Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark writes in today’s New York Times:
The Gospel of Jesus Christ calls on us to welcome and protect the stranger. This should not be hard to do when the stranger is young, blameless and working hard to make this country a better place.
There are nearly 700,000 young men and women in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program who could soon be at risk for deportation. These “Dreamers” live in our neighborhoods, attend our schools, fight for our country and contribute to our workplaces. Our leaders in Washington, including President Trump, have a moral obligation to try to protect those who came to our nation as children with their parents, and who are Americans in every way.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is urging all Catholics and others of good will to phone their senators and House members today and implore them to pass the Dream Act. Catholic teaching calls for all people to make a commitment to uphold the dignity of every person and to work for the common good of our nation. It is both our moral duty and in our nation’s best interest to guide our lawmakers in this matter.
Helping Dreamers to become American citizens is a clear moral test. Condemning them to be sent to countries they do not know would be a stain on our national character and an abandonment of our values.
That Congress and the Trump administration tried and failed once to protect Dreamers does not let them off the hook. This is not about the next election but about the family next door. We need to restore confidence in our government and in our identity as an immigrant nation by passing a Dream Act.