Evangelical Leaders Respond to DACA Rescission, Urge Congress to Act
Update: As of Sept. 7, this letter has been signed by more than 3,000 pastors and evangelical leaders from all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
September 5, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Evangelical leaders are urging Congress to protect Dreamers following today’s announcement that the Trump administration is rescinding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
These leaders and others had sent letters last week to the president, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), to insist that President Trump work with Congress to pass bipartisan legislation to protect Dreamers. Since then, more than 1,000 pastors and evangelical leaders from 46 states have signed on to the letters.
The following are quotes today from Evangelical Immigration Table leaders:
Leith Anderson, President, National Association of Evangelicals:
“Congresses have convened and adjourned from one election cycle to the next while Dreamers have waited. May this Congress step up to legislate for Dreamers and turn waiting into promise and hope.”
Scott Arbeiter, President, World Relief:
“We have a clear and compelling moral obligation to the hundreds of thousands of Dreamers who are here among us. We cannot fail these children and young people nor our national interest yet again. Congress must act. I believe there is bipartisan support for legislation that will put our compassion, wisdom and moral courage into law.”
Shirley V. Hoogstra, President, Council for Christian Colleges and Universities:
“Congress must act. The stakes are high. Extraordinary pressure on Congress and unimaginable consequences for DACA students and families are two motivators that must bring this long-needed and overdue legislation. The American people can hardly stand the current levels of inaction and partisanship. Congress can restore our belief that people matter and that unnecessary penalty to innocent people is not tolerated. While cynicism lurks, every day presents new opportunities to make the laws we need. The CCCU intends to encourage and hold congressional friends and leaders accountable by working side by side with the Evangelical Immigration Table and our other partners in this work.”
Hyepin Im, CEO, Korean Christian Community Development/Faith and Community Empowerment:
“With today’s announcement of rescission of DACA, the lives of more than 800,000 Dreamers are hanging in the balance. They are our youth in whom America has made great investments. Since DACA, many have demonstrated and contributed to the strength of America. We ask Congress to act expeditiously to ensure that these youths continue to contribute to making America the best that it aspires to be.”
Jo Anne Lyon, Ambassador, The Wesleyan Church:
“I am asking Congress to please remember the DACA recipients who are in their own districts. This group of young people is making their districts stronger, but even more our nation stronger through their brilliance, integrity, hard work and loyalty to the United States. They are our leaders in building a strong society now and in the future for the common good of all.”
Dr. Russell Moore, President, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention:
“Congress should do the right thing and provide a solution for those who were brought here by parents as children. Meanwhile, churches will be here to speak hope to children now thrown into fear and insecurity about their families and their futures.”
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference:
“I am disappointed that these protections are ending, and I’ve expressed that disappointment to the White House directly. … Thankfully, it is the job of Congress to make laws, and now the president has provided Congress a six-month window to legislate a more permanent and legally defensible solution for Dreamers. Six months is too long; we will demand action from Congress within 60 days. We do not intend on letting a single member of Congress have a good night’s rest until they guarantee our young people can rest easy. We will not be silent until every Dreamer can dream again.”
Rev. Tony Suarez, Executive Vice President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference:
“The president has put the onus on Congress, and it’s Congress’ responsibility to the American people and Dreamers to finally pass a permanent solution. While I think it would be best to keep DACA in place for the time being, I also understand the frustration of the American people and the White House with Congress’ inability to pass a permanent solution. I implore our elected representatives to solve this issue once and for all.”