I watch in horror while Trump administration mistreats immigrants and Congress refuses to step up and put an end to the cruelty. As a citizen and a member of the faith community (a Jewish rabbi), I am called to honor the sacredness in all of God’s children. So I must speak up.
At the forefront of my thoughts are DACA recipients, who met strict criteria before getting temporary protection from deportation. Their permits expire every two years, at which time they must reapply. The current renewal fees are high — $495. But the Dreamers that I know are willing to do whatever it takes to stay in America and continue building their lives.
Trump decided a year ago to end DACA, despite wide public support for the program that has added greatly to our economic and national security. Federal courts have ruled in favor of DACA. But conservative-led states aligned with Trump went to court in Texas to permanently kill DACA. As this struggle plays out in the courts, the lives of DACA holders are in limbo.
Congress needs to restore common sense and compassion to our immigration policy, and pass a clean DREAM act, granting DACA permit holders permanent protection from deportation, the opportunity to earn citizenship and to pursue their dreams. All people, regardless of status, deserve to be with their families, live free from fear, and pursue the many opportunities offered by our country.
Rabbi Susan Conforti, Auburn