across the country, we have witnessed firsthand the contributions that DACA recipients are making as campus and community leaders.

However, these same individuals consistently express tremendous fear and uncertainty regarding their ability to complete their education and pursue careers, their safety and the safety of their families, and their ability to remain part of communities that they have called home and contributed to for a significant portion of their lives.

One year later, our support for DACA recipients is unyielding — the Ignatian Solidarity Network stands with undocumented young people and we call on our political leaders to sustain the goals of DACA, while working for long-term comprehensive immigration reform that respects the dignity of all those who migrate.” Christopher G. Kerr, Executive Director of the Ignatian Solidarity Networkwrote.

“Young immigrants have been left waiting, and vulnerable, by Congress and the President — and it’s gone on for too long. Our communities need permanent protections for Dreamers. All of our flourishing is tied up with one another’s, and until DACA recipients have the assurance of a future filled with hope, all of us are left to wait. We call on Congress today to reform our immigration laws so that justice will be done for the many vulnerable immigrants we love and value, who are suffering from such ineffective and inhumane policies. Passing a clean Dream Act is the right first step.” Reggie Smith, Executive Director of the Office of Social Justice of the Christian Reformed Church in North America, said.

IIC members also reiterated the urgent need for Congress to take this appropriations season to reduce funding for the structures that harm immigrant and border communities. “Franciscan Action Network (FAN) strongly opposed the termination of DACA a year ago by the president.  While we welcomed its mitigation by the courts, we continue to advocate for extension of DACA to other young people beyond current recipients. We also urge legislators to reduce funding for detention, deportation, and militarization of the southern border which also have adverse impacts on these young people who love and contribute to our country and are American in every way except the place of their birth.” Patrick Carolan, Executive Director of FAN, said.

 

“DACA has supported the development of robust and thriving communities that rely on Dreamers as family, workers, students, and friends,” said Diane Randall, Executive Secretary for the Friends Committee on National Legislation. “We call on lawmakers to prioritize equity and justice for all in our society—regardless of how their families arrived—over spending for harmful immigration enforcement practices.”

 

Scott Wright, Director, Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach, added “Today marks a year since the administration announced the repeal of the DACA program. Today also marks a year of uncertainty, lost opportunity, and trauma for DACA recipients and their families because of the administration’s actions. This time last year, we called on Congress to fill the gap by immediately passing legislation to codify DACA protections into law. Unfortunately, a year later, our call is the same. We need permanent protections for immigrant youth in addition to reductions in funding for detention, deportation, and border militarization- all of which contribute to the uncertainty and trauma facing immigrant communities, including DACA recipients. The administration created this disaster; Congress has the power to fix it.”