President Donald Trump is considering whether to continue the federal program Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA, which provides protection from deportation to some 800,000 immigrants without documentation who were brought to the United States as children. Ten state attorneys general have threatened to sue the federal government to end the DACA program if the Trump administration does not do so by Sept. 5.
Meanwhile five state attorneys general, eight governors, hundreds of local officials and numerous faith leaders have asked Trump to keep DACA in place. Among them is Archbishop Charles Chaput, who issued a statement Sept. 1, below:
“Part of being prolife and pro-religious freedom — both of them vital issues that need our strong support — is a willingness to look past these specific struggles to the dignity of the whole person. It’s one thing to tighten the security of our borders and to deport violent criminals here illegally. It’s a different and much uglier thing to punish young people who’ve grown up in the United States as their home, but whose parents entered the country with them illegally.
“The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program covers more than 800,000 non-citizen young people, protecting them from deportation and allowing them to work in the United States legally. It’s a humane, just and sensible recognition of the facts: Most of these young people have nowhere else to go, and no other home than the United States.
“The White House has the power to end DACA. It has threatened to do so as early as today. This would be a drastic mistake. It can only make our complicated immigration issues worse. It will poison our national debates and damage the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people who pose no threat to anyone.
“I ask the people of the Archdiocese (of Philadelphia) to press their federal lawmakers to find a positive legislative replacement for DACA, and to prevent the deportation of these young people.”
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I think Archbishop Chaput is right by encouraging folks to contact their elected members of Congress regarding the need to extend DACA and the need for comprehensive immigration reform. As I understand this matter, all three branches of the federal government, that is the Executive Branch, Congress and the Courts are presently “in play” regarding DACA and immigration. This is the case since Congress has failed to pass new immigration legislation. DACA may or may not be unconstitutional. It will take the Courts a while to sort that out. Regarding Presidential powers, President Jimmy Carter pardoned hundreds of thousands of draft dodgers when Carter was first elected. It seems to me that is an important precedent regarding Presidential powers. I’m not sure if President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation is a precedent since the Constitution was amended later to abolish slavery.
why won’t anybody talk about making local neighborhoods safer by sending back convicted felons & violent gang members who are here illegally — common sense would say that the Latino community would be happy if it were safer — have seen the violent & criminal element while working in the criminal justice system…
Nobody with any sense opposes the removal of violent criminals and gang members. We simply oppose Trump’s blanket demonization of all immigrants (documented or undocumented) and his racist desire to eject all of them despite their individual situations. If Trump was president at the time, my grandfather never would have been admitted as a child travelling alone from Italy, and my entire family and I would not be here today. Once again, Trump panders to the extreme alt-right and white nationalists to secure their votes.
Dear Archbishop Chaput: Regarding DACA, we are for once in total agreement. But I think you were probably aware during the election campaign of Mr. Trump’s position on DACA, as well as his stated positions (and demonstrated personal behavior) regarding numerous other issues where he stands in stark contrast to Catholic teaching. Yet, you did not speak out, vociferously, against Mr. Trump during the campaign. I fear that the reason for this is your propensity to view politics in America today through the single prism of the abortion issue. Unfortunately, Archbishop Chaput, in America we don’t get to vote for President (or anybody) one issue at a time. Mr. Trump during the 2016 election … stated that he opposed abortion under any condition. Despite the fact that for his entire adult life prior to the 2016 run for president, he was an outspoken advocate for unrestricted abortion. Despite the fact that he was running as a republican and was clearly trying to curry favor with the religious right that looked on him skeptically (and for good reason), because of the God-less life he led for 70 years prior. I am deeply troubled by the contradictions inherent in your outlook. Please clarify, so we can all understand.
Be happy that Archbishop Chaput came out strongly on this issue. He is VERY conservative on all other issues. Sometimes I think someone like him is noticed when he comes out on an issue like this
Dear Mr. Muller, I am troubled by your incongruous attack on the Archbishop of Philadelphia and by extension all Catholics in the area. The Archbishop is dealing with the present state of affairs, as we all are, and asking people to encourage federal lawmakers to do the right thing and find a suitable, positive replacement to DACA based on preservation of human dignity. He is and has been quite consistent in this. Not once, in his statement above, did Archbishop Chaput mention the abortion issue or the election. To be clear, a pro-life position does not equate solely to the abortion issue – pro-life is the basic dignity and respect for ALL human life. That is one lens through which the church informs its views.
Your rhetoric does not address the real issue we face and does nothing to further the cause you share with many others. Find your government officials here: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find/ or here: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials
Let them hear your voice and let’s make positive change!
Please, can you provide link to contact federal lawmakers so that everyone can act on this quickly?