Next week our letter – WE RAISE OUR VOICES IN JUSTICE – will be sent to our Senators for their support of the DACA program. This program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, was initiated by an executive order of President Obama in 2012. President Trump has threatened to rescind the order and ten state attorney generals have threatened to sue him if he does not do so by Sept. 5. To preserve the program Congress must enact legislation- THE DREAM ACT – legalizing the process.

Nearly 800,000 persons have registered with the program and are able to obtain social security numbers, work permits, driver licenses, enroll in college and work training programs, and be free of the fear of deportation for at least two years or more. These persons are known to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) through their registrations and could be easily apprehended if the order is rescinded or the DREAM ACT fails to pass.

Through the program, Justice for Immigrants, the Bishops have issued an alert: “The Dream Act of 2017, S. 1615, was recently introduced in the Senate as a bipartisan effort. It is intended to protect immigrant youth who entered the United States as children and know America as their only home. The bill offers qualifying immigrant youth “conditional permanent resident status” and a path to full lawful permanent residency and eventual citizenship. This bill would protect numerous youth, including the estimated 780,000 individuals who received temporary relief from deportation and employment eligibility through the Department of Homeland Security’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

The young people S. 1615 seeks to protect are contributors to our economy, veterans of our military, academic standouts in our universities, and leaders in our parishes and communities. As Catholics, we have long supported DREAMERS as we believe in protecting the dignity of every human being, especially that of our children.”
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Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids Corporate Stance
The Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids recognize, as a moral obligation, the need to protect children fleeing violence or oppression in their homelands. We commit ourselves to act as their advocates in local, national, and international communities.