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The Pope, Editorial Boards, and Op-eds Call for Congress to Protect Dreamers

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It’s been a week since Donald Trump ended DACA, the deferred action program that protects hundreds of thousands of Dreamers from deportation. Since then, support for Dreamers has poured in from across the country, from members of Congress to college presidents and university leaders to faith groups to advocates in multiple states.

This week, the Pope weighed in, telling Trump that he couldn’t claim to be pro-life if his Administration deported Dreamers. As the Pope — reflecting a similar statement from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, and following up on a history of urging compassion for migrants and refugees — said:

If [Trump] is a good pro-life believer, he must understand that family is the cradle of life and one must defend its unity.

[Removing children from families] isn’t something that bears fruit for either the youngsters or their families…I hope they rethink it a bit.

Meanwhile, a number of editorials and op-eds from around the country continued to weigh in on Trump’s decision against DACA.

In California, Sacramento Bee editorial board, applauded the lawsuits that California’s leaders have filed against Trump’s announcement:

Already, more than a dozen states have joined New York and Washington state’s lawsuit over DACA. But California is right to take separate action. This state is home to more than a quarter of those living, working and going to school under the program. The University of California alone has some 4,000 DACA students. These young people are contributing members of our communities.

So we welcome the legal challenges to Trump’s directive by Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and by UC President Janet Napolitano, who helped create DACA when she was Obama’s Homeland Security secretary.

A society is judged by its treatment of vulnerable people. Few deserve our protection more than the DACA kids, who are American in every way but on paper. All Californians should feel a sense of pride that their top officials are making it clear that California has their backs.

WRAL North Carolina editorial board urged Republicans from the state to help protect Dreamers from deportation:

Unlike several state attorneys general who are threatening the Trump administration in an effort to repeal DACA, North Carolina’s Attorney General Josh Stein has rightly joined 19 others to urging Trump to keep it.

President of Duke University Vincent Price share’s UNC’s support of DACA and last week sent a letter to Trump urging him to avoid repeal.

The consensus among this broad spectrum of North Carolina political and education leaders needs to be reflected – vocally – by the state’s congressional delegation. The state’s senators and members of House of Representatives need to stand united against repeal of DACA and let the White House know of their stand.

We’ll be asking each of the members of the state’s congressional delegation where they stand. We’ll follow up on their response: Do they stand with North Carolinians who believe in the promise of the American dream or those who want to expel the best and brightest of the next generation merely because of where they were born and how they came into this nation?

The Buffalo News editorial board called on Congress to pass the Dream Act by a “veto-proof” majority:

There are two solutions to this problem, one immediate and the other longer term. With Trump dumping this matter into Congress’ lap, members need to act quickly to protect these innocents. It’s the right thing to do – and the American thing to do. As such, it should be passed as stand-alone legislation: a ringing declaration of humanity untethered to other matters.

Since there is no telling if Trump would sign or veto such legislation, it needs to be passed by veto-proof majorities. Congress can, and should, do this quickly. To drag its feet is to leave nearly 800,000 good, productive people in a terrifying limbo.

Over the longer term, Congress needs to come to grips with immigration reform. That may be immediately impossible, given the current makeup of the government, but it’s necessary not only to protect the dreamers, but to ensure the country has a durable and fair immigration policy that balances the need for border security with compassion for those who came here seeking a better life. This is no impossible task. It requires common sense and heart.

For today, though, what is necessary is for Congress, at the insistence of voters, to remedy Trump’s disgraceful action. We don’t make America great by seeking to hurt people who are already contributing to the country’s greatness.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Badger Herald editorial board emphasized that Dreamers are no different from the rest of the university’s students, and contribute as much as anyone else on campus:

As members of a diverse campus and Madison community, who continue to benefit from the contributions of these young Americans, all Badgers have an obligation to speak up for their rights and actively resist.

Whether you notice or not, you are positively impacted by the presence of DACA recipients every day. Dreamers jump around on gameday, cramp up from taking too many notes in class and order the ridiculously cheap spring roll from the friendly lady on State Street…

Dreams are not illegal. Humans are not illegal. The Badger Herald stands in solidarity with America’s Dreamers.

The actress Diane Guerrero, whose family was deported when she was in high school and who is most known for her role on Orange is the New Black, published an op-ed on how we need the Dream Act because families shouldn’t be separated the way hers was:

Destroying the lives of DACA recipients is 800,000 times what happened to me but worse. My family was torn apart because of Congress’s failures to update the immigration system in a just and fair way. Not the Trump way of building border walls, funding a massive deportation force and reducing the legal visas, but in a way that speaks to the reality of our diverse nation that benefits greatly from the presence of immigrants. Ending DACA would cost us $460.3 billion in lost economic growth over the next decade.

Second, I am a voter — and an outspoken one — and like all voters, I want Congress to do its job. The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act needs to be passed by the House and Senate now. Not next month, and certainly not next year. Voters, including the overwhelming majority who do not want Dreamers deported, are tired of childish threats about government shutdowns and reading tweets divorced from reality.

Pass the DREAM Act on its own, without any additional baggage like a border wall that will be an ugly monument to Trump’s anti-immigrant legacy. Pass the DREAM Act with the urgency you are applying to fund hurricane recovery and relief. Remember that hurricanes are acts of God, but ending DACA is a political disaster that only Congress can fix.