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10,000 Letters for Dreamers!

The Diocese of Youngstown is joining with the other Roman Catholic dioceses in the State of Ohio on a campaign to generate 10,000 letters to our congressional delegates across the state, urging them to support the DREAM Act or similar legislation to provide a path to regularize the status of immigrants brought to the United States when they were very young.

The effort is part of a two-year, worldwide “Share the Journey” campaign to be launched by Pope Francis on September 27, inviting all to share the difficult journey of migrants and refugees through prayer and support. The Diocese will collect letters between now and December 18, International Migrants Day.

Over 750,000 youth have received protection from Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) since its inception by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2012. While DACA provides no legal status, it does provide recipients with a temporary reprieve from deportation and employment authorization for legal work opportunities in the United States.

In response to the recent petition to the U.S. Department of Justice to terminate DACA, Bishop Joe S. Vasquez, Chair of the Migration Committee and Bishop of Austin, Texas, expressed support for DACA once again, stating:

“The Catholic Bishops have long supported DACA youth and continue to do so. DACA youth are contributors to our economy, veterans of our military, academic standouts in our universities, and leaders in our parishes. These youth entered the U.S. as children and know America as their only home. The dignity of every human being, particularly that of our children and youth, must be protected.”

Have your parish or group conduct a letter-writing campaign to Congress! Attached are the resources you need. For more information go to https://www.loveyourneighbor.us or www.justiceforimmigrants.org.

 

 

Overview- 10,000 Letters to Congress!

In September 2017, Pope Francis launched a two-year campaign of solidarity with migrants, called “Share the Journey,” In response the Diocese of Youngstown is joining with all the Roman Catholic dioceses of Ohio as well as other Catholic, faith-based and community partners to urge Congress to pass the DREAM Act or similar legislation protecting young immigrants. Approximately 800,000 youth have received protection through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program since its inception by Executive Order in 2012. While DACA provided no legal status, it did provide recipients with a temporary reprieve from deportation and employment authorization for legal work opportunities in the United States. In September 2017, the Trump Administration announced that it would terminate DACA in March 2018. After then, DACA youth will be at risk of deportation from the U.S.- the only country many have ever really known. We believe that it is Congress’ job to legislate before this deadline a permanent fix for DACA youth, who were brought to the United States through no choice of their own and who continue to have no viable path to regularize their status.

The U.S. Catholic Bishops have long supported DACA youth. As Bishop Joe S. Vasquez, Chair of the USCCB Migration Committee noted: “DACA youth are contributors to our economy, veterans of our military, academic standouts in our universities, and leaders in our parishes.” In the Diocese, we too appreciate the gift that these young immigrants are to our churches, schools, workplaces and communities. We are calling on the Catholic faithful and all people of good will to urge Congress to help these young immigrants through passage of the DREAM Act (S. 1615/H.R. 3440) or similar legislation before March 2018.

Across Ohio, we will be generating 10,000 letters to our U.S. Senators and Representatives from Ohio to this end. Why this number? Because, since DACA was started in 2012, there have been nearly the same number of approved applications (representing about 4,400 DACA recipients and 5,100 renewals). We will be collecting letters between now and December 19 (International Migrants Day). Join us!

Process 

  • The Diocese is encouraging Catholic parishes, schools and institutions as well as other faith-based community partners to host letter-writing campaigns. Letters can be handwritten, or we can provide sample templates for constituents to sign and possibly add in their own thoughts.
  • The Diocese of Youngstown Social Action Office should be notified of any campaign: 330/744-8451, x 327 or acurry@youngstowndiocese.org.
  • Information about this campaign can be found at doy.org under the Catholic Charities Social Action tab and more information about DACA youth can be found at www.justiceforimmigrants.org. We are happy to help any community through the process.
  • If participating groups would like to have a presentation on Church teaching and migration, they can contact the Office of Social Action.
  • Letters should be collected by the host organization. If the host wishes to mail or deliver the letters directly to local Congressional offices, then it should record and report the number of letters addressed to each Congressional delegate to the Social Action Office, so we can keep a tally. If the host organization would prefer, it can send the letters to the Social Action Office, and we will ensure that they are delivered to Congress.
  • All letters should be turned in to Congress of the Social Action Office by December 18, International Migrants Day.

 

Date: __________________

Dear Senator ________________________________

 

As a constituent, I write to express my strong support for the “Dream Act of 2017” (S.1615/H.R. 3440) or similar legislation that provides a path to residency for many immigrant youth. The young people protected by such bills are contributors to our economy, veterans of our military, academic standouts in our universities, and leaders in our churches and communities. I believe in protecting the dignity of every human being, especially that of our children. Among these protected by these bills are Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, a program that has benefited over 780,000 young people across the country. Given that these immigrants have no other viable way to regularize their status, DACA has ensured that recipients are able to live their lives free from the anxiety that they could be deported at any time to a country they do not know and separated from their families.

The Trump Administration is now ending DACA in March 2018, but immigrant youth deserve continued protection and a path to citizenship. I believe that it is Congress’ responsibility to provide a legislative path to residency for these youth before this deadline.

I urge you to:

  • Support and co-sponsor the Dream Act of 2018 (S. 1615/H.R. 3440) or similar legislation, and
  • Continue to work towards larger legislative reform of our immigration laws.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Name: ________________________________________________

Address: ______________________________________________

City, State, Zip: _________________________________________

Date: ____________________________

Dear Representative: _______________________________________

As a constituent, I write to express my strong support for the “Dream Act of 2017” (S. 1615/H.R. 3440) or similar legislation that provides a path to residency for many immigrant youth. The young people protected by such bills are contributors to our economy, veterans of our military, academic standouts in our universities, and leaders in our churches and communities. I believe in protecting the dignity of every human being, especially that of our children. Among those protected by these bills are Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, a program that has benefitted over 780,000 young people across the country. Given that these immigrants have no other viable way to regularize their status, DACA has ensured that recipients are able to live their lives free from the anxiety that would be deported at any time to a country they do not know and separated from their families.

The Trump Administration is now ending DACA in March 2018, but immigrant youth deserve continued protection and a path to citizenship. I believe that it is Congress’ responsibility to provide a legislative path to residency for these youth before this deadline.

I urge you to:

  • Support and co-sponsor the Dream Act of 2017 (S. 1615/H.R. 3440) or similar legislation, and
  • Continue to work towards larger legislative reform of our immigration laws.

Thank you,

 

Sincerely,

Name: ______________________________________________

Address: ____________________________________________

City, State, Zip: _______________________________________

Locations:
  • Ashtabula
  • Office of Social Services
  • Regional Agency
  • Portage & Stark