Evangelical Leaders Urge President Trump to Keep DACA in Place Until Congress Acts

 In Press Releases

July 08, 2020

Evangelical Leaders Urge President Trump to Keep DACA in Place Until Congress Acts

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Prominent evangelical leaders are insisting President Trump leave Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in place.

Today leaders representing several of the largest and most influential evangelical denominations and organizations sent a letter to President Trump, urging him “to leave DACA in place until such time as Congress has passed legislation to permanently protect Dreamers.”

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court halted the Trump administration’s earlier effort to terminate DACA on procedural grounds, but also made clear that the administration could end DACA if they followed the proper process. In recent days, President Trump has indicated that he intends to do so.

In their letter, these evangelical leaders write, “We ask you to publicly and consistently urge congressional leaders to urgently pass legislation to create a pathway for those who arrived in the U.S. as children and who meet other necessary and appropriate qualifications to earn permanent legal status and, eventually, citizenship. Polls show such pathway legislation is supported by the majority of evangelical Christians.”

A recent Politico/Morning Consult poll found that 72% of evangelicals support allowing Dreamers to be able to stay lawfully in the U.S., including a majority who believe they should be allowed to become citizens if they meet certain requirements. Similarly, a June CBS News poll found that 76% of white evangelicals support allowing Dreamers to stay lawfully in the U.S.

In response to the Supreme Court decision last month, many of these same leaders sent a letter to members of Congress, urging them to quickly take action to permanently resolve the plight of Dreamers. These leaders are now inviting evangelical Christians to sign onto the letter to their members of Congress as well, urging them to act before the president does.

The following are quotes from several of the Evangelical Immigration Table leaders who signed today’s letter to President Trump:

Scott Arbeiter, President, World Relief:

“To once again seek to terminate DACA would be both immoral and incomprehensible. It is simply wrong to threaten hundreds of thousands of young people with the government-mandated loss of their jobs and with the possibility of deportation to their countries of birth, which many cannot even remember. The harm extends further to these young people’s families, including hundreds of thousands of young children of DACA recipient parents, and to their employers and churches. On a political level, I really cannot fathom why the president would take an action that will be objectionable to the vast majority of Americans – including 3 out of 4 white evangelical Christians – who want Dreamers to be able to continue to stay and work lawfully in the U.S.”

Shirley Hoogstra, President, Council for Christian Colleges & Universities:

“While the court has ruled on a technical aspect of the underlying case, the CCCU would urge both Congress and the executive branch to safeguard Dreamers. Many Christians believe that the United States stands on Christian principles. The world is watching to see whether a nation that claims Christian principles, and which values the free practice of faith, will care for the vulnerable. One vulnerable population in particular — young people who were recipients of DACA — has appropriately relied on the U.S. government for protection. The U.S. government should continue to honor their promise to these young people so that the world can draw the most promising conclusion about American values.”

Walter Kim, President, National Association of Evangelicals:

“The recent decision by the Supreme Court on DACA provides an opportunity to pursue a permanent, legislative solution for the Dreamers. These young immigrants are a part of our communities, contribute to our national vitality, and should be given a pathway toward citizenship that is both just and compassionate.”

Russell Moore, President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention:

“Dreamers are not an abstraction. They are people created in the image of God, who were brought here as children by their parents. Their entire lives are at stake right now. This Supreme Court decision might address an immediate question of administrative law, but it does not, ultimately, protect our vulnerable neighbors. There is no sending these people ‘back’–in many cases they have no memory at all of the land of their parents’ origin. Those who have lived as good neighbors, contributed so greatly to our country, should be protected from the constant threat of having their lives upended. That will take action by the United States Congress. Most Americans agree on this question, which is quite a feat in times as divided as these. Congress should move immediately to protect our Dreamer neighbors.” 

Chris Palusky, President & CEO, Bethany Christian Services:

“All children – regardless of where they are from or what they have been through – deserve to be loved, safe, and connected. That’s why many children in the DACA program, who are now young adults, came to the U.S. with their families in the first place. At Bethany, we see DACA recipients as God sees them – children created in his image. It’s long past time for Congress to permanently protect our friends, neighbors, and colleagues.”

Gabriel Salguero, President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition:

“DACA requires a permanent solution. Congress needs to take bipartisan action toward a permanent solution to protect DREAMers. The Latino Evangelicals of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition urge the Administration to keep DACA in place until Congress forges a way forward that brings a legislative solution.”


The Evangelical Immigration Table is a broad coalition of evangelical organizations and leaders advocating for immigration reform consistent with biblical values.

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