Home Diocesan News Letters sought for ‘Dreamers’

Letters sought for ‘Dreamers’ Print E-mail
Written by Adrienne Curry, Special to the Exponent   
Friday, 03 November 2017 14:26

In September 2017, Pope Francis launched a two-year campaign of solidarity with migrants, called “Share the Journey.”   In response, the Diocese of Youngstown is joining with all the Catholic dioceses of Ohio, as well as other Catholic, faith-based and community partners, to urge Congress to pass the DREAM Act or similar legislation protecting young immigrants. “DREAM” is an acronym for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors.

Approximately 800,000 youth have received protection through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program since its inception by executive order in 2012. While DACA provided no legal status, it did offer recipients a temporary reprieve from deportation, along with employment authorization for legal work opportunities in the United States.

In September 2017, the Trump Administration announced that it would terminate DACA in March 2018. After then, DACA youth will be at risk of deportation from the United States – the only country many have ever really known. We believe that it is Congress’ job to legislate, before this deadline, a permanent fix for DACA youth, who were brought to the United States through no choice of their own and who continue to have no viable path to regularize their status.

In response to the recent petition to the U.S. Department of Justice to terminate DACA, Bishop Joe S. Vasquez, bishop of Austin, Texas, who chairs the U.S. bishops’ migration committee, expressed support for DACA once again, stating:

“The Catholic bishops have long supported DACA youth and continue to do so. DACA youth are contributors to our economy, veterans of our military, academic standouts in our universities, and leaders in our parishes. These youth entered the U.S. as children and know America as their only home. The dignity of every human being, particularly that of our children and youth, must be protected.”

The diocese is encouraging Catholic parishes, schools and institutions as well as other faith-based community partners to host letter-writing campaigns. Letters can be handwritten, or we can provide sample templates for constituents to sign and possibly add in their own thoughts.

The diocese will collect letters between now and Dec. 18, International Migrants Day. Have your parish or group conduct a letter-writing campaign to Congress. Across Ohio, we want to generate 10,000 letters to our U.S. Senators and representatives to Congress from Ohio to this end. Why this number? Because, since DACA was started in 2012, there have been nearly the same number of approved applications (representing about 4,400 DACA recipients and 5,100 renewals).

Letters should be collected by the host organization. If the host wishes to mail or deliver the letters directly to local congressional offices, then the host organization should record and report (to the diocesan Social Action Office) the number of letters addressed to each congressional representative, so we can keep a tally. If the host organization would prefer, it can send the letters to the Social Action Office, 144 West Wood St., Youngstown, OH 44503, and we will ensure that they are delivered to Congress. All letters should be turned in to Congress or the diocesan Social Action Office by Dec. 18.

Participating groups that would like to have a presentation on Church teaching on migration can contact the Office of Social Action.

Information about this campaign can be found at www.doy.org, under the Catholic Charities social action tab. More information about DACA youth can be found at www.justiceforimmigrants.org. Please notify the Diocese of Youngstown Social Action Office of any campaign by calling 330-744-8451 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

 
 

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