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+++ DACA Repeal: US Bishops, “unacceptable and reprehensible decision” +++


(from New York) “An unacceptable and reprehensible decision, a step back from the progress we need to make as a country, an action that shows absence of mercy and a short-sighted vision for the future”. This firm condemnation by the US Bishops comes after the repeal of the DACA, the program that protects children who were brought into the US without a legal status. On Tuesday, 4 September, US President Donald Trump entrusted Attorney General Jeff Sessions with the task of announcing the end of the program which allows young people who had arrived in the US as children from June 2007, and were under 31 as of June 2012, to benefit from a renewable two-year work or study permit. Furthermore, the Homeland Security Department had pledged it would not deport approved young people with a clear criminal record, the so-called “dreamers”. Now the Congress will have six months to pass new legislation and thus prevent the deportation of some 780,000 students and workers. The Church in the US has already expressed her support to the youth affected by the presidential decision “regardless of their immigration status” and made clear, also to debunk rumors, that the program provided “no legal status or government benefits, but did provide recipients with temporary employment authorization to work in the United States and reprieve from deportation”. The joint declaration signed by the President of the Bishops’ Conference DiNardo, the Archbishop of Los Angeles Gomez, the President of the Committee of Migration Vásquez, and by Mgr. Tyson, President of the Subcommittee on Pastoral Care of Migrants, strongly decries the latest political decisions and states that “the cancellation of the DACA program is reprehensible”; indeed, it “causes unnecessary fear for DACA youth and their families” and does not recognize the contribution made to the US society by these young people who continue “to serve” the country also “in the military”. Finally, the prelates explain that the decision “does not reflect who we are as Americans” and that “our nation has done the opposite of how Scripture calls us to respond”, with reference to the verse that calls upon us to “welcome children in Jesus’ name”. The Bishops hope that the Congress will take immediate action and find a legislative solution to prevent the deportation of thousands of young people “who are woven into the fabric of our country and of our Church, and are, by every social and human measure, American youth”.



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