At the National Assembly in Kansas City on September 9, 2017, the Ladies of Charity of the United States of America adopted a resolution to stand with DREAMers as they seek a permanent solution to their “lack of status” in the  US.

The young people we are concerned about only know the US as their home. They 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 and preserving the unity of family life.

Since the resolution, we have ridden a roller-coaster with the Dreamers. The President ended the program of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) begun In 2012, by executive order on September 5th  and challenged the Congress to find a legislative solution by March 6, 2018. DACA offered temporary relief from deportation and the right to apply for work authorization. According to estimates about 55 percent of the 1.2 million youth who immediately met the program’s criteria have applied and received a two-year authorization. Many DREAMers need to re-register but fear deportation if they go to Immigration to renew because of the uncertain status of the DACA program.

Congress did not come up with a legislative solution as yet. As long as the negotiations link DACA with the Border Wall funding, It does not appear that a solution will be found. The Supreme Court refused to hear the case that concerns the “constitutionality” of the Presidents revocation of the  DACA program which is currently the subject of litigation and a nationwide preliminary Injunction. This Injunction or halt. Is currently only partial and temporary. Congress, however, could permanently protect Dreamers who are contributing to our nation and provide them with a path to citizenship – through bipartisan legislation known as The DREAM ACT (S1615/HR3440), which has been under consideration by Congress for 17 years in one form or another.

Meanwhile, Maria is unsure If she can renew her work per­mit. Jorge is unsure if he can continue in his college program or if deportation will interrupt his education. Brenda whose per­mit expires in March of 2019 fears deportation and separation from her two children who are US citizens.  Brenda is cautious of even dreaming.

Thanks to all the Ladies who participated in the USCCB call into Congress day on February 26, 2018. Please continue to keep DREAMers in your prayers and in your conversations with your federal legislators. Write a personal letter and tell the story of a DREAMer you know. If you have not subscribed to the e-blasts on aic.ladiesofcharity.us, please do so.

DREAMers need our support and a bill that offers qualifying Immigrant youth “conditional permanent resident status” and “a path to full lawful permanent residency and eventual citizen­ ship.”  We can make a difference, we can make this happen.

Source: Ladies of Charity of the United States of America SERVICETTE  Vol. 57 No. 2, Spring 2018

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