The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a strong denunciation of the action the Trump Administration took today to end DACA. Below is the statement of the USCCB and Trinity joins the bishops in expressing our concern for our Dreamers and pledge to do all we can to ensure Congressional action:
“The cancellation of the DACA program is reprehensible. It causes unnecessary fear for DACA youth and their families. These youth entered the U.S. as minors and often know America as their only home. The Catholic Church has long watched with pride and admiration as DACA youth live out their daily lives with hope and a determination to flourish and contribute to society: continuing to work and provide for their families, continuing to serve in the military, and continuing to receive an education. Now, after months of anxiety and fear about their futures, these brave young people face deportation. This decision is unacceptable and does not reflect who we are as Americans.
The Church has recognized and proclaimed the need to welcome young people: ‘Whoever welcomes one of these children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me’ (Mark 9:37). Today, our nation has done the opposite of how Scripture calls us to respond. It is a step back from the progress that we need to make as a country. Today’s actions represent a heartbreaking moment in our history that shows the absence of mercy and good will, and a short-sighted vision for the future. DACA youth are woven into the fabric of our country and of our Church, and are, by every social and human measure, American youth.
We strongly urge Congress to act and immediately resume work toward a legislative solution. We pledge our support to work on finding an expeditious means of protection for DACA youth.
As people of faith, we say to DACA youth, “ regardless of your immigration status, you are children of God and welcome in the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church supports you and will advocate for you.”
Trinity’s Continuing Statement
Trinity also advocates for our Dreamers and all who are suffering discrimination and oppression. Below is the message I sent this morning to our campus community, and below that is my statement from last week on this topic:
Dear students and colleagues,
Today we witness the unfathomable evil of state-sponsored oppression against Dreamers, young people who are as worthy of full lives on this earth and in this country as anyone else may claim the right. But this is only the latest manifestation of the evil of racial and ethnic hatred that remains America’s Original Sin that still wraps its ugly tentacles around too many disordered minds. Three weeks ago we saw neo Nazis and KKK marching in Charlottesville. Across the country we continue to see instances of police brutality against black persons that are horrendous and inexcusable. Tragically, we are in a moment when the national administration, for whatever reasons, appears to give comfort and support to the ugliest instincts of hatred and oppression.
To all of you, students and colleagues and members of the vast Trinity family, please know that Trinity is here for you. We are small and our resources are scant, but we do what we can every single day to help you as much as we can. Our faculty, I know, do heroic work both in our classrooms and well beyond. Our staff labor constantly to be there for our students. Thank you, colleagues, you are great!
To our Dreamers: as I said in a meeting with many of you last Friday, Trinity stands by you and I am your advocate in every forum, every Congressional office, at the White House and in media. I am talking with alumnae about how we can organize a national lobbying effort on your behalf. Your scholarships are secure for as long as you are at Trinity all the way through graduation. We will come up with plans for support should you lose work permits and licenses. We will have sessions with immigration legal services for you. If there are other ways you need help, please let us know — Dr. Gerlach, Dr. Ocampo, Dean Bowie, your faculty members and advisors, all of us are here to help.
To all other students: please help and support your sister Dreamers, and know that I understand full well that what they are going through is also a situation that parallels yours in many ways. The anguish of discrimination and official oppression affects so many of our students and larger Trinity family. In asking particular support for our Dreamers right now, I also ask and remind everyone of our commitment to support all who are in need. You, too, are welcome to raise your concerns and needs to our faculty and staff, and we will help you as much as possible.
Please keep the conversation going, and let me know your ideas about actions we can take as help and support, and as advocacy. Now is the time for all at Trinity to stand up and be counted for the values we proclaim, for the people we cherish.
President Pat McGuire