Support for Dreamers from Veterans and Faith, Law Enforcement and Business Leaders

 

Midwest

West

South Central

Southeast

National Evangelical Leaders

Veterans

 

Midwest:

 

Tony Burrell, Chicagoland Immigrant Welcome Network, Hammond, Indiana:

“If there is one issue that needs non-negotiable bipartisan support right now, it is the immigration issue of keeping families together, and giving Dreamers the legal opportunities to continue making America their home. I say this as a Christian who believes that God is big enough to keep America great and still welcome immigrants. We are not a country of scarcity. We are a country of abundant blessing, and have the spiritual responsibility to share that blessing as our faith exhorts us to.”

 

Rick Champ, Director of Partner Development, Ignite Church Planting, Champaign, Illinois:

“The Dreamers are young men and women who are an integral part of our faith communities and country — they are our neighbors and family. They represent the best values of our nation. Together we need to develop a long-term solution welcoming them and allowing them to continue to thrive and fully contribute to our nation.”

 

Matt Erickson, Senior Pastor, Eastbrook Church, Milwaukee, Wisconsin:

“We as God’s people are supposed to mirror the passion of God for the foreigner, and as people of faith we need to stand with Dreamers who love this country and its values. We want the larger Christian community in the U.S. to know that this issue directly affects our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are called to live out the commandments of Jesus, and that means standing on the side of justice with our Dreamers.”

 

Sarah Jane Holsteen, Adjunct Professor of English, University of Northwestern, St. Paul, Minnesota:

“As a college instructor, I recognize the vital importance of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in allowing immigrants who came to the U.S. as minors the opportunity to pursue higher education regardless of their immigration status. These students are highly motivated and dedicated to building a better future for themselves, their communities and our country. I support Dreamers and urge our Congress and president to legislate a just, permanent solution for these individuals; make the DREAM reality!”

 

Sister Melanie Maczka, Executive Director of Casa ALBA Melanie, Green Bay, Wisconsin:

“I’ve known so many of these Dreamers since they were children. They’re great and determined students in school. They have always felt welcomed and at home here, in the only country they know. I often hear expressions from them of hopefulness and gratitude…With DACA they confidently go on to college with great dreams and have jobs and families. They are enthusiastically contributing to Wisconsin and to our country. But now they’re deeply worried for themselves and families. They need congress to act. These youth and their families contribute much. Their dreams enrich all of us. We urge our members of Congress to pass a just and compassionate legislative solution to protect these young people, their families, their jobs and their continued presence in our country.”

 

Katherine Narvaez, DACA Recipient, Health Program Coordinator, Center for Pan Asian Community Services (CPACS), Norcross, Georgia:

“DACA has allowed us to better ourselves through our education and better our communities through the ability to work, becoming homeowners and entrepreneurs. This is our American dream, and we’ve proven ourselves to be assets to this country. We implore that everyone support passing legislation to keep families together, and allow us to continue giving back to our communities.”

 

Mark Prosser, Public Safety Director, Storm Lake, Iowa:

“I strongly encourage Congress to protect the young people the DACA program has helped. Time and again I’ve witnessed DACA recipients succeed in their endeavors and efforts and continually make our community a much better place to live, work and play.”

 

Kevin Sampson, Pastor, Renewal Church, West Chicago, Illinois:

“Congress must pass a permanent solution promptly to protect Dreamers who have grown up in the U.S. and are an integral part of our churches and communities. Any legislation must support the reunification of families, a value we as a faith community hold dear, and honor our long-standing heritage of being a welcoming place for all immigrants seeking to call America home.”

 

Todd Thomas, Police Chief, Appleton, Wisconsin:

“From a law enforcement perspective, we need to ensure that our borders are secure, but at the same time we need a process that helps us focus on public safety, target serious crime and protect witnesses and victims. Trust is the foundation of policing, and unless Congress acts, I fear that the Dreamers are going to be driven back into the shadows and create safe zones for criminals. The time is right for both parties to step up and put some permanent fixes in place that are going to make all our communities safer.”

