President Duffett’s Statement on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
September 6, 2017
Dear Eastern Community,
Last fall I joined more than six hundred college and university presidents in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which the White House rescinded yesterday. Consequently 800,000 young people who arrived in this country as children and have never known another homeland are now in limbo as DACA winds down and their threat of deportation rises while all await a Congressional solution.
DACA recipients include highly motivated, cherished members of the Eastern University community. I ask you to stand with me in advocating for these young people, their families and all who are impacted by this devastating news in urging Congress to quickly pass bipartisan legislation that provides permanent legal status for DACA youth. I will be calling on our Senators and Representative in Washington repeatedly with that plea. I urge you to join me in contacting your lawmakers as well.
I am confident that the combined voices of the many Americans who favor protecting these young people can make a difference. The Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) is actively supporting two bipartisan efforts, including the Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy (BRIDGE) Act and the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. I believe that a hopeful solution can be realized if we express our solidarity in supporting those efforts on behalf of these young people.
Beyond advocacy, I continue to ponder this matter pastorally. DACA recipients are our fellow worshippers, neighbors and students. As troubling as yesterday’s news was, it also represents an opportunity for Christians to thoughtfully and prayerfully examine our views and actions toward our neighbors. Our partner organization, Esperanza, has produced a marvelous video series entitled “My Neighbors Rights” that has helped me along this journey of understanding. I encourage you to view those videos at: http://www.esperanza.us/mnr-videos/
This week’s lectionary reading from Romans, “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law”, is certainly a timely word. I will keep it at the forefront of my mind as I head to Washington to advocate for these young people. I appreciate your willingness to join me in voicing your support for them. God bless.
Robert G. Duffett