Earlier this fall, President Trump killed Deferred Action for Child Arrivals, a program that has helped undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children move toward legal status. Because of the DACA program, more than 800,000 young people are engaged members of our communities.
DACA has had significant impact on local communities. Of the 800,000 recipients, 48 percent have found jobs with better working conditions, 63 percent have obtained better paying jobs, 90 percent have received a driver’s license or state ID, and 12 percent have been able to purchase a home. The improvements to their own lives have benefitted their local communities.
In Montana, DACA has allowed nearly 100 young people to come forward, pass background checks, and live and work legally in our country. Ending DACA without a replacement would cost Montana more than $3.5 million in annual gross domestic product losses.
The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act is legislation with a long history of bipartisan support. It is straightforward and would protect the young people put at risk by Trump’s decision to kill DACA.
We ask that you call our national legislators to pass a clean DREAM Act that will support all of Montana and not contain gimmicks which simply spread unfounded fear and hatred of the immigrant community.
At 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 12, at St. Patrick Co-Cathedral in downtown Billings, we invite you to join us for a DREAM Sabbath prayer service. We will remember our deep faith stories which call us to provide hospitality and welcome to immigrants.