 

Mike Tupper, Police Chief, Marshalltown, Iowa:

“As a police chief of a small but very diverse community in central Iowa, I see the end of DACA as a very destabilizing force in my community, and frankly the negative conversation around immigration has been a destabilizing force in my community and all of our communities. Local law enforcement across the country works very hard to engage the public and build trust. When Dreamers, and all immigrants, feel safe engaging with local police, all of our communities are safer.”

 

West:

 

Chris Burbank, Retired Police Chief, Salt Lake City, Utah:

“As a nation we are at our best when humanity drives our decision making. Unfortunately, rhetoric, xenophobia and fear overruled reason in the determination to end DACA. In my experience, derisive and exclusionary behavior has only served to increase crime and disorder. The open participation of all individuals in a community creates trust and ultimately safety.”

 

Caleb Campbell, Lead Pastor, Desert Springs Bible Church, Phoenix, Arizona:

“It is absolutely essential that our Congress act with urgency to provide a permanent legislative solution for Dreamers, like those who serve in my church and strengthen our community. With protections for many Dreamers expiring every day, I support any bipartisan efforts that provide our Dreamers with a pathway to citizenship that can pass both the House and the Senate. It is my prayer that our members of Congress will act quickly and compassionately to resolve this issue.”

 

Dr. Drey Campbell Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work, Northwest Nazarene University, Nampa, Idaho:

“As American citizens, it is our responsibility to show grace to those who desire to help this country grow into a more diverse and successful nation. This is a poignant time in history to support bipartisan legislative efforts that have the potential to shift the aging elephant in the room known as immigration policy. Dreamers and their families need our voices to be loud and clear.”

 

Bernardo Castro, Dreamer and Brigham Young University Student, Provo, Utah:

“Every day that Congress waits to find a solution is a day of growing uncertainty for me and for hundreds of thousands of others like me. We just want to keep contributing, keep providing for ourselves and our families, here in our home — the United States. … We are so ready to give back, to be free of the questions that are weighing us down right now. We need Congress to pass a solution as soon as possible … I’m undocumented and scared. I’m not scared for myself, because I know I’ll be OK, but I’m scared for all those caught in the middle who are children and U.S. citizens and will lose a brother, a sister, a mom or dad.”

 

Dr. Peter Crabb, Professor of Finance and Economics, Northwest Nazarene University, Nampa, Idaho:

“The U.S. has a strong heritage of welcoming immigrants, and much of our economic success can be attributed to the skills, creative ideas, and work ethic of Dreamers, the millions of hard-working residents that risk losing their legal right to employment here. Economic research shows that immigration is good for U.S. worker productivity. At a time when the U.S. economy is doing well a policy that forces out many productive workers will only hurt us. Congress needs to work quickly to provide a permanent solution for these Dreamers.”

 

Daniel Dominguez, Director of Multicultural Ministries, Fresno Pacific University, Fresno, California:

“Dreamers not only dream dreams, they live them. As the Director of Multicultural Ministries at Fresno Pacific University (FPU) I have the privilege of walking along side 30 students through their collegiate experience. These 30 students are all recipients of the DREAM Act and are making the most of their opportunity by transitioning, their once upon a time dream of a higher education, into a reality they now walk in. These 30 students are our FPU’s Samaritan Scholars — these 30 students are our dreams in action.”

 

Tyler Johnson, Lead Pastor, Redemption Church, Phoenix, Arizona:

“Followers of Jesus are called to do justly and to love mercy, which compels us on this issue. We’re called to open our mouths for those who are mute and destitute and that means staying on the side of justice with DACA kids … We believe strongly that it would be wrong to deprive them of these opportunities — morally wrong as well as the wrong decision for the benefit of the United States of America.”

 

Janikke Klem, Vice President of Community Relations, Technology Credit Union, San Jose, California:

“One quarter of DACA recipients are pursuing post-secondary education. They represent a domestic source of intellectual capital that will work in different tech jobs, from start-ups to global corporations. Immigration has long been a source of strength for America’s innovation economy and DACA recipients contribute to this economic vitality. A recent survey reveals that half of America’s startups valued at $1 billion or more were started by immigrants. Immigration policies like DACA help ensure that we are able to continue to retain the best global talent and grow American jobs. Because of this, we call on Congress to pass permanent legislation such as the bipartisan DREAM Act.”

 

Kathleen M. Klug, College Counselor, Aspen High School; Director, Colorado Western Slope College Fair, Aspen, Colorado:

“As a high school college counselor, I have had profound experiences with many Dreamers who have committed themselves to getting an education to take part in the American dream. These young people are hard workers who are adding to the economic health of our nation and will be educated contributors to America and our future.”

 

Mayra Macedo-Nolan, Lake Avenue Church, Pasadena, California:

“I will never forget the heartbreak I felt when the student I was encouraging looked at me and said, ‘What difference does it make? I am undocumented. I can’t afford college, and even if I could find a way to pay for it, I won’t get hired in my field. I can be deported at any time. There is no real future for me.’ I will never forget the heartbreak I felt when the student I was encouraging looked at me and said, ‘What difference does it make? I am undocumented. I can’t afford college, and even if I could find a way to pay for it, I won’t get hired in my field. I can be deported at any time. There is no real future for me.’

“DACA changed that. This student and many others have gone on to college; some are studying while working. Each of them is proud of their accomplishments and excited about their future. The tangible hope that DACA has brought to my community has already impacted generations to come. As followers of Jesus, we know the power of hope. Hope changes things, and because of that hope, DACA has the power to transform communities. We must ensure that DACA remains in effect and our Dreamers can continue to dream.”

 

Gerardo Magana, Pastor, Emmaus Church, Santa Ana, California:

“As man of faith and Local Pastor, working on behalf of Dreamers is central to my heart and mission. Acting on bipartisan, reform that makes allowances and provision to Dreamers is of upmost importance and critical in giving so many the gift of continuing to live outside of the shadows in be a part of our communities.”

 

Chris Magnus, Chief of Police, Tucson, Arizona:

“As a police chief in a diverse city that benefits from the hard work and contributions of Dreamers, I urge our members of Congress to support bipartisan efforts to allow Dreamers to continue to strengthen our communities, like the Uniting and Securing America Act, led by Reps. Hurd and Aguilar. Partisan proposals that tie the fate of these Dreamers to a myriad of problematic propositions, including replacing local control of law enforcement priorities by mandating Washington DC-based solutions to enforce the law are unfortunate and unhelpful.”

 

Sheriff Margaret Mims, Fresno County, California:

“From the law enforcement perspective, we need an immigration process that helps law enforcement focus on public safety, target serious crime and protect witnesses and victims. We need to ensure that our borders are secure, and at the same time, we need a process that helps us keep our communities safe. A solution for Dreamers, who have cleared security checks and are working, studying, contributing to our communities and strengthening our country in so many ways, is clearly a step in the right direction.”

 

Sylvia Moir, Police Chief, Tempe, Arizona:

“DACA offers children protection from being held responsible for the actions of their parents. Urging Congress to pass laws that protect DACA recipients sends a clear signal that we recognize our responsibility to safeguard those children who did not choose where they live and encourages these Dreamers to pursue the best that our nation has to offer.”

 

Adriana Mondragon, Ministry Leader, Emmaus Church of Santa Ana, Santa Ana, California:

“As a Dreamer, my hope and prayer is that our president will have the courage and character to follow through with his word to collaborate with Congress for a realistic and fair solution that will lift the bar limiting my God-given abilities and gifts to impact the world for better.”

 

Beck A. Taylor, President, Whitworth University, Spokane, Washington:

“As a university president, I have a front row seat to observe how these amazing young people, most of whom can only remember calling the U.S. their home, contribute intellectually, socially and spiritually to the vitality of my campus. Simply put, Whitworth University wouldn’t be the place it is today without our Dreamers. Congress must pass legislation that ensures their inclusion and safety as contributing members of our communities. Anything less would be a heartbreaking travesty and injustice.”

 

South Central:

 

Art Acevedo, Police Chief, Houston, Texas:

“Failure to act on DACA will push many members of society into the dark and into isolation, further eroding the law enforcement community’s ability to prevent, disrupt and solve crime. The very vast majority of DACA recipients are law-abiding and successful people who came to this nation as children and, but for their birthplace, are American through and through.”

 

Felix Cabrera, Lead Pastor, Iglesia Bautista Central, Co-Founder, Hispanic Baptist Pastors Alliance, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma:

“The bipartisan Uniting and Securing America Act both provides hope to Dreamers—including those within my congregation and many others throughout the country—and improves border security. It’s the best way forward in my view. Proposals that leave Dreamers without the chance of earning citizenship in the country they consider their home, that dramatically reduce legal immigration, and that restrict possibilities for family reunification are the wrong way to go.”

 

Liz Cedillo-Pereira, Director, Dallas Office of Welcoming Communities & Immigrant Affairs, Dallas, Texas:

“We are hopeful that Congress will address this important issue. Passage of the Dream Act, or similar bipartisan legislation, would allow recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to remain and continue contributing and thriving in our nation and the Dallas community.”

 

Dr. David Galvan, Senior Pastor, New Life Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas:

“I applaud bipartisan efforts to negotiate a permanent resolution for our DACA kids. We’ve agreed they deserve protection. We’ve agreed they are contributors to our economy. But there’s one bigger issue … we must also agree they are worthy of a path to citizenship. Great nations don’t politically and permanently identify anyone as a second class citizen.”

 

Edward Gonzalez, Sheriff, Harris County, Texas:

“Congress owes all Americans a bipartisan, permanent solution for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). A solution for Dreamers is also a solution for American workers, businesses, law enforcement, churches, our military, and entire communities. Dreamers are our neighbors, our co-workers, our friends. It is past time for our Congress to rise above the political rhetoric and demonstrate true leadership on this urgent issue.”

 

Dr. John-Mark Hart, Christ Community Church, Senior Pastor, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma:

“As a pastor in south Oklahoma City, I’ve had the privilege to know many wonderful young people who were brought across the United States border without documentation when they were small children. America is the only home that they know, and they have not committed any crime. Nonetheless, our broken immigration system still leaves them vulnerable to exploitation and puts limits on their dreams by denying them any pathway to permanent legal status in this country. It would be immoral to punish these people for a crime they didn’t commit or to leave them in their vulnerable situation. Creating pathways to permanent legal status for these hard-working, creative, law-abiding residents is the right thing to do, and it will make our communities stronger.”

 

Roland Johnson, Pastor, Primera Iglesia Bautista, Ft. Worth, Texas:

“Jesus was the first Dreamer. Warned in a dream of Herod’s plans, Joseph left Palestine and entered into Egypt without a passport and visa. Likewise, we have teenagers brought to our country by their parents escaping persecution or wanting a more promising future. We owe them the same opportunity the Egyptians gave to our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

Stan Marek, CEO, Marek Brothers Construction, Houston, Texas:

“It would be a real shame to deny the Dreamers legal status. Hundreds of thousands of young men and women have come out of the shadows and are making a contribution to their communities. All undocumented who meet a politically determined benchmark should be offered legal status if they consent to a background check. Once given an ID and registered in a database, they can work for an employer who pays and matches taxes. Two things accomplished — national security because now we know who is here, and revenue generation in the form of taxes.”

 

Tim Moore, Senior Pastor, Walk Worthy Baptist Church, Austin, Texas:

“DACA recipients’ potential in America is vast, but their paths become very narrow if Congress does not provide a fix. Returning them to the shadows or rounding them up for deportation would force 750,000 lives to become needless casualties of America’s great failure to achieve a DACA fix or commonsense immigration reform.”

 

Abraham Perez, President Austin Latin Ministries Alliance, Austin, Texas:

“DACA es una solución temporal. El Congreso debe cumplir nuestra responsabilidad de reformar el sistema migratorio.”

 

Ruby Powers, Immigration Attorney, Houston, Texas:

“Allowing a path for legal permanent residency and eventual citizenship for DREAM Act/DACA recipients is a step in the right direction for immigration reform. It will benefit our communities, local businesses, and the future of young American children.”

 

Marivel Reyes, El Shaddai, Austin, Texas:

“Es el deber del Congreso encontrarle un camino a la ciudadanía a los 11 millones de inmigrantes. El #DreamAct es un primer paso.”

 

Graciela Saenz, Transactional & Government Relations Attorney, Houston, Texas:

“Dreamers can be a benefit to this country through good legislation that will allow them to become responsible income producing members of our communities. Legislation that will lay out a plan to facilitate this opportunity is what our nation is all about.”

 

Graciela Saenz, Immigration Attorney, Houston, Texas:

“Dreamers can be a benefit to this country through good legislation that will allow them to become responsible income producing members of our communities. Legislation that will lay out a plan to facilitate this opportunity is what our nation is all about.”

 

Lee Turner, Business Leader, Barnabas Group, Houston, Texas:

“The Pledge of Allegiance ends with three important words: ‘justice for all.’ I said those words every day in my early school years. I meant them then. I mean them now. I pray Congress means them also. I’m eagerly anticipating a fix for DACA.”

 

Southeast:

 

Bruce Ashford, Provost, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, North Carolina:

“How can we find a way to help these young people have a hope and a future in a way that benefits us all? The best way to help Dreamers is to build a multifaceted program of immigration reform that deports violent criminals, but provides multiple paths to legal status for other undocumented immigrants.”

 

James Campbell, Carolina High School, Greenville, South Carolina:

“My students who have DACA want to work, go to college and contribute to their community. They love America as it is their only home. They have a hope that America will always to the right thing, even when it seems difficult.

 

Sarah Damewood, Career Counselor, Columbia, South Carolina:

“As the member of a church with many Hispanic members, I’m concerned about how many bright and talented young people are losing opportunities to develop their careers and our economy. Some are very fearful of DACA being repealed, and they are afraid they might be forced to leave the only country they’ve ever known.”

 

Chris Davis, Senior Pastor, Groveton Baptist Church, Alexandria, Virginia:

“Time is running out for the Dreamers. In good faith they stepped up to identify themselves and their desire to be part of our national life. They work, learn, and contribute to a better America. They did not choose to enter our country but they are choosing to be a meaningful part of it. Congress must act now help them achieve that dream.”

 

Fred Fletcher, Retired Police Chief, Chattanooga, Tennessee:

“I am strenuously opposed — as a law enforcement leader and community member — to eliminating the protections and hope that DACA offers to young men and women who find themselves in a difficult and complicated situation, usually through no choice of their own.”

 

Kent Fuchs, President, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida:

“I don’t speak up on many national issues, but I do when they’re of critical importance to the future of the university, its students and its mission, which is to educate students who will make a difference in the economy of our state and our nation as well…“Our undocumented students are some of our best, and a pathway to citizenship is in the best interest not only of those students and our universities, but the state of Florida and our nation.”

 

Elisa Gonzalez, Intern Development Director, Urban Hope, Spartanburg, South Carolina:

“Before DACA, going to college and being able to purse my dream job was only a dream. Due to DACA, I have been able not only to pursue an education that will lead to my dream job, but contribute to the country I call home. Creating a path to citizenship for DACA recipients will finally give concrete documents to more than 800,000 people who have called America home for years.”

