Following Trump’s decision that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program would be ended with a 6-month delay, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a scathing condemnation of the President while pledging to support those currently enrolled in DACA.
Per a statement from the USCCB President, Vice President, and Committee Chairmen, they called the President’s announcement “reprehensible” while praising DACA youth as a source of “pride and admiration.”
DREAMers, as those who take advantage of the DACA program are often referred, are those who have benefited from the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act “who were brought to the country at an early age without documentation but have assimilated to U.S. culture and have been educated by U.S. school systems.” Because they arrived in the United States by no fault of their own, many politicians on both sides of the aisle support this program and those affected by it.
The USCCB goes even further, castigating the Trump administration for a decision that they deride as wholly un-American.
“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 Trump administration must know that when the religious community – one of the last vestiges of his support base in the nation – issues such a startling and scathing condemnation, his inhumane policies have finally gone too far.
Read the entire statement below.
“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.”
Brian Tyler Cohen is a political writer, actor, and comedy sketch director. He graduated from Lehigh University with a dual degree in English and Business. He currently lives in Los Angeles.