Bishop Hebda, Cozzens: Church, society weakened without ‘dreamers’

| September 6, 2017 | 5 Comments

Archbishop Bernard Hebda and Bishop Andrew Cozzens of St. Paul and Minneapolis expressed “frustration and disappointment” with President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and called on Congress “to act quickly to find a legislative solution that fixes our broken immigration system and allows these ‘Dreamers’ to remain in the United States, the country that is their home.”

In a Sept. 6 statement, the bishops pledged “prayerful support” for people affected by the ending of the program, known as DACA. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the administration’s decision to rescind the program Sept. 5.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals supporters demonstrate near the White House in Washington Sept. 5. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Sept. 5 that the DACA program is “being rescinded” by President Donald Trump, leaving some 800,000 youth, brought illegally to the U.S. as minors, in peril of deportation and of losing permits that allow them to work. CNS

“The estimated 800,000 young people who have benefited from the DACA program came to this nation as children,” the bishops said. “They did not make the choice to cross the border without documents — others made it for them. They live in our neighborhoods, worship with us on Sundays, attend our schools, pay taxes and defend our nation. Many are already generously exercising leadership in our parishes, chanceries and seminaries and are playing key roles as the Church in the United States ministers to people of many languages and cultures. They help all of us to ‘dream.’ Our Church and our society would be weakened without them.”

The bishops invited people to join them in praying for the “dreamers” who may be experiencing anxiety and fear about the loss of DACA status, and for elected officials, “that they might be blessed with the wisdom and prudence needed to address these important issues in a way that is both just and humane and that reflects who we are as Americans.”

President Barack Obama established DACA in 2012 by executive order. The program gave some youth who were brought into the United States as children without legal documentation a work permit and temporary reprieve from deportation.

Catholic News Services contributed to this story.






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