 

Kacey Grantham, Executive Director, Golden Door Scholars, Charlotte, North Carolina:

“Golden Door Scholars has helped 258 high-performing DACA recipients attend colleges and universities across the nation. Our students are really incredible and invaluable members of their collegiate and corporate communities, and they’re scared right now. Deporting them would be a huge loss for them and their families, but also for us. Dreamers play active and critical roles in our communities and our businesses. It’s really important from multiple angles that we protect these Dreamers with a permanent legislative solution.”

 

Kevin Greiner, President & CEO, Gas South, Atlanta, Georgia:

“Immigrants are working throughout the US at companies large and small. At Gas South, seven of our 220 employees are authorized to work under DACA. These young people have been amazing team members who possess an outstanding work ethic, exemplify our values, and possess valuable bilingual skills. Most importantly, they are our colleagues and friends and make meaningful contributions to our culture here at Gas South. This is why we are staying engaged to encourage Congress to pass a permanent solution for DACA recipients.”

 

Blake Hart, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Rock Hill, South Carolina:

“The more Dreamers I meet, the more I realize how much our country has gained from their presence. I hope that we will not turn our backs on them now, but that instead, we will give them and their families the welcome they deserve.”

 

Terri Hendrix, VP of Business Development & Community Engagement, Carolina Foothills Federal Credit Union, Spartanburg, South Carolina:

“I can speak first-hand about the benefits of having a ‘Dreamer’ work for your organization. If ‘Dreamers’ are not allowed to stay in the U.S., our country, and especially our organization, would suffer a huge setback in our ability to grow as a small business and as a financial stability community partner.”

 

Brent Hobbs, Pastor, New Song Fellowship, Virginia Beach, Virginia:

“Dreamers need a real solution now from Congress — one that treats them fairly and compassionately. Real lives and families hang in the balance. Time is running out and Dreamers will lose their ability to continue working and going to school, even after having met the requirements that were asked of them, if Congress doesn’t act. This issue shouldn’t divide us. The right decision is clear. Give these young people a way to continue their education, work, and raising their family by providing an earned path to citizenship.”

 

Dean Inserra, Pastor, City Church, Tallahassee, Florida:

“Having Christian compassion and respecting the rule of law as an American citizen are two ideas that don’t need to be at odds with each other…“As Christians, we value life—all people are made in the image of God. It’s unjust to punish children for crimes they didn’t commit. These ideas should not be complicated for a Christian. We want to respect the rule of law while upholding justice and love for our neighbors. I want Dreamers to know that as Christians, we’re pointing people towards strong compassion, understanding and awareness. We need to be united in the fact that these are our neighbors.”

 

Dr. Tom Legrand, Pastor, Daybreak Community Church, Greenville, South Carolina:

“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.”

 

Maudia Melendez, Jesus Ministries, Charlotte, North Carolina:

“I consider DACA children as a group of true Americans that have grown up loving God, loving their family, and loving the country where they were raised, the United States of America.”

 

Greg Smith, Program Director and Accredited Representative, LUCHA Ministries Immigration Legal Services and Field Personnel, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Fredericksburg, Virginia:

“It is vitally important that Congress pass bipartisan Dreamer legislation. Young immigrants who will benefit the most from this legislation are feeling tremendous stress and worry, first by not knowing if they will be able to continue living and working legally in the U.S. past the end of their DACA status, second because they are anxious over Congress’ unending bickering and inaction, and third because they fear shortsighted legislation requiring funding for a wall and ending aspects of family-based immigration will hurt their loved ones. The moral imperative demands Congress do the right thing now by these hard-working young people and pass clean Dreamer legislation that guarantees their ability to live and work in this country, provides a pathway to citizenship, and keeps families together.”

