Praying with Dreamers Week

 

November 3, 2017

Dear Members of Congress,

The fate of 800,000 Dreamers remains in the hands of Congress. These Dreamers are students, teachers, doctors, and small-business professionals who are integral to our communities and economy. Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) urges Congress to support a clean Dream Act of 2017 (H.R. 3440 and S. 1615) as it is the best legislative solution to the rescindment of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA).

Dreamers have worked tirelessly for this country they call home to recognize them as our own. As Americans and people of faith, we strive to love our neighbor and uphold the innate human dignity of each person. Dreamers worship in our pews, study in our schools, serve in our military, and work in our communities. For many, this is where they learned to ride a bike, celebrate our nation’s holidays, and serve their communities.

The consequences of terminating DACA are immediate, devastating, and profound. Leaving DACA recipients and other Dreamers in limbo violates our nation’s values and sends a message of exclusion to immigrant youth, some of whom do not have family or a support system in their birth country. Many do not remember it, or even speak the language.

We have grave concerns about proposals to attach harmful escalation of immigration enforcement to relief for Dreamers. Our outdated immigration system leaves millions unjustly detained and needlessly separates families. Congress must enact a clean Dream Act of 2017 without attaching it to increased immigration enforcement.

Allowing the DACA program to end without a just and humane solution will leave migrants brought to the U.S. as children without any legal protections. These Dreamers contribute to the fabric of our society in positive ways by joining the workforce (91%), continuing their education (72%), and making substantial contributions to their communities and the country (contributing $460.3 billion to our GDP).

We urge you to support these young Americans, brought to the United States as children, who go to college, are lawfully employed, pay taxes, and support their families. With them, our communities, workplaces, congregations and nation are stronger.

As people of faith we are called by God to love and serve the neighbors that God gives to us and to protect the most vulnerable. LIRS, along with many other faith-based organizations, urges you to work with your colleagues to act swiftly to pass a clean Dream Act of 2017.

Congress has yet to pass a legislative solution for young DREAMers. Hundreds of thousands of young Americans need your voice! During the week of October 29-November 4, people of faith across the country showed their support for the Dream Act.

Add to their voices by taking action to help pass a clean Dream Act:

  1. Call Congress at 1-866-940-2439 and urge your Senators/Representative to support a clean Dream Act
  2. Tweet your Senators/Representatives
  3. Check out the Interfaith Immigration Toolkit for more ideas on ways to take action

Yours in faith,

Linda Hartke
President and CEO