On July 28, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf issued a memorandum adding limitations to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The memorandum was issued in response to the recent 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court of the United States striking down the Trump Administration’s September 2017 attempt to end the DACA program. The new changes outlined in the memorandum would cut DACA’s youth work authorization from two years to one year and would not allow new DACA applicants.
Currently, there are approximately 670,000 DACA recipients working and studying legally in the United States, many of whom are performing essential services and are active leaders such as military veterans, academic standouts in universities, and leaders in local communities. DACA recipients are estimated to contribute $42 billion annually to the U.S. economy. Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Migration issued the following statement:
“We are deeply disappointed that the Administration continues to push forward to end DACA. The Catholic Church in the United States has long advocated for the Dreamers and we will continue to stand with them. Many were brought to this country as infants and young children and they have grown up in our schools and parishes and now are making important contributions in the Church and in almost every area of American life.
“The new limits outlined in the Administration’s memorandum directly and negatively impact immigrant youth, their families, and the communities we serve. We urge the President to reinstate the original protections that DACA provides to young people currently enrolled in the program, as well as to begin accepting new prospective DACA applicants.
“Again, we turn to Congress, specifically the U.S. Senate, and exhort it to join the U.S. House of Representatives in passing legislation that provides both certainty and a path to citizenship for Dreamers.”
For more information please see the Dreamers and DACA page on the USCCB’s Justice for Immigrants website.