Faith Communities in Florida Denounce President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program
September 7, 2017
Orlando, FL, September 7, 2017 — Faith in Florida, a statewide network of congregations dedicated to eradicating racism and economic inequality, today denounced President Donald Trump’s announcement to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Ending the program will put 800,000 young men and women at-risk of losing their jobs, and even puts them in jeopardy of being deported.
“As an undocumented woman with deferred action, it doesn't surprise me that Donald Trump has decided to end DACA. To the president this is about politics, not about real human lives,” said Nanci Palacios, DACA recipient and lead organizer for Faith in Florida. “How many times is he going to pander to his base taking a hard line on immigration while at the same time saying he would take a ‘brave action for DREAMers’ and keep the program? He's purposefully sending a mixed message to DREAMers and trying to push us back into the shadows. It's disappointing that the president is using us as political scapegoats but not surprising. If Congress does not find a permanent solution, I'm going to have to put my education on hold and worry about driving without a license as in the past. However, I, along with other DREAMErs, will not stay silent, and we will continue to fight for relief for all families.”
Palacios wrote about her experience as a DACA recipient earlier this year for the Huffington Post.
“It is immoral to enact policies that result in separating families and taking away opportunities for young people to follow their dreams”, said Wes Lathrop, Executive Director of Faith in Florida. “As a coalition of religious communities we stand against white supremacy, and we have moral imperative to condemn any policy or law that divides families and strikes fear into communities.”
”Our criticism is not only of the current administration but also of Congress for not putting together conclusive legislation several years ago to address this problem under the Obama administration”, said Rev. Michael F. Payne, Sr., Sr. Pastor of LifeGate Church, West Palm Beach. “I echo the sentiment of Barack Obama when he said, ‘...the action taken today isn’t required legally…’, said Payne.
Faith in Florida will continue to support and offer DACA legal clinics to affected families and coordinate with legal professionals to assist those DACA recipients whose work permits expire before the announced deadline. Clergy and other community groups will help prepare the more than 88,000 affected people and their families in Florida that could be adversely harmed by this move.
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The mission of Faith in Florida is to build a powerful, multi-cultural, non-partisan network of congregation community organizations in Florida that will address systemic racial and economic issues that cause poverty for our families. With multiple different religious denominations and faith traditions represented, Faith in Florida seeks to provide a prophetic, interfaith voice on rights restoration, immigrant justice and health care expansion. Faith in Florida is nonpartisan and is not aligned explicitly or implicitly with any candidate or party. We do not endorse or support candidates for office.
PICO National Network is the largest grassroots, faith-based organizing network in the United States. PICO works with 1,000 religious congregations in more than 200 cities and towns through its 60 local and state federations. PICO and its federations are non-partisan and do not endorse or support candidates for office. PICO urges people of faith to consult their faith traditions for guidance on specific policies and legislation. Learn more at www.piconetwork.org.