WASHINGTON— Over 750,000 youth have received protection from Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) since its inception by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2012. While DACA provides no legal status, it does provide recipients with a temporary reprieve from deportation and employment authorization for legal work opportunities in the United States.
In response to the recent petition to the U.S. Department of
Justice to terminate DACA, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, Chair of the Migration
Committee and Bishop of Austin, Texas, expressed support for DACA once again,
"The Catholic Bishops have long supported DACA youth and continue to do so. DACA youth are contributors
to our economy, veterans of our military, academic standouts in our
universities, and leaders in our parishes. These young people entered the U.S.
as children and know America as their only home. The dignity of every
human being, particularly that of our children and youth, must be protected.
I urge the Administration to continue administering the DACA
program and to publicly ensure that DACA youth are not priorities for
However, DACA is not a permanent solution; for this reason, I
also call on Congress to work in an expeditious and bipartisan manner to find a
legislative solution for DACA youth as soon as possible. My brother bishops and
I pledge continuing efforts to help find a humane and permanent resolution that
protects DACA youth. Additionally, I note the moral urgency for comprehensive
immigration reform that is just and compassionate. The bishops will advocate
for these reforms as we truly believe they will advance the common good.
Lastly, to DACA youth and their families, please know that
the Catholic Church stands in solidarity with you. We recognize your
intrinsic value as children of God. We understand the anxiety and fear you face
and we appreciate and applaud the daily contributions you make with your
families, to local communities and parishes, and to our country. We support you
on your journey to reach your God-given potential."