Washington D.C., Jan 21, 2021 / 10:20 am
The U.S. bishops’ conference applauded President Joe Biden for halting some deportations and preserving the DACA program on his first day in office.
“We applaud President Biden’s restoration of the DACA program, and we also strongly encourage him and the U.S. Congress to immediately enact legislation that provides a path to citizenship for Dreamers,” Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles and Bishop Mario Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington, D.C., stated on Thursday.
Archbishop Gomez is the president of the U.S. bishops’ conference (USCCB), and Bishop Dorsonville is the chair of the conference’s migration committee.
President Obama created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012, to delay deportations of and allow a legal work permit for eligible undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children. Around 800,000 people have benefited from the program.
The Trump administration in 2017 sought to wind the program down, accepting no new DACA applications, and gave Congress a six-month time frame to enact parts of the program in law. After Congress failed to pass such legislation in six months, the administration moved to end DACA but courts ruled against the administration’s deadline.
In June, 2020, the Supreme Court said t the administration’s procedure by which it sought to end the program was unlawful.
The court sent the case back to the administration, which announced it would continue not accepting any new DACA applications during a review of the program. The administration also only granted one-year renewals of DACA status for existing recipients.
On Thursday, Archbishop Gomez and Bishop Dorsonville called for a pathway to citizenship for “Dreamers,” or those eligible for the DACA program.
Biden’s transition team has promised he would send an immigration bill to Congress that would, among other acts, offer a path to citizenship for “Dreamers” and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders.