U.S. Bishops Support Legislative Bridge For ‘Dreamers’

America Magazine


Since the campaign’s end, President-elect Donald J. Trump has softened his tone on immigrant deportations, but his final plans remain unknown. The “Bar Removal of Individuals Who Dream and Grow Our Economy [Bridge] Act,” introduced by Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, and Senator Richard Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, is intended to shore up the status of undocumented young people regardless of the policies ultimately adopted by the incoming administration.

In a letter to the U.S. Senate on Dec. 22, Bishop Joe Vásquez, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, supported the legislation and its goal to shield from deportation hundreds of thousands of young people now living in the United States. The act would also offer employment authorization to young people registered under the Department of Homeland Security’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Under current law many so-called Dreamers, young adults without documentation who came to the United States as children, are technically subject to deportation to home countries and cultures they may have never known, protected only by the Obama administration executive order that created DACA.

In his letter Bishop Vásquez points out that “there are more than 740,000 young people who have received and benefitted from DACA. They are contributors to our economy, academic standouts in our universities, and leaders in our parishes.”

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