While religious leaders were being arrested in the halls of power for praying, Congress was pitting child against parent, attempting to score political points and hold onto power.
After President Trump ended DACA, Congress rushed to protect immigrants who were brought to the United States as children by their parents. But in this flurry of proposals, Congressional lawmakers in both parties have shown that they are willing to pass legislation that ends policies designed to reunite families and increase deportations, placing parents, families and friends at risk of losing each other.
But we are not willing to accept that.
From not protecting DREAMers, to rescinding Temporary Protected Status, to aggressively threatening sanctuary cities, instituting travel bans for people from Muslim-majority countries and unleashing Immigration Customs and Enforcement officers to terrorize local communities, the Trump administration is on a nativist mission to harm all undocumented families.
Rather than providing funding for the Department of Homeland Security, Congress should focus on what really matters — developing a solution for DACA and a fair pathway to citizenship for undocumented communities. If people of faith don’t step up now, our children and grandchildren will suffer grave repercussions of inaction.
We must resist Trump’s campaign of violence against immigrant communities by refusing to provide information about the people they serve. Lawmakers should pass policies that affirm immigrants’ sense of belonging in a nation built by immigrants.
We need action that protects entire communities, keeps families together and recognizes both the sacrifices and contributions of immigrants in this country. Rather than targeting undocumented communities in our churches, schools, workplaces and neighborhoods, Congress should act to keep families together. After all, all people, regardless of legal status, deserve protection and a sense of belonging. There are no exceptions.
Nanci J. Palacios Godinez, organizer, Faith in Florida, Orlando