US bishops praise judge’s decision to reinstate DACA, call for path to citizenship

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) applauded a federal judge’s recent decision to restore the full Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, including the resumption of new applicants.

Auxiliary Bishop Mario Dorsonville of Washington, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Migration, praised the decision in a Dec. 8 statement. He emphasized the Church’s support of immigrant communities.

“We welcome the full reinstatement of the DACA program and are particularly pleased that with this ruling, youth who are first-time applicants are allowed to apply for the program for the first time since 2017. The DACA program directly benefits immigrant youth, their families, and the communities we serve,” he said.

“To all Dreamers, the Catholic Church continues to stand with you and will advocate with you to ensure you reach your God-given potential here in the United States.”

On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis ruled that the Department of Homeland Security must resume accepting new DACA applications beginning on Dec. 7.

DACA is a program created by the Obama administration in 2012 to allow certain immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children to apply for a delay of deportation and work authorization. Recipients – known as Dreamers – must renew their status every two years.

In September of 2017, the Trump administration announced it would be winding down the program and accepting no new applications for deferred action. It gave Congress a six-month window to enact parts of the program into law.

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