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News & Media

For Immediate Release: Nov. 12, 2019

Contact: Heather Cabral | heather@westendstrategy.com | 202-550-6880

Erin Williams | ewilliams@faithinaction.org | 202-748-0699

WASHINGTON – Starting today, the Supreme Court will begin oral arguments in deciding the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Several leaders and organizers representing the Faith in Action Network have come to Washington to advocate in favor of the program. Richard Morales, policy and program director for Faith in Action’s immigrant justice program LA RED; Nanci Palacios, DACA recipient and deputy director with Faith in Florida; Charlene Walker, executive director of Faith in New Jersey; and Crystal Walthall, executive director of Faith in New York, have released the following statements.

“Despite the vitriol that our administration has spat at our brothers and sisters since this battle began, we have remained united and steadfast in our fight for justice. DACA recipients should be protected and allowed to pursue citizenship in the only country they have known,” said Richard Morales, policy and program director of LA RED, Faith in Action’s immigrant justice program. “This is not the time to give up and leave our fate in the hands of an uninformed government. Application renewals are still being accepted, and we will continue to make it clear that all DACA recipients and their families are here to stay.”

“These next few days are very critical. For two years we have lived on edge, wondering if we will be able to remain in the only country that we have memories of living in,” said Nanci Palacios, DACA recipient and deputy director with Faith in Florida. “ When we came out of the shadows it was with the belief that we’d never have to go back to living covert lives, and that should not stop now. Like many of our fellow American-born citizens, we have earned degrees, supported our families, and built careers in this country. We pay taxes here, buy homes here, and contribute to the workforce. And despite what this administration might have you think, we belong here, and we will not give up on remaining here.”

“As an ally in this movement, I have seen how this battle has both torn families apart and made our ties stronger in supporting our migrant brothers and sisters that deserve to stay here,” said Charlene Walker, executive director of Faith in New Jersey. “I think this moment can serve as the key step we need in moving forward to establish a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients. Earlier this year our federation signed on to an amicus brief in favor of DACA. Our feelings on this issue couldn’t be more clear: ‘We love thy neighbor, welcome the stranger, and show up for those that have left their lands searching for a better life.  We believe that Dreamers must be given a clear path to citizenship, for that is love in action.’ We aren’t doing our part as Americans if we aren’t pulling each other forward. Today has the power to put history on the right path for justice, and I remain hopeful that the court will uphold this legislation.”

“Our region holds some of the largest numbers of DACA recipients in the country, and this fight has been a part of our work since it began,” said Crystal Walthall, executive director of Faith in New York.” We will not stop raising our voices and moving our feet towards justice – and we believe that the Supreme Court sees and understands that. New York City is a sanctuary for all immigrants regardless of status; upholding DACA ensures that we will continue to be a haven of protection and opportunity. We remain hopeful that this ruling will be in favor of DACA recipients, and that they be allowed to move forward in their lives and forge a path to citizenship.”

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Faith in Action, formerly known as PICO National Network, is the largest grassroots, faith-based organizing network in the United States. The nonpartisan organization works with 1,000 religious congregations in more than 200 cities and towns through its 46 local and state federations. For more information, visit www.faithinaction.org.

Faith in Action is a 501c(3). Faith in Action and its affiliates are non-partisan and are not aligned explicitly or implicitly with any candidate or party. We do not endorse or support candidates for office.

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