Statement of His Eminence Roger Cardinal Mahony
Archbishop Emeritus of Los Angeles, CA
The Elimination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) Program
The announcement on September 5, 2017 by President Donald Trump that he will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is deeply troubling. Not only has the president revoked a promise to 800,000 young persons who wish to live the American dream, he has also harmed our nation.
These young persons are hard-working and talented, who through no fault of their own were brought to our nation at a young age. For many, this is the only country they have ever known. They are industrious, intelligent, and highly-skilled and want nothing more than to contribute
their immense energy and ideas to our great nation.
Instead, the Trump administration has placed them in jeopardy, betraying their promise as human beings and our values as Americans. The president has rejected our future leaders, to our nation’s detriment.
Now they will be faced with possible deportation to nations they do not know and possible statelessness. Many have brothers and sisters who were born here, and those bonds will now be broken with their separation. Their vast potential and their hard work and sacrifice in our country will be wasted.
This issue is not about economics, the rule of law, the separation of powers, or fairness to US citizens. It is a moral issue, and the ending of this program is an incredible blow to the ethical underpinnings of our country, a blow to our values given us by Jesus Christ, and a blow to basic human sensibilities.
I urge Congress to swiftly pass the bi-partisan DREAM Act, recently introduced in the US Senate and the US House of Representatives, which would give Dreamers permanent residency and a path to citizenship. For the sake of our nation, which was founded and built by immigrants, and for these amazing young persons, we cannot let this decision stand.
This is a special moment for Democrats and Republicans to demonstrate that they can be our country’s leaders. Come together, hammer out an agreement favorable for our Dreamer young people!