PC(USA) Stated Clerk condemns president’s decision to end DACA program

Nelson to Trump: ‘We vow to accompany those who are now at risk.’

September 5, 2017

Image of Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II

LOUISVILLE

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly Stated Clerk J. Herbert Nelson, II, today condemned the Trump administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA has provided protection for some 800,000 individuals who were brought to the United States by their parents without proper immigration papers.

“The program offered empowerment to those made vulnerable by a failure in our laws,” Nelson told the president. “[This action] is an attempt to return them to vulnerability.”

Nelson pledged that the PC(USA) would continue to “advocate for just immigration reform” and “for just immigration enforcement that intentionally considers the hardship of family separation and the sincere expressed determination in building family and community in the United States. Dreamers and DACA recipients have done just that.”

The full text of Nelson’s letter to the president, dated September 5, 2017:


Dear Mr. President,

I am appalled that you have ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. As the top elected ecclesial officer of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), a denomination of 1.5 million members, I protest your decision.

DACA has provided safety and protection for approximately 800,000 individuals from detention and deportation. The program offered empowerment to those made vulnerable by a failure in our laws. DACA recipients seized this opportunity by engaging this democracy through civic action. Our nation is better for it. They improved their professional and educational levels. Our economy is better for it. They fulfilled the requirements of the program and provided personal information and submitted themselves to background checks. Our country is safer for it. Your decision now pushes these empowered and responsible individuals into making unthinkable choices about how to maintain their families. It is an attempt to return them to vulnerability.

The PC(USA), as a national church, supports the presence and contributions of immigrants in the United States. We advocate for just immigration reform. We advocate for just immigration enforcement that intentionally considers the hardship of family separation and the sincere expressed determination in building family and community in the United States. Dreamers and DACA recipients have done just that. They often know this country more than the one they left behind. They have made friends; they have studied in schools; they have, after years of contemplating a future clouded by the threat of deportation, begun to fully dream about their future.

DACA recipients are not strangers. They are neighbors. They are active participants in civil society. They have fought for their rights. They have been compliant with immigration requirements. Turning your back on them is turning your back on the possibility and potential of what they offer this country. The PC(USA) grieves this decision. We vow to accompany those who are now at risk. We will continue the fight to seek a permanent solution to their immigration limbo. It is the right thing to do. It reflects our values as a church and it reflects our values as citizens of the United States.

“So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest-time, if we do not give up.”—Galatians 6:9


In Christ,
Stated Clerk Signature


The Reverend Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II
Stated Clerk of the General Assembly
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

[한국어] [Español

 

  1. My wife and I are friends of Rev. Dr. Nelson and I forwarded his comments to my contacts on Facebook and my individual contacts.

    by Tommy Green

    September 9, 2017

  2. Well done, thy good and faithful servant! May God bless you as you continue leading the Presbyterian Church, USA!

    by Lizzie S. Madison

    September 6, 2017

  3. Thank you for doing this. I am proud to be a Presbyterian.

    by linda oldenkamp

    September 6, 2017

  4. The Congress makes laws, not the President.

    by Mary Shell

    September 6, 2017

  5. Thanks for sending this letter on behalf of our denomination.

    by Kavin K. Rossman

    September 6, 2017

  6. Mr. Trump appears to have long forgotten how he felt when he was sent away from his family. Intelligent people learn from difficult circumstances. Exclusion isn't classy and is yet one more painful example about what a lowlife Mr. Trump is!

    by Wendy Williams

    September 6, 2017

  7. This is WRONG.

    by Malissa Haslam

    September 5, 2017

  8. Thank you!

    by Susan E Moorefield

    September 5, 2017

  9. There are people who call themselves Christians, and then there are the real Christians like you, who show the true spirit of Jesus with compassion towards others.

    by James Denison

    September 5, 2017

  10. I am in complete agreement, DACA falls into the category of a prosecutorial discretion granted to the executive branch by Congress, while three bills, the dream act, hope act and bridge act have languished in congress, there is no reason why we cannot have a compassionate immigration policy that takes into account those that came as children and are now members of society.

    by Rev. Omar Gonzalez

    September 5, 2017

Leave a comment