thoughtful comments submitted by Dan Roels, pastor of New Hope Church
Last week President Trump announced the phase-out of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the program that protected immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from being deported. Likewise, we know that the majority of Americans (some surveys show as many as 78 percent) across the political spectrum support a legislative option for “Dreamers” because of moral and economic reasons.
What now? As citizens in a democracy, we have the privilege and duty of using our voice on behalf of young immigrants. That means calling or writing our senators and representatives, pressing them to create a path to legal citizenship for Dreamers, even if desperately needed comprehensive immigration reform is out of reach within six months.
As a pastor, I take my cues from the Bible, which says that God is a defender of immigrants. Defending immigrants isn’t just an intellectual view or a feeling of compassion. It means God acts on behalf of immigrants and other vulnerable people in the public square. If I am to follow God’s lead, I must do the same, and right now that means advocating for Dreamers.
Years ago, I met “Marcos.” He was about to go to college to study chemical engineering when he discovered that he was undocumented, despite being in the country since childhood. But I was able to advocate for him at a public college that decided it served their and the public’s interest to educate the best and brightest. Marcos is a Dreamer who wants to belong and contribute to U.S. society.
I have contacted my representative and senators. If you think Dreamers deserve a chance, take a moment to do the same:
- Southeast Cook County Representative Robin Kelly can be reached locally at (708) 679-0078.
- Senator Dick Durbin: (202) 224-2152
- Senator Tammy Duckworth: (202) 224-2854
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