Originally Published on OMIUSAJPIC.ORG
October 2nd, 2017
As Provincial of the U.S. Province, I am happy to add my support to the 800,000 young immigrants living in our country, going to school, working, without fear of deportation resulting in a fearful, uncertain future.
It is shameful to me that these young people might be facing deportation because the Trump Administration has recently announced an ending to DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) within the next six months.
Please join me and many other U.S. Oblates in demanding action in Congress to protect these young immigrants. Congress must pass a new law to protect these young people and not allow them to be deported. The vast majority of them have done no wrong, committed no crime.
I ask you to join our Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Ministry in taking action, as outlined in the letter from Fr. Antonio Ponce, OMI, Director (letter below and attached as a PDF).
Thank you for your interest and concern.
In Christ and Mary Immaculate,
Fr. Louis Studer, OMI
Prompted by the recent action of President Trump to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program that protects almost 800,000 young immigrants from deportation who came to the U.S. as children, I write to invite you to offer solidarity to these young people. DACA allows young immigrants to work, go to school, raise a family, and live in the United States without fear of separation by deportation. I ask you to stand with these young people and their families who may include youth members of our Oblates parishes and institutions.
Missionary Oblates JPIC is deeply disappointed with this decision to end DACA, as we expressed in a statement issued immediately after the announcement to end DACA. The consequences of repealing DACA are immediate and devastating to DACA recipients, their families and communities. At the 2016 General Chapter in Rome, Oblates were invited in the Acts of the Chapter to reflect:
In these times of great global changes, we respond to the call of the Spirit, as did St. Eugene de Mazenod in his Preface to the Oblate Rule, by giving a new impetus to the mission that is our raison d’être: being close to the new faces of the poor, the most abandoned, and sharing the Good News to which we are witnesses. We recognize urgent uses which strongly speak to us such us: the situation of refugees, the homeless, and migrants who are forced to leave their countries.
A statement from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops President, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, along with USCCB Vice President, Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, Bishop Joe Vásquez of Austin, chairman, Committee on Migration, and Bishop Joseph Tyson of Yakima, chairman of the Subcommittee on Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees says, the “cancellation of the DACA program is reprehensible,” and goes on to say:
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
We need help to urge Members of Congress to pass the Dream Act of 2017 and protect these young immigrants. In collaboration with other religious communities, we invite you to take action, and recommend the following resources:
- Call your Member of Congress to co-sponsor the DREAM Act of 2017 (S. 1615 / H.R. 3440)
- Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) resources:
- Pope Francis recently launched “Share the Journey” global campaign for migrants and refugees
As a JPIC ministry for the U.S province, we will continue to pray, champion immigration reform and push against harmful enforcement practices that separate families. Our faith and charism believe in the dignity of every human being, especially that of children and youth. Compassion, family unity and opportunity for newcomers from one generation to the next are foundations of this nation.
Fr Antonio Ponce OMI
Director, U.S Missionary Oblates JPIC Ministry Office