To the DREAMERS of Colorado,
I have been following closely the status of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and it was a great disappointment this morning to see that President Donald Trump has chosen to end the program in six months.
As I said last week in a statement, the Archdiocese of Denver values the 17,000 Coloradans who have benefited from DACA, several of whom work for the Archdiocese of Denver, either at Centro San Juan Diego or in one of our parishes. Some of you are personal friends. You are a tremendous gift!
If the program as we know it ends, we will have to terminate the employment of our DREAMERS, who with their energy, enthusiasm and love for the faith have contributed in a positive manner to the Catholic Church here in northern Colorado. You are faithful workers who give of yourselves to serve others and are virtuous contributors to our society.
Unfortunately, the current situation has been brought about by the fundamental problem of congressional inaction that goes back decades and has allowed a broken immigration system to languish, leaving you and your families, already living difficult circumstances, to grapple with its failures.
We must remember, however, that the person comes before politics and ideologies of political parties. A person’s fundamental identity is that of a child of God, not their immigration status. The dignity of every human being is bestowed by God, not by society.
As Pope Francis said earlier this year, “the defense of human beings knows no barriers; we are all united in wanting to ensure a dignified life for every man, woman, child forced to abandon their land.”
And as the bishops of the United States said today, “regardless of your immigration status, you are children of God and welcome in the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church supports you and will advocate for you.”
I want to echo this sentiment, and let you know that the Archdiocese of Denver is committed to working toward immigration reform, which would allow you, the DREAMERS of Colorado, to continue to work, go to school and participate in parish and civic life.
I continue to encourage all people of Colorado to act now and ask Congress to pass the DREAM Act. This is no time for partisan politics! It is time for every member of Congress to put the dignity of human persons first before their bickering over ideology.
Pray to Our Lady, asking her intercession, so that as a country we may act in the right way toward our immigrant brothers and sisters.
Be assured of my prayers for you! God bless you all,
Most Rev. Samuel J. Aquila
Archbishop of Colorado