U.S. bishops support proposed law protecting some immigrant students

Chairman of USCCB's Committee on Migration urges passage of bill that would provide temporary relief from deportation for young people enrolled in DACA

Senator Durbin speaks on the Senate floor in 2015 about Maria Ibarra-Frayre, a 2012 University of Detroit Mercy graduate and DACA program recipient. (photo from Ignatian Solidarity Network)

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) spoke out in support of the BRIDGE Act, legislation that would provide temporary relief from deportation for young people without documentation currently enrolled or able to enroll in the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Addressing U.S. Senators in a letter dated December 22, 2016, Bishop Joe Vásquez, Chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Migration, called on the Senators to support the legislation introduced by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Richard Durbin (D-IL) in the 114th Congress, who plan to re-introduce it during the 115th Congress after the New Year. Bishop Vásquez emphasized that the BRIDGE Act nor the DACA program are long-term solutions to our country’s immigration reality and that our country “desperately needs” larger immigration policy reforms.

President-Elect Trump suggested throughout the presidential campaign that ending the DACA program would be one of his first acts in office, though his tone lightened in recent weeks, including statements of concern for “young people” during an interview with Time Magazine where he said, “We’re going to work something out that’s going to make people happy and proud. They got brought here at a very young age, they’ve worked here, they’ve gone to school here. Some were good students. Some have wonderful jobs. And they’re in never-never land because they don’t know what’s going to happen.” There are currently approximately 700,000 individuals enrolled in the DACA program, with an estimated 1.3 million eligible.

Jesuit college and university leaders issued a public statement in support of undocumented students in late-November, one of many statements and public letters to elected leaders calling for the protection of undocumented students and the retention of the DACA program.

Full story with text of Bishop Vásquez’s letter can be found at Ignatian Solidarity Network.

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  1. Michael McDermott says:

    I would ask whether there is any form of “Brain Drain” associated with the project?

    Depriving lesser developed countries of native citizens who could help better the place where they are at, and who already mostly have access to “Distance Learning” at least as good as warming a chair at some far away school room, is a questionable policy – particularly if Desperation Immigration is already a problem… Like that which lands almost daily on Greek and Italian shores,

    If “Economic Migration” is permitted, and the use of ‘anchor babies’ to circumvent an Established Immigration Line with Deserving People waiting in it – by bringing whole extended families past the system and past those waiting patiently in line ahead of them, then…

  2. Michael McDermott says:

    Contd.
    If “Economic Migration” is permitted, and the use of ‘anchor babies’ to circumvent an Established Immigration Line with Deserving People waiting in it – by bringing whole extended families past the system and past those waiting patiently in line ahead of them – then the system will break down for many reasons – Particularly under Trump

    Disney recently required its terminated employees to train their cheaper foreign visa replacements or face…
    Well – Who knows what those powerful multi o’media anti-Catholic bogots running the place are now capable of, as ‘mickey mouse’ has become a real rodent.

  3. NO. Build a wall on the Southern Border and start enforcing our immigration laws. No more illegal immigrants or refugees.

  4. Any bill backed by Dick Durbin is going to be bad law—-more collusion between the DEM Party and the Catholic Bishops.

  5. Illegal immigration is a sin against the Seventh Commandment. It steals time and space from would-be immigrants who wait in the legal immigration line for years of hard questioning from authorities. Illegal immigration is like breaking into your neighbor’s back door and expecting to be treated like the homeowner when all other guests are waiting to be let in through the front door. It does not matter if you were brought in as a child, it was your parents’ fault. They broke the law.

    The thing to do is go back to your country of origin, and like every other would-be immigrant, file a petition to come in legally and wait. You may or may not be allowed to enter in, but that’s the host country’s prerogative. Why should you be…

  6. I believe there is a significant qualitative difference between a student who comes to the US in their late teens for a Bachelors and Doctoral degree and stays rather than returning home versus a person brought here as a young child [under 5??] who grows up in the US. The first person made a specific decision to come to the US for a significant benefit — the education. The second person is reaping the results of the [possibly illegal] acts of their parents, nothing they did themselves.
    The second person is not an anchor baby. The foreign parents deliberately have the anchor baby born in the US, so the parents may then claim immigration rights based on the anchor baby’s status.

  7. What do the bishops say to the “indigenous” American Catholic citizens / Millenials who are being replaced in college and the workplace by these illegals ? Just “too bad” ? What is it we hear about so many college graduates not being able to find jobs ?

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