Today my prayers are with the young undocumented people in our Diocese who now face an uncertain future due to the Trump Administration’s decision to formally end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. We are disappointed with the President’s decision to end DACA, as there are many undocumented Dreamers in our diocese who have now lost their sense of security in the only country they know to be home.
The Obama-era program had shielded young undocumented immigrants, a group called Dreamers, from deportation. It was their parents who first dreamt of a life in America with the opportunity to find jobs, and secure a solid education for their children. Now those children brought to the U.S. by their parents, through no fault of their own, face deportation to countries to which they feel no connection. They only know America as their home.
And, make no mistake, these young people are contributing to our society. A paper released last year by the Center for Migration Studies of New York found 90% of DACA recipients are employed, and more than 90% have at least a high school degree.
The Trump Administration has now given Congress a window of six months to replace the DACA program with legislation or else it will end on March 5, 2018. So today, we stand with the Dreamers, and we call on Congress to come up with a legislative alternative that provides protection for them.
For media interested in interviews, we can connect you with Catholic Migration Services to speak with someone about what this means for their clients. CMS has helped countless immigrants in our Diocese with immigration and legal services for decades and has also been helping young immigrants with their DACA applications.
We can also connect you with a Dreamer who is willing to share their fears in light of this DACA decision.