Faith in Action

“Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’” Luke 10:5

Rylee Bell and Natalie Hess

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In 2012, Barack Obama created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, to give young immigrants the ability to work legally in the United States. President Trump moved to end the program in September, claiming that Obama’s actions were unconstitutional and an overreach of his executive power.
DACA stands for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. DACA was an American immigration policy that allowed some individuals who entered the country as minors, and had either entered or remained in the country illegally, to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and to be eligible for a work permit, social security number, and in some cases a drivers license.
On January 10, 2018 in Washington D. C., some Catholic Leaders responded to the DACA developments. They have included a court order to keep legal security for the not recorded youths and a presidential commitment to legislative support for them.
Archbishop José Gomez showed concern for DACA recipients that could soon face deportation. Gomez stated that it would show cruelty to punish the recipients for the actions of what their parents have done. Additionally, he stated that it would be unfair to send the recipients of DACA to their original countries that they have not known or experienced. Additionally he stated that some may not know about the country’s history, political views, economy, community, or language!
Awhile ago, on September 11, 2017, in Vatican City, Pope Francis stated that he is not certain on how the decision to end DACA was made. Although, he is in hopes that the decision to remove DACA will be reconsidered.
Pope Francis stated, “I hope that it will be rethought a little, because I have heard the President of the United States speak as a pro-life man. If he is a good pro-life man, he understands that the family is the cradle of life, and unity must be defended.”
On Feb. 26, the Supreme Court refused to hear and rule on whether or not administration has the right to shut down the DACA program. Kevin Appleby, senior director of international migration policy for the Center for Migration Studies in New York stated “Although the Supreme Court decision buys Congress time to address the situation of undocumented youth, it should not give them an excuse to delay action. These young people remain at risk and deserve permanent protection and a chance to plan their futures. Catholic advocates should continue to push Congress and the president to grant them a path to citizenship.”
On February 27 in Washington D. C., almost 100 Franciscan friars, sisters, and laity were led away from the Russell Senate Building in handcuffs. The protesters intended to guilt Congress to do something about the Dreamers. The protest was planned as a part of the Catholic Day of Action with Dreamers. The Catholic Day of Action with Dreamers was an event planned by Catholic social support groups.
Sister Tracy Kemme, a Sister of Charity of Cincinnati, stated “It is a moral moment of truth and it’s worth it to us to try to raise the consciousness of our legislators”, prior to her arrest.
Before the police tried to spread through the protest, Bishop John Stowe of Lexington, addressed the entire crowd.
The protest consisted of a peaceful, disobedient prayer rally, resulting in multiple arrests. The police did not start making arrests until the crowd began loudly praying a decade of the rosary. 40 protesters were arrested and charged with “Crowding, Obstructing, and or Incommoding”
Though the DACA protections did not expire on March 5, the passage of the original deadline has highlighted the uncertain fate of more than half a million Dreamers. Despite moving to end the program, the Trump administration officials have said that they will not look to target DACA recipients for deportation if the program ends. President Trump suggested an immigration reform plan that would tie DACA arrangements to increased legal immigration restrictions and border security measures, including the building of a border wall. This plan was criticized by Senate Democrats and was not passed.
Without a set deadline to put DACA into Law, it is unsure what exactly will happen to the program and its recipients. CNN brought the suggestion that lawmakers should try to pass legislation on the issue by March 23, the upcoming Government funding deadline. Some sources involved in the process stated that an agreement was very unlikely. In January, the government shut down for nearly three days over the immigration issue.
In order to fully delve into the Christian standpoint on these “issues”, we must first backtrack to the book that determines most of these viewpoints. Generally, we view Christianity as a welcoming religion with a loving god who will take you as you are. But what would this loving god who welcomes everyone say to the planned repeal of DACA? Deuteronomy 10:19 states. “You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” This verse proves contradictory to the viewpoints of popular political figures we see today.
Primarily in the 2016 election for President. Donald Trump, majority of his voters were white from an evangelical faith. An Evangelical faith is a Christian denomination that is primarily surrounded by the teaching of the gospels. The evangelical view on the faith is surrounded by the word of God being perfect despite human interpretation.
Recently, at the Pentecost (Christian celebration taking place after Easter) Pope Francis stated the following: “The Holy Spirit continues to give Christians different gifts and to call them to share those gifts with each other in a community marked by forgiveness and “unity in diversity.”
With such a controversial topic that has certain ties to the faith it is slightly troubling to see such low protest presence by Catholics on this topic. Often times in the news and in media it is broadcasted that Catholics are praying outside of abortion clinics for the lost souls and walking in marches for pro life, but what about this. If the faith is supposed to be welcoming and take individuals as they are where is the protest presence when our own president is threatening to take that away from some our brothers and sisters?

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“Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’” Luke 10:5