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PC(USA) Stated Clerk reaffirms church’s commitment to DACA recipients, supporters

Nelson: “The church stands with you” and will take supportive action.

September 5, 2017

Photo of J. Herbert Nelson

LOUISVILLE

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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  1. I have attended the Presbyterian Church all my life and I definitely DO NOT agree with the Assembley's position on DACA. YOU do NOT speak for me nor do you speak for millions of other Presbyterians. The liberal members of the Assembly have hi-jacked our church to promote their liberal agenda. Extremely disappointed in the path you have chosen to take. I do NOT support YOUR views on islam, either. Time for the Presbytery to return to the Bible and STOP playing politics !!!!

    by VJ Wren

    September 10, 2017

  2. It's one thing to stand up for those who struggle for a place in this world (we all agree in supporting them), but quite another to advocate one, specific, partisan legislation to solve the problem. DACA could yet be proven unconstitutional by the courts. Our credibility is attached to the Gospel and its applications (including advocacy for these same people), NOT to DACA per se. The PCUSA should not lend its name to politicized solutions, lest we obviate better means.

    by Noel Anderson

    September 8, 2017

  3. Ridiculous that you are going to wade into a political topic. So anyone that disagrees with your message is hate filled? So glad you are judging me because you must be high almighty himself. Be careful when you say the church stands with you. You don't speak for me. Talking about presidential unconstitutional over reaches is not what the church should be saying, organizing for, or stating preference of political party leanings. May God bless your day

    by Keith

    September 7, 2017

  4. Agradezco a Dios y a ustede Pastor Nelson por su inmenso interés de mis compatriotas mexicanos y latinos que estan viviendo en su país, es un aliciente para nosotros saber que las iglesias hermanas están colaborando con sus oraciones y trámites para que al finalizar daca nuestros hermanos latinos no sufran. Aquí estamos rogando a Dios que muestre su mano divina especialmente que towue el corazón del presidente Trump, para que reconsidere la decisión que ha declarado.Dios es el que controla los pensammientos de los hombres, El puede hacer cambiar a su mandatario. Dios lo bendiga con lo que tenga que hacer a bien de los indocumentados.

    by Luis Medina Oxte

    September 6, 2017

  5. Es muy difícil la decisión que su presidente ha tomado, ya que en verdad afecta a miles de indocumentados que estan viviendo en su país, sobre todo los hijos nacidos en tierra americana, . Sin embargo consideramos que Dios es tan grande para brindar una solución a este problema.

    by LUIS Medina Oxte

    September 6, 2017

  6. Yes, the Republican leadership failed to provide a pathway to citizenship for the DACA people and their parents. Yes, we need to support them all. Thank you. I've communicated with my representative and Senators. Hope others at least do this much.

    by Rev. Susan Haseltine

    September 6, 2017

  7. Thank you for speaking out. "Give me your tired, your poor..." is more than words on a statue. We are at our best when we open our hearts to those who need us!

    by John Watkin

    September 6, 2017

  8. Thanks, J. Herbert, for your expression of concern on behalf of the Presbyterian Church (USA) to those persons affected by President Trump's action today. It is a disgrace, a disregard for the tradition of compassion for which our nation is known. I join with other Presbyterians in commending you for your leadership

    by J Oscar McCloud

    September 5, 2017

  9. I applaud you for this email and am so pleased that the PCUSA has taken a stand in this unbelieveably WRONG decision.

    by Bonnie Olson

    September 5, 2017

  10. Thank you for your stand on this important statement. We live in San Diego and our Mexican brothers and sisters are so much a part of our city and our lives.We have learned so much from their culture and spirit. We are ONE with them. God will WIN.

    by Elaine Mager

    September 5, 2017

  11. I'm proud of my church's stand.

    by Pat Hales

    September 5, 2017

  12. Thank you! Energize the Washington Office of the PCUSA to do everything possible to support whatever is being done in Congress to address this issue and provide a path to citizenship. Again, many thanks!

    by Michael Murray

    September 5, 2017

  13. Thank you for your witness on behalf of all of us.

    by Marcia Graham

    September 5, 2017

  14. How can the Stated Clerk, on behalf of PC(USA) say the dreamers are examples of "active citizens @ advocating for their rights" ? DACA did not grant them citizenship or even a path to citizenship. If one disagrees does that mean it is "hateful discourse@?

    by P small

    September 5, 2017

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