JFI Core Members,

Thanks to those providing comments and suggestions for the JFI Dreamer elements backgrounder.

Attached is the final version. Please use the document when attending DACA and Dreamer meetings.

Best regards, Tony

Dreamers Legislative Solution Elements Backgrounder

As Catholics, we are taught to care for the foreigner: “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me.” (Mt 25:35). These are our obligations as a Christian people- to care for our neighbor.

Justice for Immigrants (JFI) and the U.S. Catholic Bishops have long supported Dreamers, and we continue to urge Congress to work with all deliberate speed towards a bipartisan legislative solution for these youth. As negotiations towards such a solution continue, we request that you:

Find a Solution to Protect Dreamers. The approximately 1.8 million Dreamers living in our country were brought to the United States as young children and teens. They worship with us in our churches and synagogues, serve in our military, contribute to our economy, and add their many talents to American society.

Provide a Path to Citizenship. Dreamers know America as their only home and should not be denied the opportunity to obtain U.S. citizenship and participate fully in civic life.

Recognize the Sanctity of Families. Family immigration is the foundation of our country and of our Church. Pope Francis states, “the family unit, the family is the foundation of co-existence and a remedy against social fragmentation.” We steadfastly know that families are what holds America together. We ask you to reject legislation that threatens family-based immigration.

Recognize the Right of Nations to Control Their Borders. While Catholic social teaching on migration recognizes and respects the sovereignty of each nation to regulate its borders, this right must be balanced with the right of vulnerable migrants, such as asylum seekers and victims of human trafficking, to access protection. Agent training standards should be maintained and enforced to ensure these protections are preserved. Furthermore, border security should be proportional and humanely implemented.

Maintain Protections for Unaccompanied Children. A solution for Dreamers cannot be at the expense of other immigrant children. We ask that you maintain existing protections for unaccompanied children which help prevent trafficking and abuse of these children and ensure their access to adequate care.

— January 2018