8/8/2017 7:29:00 AM My faith calls on me to stand with immigrant youth
To the Editor:
For the earliest days of my religious education as a Catholic and formation as a Holy Cross Sister, my faith has taught and called me to welcome the stranger, stand with the vulnerable and love my neighbor.
Because of those values, I am deeply disturbed by recent anti-immigrant sentiment espoused by our national leaders. It sends and unwelcoming and mean-spirited messages of exclusion by turning our backs on immigrants who are valued community members. In most cases, the children of the immigrants are the ones who suffer the most in our system through no fault of their own.
Right now, the administration is considering terminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which would put nearly 800,000 young people, whom the program allows to work and live legally in the United States, at immediate risk of deportation. Ten states threatened to sue the President if he did not terminate the DCA program by Sept. 5. Despite President Trump's prior statements that he supports these dreamers, the administration has signaled that they may not defend the program in court and could dismantle the program in light of these legal challenges.
Dismantling the DACA program runs counter to my beliefs as a Wisconsinite and person of faith, which is why I am calling on President Trump to keep DAC intact and continue to allow young people to apply for this important program. I also call on members of Congress, especially Representative Sean Duffy and Senators Baldwin and Johnson, to do everything in their power to protect DACA, including urging the administration to continue the program and supporting legislation that will ensure that undocumented youth are able to stay in the United States and pursue a path to citizenship.
The young people who would be targeted for deportation without DACA are part of our country's future. To take away their futures is simply wrong. In addition, it continues to stroke the climate of fear, rather than cultivating compassion, truth, and understanding.
We need our elected leaders to protect DACA and to support legislation that would provide a pathway to citizenship and a permanent solution for young people and their families to remain in the country they call home.
That is the right thing, and the American thing, to do.