Evangelical group writes to Trump urging him not to end DACA

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A group of Evangelical leaders are writing to President Trump this week to urge him to reconsider plans to resubmit a filing to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Seven religious leaders encouraged the president to leave DACA in place until Congress passes legislation that permanently protects Dreamers, the young immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children. The Hill reported this week that Trump is expected to refile paperwork this week to end DACA.

“We ask you to publicly and consistently urge congressional leaders to urgently pass legislation to create a pathway for those who arrived in the U.S. as children and who meet other necessary and appropriate qualifications to earn permanent legal status and, eventually, citizenship,” the group wrote in the letter, which is being sent to Trump on Wednesday and was obtained by The Hill.

“Consistent with your past comments affirming your concern and ‘great love’ for this population, we plead with you to work toward good faith compromise that would both be compassionate to immigrants and respect the rule of law,” the leaders wrote. “As always, we are committed to praying for you and your administration, as well as for the immigrant individuals and families whose lives and livelihoods are directly affected by your deliberations.”

The letter is signed by members of the Evangelical Immigration Table. Among the signatories are Scott Arbeiter, president of World Relief; Shirley Hoogstra, president of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities; Walter Kim, the president of the National Association of Evangelicals; Chris Palusky, president of Bethany Christian Services; and Gabriel Salguero president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition.

The Supreme Court struck down Trump’s first attempt to rescind DACA, ruling last month that the administration failed to give an adequate justification for terminating the program as required by federal law. But the court made clear Trump had the authority to rescind the program, essentially forcing the president to try again or risk the appearance of backing down.

Multiple sources told The Hill that the Trump administration is expected to move forward with its second attempt to end DACA this week. The exact timing remains fluid, but one source said it was initially planned for last week but was pushed back.

The Trump administration in 2017 rescinded DACA, which shields certain undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children from deportation. The move was a central feature of the president’s initial efforts to restrict immigration upon taking office.

Trump’s 2017 rescission of the program gave Congress six months to create a statutory replacement for DACA, while shutting down new applications and renewals, but without prematurely ending the two-year permits granted by the program.

It’s unlikely that a new rescission would abruptly end benefits for current DACA recipients.


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