By Vatican News
The United States Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that the decision of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration program was made improperly and therefore cannot go forward for the time being. The Supreme Court ordered the issue be sent back to the DHS “so that it may consider the problem anew.”
The Bishops of the United States welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision in a statement signed by USCCB President Archbishop José Gomez and the chairman of the Conference’s Committee on Migration, Bishop Mario Dorsonville.
"We are with you"
In their statement, the Bishops assure young people eligible for DACA that the Church “will continue to accompany” them and their families. “You are a vital part of our Church and our community of faith,” the Bishops say, adding, “We are with you.”
The statement also urges President Donald Trump “to strongly reconsider terminating DACA,” noting that “immigrant communities are really hurting now amidst COVID-19.” Further attempts to halt the program, the Bishops say, “needlessly places many families into further anxiety and chaos”. Recalling the teachings of the Gospel, the Bishops say, “in this moment, we must show compassion and mercy to the vulnerable.”
Putting human dignity first
Finally, the Bishops “strongly encourage our U.S. Senators to immediately pass legislation that provides a path to citizenship for Dreamers.” They maintain that “permanent legislative protection that overcomes partisanship and puts the human dignity and future of Dreamers first is long overdue.”
The DACA program was implemented in 2012 under President Barack Obama after the US Congress failed to pass the so-called DREAM act, which would have provided a pathway to permanent residency, under several conditions, for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as minors. As noted by the USCCB, since its inception, DACA has “enabled approximately 800,000 young people, who paid a fee and submitted to a background check, the opportunity to work legally, access educational opportunities and not fear deportation.” The Bishops also point out that “DACA recipients on average contribute over $42 billion annually to the U.S. economy.”