November 2, 2017
Dear Members of Congress,
The Leadership Conference of Women Religious is committed to the gospel mandate to welcome the stranger and to uphold the dignity of all people. We, therefore, implore you to immediately take up and enact the Dream Act of 2017 (S. 1615/H.R. 3440).
Catholic sisters have a long history of accompanying the immigrant community. We continue to minister to these aspiring citizens in schools, hospitals, and service agencies across the country. We know first-hand the fear and uncertainty that plagues these young people and their communities. We will continue to stand with immigrant youth and their families and to advocate for passage of The Dream Act of 2017 without enforcement provisions that threaten our communities including increased funding for detention, deportation, or border militarization and any proposal that would threaten family unity.
Dreamers are our students, neighbors, and friends. They are doctors, teachers, and engineers. Dreamers protect our communities as first-responders and serve with distinction in our armed-forces. They are mothers and fathers raising American citizen children to love and respect this nation as they do. All they ask is the opportunity to continue to serve this country they call home, as citizens.
We call on members of Congress to embrace Dreamers and pass the Dream Act 2017. Two-thirds (67%) of Americans favor allowing immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to gain legal resident status if they join the military or go to college. That includes 79 percent of Democrats; 70 per cent of independents; and a majority of Republicans (51 percent). Overwhelmingly, members of Congress believe it is wrong to deport immigrant youth.
We urge members of both parties to reaffirm the values upon which this nation was founded by supporting this common sense path to justice for Dreamers and stability for families, communities, and local economies. The Dream Act 2017 is the only truly bipartisan, bicameral piece of legislation that will solve the problem the President created when he rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. It deserves your support.
We promise you our prayers and trust that you will do what is right for all of our people.
Joan Marie Steadman, CSC