August 30, 2017
Faith Leaders Announce 7-Day Fast in Support of DACA and TPS
In response to President's rumored repeal of DACA executive order, need is greater than ever
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, faith leaders from multiple Washington-based organizations stood together to show their support and solidarity of young people who receive the protections of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. As the Trump administration considers stripping more than 800,000 young people of DACA protections by terminating the program, leaders of faith express their extreme disappointment.
A coalition of faith-based organizations led by the Franciscan Action Network, Disciples of Christ, Church World Service, Sisters of Mercy, Leadership Conference of Women Religious and others announced today the start of 7 days of prayer and fasting from August 30 to September 5, imploring the Trump Administration to keep both DACA and TPS as they are.
Patrick Carolan, executive director of FAN, opened the press conference and spoke about some of the responses from DACA beneficiaries at the 22-day vigil in front of the White House. Staff members from the offices of Rep. Jamie Raskin (MD-D-08) and Rep. Gerald Connolly (VA-11) read statements in support of DACA. Two of the speakers were young people directly impacted by DACA representing the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC), the organization which coordinated the vigil. Sharon Stanley-Rea of the Disciples of Christ also spoke in support of DACA.
We urge the Trump administration to protect DACA and keep it in place until Congress approves the bipartisan DREAM Act of 2017.
"Our Catholic faith and Franciscan spirituality demand that we act on our faith. This is why we choose to fast to demonstrate our support of these young people, many of whom were brought to this country at a young age and had no choice. They should not have to be abandoned and separated from the only country they know. We strongly urge Congress to keep DACA as is and work diligently on a common sense path to citizenship, such as the DREAM Act. " - Patrick Carolan, Executive Director of Franciscan Action Network
"The Leadership Conference of Women Religious is deeply troubled by continued threats to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) by the Trump Administration and a coalition of state attorneys general. DACA has provided a common sense path to stability for our families and communities, and a reaffirmation of the values upon which this nation was founded. Ending DACA would cause irreparable harm to families and communities and force 800,000 of our young people back into the shadows. As women of faith we take seriously the gospel call to welcome the stranger and care for those in need. Together with people of good will we will continue to work to ensure that the dignity and rights of our immigrant brothers and sisters are respected." - Joan Marie Steadman, CSC, Executive Director, Leadership Conference of Women Religious
"These young people have jobs, attend schools, need to pay housing, and support families. Halting their ways to make a living and opportunities to live up to their potential is an active way to hurt people and hurt our country. Government now must ensure there is no gap in protection for these young people. Congress must move immediately to pass a clean, stand-alone DREAM Act that does not harm other immigrants. Such legislation should not use youth as bargaining chips to criminalize their parents and increase border and interior enforcement. We also call for a moratorium on deportations, with absolutely no data sharing to facilitate immigration enforcement actions." - Jung Woo Kim, Co-lead of NAKASEC's #DreamAction17
"DACA recipients have become some of the most talented and hard-working members of our Mercy educational institutions and the local communities in which we live and serve. We will not stand by as these DACA recipients, as well as other undocumented immigrants and vulnerable groups, are targeted and blamed for the economic and social problems facing this country." - Jean Stokan, Justice Coordinator for Immigration, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas (Institute Justice Team)
"DACA and TPS are not just 'protection programs' for recipients, but they benefit us ALL--as nearly ALL of our congregations and institutions have leaders and pastors and neighbors who are recipients and are in our communities, contribute to our economy, and enrich our lives. Therefore, any effort of the President to rescind the DACA and TPS programs seeks to bully the breath from their lives, and to browbeat our efforts to follow scripture's command for hospitality." Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea, Director, Disciples Refugee & Immigration Ministries, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the U.S. and Canada.
Inspired by the Gospel of Jesus, and the example of Saints Francis and Clare, the Franciscan Action Network (FAN) is a collective Franciscan voice seeking to transform United States public policy related to peace making, care for creation, poverty, and human rights. For more information: https://franciscanaction.org/