President Trump has announced an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, turning our nation’s back on undocumented immigrant youth who are valued members of our communities. The consequences of repealing DACA are immediate, devastating, and profound. No new DACA applications filed after yesterday will be considered, and current DACA recipients will see their protection revoked starting in six months. DACA has protected nearly 800,000 immigrant youth from deportation and allowed them to work, attend school, and raise a family. DACA’s termination puts these lives at risk, threatens the sanctity of family unity, and jeopardizes our communities and economy. We need to make our voices heard today and call on our elected leaders to do everything in their power to support a clean passage of The Dream Act of 2017 and protect immigrant youth!
On yesterday, Stated Clerk Rev. Dr. J Herbert Nelson made this powerful statement, in which he said:
"The PC(USA), as a national church, supports the presence and contributions of immigrants in the United States. We advocate for just immigration reform. We advocate for just immigration enforcement that intentionally considers the hardship of family separation and the sincere expressed determination in building family and community in the United States. Dreamers and DACA recipients have done just that. They often know this country more than the one they left behind. They have made friends; they have studied in schools; they have, after years of contemplating a future clouded by the threat of deportation, begun to fully dream about their future."
You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt. You shall not abuse any widow or orphan.
- Exodus 22:21-22
As Presbyterians, we recognize that these texts instruct the people of God on how to treat the “alien,” sometimes alternately translated “foreigner” or “immigrant.” Indeed in today’s vocabulary, these passages are clearly instructions on how we must treat immigrants and refugees in our midst. The challenge is not simply to investigate the linguistic derivation of this term, but to recognize that each of these groups – aliens, widows, orphans – represents otherness in the society. The clear implications of the texts are that no one (outcasts or otherwise) should be abused or be treated as second-class citizens. Nor should they be bereft of the assistance of the whole community in breaking the chains of oppression that bind them.
CALL CONGRESS TODAY!
*Please call your 1 Representative and then your 2 Senators
Sample Script to Representative/Senators: “I’m your constituent from [City, State]. I support the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and strongly oppose President’s Trump’s announcement to end it. DACA has provided nearly 800,000 immigrant youth the opportunity to work, raise a family, and pursue their dreams. I urge you to support a clean passage of the Dream Act of 2017 (S.1615/H.R.3440) and do everything in your power to protect immigrant youth.”
Please also tweet your Senators/Representatives and @realDonaldTrump. Click here for social media graphics. Sample social media posts:
● Faith communities call on [SENATOR/REPRESENTATIVE] to pass #DreamAct! Immigrant youth are #HereToStay #Faith4DACA
● Over 5 yrs DACA has provided work permits to undocumented youth +invigorated our communities #HereToStay #DreamAct #Faith4DACA
● My faith community stands with DACAmented immigrant neighbors & call on [SENATOR/REPRESENTATIVE] to pass #DreamAct #HereToStay #Faith4DACA
● Faith communities urge [SENATOR/REPRESENTATIVE] to pass #DreamAct & protect 800,000 immigrant youth #HereToStay #Faith4DACA
● Ave hourly wages rose by 69% after DACA=more tax revenue for cities, states, & U.S. https://www.americanprogress.org/?p=437956 #HereToStay #Faith4DACA #DreamAct
● 16% of DACA recipients bought houses, 5% started businesses https://www.americanprogress.org/?p=437956 #HereToStay #Faith4DACA #DreamAct
● At least 72% of the top 25 Fortune 500 companies employ DACA beneficiaries https://www.americanprogress.org/?p=437956 #HereToStay #Faith4DACA #DreamAct