The Trump Administration is currently preparing to set the goal for the number of refugees that will be allowed to be admitted to the United States for the coming fiscal year (FY). This process is called the “Presidential Determination” (PD). Before setting the new refugee Presidential Determination, the President is required by federal law to consult with the House and Senate Judiciary Committees.
Nearly two hundred organizations, including USCCB and many JFI member organizations, already sent a letter to President Trump urging him to build back the U.S. resettlement program by setting a goal of 95,000 refugees.
Also, USCCB and Catholic and Evangelical organizations sent a letter to Vice President Pence and Secretary of State Pompeo to encourage building back the resettlement program, raising particular concerns about resettlement needs of refugees fleeing religious persecution.
But more needs to be done.
The U.S Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has ruled on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. While SCOTUS allowed DACA to continue, the Administration can still attempt to end DACA at a later date. As a result, DACA immigrant youth are safe for now, but could be at risk for deportation in the future. We must not allow this to happen.
Most DACA recipients have spent the majority of their lives in the U.S., many have families, and all of them contribute to American society as taxpayers, consumers, and community members. Additionally, there are 62,000 DACA-eligible healthcare workers involved in the COVID-19 response.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Dream and Promise Act, H.R. 6, one year ago. H.R. 6 would give a path to citizenship for Dreamers. Now, in the wake of SCOTUS’ ruling, the U.S. Senate must act in order to protect Dreamers from the risk of deportation and family separation. The USCCB supports the DREAM Act, which includes a path to citizenship, and sent a letter to each Senator asking that they the support S. 874, the DREAM Act of 2019. Additionally, USCCB supports efforts to introduce a Senate companion to H.R. 6 as well.
As Catholics, we affirm the inherent dignity of every person. The U.S. Catholic Bishops urge you to express solidarity with Dreamers and ask you to contact your Senators requesting that they support the bipartisan DREAM Act of 2019 and encourage the Senate to introduce a companion bill to H.R.6, the American Dream and Promise Act.
Concerted efforts by the American people, elected leaders, and health professionals nationwide have helped to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in the United States. Nonetheless, COVID-19 continues to devastate our nation’s health and economic well-being. While thankfully Congress and the President have moved forward on legislation to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic in the U.S., there are still many people who have been left out of safety and welfare. We must do more to ensure that no one is left behind and that everyone is safe. As Catholics, we are called to be a Church for all God’s children. We affirm the inherent dignity of every person and our duty as Christians to work for the common good of all God’s people during this pandemic, while paying particular attention to the most vulnerable. We note the House’s efforts to move additional support to the country through the HEROES Act and we now urge the Senate to move forward with more COVID-19 assistance.