The US bishops’ conference has designated today, Feb. 26, 2018, as “National Call-in Day for the Protection of Dreamers.”
The bishops are urging Catholics to contact their senators and representatives to encourage assistance for the “Dreamers,”--people who were brought to the United States illegally as children and are protected from deportation through the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA’s protections are set to expire on March 5. President Donald Trump has said that he is not sure it is within his powers as president to extend the program.
The Archdiocese of Chicago released a video of Cardinal Blase Cupich calling Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) to implore him to “take action to protect the young students” impacted by DACA.
Also on Monday, the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from the Trump administration. The administration was appealing a ruling in January that blocked Trump’s efforts to rescind DACA altogether.
Among other things, DACA provides for work permits and protections against deportation for people who signed up prior to the deadline. When Trump announced that DACA would be ending, he gave Congress six months to find a solution. Congress was unable to do so, after several proposed bills failed.
The Supreme Court’s decision means that DACA will continue at least through the fall, which in addition to providing Dreamers a bit of a reprieve, also gives Congress time to craft a bill which would codify certain provisions of DACA in to law.
Archbishop Jose. H. Gomez of Los Angeles, vice-president of the USCCB, criticized Congress on Twitter for inaction on immigration reform. Gomez accused Congress of shirking its responsibilities on the issue, and encouraged legislators to “resist the temptation to keep using this issue for their political advantage.”
“People’s lives and families’ futures hang in the balance,” tweeted Gomez. “Now is the time to pass legislation that enables Dreamers to become citizens and full contributing members of our society.”
Gomez further elaborated that it is “wrong” for DACA protections to be stripped. The archbishop has been a leading voice in the USCCB arguing for a change to the United States’ immigration policy.
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