Standing Up For Refugees and DACA Youth

Background:
President Donald Trump is reportedly planning to issue Executive Orders that could that could have devastating impacts on refugee resettlement in the United States and harm Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) youth. According to drafts we have seen, the Executive Order would:

  • Halt the entire refugee admissions program for 120 days to determine additional security vetting procedures;
  • Cut the number of refugees admitted in FY 2017 from 110,000 to 50,000;
  • Suspend resettlement of refugees from Syria;
  • Possibly suspend the issuance of visas to individuals from countries of concern, including nationals of Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen;
  • End the DACA program.

The U.S. refugee resettlement program is a life-saving program for the most vulnerable of the world’s refugees. Welcoming people fleeing violence and conflict in various regions of the world is part of our identity as Catholics. We seek to protect the vulnerable and recognize the human dignity of all. Moreover, when the United States through its resettlement program shares responsibility with refugee host countries, it helps the refugees, supports the countries, and helps to enhance peace, security, and stability to sensitive regions in the world. Today, with more than 65 million people forcibly displaced from their homes, the need for the U.S. to show leadership in welcoming refugees and provide freedom from persecution is more urgent than ever.

Refugees who come through the program go through a rigorous, extensive vetting process. If issued, this reported Executive Order would virtually halt the arrival of refugees for at least 120 days, including those who have already gone through up to two years of vetting. Standing up for refugees and for the life-saving resettlement program is consistent with our values as Americans and as Catholics.

There are more than 750,000 young people who have received and benefitted from DACA. They are contributors to our economy, veterans of our military, academic standouts in our universities, and leaders in our parishes. As Catholics, we support DACA youth as we believe in protecting the dignity of every human being, especially that of our children. We have long supported DACA youth and their families. These young people entered the U.S. as children and know America as their only home.

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