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Catholic Charities Calls on Supreme Court to Uphold DACA

By Catherine Kirch

On November 12th, the Supreme Court will hear arguments regarding the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, commonly referred to as DACA. Along with over 35 other groups, a coalition of Catholic nonprofit organizations are calling on the Supreme Court to uphold the policy, and Catholic Charities of New York is one of these organizations.

DACA allows undocumented immigrants who meet certain criteria to obtain a Social Security Number and driver’s license, get health insurance, enroll in college, and work legally in the United States. It also protects these individuals from deportation. Eligible immigrants are those who came to the US before they turned 16, often brought to the country by their parents.

The program was introduced in 2012 and continues to accept renewal applications, but in 2017, an order to terminate and phase out DACA threatened to take away legal pathways for immigrants to participate in their local communities.

While DACA does not provide an avenue for citizenship or permanent residency, it does enable eligible individuals, who often did not have a choice regarding their immigration to the US, to support themselves and contribute to their community without fear of deportation.

With agencies serving immigrants of all backgrounds, Catholic Charities stands with children who were raised in the United States, regardless of where they came from. Catholic Charities of New York is proud to be collaborating with likeminded organizations in the fight to uphold DACA.

Together, these organizations filed two friend-of-the-court briefs to support the program in the November 12th proceedings. The briefs describe the ways in which DACA benefits the community at large and emphasize the consequences of the policy’s termination.

One such brief quotes Beatriz Taveris, Director of Catholic Charities Community Services, the largest agency under Catholic Charities of New York.

“DACA is an important first step,” Taveris says, “to acknowledging and growing the human and social contributions and needs of young immigrants and of our own communities."

Through supporting immigrant individuals, families, and communities in New York, Catholic Charities has witnessed firsthand the contributions this population brings, as well as the importance of providing compassionate care. Catholic Charities is proud to support DACA and will always fight for those who are struggling.