As Americans and people of faith, we strive to love our neighbor and uphold the innate human dignity of each person. We are thus gravely concerned about the recent letter from Republican officials from ten states calling for your administration to rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The brave, hard-working DACA recipients and DACA-eligible individuals embody our country at its best. Rescinding DACA is an appalling rejection of our faith and our nation’s values of compassion and welcome.
Together, we call on Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to keep the DACA program intact for the remainder of your presidency. We must live up to our nation’s proclaimed values of hospitality and opportunity for those seeking a better life.
The DACA program grants a work permit and protects young immigrants from deportation. As a result, many lives have been changed for the better. Eight hundred thousand young people have received protection. Of those, 48% have found jobs with better working conditions, 63% have obtained better paying jobs, 90% have received a driver’s license or state ID, and 12% have been able to buy a home for their families.
DACA has allowed the courageous young people known as Dreamers to build a brighter future for our nation. They are mothers, fathers, teachers, nurses, lawyers, scientists and leaders of a new generation of Americans. The repeal of DACA would end the American dreams of thousands of immigrant youth who worship in our pews, study in our schools and work in our communities -- and it would devastate their families. Made in the image and likeness of our Creator, Dreamers and their families are inextricably woven into the fabric of our nation and play an invaluable role in our society. Terminating DACA is wrong and cruel.
Our nation can choose a brighter future for all of us by preserving DACA. Our families, churches and communities will be served by the teachers, lawyers, nurses and doctors whom DACA protects. They will put down roots and raise families, as every generation of immigrants has.
We call on you to affirm our nation’s greatest values of compassion and respect for the human dignity of all people by publicly stating that you will preserve DACA for the remainder of your presidency.