A Tulsa minister joined U.S. Sen. James Lankford on Wednesday at a Washington news conference calling for Congress to resolve the status of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.
Lankford and Pastor Eric Costanzo joined Maine Sen. Angus King and evangelical Christian leaders at the event sponsored by World Relief, a worldwide humanitarian and refugee-resettlement organization.
Speakers urged Congress and the Trump administration to provide legal status to Dreamers — those covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy President Donald Trump wants to scrap — and assist international refugees.
“Many of us know a Dreamer even if we do not know it,” said Costanzo, pastor of South Tulsa Baptist Church. “If they are taken from us, we will notice, and we will grieve. …
“Dreamers are being used as leverage, and the clock is ticking. If we do not do right for these Dreamers, our children and grandchildren will ask us why.”
Lankford said he recognizes that many Americans consider Dreamers lawbreakers, but he said that “this is a situation where they were brought here by a parent. In this country we don’t penalize children for the actions of their parents. When the police pull an adult over for speeding, they don’t hand the ticket to the 4-year-old in back seat.”
“I don’t see this as amnesty,” Lankford said. “I see this as an opportunity for people who have literally grown up in this country to become full participants in it.”