Support Congressional Action on Dreamers and Other Immigrants

Urge the Senate to take meaningful action to protect Dreamers and Other Immigrants

With only a few more weeks in session, the 117th Congress has a narrow window of opportunity to pass legislation protecting Dreamers and their families, as well as other undocumented immigrants.

An impending court ruling revives fears that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program could end. A Texas district court is actively considering the legality of a new DACA rule issued by the Biden Administration, replacing the 2012 memo establishing DACA.

Ending DACA would exacerbate worker shortages at a time when the prospects of economic recession loom and increase the financial and emotional burden on families caused by people falling out of status. There are the 1.3 million people living with a DACA recipient, including approximately 300,000 U.S.-born children of DACA recipients. But only Congress has the power to make a permanent difference.

Sadly, many undocumented immigrants, even with established roots, continue to be unjustifiably pushed to society’s peripheries. Long-term Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders and DACA recipients are among those that have endured tremendous legal uncertainty over the past several years. Ilse, a DACA recipient from Honduras, shared her experience reflecting: “I was able to continue my passion for education because of DACA. However, with the end of DACA looming, my dreams are at risk.”

Because undocumented workers often live in fear of deportation, unfair and unsafe working conditions go unchecked. This abuse is prevalent in the agricultural sector, where reform is also needed to bring justice. As integral as undocumented immigrants are to U.S communities, U.S. laws have not changed in a meaningful way to reflect their vital status.

Before Congress are multiple options that envision a humane path forward. The Senate could advance the Dream and Promise Act (H.R. 6), a House-passed bill that would provide a pathway to citizenship for qualifying Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) holders living in the United States, or its Senate companion versions. Undocumented farmworkers should also be permitted to adjust their status and have their immediate families join them on a path to citizenship. The ELCA continues to call for legislation with access to “flexible and humane ways” for undocumented individuals who have lived in the country for specified amount of time to adjust status (ELCA social policy resolution, “Towards Just, Wise, and Compassionate Immigration Reform”) and oppose measures that unduly harm, discriminate or criminalize other immigrants. The resolution reminds us, “In Jesus of Nazareth, the God who commands us to care for the vulnerable identities [sic] with the human stranger — the person unknown and regarded with suspicion who stands on the receiving end of both welcome and hospitality and rejection and resentment.”

 
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POSTED 12/06/2022

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Dear [Decision Maker],

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]
[Your Email]