Cardinal Cupich: It’s Immigrants Who Have Made America Great

Cardinal Blase Cupich has a new article at the Chicago Tribune:

Like all Americans, DACA enrollees want to contribute to our society. They strive as much as any American to be teachers, doctors, lawyers, firefighters, police officers, architects, computer scientists, engineers, members of the armed forces — and, yes, elected officials. But most of all they want to be Americans, officially. They want to help to build up the common good of the country they know, the nation they call home. Why wouldn’t we want them to join our ranks as citizens? Why wouldn’t we want them to add their unique contributions to our great nation, a nation of immigrants, one that has always drawn strength from its diversity? These are the very people who have made America great.

With the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, I ask Catholics and all Americans to support the bipartisan Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy Act, introduced by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., original sponsor of the DREAM Act, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., legislation that would preserve the basic elements of the DACA program. This is but a temporary measure to address a significant gap in our broken immigration system. That is why I also urge Congress to pass the DREAM Act in order to protect DACA enrollees permanently, so that they can become U.S. citizens.

To remove DACA protections would put hundreds of thousands of young people at risk of deportation, cutting short their dreams of a better future. But that won’t be the only consequence of forcing these aspiring Americans out. Deport them, and we deport their potential to make our nation stronger. Deport them, and we deport our future builders of bridges, teachers of children, savers of lives. Deport them, and we deport our fundamental values as Americans.