 

C. Franklin Snowden III, The Snowden Law Offices, P.C., Montgomery, Alabama:

“In my experience, dreamers are some of the most courageous, enduring, honest and hard-working people in the United States. I’ve tried to consider and comprehend what it would have been like if the roles were reversed and I, or my children, migrated to a foreign country as a child, and I truly think it’s beyond my imagination. I cannot think of a single reason why we would not to want to include “dreamers” as legal citizens of our country, that was, in fact founded by people who were also courageous, enduring, honest and hard-working. We could all learn a lot about perseverance from them. Providing a statutory DACA opportunity is very simply the right thing to do.”

 

Walter Strickland, 1st Vice President, Southern Baptist Convention, Wake Forest, North Carolina:

“As evangelicals we believe that all immigrants are made in the image of God and we must treat them with the utmost dignity. This comes from the Old Testament and the New Testament alike. We are especially at this juncture concerned about the future of Dreamers because they offer so much to our country. It is time for Congress to act and to seize the moment. The constituents that I represent overwhelmingly support a permanent legislative solution for Dreamers.”

 

John Wible, Former Chief Legal Counsel, Alabama Department of Public Health:

“An attempt to suddenly deport DACA-eligible undocumented persons is bad for business. The far more economically viable approach is to offer some legal mechanism to account for such persons. After that, those who actually pose a threat, either criminally, societally or economically, can be identified and deported. This would actually be doable if the American people and their elected representatives could summon the political will to do it. This may be a rare case when that which is ethical is also the very thing that is economical.”

 

National Evangelical Leaders:

 

Leith  Anderson, President, National Association of Evangelicals:

“The Bible has a definite protection for children who were under age 20 when their parents chose immigration to the Promised Land for them (Numbers 14). Let’s follow the Bible’s precedent and protect those whose parents chose for them to immigrate to today’s Promised Land of America.”

 

Scott Arbeiter, President, World Relief:

“As followers of Jesus, we believe that advocating for this legislation is an important way to tangibly love our neighbors and to stand in solidarity with the many in the U.S. whose livelihoods depend upon this program.”

 

Shirley Hoogstra, President, Council for Christian Colleges and Universities:

“The CCCU continues to stand with immigrants and with the many undocumented students on our campuses across the country who are made vulnerable through no fault of their own. Our faith compels us to give aid and care for the immigrant and the displaced, and our campuses seek to provide an education that ensures the success and flourishing of every student, no matter their country of origin.”

 

Hyepin Im, CEO, Korean Christian Community Development/Faith and Community Empowerment:

“40 percent of California Dreamers alone are Asian American and Pacific Islanders. We ask that President Trump honor his past assurances and work with Congress to keep the dream alive for so many of these promising youths who know America as their only home. It is the right thing to do.”

 

Jo Anne Lyon, Ambassador, General Superintendent Emerita, The Wesleyan Church:

“The United States has a great future rich with all the Dreamers who are pursuing higher education at this very moment. We cannot lose this future.”

 

Dr. Russell Moore, President, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention:

“It is long past time for Congress to work together to find a workable solution for our broken immigration system — especially for the hundreds of thousands of young, undocumented immigrants who were brought to our country by their parents. Many of these Dreamers have stepped forward in good faith. Congress should respond with a legislative solution that delivers on the promises made to these men and women and protects them from perpetual uncertainty. Let’s pray for a fair solution that highlights both justice and compassion.”

 

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference:

“Dreamers are not bargaining chips, they are America’s sons and daughters, and right now, they urgently need our support. NHCLC has worked diligently, often behind closed doors, urging the president to move away from his campaign promise to rescind DACA on day one. The human toll that will be unleashed by rescinding DACA is potentially devastating. This is, and always has been, an issue centered upon the sanctity of human life. As a pastor, I cannot sit idly by while the federal government threatens to forcibly separate families by deportation. In the Scriptures, we read the timeless words, ‘Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.’ (Mark 10:9) It is no individual’s or government’s place to rip families apart, let alone millions of them. The scope of this crisis is simply breathtaking. If the president breaks his promise to us to protect these children, they should be prepared for a mass exodus of the administration’s Hispanic support. Even the most conservative among us will not sacrifice our children on the altar of political expediency. Let me be clear, should they decide to do so, we will oppose them.”

