Christian leaders are imploring President Donald Trump to protect DREAMers, saying that “these young people have shown through their great determination and fortitude that our nation is better off because of their presence.”
Following reports that President Trump may end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) after several states threatened to sue over it, multiple Christian leaders and organizations joined together to send the president and Congressional leaders letters, asking them to support DREAMers by passing permanent legislation and to “ensure that these young immigrants are protected” in the process.
DACA is a program that protects children of undocumented immigrants, who were brought to the United States before they were old enough to make their own decisions.
The Evangelical Immigration Table, a group that includes Christian organizations and leaders such as the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, Korean Churches for Community Development/Faith and Community Empowerment, National Association of Evangelicals, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, The Wesleyan Church and World Relief, wrote in a letter:
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.
The letter continues, “As Christians, we believe that all immigrants are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), deserving to be treated with dignity.”
President Trump is expected to announce his decision on DACA on Tuesday, but it’s uncertain what that decision will be. Even members of his own party, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., aren’t sure that doing away with DACA without another plan in place is a good idea.
Ryan said in an interview that “there are people who are in limbo. These are kids who know no other country, who were brought here by their parents and don’t know another home. And so I really do believe there that there needs to be a legislative solution.”
DACA currently protects 800,000 DREAMers, who have to either be in school, be a high school graduate, have a GED or have been honorably discharged from the military. They also can’t have been convicted of a “felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and must not pose a threat to national security or public safety.”