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On the announcement to end the provisions of the DACA program

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On the announcement to end the provisions of the DACA program

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Bishop Barber's Statement during A Call to Solidarity


September 6, 2017

I am very saddened by the decision taken yesterday to end the provisions of the DACA program.  I think it is unfair to penalize children who came here with their parents, who form stable and solid families in our community, who have worked hard in school and are now contributing members of our society – to face the fear of sudden deportation. 

To the 800,000 young people, DREAMERS, affected by this decision I want to say: “The Catholic Church stands with you. The Catholic Church supports you. The Catholic Church will do everything we can to defend your human rights and your human dignity.”

To my brothers and sisters in the Catholic Faith I want to say: “Jesus Christ is our model and guide in life. As a child, Jesus was taken by Mary and Joseph to a “foreign country” when they had to flee into Egypt to escape persecution.  The Son of God was an immigrant, who obeyed his parents, whose family was welcomed in a “foreign land”.   The Church teaches that ALL HUMAN BEINGS ARE CHILDREN OF GOD FIRST.  We are made in the image and likeness of God -- that gives all of us a dignity that no government can ever take away.

To my fellow Americans, I’d like to say: Many of our family ancestors came to this country as immigrants from overseas. For many, their first view of our country was the Statue of Liberty: a proud symbol of freedom and welcome and opportunity and hope.  This is why so many people still want to come here, for the values for which we stand. We must live up to those values.

The one glimmer of hope that comes from yesterday’s announcement is that it gives Congress the opportunity to pass legislation that will make the provisions of DACA law.  Congress has the duty and responsibility to provide a way for these mane, women, and children – who are very much a part of our communities – to continue to live their lives as productive and valued members of our country.

I encourage all people of good will to contact their congressional representatives and encourage them to engage in the constructive dialogue necessary to help our DREAMERS.

There is enough hate-speech and name-calling and finger-pointing and demonizing the “other side” in politics today.  Can’t we rise above that and work together for the good of the country, to work for the Comprehensive Immigration Reform that our country desperately needs?

We are coming together to help the victims of hurricane Harvey. Can’t we do the same to help the DREAMERS?