A group of Evangelical leaders and pastors sent letters to President Trump, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell late last week asking them to preserve Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and urged Congress to pass legislation that will provide a long-term solution to protect “dreamers.”
The Obama Administration implemented DACA in 2012 to protect those whose parents illegally immigrated to the United States while they were children. The program allowed those who entered the United States before their sixteenth birthday to receive a two-year deferment on deportation action and granted them eligibility for a work permit.
Two sources familiar with President Trump’s thinking on the issue say that he will likely put plans in place to end the program in six months. By delaying action, he would give Congress the opportunity to come up with a legislative solution.
The Evangelical Immigration Table, a coalition of evangelical leaders and organizations committed to “advocating for immigration reform consistent with biblical principles,” encouraged the President to work with House and Senate leaders “to find a workable solution for Dreamers.” In explaining to the President why this issue is so urgent, the letter said, “We have seen immigrants strengthen our great nation throughout its history, including their positive impact on our churches, our communities, and our economy. One group of immigrants who exemplify these benefits are young people brought to our country by their parents as children. We carry particular concern for the future of these Dreamers because they have much to offer America. They were brought here without their consent, and in most cases the United States is the only home they have known.”
Russell Moore, President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, said in his comments about the letter, that, “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.”
Current estimates say that 1.7 million people would be affected if President Trump removed the protections DACA guarantees. He is expected to make an announcement early this week.
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