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Interfaith Leaders Condemn President Trump’s Repeal of DACA, Call on Congress to Pass the Dream Act


September 5, 2017


Michelle Nealy, mnealy@faithinpubliclife.org, (202)735-7123

Interfaith Leaders Condemn President Trump’s Repeal of DACA, Call on Congress to Pass the Dream Act

Washington, DC – Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced today that President Trump is repealing, with a six month delay, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program which protects roughly 800,000 young people from risk of deportation. Faith leaders from around the nation denounced the decision and called for Congress to act to pass the Dream Act. 

Rev Jennifer Butler, CEO, Faith in Public Life:

“Shame on this administration for their unrelenting attacks on the immigrant community, especially Dreamers. My prayer is that Congress will act quickly to preserve the livelihoods of thousands of immigrant youth, whose futures lie in the balance.

“Preserving immigrant families and sustaining the dreams of our immigrant brothers and sisters is both a moral and theological duty. An attack on immigrants is an attack on the church. That which President Trump does to these people, he does to Jesus.”

Rev. Rachel Gunter Shapard, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Florida:

“As Christians, our sacred text calls us to love the immigrant, to refrain from the oppression of foreigners, to treat the resident alien the same as we treat the native, to welcome the stranger. But the immigrants who call the United States home are not aliens or strangers; they are our friends, our neighbors, our colleagues at work and our partners in ministry. The Dreamers have been our children’s playmates on the playground and their classmates at school. They are seeking to live productive, creative lives. Now it is time to stand by our word by putting the DREAM Act in place.” 

Rabbi Rick Shapiro, Jacksonville, FL:

The Jewish community has a long history of active engagement in the struggles of new immigrants.  This involvement is grounded in the most oft-repeated injunction in the Bible – to treat the stranger humanely, with love, compassion and justice.  Since 2012, the DACA program has enabled eligible young people who came to this country as children to come forward and pass background checks in exchange for permission to live and work in America without fear of deportation. Ending this protection would be cruel and inhumane, separating families and violating promises made to children, the least able among us to advocate and care for themselves.

Rev. Joe Parramore, CEO/Founding Pastor, New Journey, Quincy, FL:

“Let us remind ourselves, that immigrants built our great nation. To deprive anyone of their dreams in a land where they seek sanctuary and opportunity is reprehensible and another slap in the face of humanity. I believe that all humanity, has been designed for accomplishment, engineered for success and endowed with seeds of greatness.  Furthermore, as members of the community of faith, I believe that we have a moral obligation to lend our voices to those 800,000 dreamers and support their dreams and aspirations of living the American dream. Jesus said, ‘When you have done it to the least of these, you have done it unto me.’”

Rev. Jack Mercer, Church on the Drive (CBF) Orlando, FL:

“For many of these young people who had DACA, the United States is the only home they know. They have passed an extensive background check, paid a fee, graduated from high school, gone to college, or served in the military. My wife, who is a teacher, personally knows and loves many of these DACA students. Their families are our friends. They are our neighbors. It matters to God how we treat the alien, stranger, sojourner, or foreigner in our midst. The decision leaves the young people exposed and scared. We can do better than this. We must. I urge Congress to pass the DREAM Act.”

Pastor Bill Christensen, Vineyard Columbus, OH:

“Followers of Jesus are called to imitate Him and the heart of God is always inclined toward the foreigner and vulnerable. The 800,000 DACA recipients are in America not by their own choice and most do not know the locales from which their parents came. We must welcome such people – an opportunity to exercise justice and mercy and stay true to our nation’s immigrant heritage.”

Rev. Dr. Tim Ahrens, First Congregational Church, Columbus, OH:

“As people of faith, we must defend and protect immigrants and refugees among us. It is our Biblical mandate. To destroy DACA is to destroy the dream of millions of young people who love this nation and want to make America home.  Such an act is un-American  and un-Christian.”

Rev. Tom Hagood, Columbia Presbyterian Church, Decatur, Georgia:

“I listened to the story of a DACA recipient, who has been in the U.S. for the last 20 years. This is the only country he has ever known. He loves this nation. But he now lives with fear and anxiety that the country he loves is going to deport him into an unknown land. He is my neighbor. He is my brother. I stand with him and I pray that the country I know and love will once again be filled with compassion and mercy, allowing him to stay and live out his life in a nation that should welcome him.” 


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