Cardinal Seán and MA AG: Don’t Turn Your Back on Dreamers, President Trump

Maura Healey, attorney general of Massachusetts, and Cardinal Seán O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston, write:

Scripture teaches us that we should welcome the stranger, for we were once strangers ourselves. That simple lesson offers special meaning for us in America. We remain the immigrant nation, a country founded and sustained by those who came here in search of a better life.

We urge President Trump to take this legacy to heart as he reportedly plans to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, with a six-month enforcement delay. We ask that he reconsider throwing into chaos the future of 800,000 young people in the United States, and nearly 19,000 in Massachusetts alone….

Those enrolled in DACA were brought to this country as children. In many cases, America is the only home they have ever known. Some don’t even realize they are undocumented until they apply to college or for a job….

This program was a promise from our government to these children that playing by the rules would pay off. Now Trump is considering ending DACA, breaking that promise and putting families at risk.

Already, inflammatory rhetoric about immigrants has created a culture of fear that harms public safety and undermines our communities. We have heard from parents who pulled their children out of school and cancelled doctor’s appointments. Ending this program would further encourage this dangerous retreat into the shadows….

The young people registered in the DACA program are exemplary. They have followed the rules. All they ask in return is a path to citizenship in the only country they’ve ever known.

We hope Trump will answer their prayers.