(June 18, 2020) Today, in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration cannot immediately end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and called the move to do so “arbitrary and capricious.” DACA has lifted up the lives of more than 700,000 Dreamers since 2012, enabling them to work, pursue their educations, and live with less fear.
While this ruling is great news, it is not yet a permanent solution for DACA recipients. Only legislation by Congress, such as the American Dream and Promise Act passed a year ago by the House but not yet taken up by the Senate, could make protections for DACA recipients permanent.
Disciples leaders reacted to today’s decision with the messages below. YOU and your congregation are invited to learn more and to consider public witness in support of DACA recipients on this coming Monday, June 22nd, by doing the following:
BE A PART OF THESE MONDAY, JUNE 22, “DACA DAY” EVENTS!:
Rev. Teresa (Terri) Hord Owens, General Minister and President, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the USA and Canada said: “Today’s decision gratefully values the long and deep contributions DACA recipients have made to our congregations and communities; including the faithfulness of more than 27,000 essential DACA workers who have been protecting us all as essential health workers during the pandemic. We are a stronger nation because of all our neighbors, and we praise the court’s resistance to tearing 700,000 families apart. The justices’ decision also upholds our faith heritage that seeks to ‘bring wholeness to a fragmented world’ and to reflect the great love of a God who created every life in our Maker’s own image. Now, we pray today’s ruling will be soon replaced by permanent legislative protections that allow DACA leaders to continue to pursue education, build careers, raise families, and worship God without constant threats.”
“I can vividly recall the first time I heard about DACA, a program set to deliver all those who had been living in the shadows of the system,” said Valeria Bejar, Immigration Response Specialist, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and a DACA recipient. “Now, that hope and light I felt then can continue, and DACA can allow for 700,000+ immigrant youth to dream dreams and hold hopes that otherwise are impossible. However, to avoid living with ongoing uncertainty, we must have a legislative solution, one that continues to offer us stability, progress, and a future. We urge the Senate to take up now a permanent solution such as The American Dream and Promise Act, which has been in the Senate’s hands for over a year. We must continue the fight for justice and progress for immigrant communities, so those who come after us can continue to dream.”
“Our souls are relieved on this morning to hear today’s Supreme Court DACA decision, and our minds are filled with the faces and families of faithful Disciples DACA leaders we deeply respect; who have fought and suffered through anxieties and uncertainties for far too long. Standing in partnership, we celebrate the justices’ wisdom, and we believe with the prophet Isaiah that ‘The Lord longs to be gracious to you…and will rise up to show you compassion.’ Therefore, we will continue to pray and will not stop acting until permanent protections for DACA and TPS recipients and their families are won. For, we believe that–in the midst of all challenges and moments–‘the Lord is a God of justice!’” (Isaiah 30:18), said Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea, Director, Disciples Refugee & Immigration Ministries
Natalie Teague, Esq., Disciples Immigration Legal Counsel, commented: “Today, the Supreme Court held the Trump administration accountable for its arbitrary and capricious decision to rescind DACA in September 2017. Since 2012, DACA has opened the door for nearly 700,000 young people who arrived as children and have only known the U.S. as home. Besides allowing lawful employment, DACA has given peace of mind that these children would not be pursued for deportation. DACA youth have provided enormous contributions to our country, and it is past time for the Senate to pass the Dream and Promise Act, HR6, to provide a permanent, legislative solution to the DACAmented who are #HereToStay because #HomeIsHere. As an immigration attorney who has worked with hundreds of DACA youth, my heart rejoices with them and their families today.”