 

Travis Wussow, Vice President for Public Policy and General Counsel, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention:

“This is a justice issue for us because the Bible is clear that we don’t hold children accountable for the actions of their parents. This is also a human dignity issue because very person, regardless of where they were born, is an image bearer of God. We need to be able to ensure that our immigration policies, top to bottom, are pro-family.”

 

Veterans:

 

Raoul Lowery Contreras, USMC Veteran, Del Mar Heights, California:

“We must move beyond any thought of punishing sons and daughters for violations of their parents. No child of a year or two or three can commit a “crime,” by any legal standard, thus we must treat those who were brought here as children by a legal standard that does not punish. We must create a permanent standard to handle these unique young people who have never known any other country or culture. “Why? Because we are Americans. We are the most unique nation in the world. To remain so, the president and Congress must fix this problem — now.”

 

Lt. Col. Scott Cooper, Director of Veterans for American Ideals at Human Rights First, and U.S. Marine Corps Veteran        :

“During my service overseas in the Marine Corps, I realized that immigrants in our military often times cared for, loved and wanted to serve their country even more than those of us who were born here. Dreamers by nature are talented, hardworking and full of potential and promise. Deporting them to countries they don’t know would be nothing less than cruel, and would also be a waste of valuable resources. In Dreamers, we have a group of patriotic young people who want to defend the only country they’ve ever known. Think of the potential we’re losing if we don’t give them the chance to serve our military and to our nation. This is why I’m calling on Congress to pass legislation that allows Dreamers to serve in our military and contribute to our country.”

 

Jordan Morales, USAF Veteran, Lexington, South Carolina:

“As an Air Force veteran and staunch Republican, national security is a priority issue for me. That’s why I strongly believe that we need the DACA community looking to secure their place among us through military service, especially to fill critically staffed career fields that we desperately need to keep the homeland safe. The contributions that these people make through military service, as well as their economic and community contributions, are priceless.”

 

Rear Adm. Jim Partington, Veterans for New Americans National Co-Chair and U.S. Navy Veteran:

“Diversity is part of what makes our military and our nation the strongest in the world. Some 900 Dreamers have already enlisted in our armed forces, many already possessing skills critical to our military effectiveness, such as medical training and language and cultural competencies that support our global strategic interests. Where our communities see strength, Congress has failed to find a solution. I support a permanent legislative solution for Dreamers that allows them to continue contributing to our communities, economy and the military.”

 

Erick Ruiz, DACA Recipient, MAVNI Program Participant:

“As long as I had the opportunity to put on the uniform and serve my country, that’s all I cared about. To me it was a no-brainer. This country is my home. It’s all I’ve known for the past 20 years. It’s where my wife and daughter are. This is very important to me, and I hope this legislation moves forward and people see the benefits immigrants bring to the military.”

 

Lt. Col. Margaret Stock, Veterans for New Americans National Co-Chair and U.S. Army Reserve Veteran:

“Immigrants are important to the military today because of the critical skills they possess, as well as their sheer numbers as we currently face a dire recruitment challenge. The military will benefit dramatically if Dreamers are able to enlist because they are very highly qualified recruits. It’s important for our nation’s national security to open this potential resource and pass a legislative solution for Dreamers.”

 

Maj. Gen. Alfred Valenzuela, U.S. Army Veteran:

“DACA recipients could be the force multiplier that’s needed. … We’re looking at the best and the brightest, which is exactly what we need to go forward. We need Congress to commit themselves and to approve and get the DACA issue resolved.”

 

Danny Vargas, USAF veteran, Herndon, Virginia:

“We are stronger as country because of immigrants and we have an opportunity today to act on behalf of group of young people who know nothing other than the United States of America as their home. I think it is proper that we support our Congressional Members to pass a permanent legislative solution for DACA so we can welcome them with open arms as part of our American family.”

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