Congress: Pass Legislation Soon to Protect Dreamers

The Maine Council of Churches calls upon Congress to pass legislation quickly to protect Dreamers from deportation. These young people should not be punished for the actions of their parents who left their home countries to escape violence and persecution and to find a better life in the United States.
President Trump’s decision Tuesday to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was denounced by the nine denominations that comprise the Maine Council of Churches, from Roman Catholics to Unitarian Universalists.
“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,” the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said in a statement.
Trump’s decision affects 800,000 people nationally, including 95 in Maine. It takes effect in six months. That timeframe should allow Congress plenty of time to develop a plan that would allow the Dreamers to continue living in the United States, attend school, work and serve in the military without fear of being deported.
The Maine Council of Churches urges Congress, and particularly its four delegates from Maine who have pledged to protect Dreamers, to meet the six-month deadline without getting embroiled in a long-term battle over immigration and the border wall.
Protecting the vulnerable, particularly children, is the core of our faith teachings. Migrants should be welcomed and nurtured, not persecuted.
“DACA is a critical first step to fixing our broken immigration system and loving the sojourner,” said the Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe, chief executive of The United Methodist Board of Church and Society. “The recent halt to this policy, and any efforts to rescind these protections, are not only unconscionable but contrary to moral work and witness.”