faith in action

Lifting up the voices of those most impacted by DACA

Conversations about policy should center the voices most impacted. Too often, though, the media puts the spotlight elsewhere. Church and Society joined with our partners in the Interfaith Immigration Coalition to lift up the voices of DACA recipients.

The Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments Tuesday in a challenge to the Trump administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

DACA is a program created under former President Barack Obama that allows undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children to remain in the country.

With, not about

The media often talks about DACA recipients without talking with them. As we prepared for Tuesday’s Supreme Court hearing, we worked with our partners at the Interfaith Immigration Coalition to raise the voices of faith leaders who are also DACA recipients. These included two United Methodist pastors, the Revs. Orlando Gallardo and Juan Rios.

The news release was an invitation to members of the press to include faith leaders who are DACA recipients in their coverage, both of Tuesday’s hearing and more broadly. It included this quote from Gallardo, who serves as pastor of Drexel United Methodist Church in Drexel, Missouri.

DACA allowed me to become ordained in The United Methodist Church. Today, I am using my gifts as a minister. I am married to a U.S. citizen, but the process to get documents through marriage has become more convoluted with the current administration. My wife and I are new homeowners. I wouldn’t have been able to be where I am today without DACA.

The Center for American Progress hosted a prayer breakfast Tuesday morning before the Supreme Court hearing. Speakers included the Rev. Cassandra Nunez, a United Methodist pastor and DACA recipient. Church and Society tweeted a photo of General Secretary Susan Henry-Crowe standing in solidarity with Nunez and other DACA recipients.

The Interfaith Immigration Coalition is made up of 53 national, faith-based organizations brought together across many theological traditions with a common call to seek just policies that lift up the God-given dignity of every individual. In partnership, the coalition works to protect the rights, dignity, and safety of all refugees and migrants.

You can follow them on Twitter @interfaithimm.