Dreamers, DACA & the Church
BY TYLER BENDER, SENIOR DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS
Immigration policy is complicated. It's another issue in America that is surrounded by numerous & polarizing opinions. So let's leave politics aside for a moment and talk about why we, Grace Church, need to care about the decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
First, there are Dreamers at Grace and they're being affected in deep and disturbing ways by this decision. In the last 24 hours, information, perspective, and stories have poured into Grace Church regarding DACA and the Dreamers being impacted in our community.
We partner with Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic (NCLC) who, in turn, works with and partners with Dreamers every single day. Staff and volunteers at NCLC attend Grace Church. Their Executive Director is asking us Christians to ""abide with the DACA youth."" He says that ""our young immigrant neighbors who have been here since they were children are now wondering why they are considered 'illegal' and have just lost hope...(DACA) does not give a path to citizenship. It just gave them the ability to do things we all acknowledge are good and important: to work and to pay taxes.""
A student at a college in Indiana has family who visits our Care Center regularly. They're our friends. He came to this country when he was two years old and is now 19 - a freshman. His family is riddled with fear and sadness that ""he will lose all the opportunity to be what he can be in this world.""
This is happening to us, Grace family. Right under our feet.
So to the Dreamers in our midst, Grace Church is here for you and stands with you. We know that there are many of you in our community. We love you and want you here. As Christians (little Christs, remember?), may we lament that so many people in our country and around America have been living in anxiety, fear, and pain since the Department of Justice made the announcement to rescind DACA on September 5. Elements of Scripture make it clear to us why we should care; welcoming the stranger, experiencing unity, mercy, and becoming a refuge for the needy are all reasons we should care.
So what can you do? First, you must pray. Pray for our country's leaders in Congress. They must work now to protect young people brought to the U.S. as children (the Dreamers). You can also learn more about NCLC and how to support them in their daily fight for justice. Grace Church and many churches & communities around this country have been blessed and enriched by their presence. They are a gift to us.