Denver – In response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that prevented the Trump Administration from terminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the four Catholic bishops of Colorado – Archbishop Samuel Aquila (Denver), Bishop Jorge Rodriguez (Denver), Bishop Stephen Berg (Pueblo), and Bishop Michael Sheridan (Colorado Springs) – have issued the following statement:
“We are extremely grateful that the Supreme Court ruled to protect the DACA program and the tens of thousands of our young immigrant brothers and sisters here in Colorado, many of whom are members of our Catholic parishes.
DACA is a program the benefits children and young adults who were brought to the United States as minors, and for many of them, the U.S. is the only country they have known. They have grown up here, were educated here, and many serve and worship in our Churches.
As Jesus has taught us, we first welcomed them as strangers (Matthew 25:35), and we now love them as our neighbors and brothers and sisters (Matthew 22:39).
We also know that this ruling leaves open the possibility for future action by the Trump administration, so we join with our brother bishops around the U.S. in urging the President and U.S. legislators to work together “to immediately pass legislation that provides a path to citizenship for Dreamers.” (USCCB Statement, June 18, 2020)
And to our DACA youth: We love you, we will continue to support you, and we thank you for your many contributions to our Church and society.”
Statement from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
WASHINGTON—Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion preventing the Trump Administration from terminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. On November 12, 2019, the Court heard the challenge to the Trump Administration’s DACA repeal efforts, in which U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) submitted an amicus curiae brief in support of maintaining the program. The DACA program was implemented in 2012 and 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. DACA recipients on average contribute over $42 billion annually to the U.S. economy. Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles and president of the USCCB and Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and chairman of the USCCB’ Committee on Migration issued the following statement:
“We welcome the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision noting that the Trump Administration did not follow proper administrative procedures required to repeal the DACA program.
“First, to DACA youth, through today’s decision and beyond, we will continue to accompany you and your families. You are a vital part of our Church and our community of faith. We are with you.
“Next, we urge the President to strongly reconsider terminating DACA. Immigrant communities are really hurting now amidst COVID-19 and moving forward with this action needlessly places many families into further anxiety and chaos. In times of uncertainty, let us remember the teachings of the Gospel which encourage us to be open and receptive to those in need: ‘If someone who has worldly means sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion, how can the love of God remain in him?’ (1 John 3:17). In this moment, we must show compassion and mercy for the vulnerable.”
“Lastly, we strongly encourage our U.S. Senators to immediately pass legislation that provides a path to citizenship for Dreamers. Permanent legislative protection that overcomes partisanship and puts the human dignity and future of Dreamers first is long overdue.”
For more information and resources on DACA see https://justiceforimmigrants.org/what-we-are-working-on/immigration/daca-resource-page.