The Catholic Conference of Kentucky joins with Bishop Jose H. Gomez in welcoming the decision of the President Obama to grant deferred action on deportation for youth who were under age 15 when their parents brought them into the country. On behalf of the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, he wrote: “Many of these youth would qualify for immigration relief under the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act.” He added:
This important action will provide protection from removal and work authorization for a vulnerable group of immigrants who deserve to remain in our country and contribute their talents to our communities.
These youth are bright, energetic, and eager to pursue their education and reach their full potential. They did not enter our nation on their own volition, but rather came to the United States with their parents as children, something all of us would do.
While this is certainly helpful, it is a far cry from a full solution to fixing our immigration system. In his statement Bishop Gomez points out the following:
We call upon the President also to review Administration deportation policies and more aggressively pursue the policy of prosecutorial discretion for other populations, a policy which was announced last year. Families continue to be deported and separated, causing undue suffering.
The action by the President today is no substitute for enactment of the DREAM Act in Congress. We encourage our elected officials of both parties to take this opportunity to work together to enact this important law, which would give these youth a path to citizenship and a chance to become Americans. We also renew our call for bipartisan efforts to enact comprehensive and humane reform our nation’s broken immigration system.
The Justice for Immigrants website contains a vast amount of helpful information and resources regarding immigration policy and Church teaching. You can also find resources for the the DREAM Act here.
Kentucky’s bishops expressed the Church’s teaching on immigration very well in a pastoral statement: Every Man and Woman is the Image of God.
Also this past week, Bishop Gomez announced the bishops’ support for the Evangelical Statement of Principles for Immigration Reform:
We welcome today’s statement by evangelical leaders in support of immigration reform. They, along with many others, recognize that our immigration system is broken and impacts basic human rights and dignity.
Graphics: Courtesy USCCB, Justice for Immigrants Campaign
Tags: DREAM Act, DREAMERS, immigration, Justice for Immigrants, Obama