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Archbishop to Trump: Don't deport young ‘Dreamers’

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput - Cameron B. Pollack photo for 
Jeff Gammage reports for

Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput spoke out Friday morning in support of a federal program that blocks the deportation of people who as children were illegally brought to this country — an initiative now on the presidential chopping block.

“It’s one thing to tighten the security of our borders and to deport violent criminals,” the archbishop said in a statement. “It’s a different and much uglier thing to punish young people who’ve grown up in the United States as their home.”

DACA, which stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, allows certain people who entered the country as minors to gain a renewable, two-year deferment from deportation and to be eligible for work permits.

Commonly called “Dreamers” — for Dream Act legislation that has not passed — recipients may live, work and seek education in the U.S. They do not receive citizenship or legal status. Nearly 790,000 recipients who have largely grown up the U.S. have been able to contribute to their communities, pay taxes, hold jobs, and support families without fear of being deported.

“The White House has the power to end DACA. It has threatened to do so as early as today. This would be a drastic mistake,” Archbishop Chaput said. “It can only make our complicated immigration issues worse. It will poison our national debates and damage the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people who pose no threat to anyone.

“I ask the people of the Archdiocese to press their federal lawmakers to find a positive legislative replacement for DACA, and to prevent the deportation of these young people.”

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Archbishop to Trump: Don't deport young ‘Dreamers’


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