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Washington, D.C. – Bread for the World, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, and the National Latino Evangelical Coalition released the following statements on the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) memo regarding the rejection of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) requests:
"We are deeply disappointed to learn the Trump administration is once again working to dismantle the DACA program. The memo, released by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on July 28th, would end new applications for DACA, reject new advance parole requests except in exceptional circumstances, and limit DACA renewals to one year instead of two. Rather than welcoming people that have played by the rules and contributed to U.S. society, the DHS memo will make life harder for DACA holders and deny new applications altogether.
"DACA recipients are undocumented young people who were brought to the U.S. as children. Everyone in the program has passed an extensive background check, paid a fee, and is either a student, serves in the military, or has a job. DACA has provided temporary protection from deportation and the ability to work and pursue education to almost 800,000 people who came to the U.S. as children. Over 200,000 DACA recipients are currently serving on the frontlines of the pandemic, working to protect the health and safety of Americans across the U.S. as we confront COVID-19.
"The Bible reminds us “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due when it is in our power to do it.” Proverbs 3:27. It is incumbent upon this administration to enable DACA recipients and DACA eligible people to achieve their goals of advancing along the path toward citizenship, not stand in their way."
“Now is the time to stand alongside vulnerable immigrant populations as we call for compassionate and welcoming policies. DACA recipients remain deeply invested in our communities, neighborhoods, cities, and nation, and willingly serve on the front lines in our time of crisis. Jesus reserved strong words of caution for anyone who caused a stumbling block for children. Preventing individuals who were brought to this nation as children, through no decision of their own, from working, attending school, and contributing to our society is not only short-sighted, but also unjust. We must fulfill God’s call to love our neighbors, create an environment in which all children may thrive, and ensure the protection of those who are most vulnerable," said Rev. Eugene Cho, president and CEO of Bread for the World.
“This decision by Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf to rescind some of the provisions of DACA are a renewed attempt in the relentless attack against our young Latino brothers and sisters. We make an appeal to people of faith with a clear sense of justice to express their opposition to these actions,” said Bread for the World board member Rev. Carlos L. Malavé.
"This is yet another attempt by DHS to curtail DACA recipients, further limiting their access to employment and protections from deportation. DACA recipients will now spend most of the year in the process of renewing their status and the cost will be like an added tax. This contradicts the biblical teaching that we welcome our neighbors. Most DACA recipients have never known any other home that the U.S. and have a tenuous link at best with their country of birth. As men and women of faith we should stand with DACA recipients as they continue to live under the burden of maintaining their status," said Elket Rodriguez, immigrant and refugee advocacy and missions specialist for Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.
"The National Latino Evangelical Coalition laments the decision by DHS to limit new DACA applications. Our nation is stronger when we welcome the contributions of DACA recipients. It's time for Congress to pass immigration reform and laws that protects DREAMers,” said Rev. Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition.
Congress must now take action to pass legislation that provides immediate legal status to all DACA holders and DACA eligible persons, including a path toward permanent residency and citizenship. The Senate should vote on and pass H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019.
By Marlysa D. Gamblin and Kathleen King
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