DACA News: Evangelicals Call on Trump to Protect Dreamers

A coalition of Evangelical organizations and leaders has issued a statement calling on President Trump to maintain DACA and protect undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.

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The Evangelical Immigration Table, which describes itself as “a broad coalition of evangelical organizations and leaders advocating for immigration reform consistent with biblical values,” has issued a press release appealing to President Trump to reconsider ending DACA.

The Evangelical Immigration Table includes participants from various Christian organizations, including the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, Korean Churches for Community Development and several other organizations.

It was reported earlier this week that Trump was seriously considering ending DACA, or allowing it to expire. DACA, which stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, was introduced by the Obama administration to protect some undocumented immigrants who where were brought to the United States as children. The program protects such immigrants from being deported and allows them to get temporary permits to work and study.

Axios reports that 750,000 people currently have DACA status. In addition to negatively impacting DACA students, a reported 700,000 workers could be forced to leave their jobs if Trump ends the program.

Here is a press release from the Evangelical Immigration Table on the possibility of DACA coming to an end:

For Immediate Release           Contact: Cathleen Farrell, 202-403-4190
Aug. 30, 2017

Evangelical Leaders Urge White House, Congress to Protect Dreamers

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the Evangelical Immigration Table sent letters to President Donald Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) to urge protection for recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) while Congress works on a permanent legislative solution.

“These young people have shown through their great determination and fortitude that our nation is better off because of their presence. They are leading in our churches and our communities,” they write. “They are studying in our universities and creating jobs for American workers. They are paying taxes. We hope that you will work to find solutions that allow these young people to stay in our country long-term and continue to be a blessing to our communities.”

The following are quotes from Evangelical Immigration Table principals:

Leith Anderson, President, National Association of Evangelicals:

“The Bible has a definite protection for children who were under age 20 when their parents chose immigration to the Promised Land for them (Numbers 14). Let’s follow the Bible’s precedent and protect those whose parents chose for them to immigrate to today’s Promised Land of America.”

Scott Arbeiter, President, World Relief:

“As followers of Jesus, we believe that advocating for this legislation is an important way to tangibly love our neighbors and to stand in solidarity with the many in the U.S. whose livelihoods depend upon this program.”

Hyepin Im, CEO, Korean Christian Community Development/Faith and Community Empowerment:

“40 percent of California Dreamers alone are Asian American and Pacific Islanders. We ask that President Trump honor his past assurances and work with Congress to keep the dream alive for so many of these promising youths who know America as their only home. It is the right thing to do.”

Jo Anne Lyon, Ambassador, General Superintendent Emerita, The Wesleyan Church:

“These young people are the pride and future of our nation.  We cannot lose them.”

Dr. Russell Moore, President, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention:

“It is long past time for Congress to work together to find a workable solution for our broken immigration system — especially for the hundreds of thousands of young, undocumented immigrants who were brought to our country by their parents. Many of these Dreamers have stepped forward in good faith. Congress should respond with a legislative solution that delivers on the promises made to these men and women and protects them from perpetual uncertainty. Let’s pray for a fair solution that highlights both justice and compassion.”

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference:

“Dreamers are not bargaining chips, they are America’s sons and daughters, and right now, they urgently need our support. NHCLC has worked diligently, often behind closed doors, urging the president to move away from his campaign promise to rescind DACA on day one. The human toll that will be unleashed by rescinding DACA is potentially devastating. This is, and always has been, an issue centered upon the sanctity of human life. As a pastor, I cannot sit idly by while the federal government threatens to forcibly separate families by deportation. In the Scriptures, we read the timeless words, ‘Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.’ (Mark 10:9) It is no individual’s or government’s place to rip families apart, let alone millions of them. The scope of this crisis is simply breathtaking. If the president breaks his promise to us to protect these children, they should be prepared for a mass exodus of the administration’s Hispanic support. Even the most conservative among us will not sacrifice our children on the altar of political expediency. Let me be clear, should they decide to do so, we will oppose them.”

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Photo by john m flores

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