Support for Dreamers in the Catholic community
Story & video by Carter Holyoak / Photo illustration by Angelica Marcus
Institutions across the country are taking differing stances on the policy known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). In the United States, about 2.1 million people would qualify for DACA and allow them to start and foster a new life in the United States. Currently in the United States however, there are only about 800,000 people who have been approved for DACA, which leaves a significant part of that population looking for a solution. With DACA’s outlook questionable, it’s hard to say what the future for Dreamers will look like.
In a recent interview Bishop Solis urged not only members of the Catholic church, but people everywhere to act in the protection of Dreamers in our country and to support them through legislative advocacy. He said that so much of our culture has been formed and enriched by those who have found reprieve in our country, and that in order to protect our culture and who we are, we need to stand up and protect the Dreamers.
"Dreamers are people created in the image and likeness of God, worthy of respect and dignity. We support them based on our Catholic tradition, which is based on welcoming strangers, to love our neighbors, and to do good works for those in need," Bishop Solis said.
As an immigrant of the Philippines himself, he said that everyone should be given the same opportunities that were offered to him, and that everyone should have a chance in our country.
Here at Judge the DACA issue is important for a number of the students. College counselor Ms. Sawaya talked about the difficulties that surround a DACA student.
“They can be scared just to come and talk to any of us,” Ms. Sawaya said, adding that even though all of the counselors have agreed to not write down or disclose to anyone that a student is a Dreamer, some are still wary.
Even so, Ms. Sawaya said that the counselors have resources that they offer to help those students, like making available opportunities to help DACA students get into college. While colleges can’t offer any federally granted money for scholarships, lots of universities have private funds that DACA students can apply for, which can making going to college a much more affordable and reachable goal. An article in USA Today stated that U.C. schools have taken a stand for the Dreamers and “continue to admit students in a manner consistent with our nondiscrimination policy.” The UC policy goes on to say that “undocumented applicants with or without DACA status will be considered for admission.”
With the DACA issue being so volatile, it is hard to say what the future of the Dreamers will look like, but people like the Bishop Solis and Ms. Sawaya are assuring them that there is a path to the future.
Artist statement from Angelica Marcus regarding the photo illustration: I tried to show the different reactions to immigrants and Dreamers in my montage. I added in the image on the left to be different from the other images on the right to show different opinions. In the right corner I purposely placed the boy pointing under the sign. Every immigrant should be seen as a part of our community and no person can be illegal. I do believe the photographers had similar ideas that I had when they took their images.