Bishops' Joint Statement on DACA Youth

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The Catholic Bishops of Nebraska support DACA youth. DACA youth have become contributors to our economy, veterans of our military, academic standouts in our universities,and leaders in our parishes. These young people entered the United States as children and know America and our local communities in Nebraska as their only home.

Since 2012, nearly 800,000 young people nationally have passed background checks, paid a fee, and received permission to live and work in our country. Through DACA they have advanced their education, started small businesses, and more fully established themselves as integral members of our society.

While reasonable people may disagree about the nature and scope of former President Barack Obama’s Executive Action that established DACA, we can all agree DACA is not a permanent solution. Our DACA youths’ precarious legal and political situation overshadows their daily life and work. Their situation demands a resolution that is befitting of their human dignity.

We call upon our elected officials at the federal level to move forward and find permanent legislative solutions to ensure that DACA youth may remain in the United States, where they may continue to reach their God-given potential. We promise to work with lawmakers from all parties to ensure that DACA youth are able to stay in this country and live in peace.

We acknowledge that addressing immigration policy can be daunting and difficult. It is a task that requires prudent analysis and charitable dialogue. But we are certain there are opportunities to assist and advocate for our DACA youth.

Lastly, to DACA youth here in Nebraska: please know that the Catholic Church stands in solidarity with you. As pastors, it is our desire to accompany you in the anxieties and fears you face through this journey. Thank you for the daily contributions you make to your families, to local communities and parishes, and to our country.

With our prayers, we are sincerely yours in Christ,

Archbishop George J. Lucas, Archdiocese of Omaha
Bishop James D. Conley, Diocese of Lincoln
Bishop Joseph G. Hanefeldt, Diocese of Grand Island