DACA logoA moral imperative calls us – Sisters of Providence and Sisters of Saint Dominic of Tacoma – to stand with and speak out for the Dreamers, participants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA is a common sense path to stability for families, communities, and local economies, and a reaffirmation of American values. Ending DACA will cause irreparable harm to families and communities and force 800,000 young immigrants brought into this country at a young age back into the shadows.

This is the only home many of the Dreamers have ever known. We cannot stand by and watch them be expelled from the United States and sent to live in countries where they may not even know the culture or the language. The Dreamers simply want to live freely, be educated, find meaningful work and someday become permanent citizens of the United States. Is that not the American dream we all share?

Gospel values and Catholic social teaching make our responsibility clear. It is our moral imperative to extend hospitality to the stranger, to care for immigrants and children, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Along with hundreds of other communities of religious, we pledge to actively support and stand with the DACA immigrants that live and work and study in cities throughout the United States.

We join with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) in the commitment “to continue to stand in solidarity with the families, regardless of immigration status, who labor daily to provide safety and security for their children. We will continue to walk with Dreamers and, together with people of goodwill, we will work to ensure that the dignity of all people is fully protected.” LCWR is an association of leaders of congregations of Catholic women religious in the United States. The conference has nearly 1,300 members who represent more than 38,800 women religious.

This is not new ground for us; Catholic sisters have a long history of accompanying immigrants and refugees as they deal with the devastating effects of a flawed and broken immigration system. We raise our voices to inform and educate others about the plight of these young people, and we urge others to speak out, as well. We call on our president not to abandon the DACA program, and we implore our members of Congress to put aside political differences and create a bipartisan measure to re-establish protections for DACA and its Dreamers.