Washington D.C., Jan 10, 2018 / 15:54 pm
Catholic leaders have responded to developments in the legal battle over the DACA program, including a court order maintaining legal protections for undocumented youth, known as “Dreamers,” and a presidential commitment to legislative support for them.
U.S. District Judge William Alsap’s Jan. 9 order temporarily blocks President Trump’s attempt to phase out the DACA program, which was initiated by President Obama in 2012. Nearly 690,000 undocumented immigrants are beneficiaries of the DACA program.
While President Trump has worked to phase out the program, he has also called for a legislative solution to resolve the immigration status of DACA recipients. In a televised meeting with bipartisan lawmakers Tuesday, President Trump that he hopes to reach a solution for DACA recipients with a “bill of love.”
In a recent column, Archbishop José Gomez expressed concern for the estimated 125,000 DACA recipients who live within the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, all of whom could face deportation when the program ends in March.
“It would be cruel to punish them for the wrongs of their parents, deporting them to countries of origin that they have never seen, where they may not even know the language,” Archbishop Gomez wrote.
The archbishop called for systematic immigration reform, explaining that most DACA recipients have not experienced a healthy U.S. immigration system in their lifetime.
“This debate is passionate and partisan, as it should be. Systematic reform of our immigration policy is absolutely vital to our nation’s future. And we need to have this conversation. But Congress needs to separate the conversation about DACA from these larger issues.”
Deportation of DACA recipients, Gomez said, “would lead to a humanitarian crisis.”