Immigration

‘Dreamer’ pleased by support from his parish, friends

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As a "Dreamer," Eric Reyes doesn't feel as if he's alone because of the support he's received. It comes from groups ranging from young teens to older adults, he said, and is "a great feeling that people don't despise me or don't feel threatened by us. They support the cause, for us being here and fighting for legalization and our right to be here."

"Dreamers" were brought to the United States as children without documentation and were afforded temporary protection under the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, which now is facing elimination unless Congress acts.

Supreme Court declines DACA case

Sisters of Mercy and others prayed inside the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington Feb. 27 as part of a “Catholic Day of Action for Dreamers” protest to press Congress to protect “Dreamers,” as those covered under DACA program are known.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a blow to the Trump administration's effort to end a program in March that protects young adults brought to the U.S. without legal permission as minors.

On Feb. 26, the court declined to hear and rule on whether the administration has the right to shut down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program.

In September, President Donald Trump announced his administration was ending the program, giving lawmakers until March 5 to find a legislative solution to protect the young adults benefiting from DACA.

Missouri Catholic Conference urges support for DREAM Act

The Missouri Catholic Conference (MCC) is asking people to contact their U.S. senators and congressional representatives to pass the DREAM Act.

The DREAM Act is a proposal brought up in the past in Congress — the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act — which would provide a path to citizenship for people brought to the United States as minors without documentation.

Fear becomes sin when it leads to hostility toward migrants, pope says

Family members brought up the offertory gifts as Pope Francis celebrated Mass marking the World Day of Migrants and Refugees Jan. 14 in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. The World Day for Migrants and Refugees has been an annual celebration of the Catholic Church for more than 100 years, with St. Pius X beginning the observance in 1914.

VATICAN CITY — Being afraid and concerned about the impact of migration is not a sin, Pope Francis said, but it is a sin to let those fears lead to a refusal to help people in need.

"The sin is to allow these fears to determine our responses, to limit our choices, to compromise respect and generosity, to feed hostility and rejection," the pope said Jan. 14, celebrating Mass for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees.

Priory student’s ‘Bridges’ leads to understanding

Priory student Sohan Kancherla, left, founded Bridges to America to raise awareness and assist refugees and immigrants assimilating into U.S. society. He helped teach a citizenship class at the International Institute and talked with former student Firas Kazlee who immigrated to St. Louis from Mosul, Iraq. “I just used Google to pick a place in the U.S. that looked nice,” Kazlee said, explaining how he came to St. Louis.

An interest in a program of pre-medical studies in college led a St. Louis Priory High School student to begin the nonprofit Bridges to America program to assist immigrants and refugees as they transition to life in the United States.

Sohan Kancherla's efforts helped other Priory students better understand migrants and the public policy issues that concern them.

Ending DACA will lead to ‘humanitarian crisis,’ says L.A. archbishop

Brenda Martinez worries her family will be separated if she is deported due to ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which currently allows her to stay in the United States. She arrived in the United States at the age of 6 and currently lives in Indianapolis, Ind. with her husband and daughters Luna, 4, and Athenea, 5 months, who both are United States citizens.

LOS ANGELES — Congress must separate "the conversation about DACA" from the "larger issues" about U.S. immigration policy, because allowing the program to expire will lead "to a humanitarian crisis," especially in Los Angeles, said Archbishop Jose H. Gomez.

"As a nation, we have a moral and humanitarian obligation to the 'Dreamers.' These young people have done nothing wrong. And their futures hang in the balance of these debates," he wrote in a column. "So, I hope you will join me in urging our leaders in Congress to help them in a spirit of generosity and justice."

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