CNS photo/Joshua Roberts, Reuters

On September 5, 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA, will be phased out. DACA offers young adults who came to the U.S. before the age of 16, who have been here for many years, the opportunity to be protected from deportation. Those who are approved for DACA also receive a work permit and can continue their education beyond high school. DHS will provide a limited, six-month window during which it will consider certain requests for DACA and applications for work permits. The phase out plan will provide for current DACA beneficiaries whose DACA approval expires between now and March 5, 2018 to be able to apply for a two-year renewal, as long as they do so by October 5, 2017. No new initial applications will be accepted.

Embracing the Gospel value of welcoming the stranger, Catholic Charities of Central Florida’s Legal Immigration Services is committed to our immigrant communities and providing legal counsel with dignity and respect. Please contact the Legal Immigration Services Program at 407-658-0110 or Legalservices@cflcc.org if you need assistance in completing your renewal applications or if you have any questions regarding the DACA program.

Bishop Noonan said, “Recently, the bishops spoke against President Trump’s action to end DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and urged Congress to act and immediately resume work toward a legislative solution. The bishops pledged our support to work on finding an expeditious means of protecting these vulnerable youth. It is because of our belief in the preservation of family that we voice our dismay in President Trump’s action. We are called to immediately reweave the bonds which break within the family; in this case, the family of our nation. These youth entered the U.S. as minors and this has become their only home; we their only family. As members of Christ’s body, we have long watched with pride and admiration as these youth live out their daily lives with hope and a determination to flourish and contribute to society: continuing to work and provide for their families, continuing to serve in the military, and continuing to receive an education. Now, after months of anxiety and fear about their futures, these brave young people face deportation. This decision is unacceptable and does not reflect our Catholic faith. Our nation has done the opposite of how Scripture calls us to respond. The actions of President Trump show the absence of mercy and good will, and a short-sighted vision for the future.”