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

“You are not strangers, but are neighbors. You are created in the image of God,” Nelson wrote in his letter to those impacted by Trump’s decision. “Things that seemed impossible became possible because of DACA. Every community in the U.S., whether aware or not, is better off because of what this program allowed you to do for yourselves.”

Nelson pledged the church’s support, prayers, and action. “Let us wake again to the struggle. Let us not be fearful of hate-filled discourse but offer an alternative path,” Nelson said. “God has called us to love each other, and that love propels us to action. And act we will do.”

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

 
Dear DACA recipients,

As Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, the top elected ecclesiastical officer of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), I grieve the President’s erroneous decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. It is inexplicable, inexcusable, and irresponsible that the President ended this necessary and successful program.

The PC(USA), as a national church, supports the presence and contributions of immigrants in the United States. You are integral members of our shared communities and churches. You are not strangers, but are neighbors. You are created in the image of God. DACA offered possibilities and members of our congregations and communities dreamed into those possibilities, getting better jobs, drivers’ licenses, degrees, and starting families. Things that seemed impossible became possible because of DACA. Every community in the U.S., whether aware or not, is better off because of what this program allowed you to do for yourselves.

This church stands with you. We hold you up in this very difficult time. I am praying for you. The PC(USA) is praying for you. But we know this fight does not end with this decision. You are true examples of active citizens advocating for their rights. We advocate with you. We raise our voices with you. I applaud the outstanding organizing, mobilizing, and public demonstrating coordinated by your leaders and by your supporters in the Dreamers/DACA networks who tirelessly fight for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The public movement of solidarity and support of the DACA program is evidence of combined efforts. Those efforts offer other options, and we will coordinate effort with your many supporters to seek out ways to find a more just, permanent solution to the immigration limbo to which we, as a country, have been complacent. You have our support. Let us wake again to the struggle. Let us not be fearful of hate-filled discourse but offer an alternative path. God has called us to love each other, and that love propels us to action. And act we will do.

“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 the faith we share,

 Stated Clerk Signature



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

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