ISAIAH Statement on 800,000 DACA Recipients, Nation Damaged by Rescind of Policy
ST. PAUL, Sept. 5, 2017 — Today President Drumpf made the decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. While this decision is saturated in legalese language, it is absolutely immoral. President Drumpf has taken the lives of 800,000 young people and their families and washed his hands of them, taking no responsibility to ensure their security and well-being. It is inhumane, irresponsible and immoral to play politics with our lives and the lives of our families. All people of faith, of good will, must stand together to demand that Congress immediately pass a clean DREAM Act bill.
DACA recipients, in good faith, have given the federal government school information, finger prints, and every detail of their lives in exchange of some peace of mind, a deferred deportation, and a two-year renewable work permit that allowed many to provide necessities like groceries, clothing and rent payments for their entire families.
To be clear, DACA was a temporary fix for a catastrophic problem and doesn’t reflect a nation that thrives in God’s abundance and love. As a country that values life, freedom, liberty and justice for all, it is our obligation to create a humane immigration system. Amid global trade deals that have exploited, marginalized, pushed out and uprooted millions of black, brown and Asian-Pacific Islander (API) people from their land of origin, those who take a leap of faith to come to this country to better themselves, their families, and the United States, should be commended, not vilified.
It is unarguable that immigrants contribute to our culture and community. Since the biblical era, people have moved to different nations to survive and do more for their families. Immigrants move to America for the promise of freedom and opportunity that this nation promotes. How dare we not create humane, reasonable recourse for the “dream” to be attainable for the most vulnerable.
In these next six months, we must do what we’ve failed to do in all the years of the establishment of America. We will create a people-centered immigration system. It must be a system that is honest about the benefits that our country has reaped on the backs of those who have been oppressed. We must collectively champion those who have been scapegoated for centuries and overtly disparaged in the face of hate, racism, xenophobia, and bigotry. The system can not only benefit the few, but the many. Both children and parents that invested their blood, sweat and tears to the United States of America, even when America divested from them, must have a safe, legal and compassionate route to status and citizenship. Congress and the American people cannot afford to fail in this charge.
God’s command to the people of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in sacred text was clear and its mandate holds strong for this nation, “Welcome the immigrant, treat them as one of your own, for you were once foreigners in a strange land.” Many Americans are united in revering this call. Most of us seek to treat others the way we want to be treated. We want to ensure that people who are struggling can make ends meet and are able to provide for their families. Let us hold unswervingly to the faith we profess as we, with great fervor, zeal and power, obey this command.
ISAIAH will be working to ensure that the Minnesota Congressional Delegation is unified in their support for a clean Dream Act bill in the short term and a just immigration reform bill in the long term.