The Week Ahead: July 31- Aug. 4
August 7, 2017
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“Empowering the most vulnerable is our moral and ethical calling. Making the DREAM Act the law of the land exclaims the best of who we are and what we do. It is a statement of both American values and Godly principles.”
— Tom Legrand, Pastor of Daybreak Community Church in Greenville, South Carolina, July 27
Local Leaders to Highlight Support for Dreamers during August Recess
Throughout the August recess, local faith, law enforcement and business leaders will attend in-district meetings with members of Congress to discuss their support for Dreamers.
To address the situation of this group of young immigrants, these local leaders will discuss the importance of legislative solutions including the DREAM Act, introduced in bipartisan fashion in both the Senate and the House.
Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) introduced the Senate bill July 20 for which other co-sponsors include Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Chuck Schumer (D-New York) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nevada). On Wednesday, Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida) and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-California) introduced a companion DREAM Act in the House of Representatives. House co-sponsors include Reps. Mike Coffman (R-Colorado) and Zoe Lofgren (D-California).
And on Friday, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Illinois) introduced the American Hope Act, a Democrat-backed bill to address the situation of the Dreamers, with 117 co-sponsors.
Faith, law enforcement, business and other local leaders across the country since have spoken out in support of legislative solutions for Dreamers.
Trump Administration Shifts DHS Leadership
Friday afternoon, President Trump announced that Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly would be leaving his cabinet position to take over as White House chief of staff, replacing Reince Priebus. In light of the announcement that Secretary Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general, would be leaving his position at DHS, the Trump administration will be considering new candidates to lead the department.
Elaine Duke, previously the DHS deputy secretary, is serving as the acting DHS secretary.
Summary of immigration legislation introduced and government reports on immigration:
THE STATE (South Carolina) (Sandifer Letter): Bible calls us to help immigrant youth
July 27, 2017
COLUMBIA, SC — Over the years, our church has befriended many young people through our ministry to immigrant families. They are not abstract political problems but our friends and neighbors. And if given the chance, they would be model citizens who would bolster the economy for all U.S. workers.
They and others are waiting for a solution from Congress so they can continue, with confidence, to contribute to our communities, churches and workplaces. One student has faithfully attended our church’s activities for years. Intelligent and hardworking, he would be grateful to attain citizenship someday.
The Trump administration has indicated that it might not defend legal challenges to the federal policy granting Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which has protected these young people from deportation.
But ending that program without a legislative solution in place would be short-sighted. It would divide many families, including those we minister to. These children came to the country through no choice of their own. Their dreams could be dashed without bipartisan solutions from our nation’s leaders.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS (Editorial): Tragic human smuggling deaths shows the need for humane immigration laws
July 25, 2017
The horrific death of at least 10 immigrants sneaking across Texas this weekend in the back of a tractor-trailer rig with no air-conditioning is a tragic reminder of the lengths people will go to in pursuit of a better life.
It’s also a grim, cautionary tale about greedy predators who stand ready to capitalize on that greatest of all human suffering – that irrepressible yearning for a better life; in this case, a shot at the American dream.
It’s small solace that the driver of that rig was arrested and charged Monday with illegally transporting the immigrants, nearly three dozen of whom were found in a Wal-Mart parking lot in San Antonio.
The question we all should ponder now is this: What can we do to stave off such tragedies, and to shut down sinister underground enterprises that exploit a vulnerable, yet steady stream of desperate souls?
DAILY CALLER (Lowery Contreras Op-Ed): The U.S.S. Sgt. Rafael Peralta
By Raoul Lowery Contreras
July 26, 2017
The 29th of July 2017 will be memorialized by 37 million Mexicans Americans and 125 million Mexicans in Mexico.
Why? Because for only the second time in history, the United States is commissioning a war ship named for a Mexican American hero; Mexican citizen United States Marine, Sgt. Rafael Peralta, 25, of Mexico City/Tijuana and San Diego, California.
Born in a Mexico City working neighborhood young Rafael was taken to the border’s burgeoning Tijuana as a boy. Relatives legally living in San Diego, California on the other side of the fence separating the U.S. and Mexico, sponsored Rafael’s student visa so he was totally legal. He attended Samuel B. Morse High School in the eastern edge of San Diego. In his senior year he met a Marine recruiter and fell in love with the Marines. Could join when he graduated? Yes but not with his student visa. He applied for a “Permanent Resident Card” (Green Card) sponsored by his legal resident aunt. The minute the card was granted, legal permanent U.S. resident Rafael Peralta entered San Diego’s Marine Corps Recruit Depot, the world famous Marine Boot Camp.