Urge Congress to Provide Permanent Protections for Undocumented Immigrants
It is time for Congress to address the ongoing dysfunction in the U.S. immigration system. The Trump Administration’s effort to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in September 2017 put over 800,000 immigrant youth at immediate risk of deportation. The same administration also terminated Temporary Protected Status, which protects those who cannot safely return to their home country due to extraordinary circumstances, like armed conflict and environmental disaster—for 98 percent of all holders. Congress must act to provide permanent protection from deportation for all immigrants – DREAMers and TPS holders, as well as those designated for another form of humanitarian protection known as Deferred Enforced Departure (DED), and essential workers serving throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Urge Congress to protect at risk immigrants from deportation by passing a pathway to citizenship for all undocumented immigrants.
DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, allowed nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrant youth who were brought to the United States as children to obtain work permits, attend school, and contribute openly to our economy without fear of deportation. In many cases, these youth, known as DREAMers, grew up in the United States and want to give back to society and raise their own families in the only nation they know as home. By ending DACA and its protections, the Trump administration made DREAMers vulnerable to deportation or detention. The Biden administration restored the program, but legal challenges continue and DREAMers still need permanent protections to ensure they can live in the U.S. without fear.
The Trump Administration also terminated Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 98 percent of all recipients. TPS is a humanitarian form of immigration status for those who cannot safely return to their home country due to extraordinary circumstances, like armed conflict and environmental disaster. Court injunctions have led to the extension of protections for some TPS holders and have allowed previous DACA recipients to file renewal applications, but without permanent protections, many people who have lived in the U.S. for decades are now facing the threat of deportation. A June 2021 Supreme Court decision put TPS holders at further risk.
It is time for congress to use every opportunity possible to provide a pathway to citizenship for all unbdocumented immigrants including DREAMers and TPS or DED holders.
Hachnasat orchim, welcoming guests, is an important principle in Judaism. We see this modeled by Abraham and Sarah, who opened their tent to three mysterious visitors. This principle compels many Jews today to welcome immigrants and refugees.