WASHINGTON— Over 750,000 youth have received protection fromDeferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) since its inception by theDepartment of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2012. While DACA provides nolegal status, it does provide recipients with a temporary reprieve fromdeportation and employment authorization for legal work opportunities in theUnited States.
In response to the recent petition to the U.S. Department ofJustice to terminate DACA, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, Chair of the MigrationCommittee and Bishop of Austin, Texas, expressed support for DACA once again,stating:
"The Catholic Bishops have long supported DACA youth and continue to do so. DACA youth are contributorsto our economy, veterans of our military, academic standouts in ouruniversities, and leaders in our parishes. These young people entered the U.S.as children and know America as their only home. The dignity of everyhuman being, particularly that of our children and youth, must be protected.
I urge the Administration to continue administering the DACAprogram and to publicly ensure that DACA youth are not priorities fordeportation.
However, DACA is not a permanent solution; for this reason, Ialso call on Congress to work in an expeditious and bipartisan manner to find alegislative solution for DACA youth as soon as possible. My brother bishops andI pledge continuing efforts to help find a humane and permanent resolution thatprotects DACA youth. Additionally, I note the moral urgency for comprehensiveimmigration reform that is just and compassionate. The bishops will advocatefor these reforms as we truly believe they will advance the common good.Lastly, to DACA youth and their families, please know thatthe Catholic Church stands in solidarity with you. We recognize yourintrinsic value as children of God. We understand the anxiety and fear you faceand we appreciate and applaud the daily contributions you make with yourfamilies, to local communities and parishes, and to our country. We support youon your journey to reach your God-given potential."
Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, BishopJoe S. Vásquez, Migration Committee, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals(DACA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Catholic bishops, economy,veterans, academia, human dignity, children, youth, families.
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