As people of faith, we call on the U.S. Congress to respond quickly to a moral crisis and pass a clean Dream Act. The Trump Administration’s repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) puts approximately 800,000 young immigrants at risk of deportation, lost jobs, health care, and separation from children, spouses and parents. The choice facing Congress is about what kind of nation we choose to be. Will we be a nation that lives out our greatest values of fairness, justice and opportunity or one that succumbs to white supremacy and xenophobia?
Every day that Congress delays, 122 young immigrants lose DACA. On March 5th, the day when DACA will expire, 1,000 people every day will become at risk of deportation, and lose their work permits. Our young immigrant neighbors need the safety and security that only Congress can provide through a clean Dream Act.
In order to pass a “clean” Dream Act, that truly protects our young immigrant neighbors, Congress must reject the Trump Administration’s attempt to use young immigrants as a bargaining chip. The Trump Administration is demanding that Congress agree to militarize the border, terrorize immigrant communities across the country, and cut legal immigration by eliminating the diversity visa lottery program and family reunification visas in exchange for a legislative solution to the expiration of DACA. The Administration’s white supremacist demands in exchange for a legislative solution on DACA are immoral.
This goes beyond partisan politics. The Dream Act is about doing what is right for our neighbors, students, friends, coworkers and congregants. Congress has a great responsibility and an opportunity to show that America is a place that protects families, is inclusive and values the next generation’s future. We call on Congress to do the right thing and pass a clean Dream Act now.