“Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” – Matthew 25:40
This week, the White House released Immigration Principles and Policies that outline changes in immigration policy for consideration alongside legislation to protect young Americans without legal status, also known as Dreamers. These principles include policies that take away trafficking protections for children, make it harder for people seeking protection to find refuge in our country, and reduce the ability of families to be unified. As Christians, we are called to welcome the sojourner and care for the most vulnerable without pitting once against the other. As ministers of reconciliation, we can do so without pitting one against the other and stand alongside all who are vulnerable.
Following the Administration’s announcement rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton called on Members of Congress to pass legislation that protects the approximately 800,000 Dreamers whose lives are in limbo. There are multiple pieces of legislation Congress could consider that provide relief from deportation for Dreamers without harming other vulnerable migrants.
The Dream Act (S. 1615/H.R. 3440) is one of the few bipartisan bills that provides protection and allows young people to apply for citizenship. This means that Dreamers who include our pastors, congregants, and vital leaders in ministries throughout the ELCA and other denominations could eventually be legally recognized as the citizens they have always been. The Dream Act must pass without additional provisions that harm others. No young person should have to choose between their own future and the safety of their family, friends or community.
Read ELCA Advocacy’s statement on the White House principles:http://blogs.elca.org/advocacy/elca-advocacy-renews-call-protect-dreamers-without-harming-vulnerable-migrants/