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Immigrants: US Bishops, on February 26th a national day of rally in support of Dreamers

(Foto: AFP/SIR)

 

(From New York) The US Bishops announced that a national day of rally will be held on February 26th in support of Dreamers, the young immigrants who arrived at a very young age without legal papers to follow their parents and now risk to be deported, unless Congress approves the immigration reform law by March 5th. Last week, Senate had failed to reach the 60 votes required to continue the debate on the new legislation in support of Dreamers, and Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the US Bishops Conference, along with the archbishop José H. Gomez, deputy president of the US Bishops, and with monsignor Joe S. Vásquez, bishop of Austin and president of the Migration Committee, expressed all their disappointment for the senators’ failure “to meet and find a bipartisan solution to protect Dreamers”. Once again, the bishops, in the run-up to the forthcoming deadline, ask “members of Congress to prove to have the requisite leadership in finding a human solution for these young people, who experience more and more anxiety and uncertainty every single day”. On the National Call-In Day (the national day of the rally), the nation’s Catholics will convene their Congress representatives to urge them to find a citizenship procedure for these young people, on condition this will not be detrimental to the existing protection for their families and for unaccompanied children. As early as September, Trump’s government had announced that the protection programme for these young people, authorised to stay in the country under the Daca system, would come to an end. The president’s proposed reform would involve a citizenship procedure for all of them, but at the same time it asks for funds to build a wall with Mexico, to ban the Green Card lottery (the Green Card is a permit to live and work in the USA) and to reduce family reunions, which are currently permitted to grandparents, uncles and aunts. In addition, unaccompanied children who are not eligible for the programme risk to be expelled as well. “Now’s the time to act”, the Bishops go on and point out that “our faith forces us to be on the side of the more vulnerable ones, and they include our immigrant brothers and sisters. We have done it all the time, but now we have to show our support and our solidarity in a special way”, aware that the fight is not over. It has been estimated that approximately 800,000 Dreamers might be affected by the missed reform, but the New York Centre for Migration Studies estimates that over 2.2 million young people could be involved in the process. Some judges have temporarily stopped Trump’s government from ending the protection programme, but such rulings only apply to those people who have to renew their residence permits by that date.

 

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