5 Major Christian Groups Lobbying for Congress to Replace DACA

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(Photo Reuters/Aaron P. Bernstein)Protestors gather outside the White House to protest President Donald Trump's plan to repeal DACA in Washington, D.C. on September 5, 2017.

Last week, the Trump administration announced that it was going to gradually discontinue the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which temporarily protected immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally when they were children.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated that DACA was being "rescinded" as it was considered an unlawful unilateral action on the part of the previous administration.

"This policy was implemented unilaterally to great controversy and legal concern after Congress rejected legislative proposals to extend similar benefits on numerous occasions to this same group of illegal aliens," stated Sessions.

"In other words, the executive branch, through DACA, deliberately sought to achieve what the legislative branch specifically refused to authorize on multiple occasions. Such an open-ended circumvention of immigration laws was an unconstitutional exercise of authority by the Executive Branch."

For his part, President Donald Trump has called upon Congress to act, saying that they have six months to pass legislation on this issue before DACA officially expires.

Here are five major Christian groups that are urging Congress to act on the matter.  

The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

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(Photo: The Christian Post/Napp Nazworth)Rev. Samuel Rodriguez (L), president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference in this July 2013 file photo.

The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference launched a 60-day campaign to get Congress to pass a DACA-style law. This will include moving resources to Washington, D.C., and visits with members of Congress next month.

The campaign was announced the same day as the rescinding of the Obama Era program. NHCLC President the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez described it as putting "unrelenting pressure" on Congress.

"Our elected members of Congress have time and again, professed concern for the Hispanic community and yet, have chosen to do nothing," stated Rev. Rodriguez.

"We will not distinguish between Republicans and Democrats but between those who stand for righteousness and justice and those who do not."

Bread for the World

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(Photo: Bread for the World / Jim Stripe)The Rev. David Beckmann, Bread for the World president, speaks at The Gathering 2007, an anti-hunger event, in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, June 10, 2007.

The nonpartisan Christian aid group Bread for the World released a statement last week calling upon Congress to act in response to the Trump Administration's rescinding of DACA.

The Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, said in a statement that the "Bible is clear and specific about our obligation to care for immigrants."

"Ending the DACA program puts hundreds of thousands of young people into limbo; it is now up to Congress to take immediate steps to protect them," stated Beckmann.

"Lawmakers can do this by passing legislation that would grant them legal status and put them on a path to citizenship, such as the bipartisan Dream Act."

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

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(Photo: Reuters/Mel Evans)Bishops across the U.S. are taking action to teach and shape policy in the face of accelerating threats over the erosion of freedom of religion in America. Archbishop Dolan also named Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, Connecticut, to chair the new committee. Support for ad hoc committee work will include adding two full-time staff at the USCCB, a lawyer expert in the area of religious freedom law, and a lobbyist who will handle both religious liberty and marriage issues.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has urged their supporters to send letters to their senators in support of the "Dream Act of 2017" (S. 1615).

"The young people S. 1615 seeks to protect are contributors to our economy, veterans of our military, academic standouts in our universities, and leaders in our parishes and communities," stated the USCCB's Justice for Immigrants project.

"As Catholics, we have long supported DREAMERS as we believe in protecting the dignity of every human being, especially that of our children."

The letter not only calls upon senators to support the Dream Act, but also "to work towards larger legislative reform of our immigration laws."

"The faith community stands with you in support of the DREAM Act of 2017, S. 1615, and vows to work with you to reform our immigration system in a humane and common-sense manner," noted the letter.

Evangelical Immigration Table

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(Photo: The Christian Post/Sonny Hong)Pastor Eugene Cho of Quest Church in Seattle, speaking at the Evangelical Immigration Table press conference, Washington, D.C., April 29, 2014.

The Evangelical Immigration Table, a diverse coalition of groups lobbying for immigration reform, have circulated a letter calling on Congress to act.

The letter was first released last month when reports were surfacing that President Trump was going to end the DACA program.

According to the Table, as of Sept. 7 it has already received the signatures of more than 3,000 pastors and other leaders within the evangelical movement.

"These young people have shown through their great determination and fortitude that our nation is better off because of their presence. They are leading in our churches and our communities," reads the letter.

"They are studying in our universities and creating jobs for American workers. They are paying taxes. We hope that you will work to find solutions that allow these young people to stay in our country long-term and continue to be a blessing to our communities."

Cooperative Baptist Fellowship

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Participants listen during the opening session of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship General Assembly in Birmingham, Ala., on June 24. Stanley Leary photo.

The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship denounced the move by the Trump administration to wind down DACA, calling upon supporters to contact their congressmen and senators to urge support for the DREAM Act.

Stephen K. Reeves, associate coordinator of partnerships and advocacy for CBF, said in a statement last week that "churches have the chance to demonstrate the love of Christ in tangible ways by stepping in with a message of hope and with vocal and visible support, advocating on their behalf."

"We as Cooperative Baptists are committed to advocating for just treatment of the strangers among us, just as scripture commands," stated Reeves.

"[The ending of DACA] provides Congress the opportunity to do the right thing and for CBF folks to play a role. Congress must act now by passing the bipartisan DREAM Act."

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