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Statement on Decision to End Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program

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The Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College/Jewish Reconstructionist Communities are strongly opposed to President Trump’s recently announced decision to end the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals or DACA and put the lives of over 800,000 young people in America at risk.

“This is a morally unjust act that is both unnecessary and short-sighted,” said Rabbi Seth Goldstein, President of the RRA.  “The commandment to love the stranger is repeated 36 times in the Hebrew Bible.  Kicking out young people, brought here as children and raised as Americans, is an untenable rejection of the core of our nation’s values.”

Since 2012, the DACA program has enabled eligible young people who came to this country as children to voluntarily come forward and pass background checks in exchange for permission to live and work in America without fear of deportation. Ending this protection is inhumane and would separate families.  In addition, it is economically unfeasible. The Center for American Progress estimates that ending DACA will cost our national economy $460 billion over the next decade.

The Jewish community has a long history of active engagement in the struggles of new immigrants and in development of our nation’s immigration policy.  From our history we know what it feels like to be expelled and forced to wander. These Dreamers were raised in America and are part of our communities.  Most of them are in school or employed and they contribute to the wellbeing of our communities and our country.  We abhor the possibility of removing hard-working contributing members of our society from their homes, families and communities.

We call on Congress to protect DACA recipients by immediately passing a bi-partisan Dream Act of 2017 and on President Trump to sign it.  

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