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(Washington, D.C.) January 13, 2015 — The interfaith community — including the Jesuit Conference and Jesuit Refugee Service/USA — today wrote to members of Congress to urge them to oppose any Congressional moves to repeal important programs such as the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), or attempt to reinstate the dysfunctional Secure Communities program (SCOM).
The Obama Administration’s executive actions creating DAPA, expanding DACA and replacing SCOM are temporary and are not a substitute for a pathway to permanent status or citizenship, but they are welcome progress toward policies that promote keeping families together and allowing our valued community members to live and work in this country legally.
Rather than opposing and trying to reverse this progress, we encourage all members of Congress to support their smooth implementation and to take steps towards fixing our broken immigration system in a way that is humane, comprehensive and just.
The letter follows.
Dear Member of Congress:
As representatives of the interfaith community working toward immigrant justice, we strongly urge you to oppose H.R. 240 and its accompanying amendments. We ask you to specifically oppose any amendments that would repeal important programs, such as the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), or attempt to reinstate the dysfunctional Secure Communities program. We believe that these amendments are morally indefensible and would destroy the lives of millions of men, women, and children living in the United States who contribute to our communities and who deserve not only short term relief from deportation, but also a meaningful and realistic opportunity to earn their citizenship.
At the center of all of our varied faith traditions lies the belief in the sanctity of family. It is the core of our society and must be nourished and protected. Through our relationships with these families, we witness the fear, pain, and suffering immigrants experience daily as they live in the shadows of our society. These families contribute to our communities, contribute to our economy, contribute to our classrooms and are, in the eyes of God and in the eyes of our churches, synagogues, and temples, full brothers and sisters deserving of dignity and respect.
We hope you will oppose H.R. 240, its amendments, and any legislation that would tear families apart. Our most marginalized brothers and sisters deserve your protection.
American Friends Service Committee
Bend the Arc Jewish Action
Church of the Brethren, Office of Public Witness
Church World Service
Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach
Franciscan Action Network
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Ignatian Solidarity Network
Jesuit Refugee Service/USA
Jewish Women International
Leadership Conference of Women Religious
Metodistas Asociados Representando la Causa de los Hispano-Americanos
National Council of Jewish Women
NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
Pax Christi USA
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas
U.S. Jesuit Conference
Voices for Freedom
Learn more about the Jesuit position here