Our nation is strongest when we treat people with dignity and compassion. Yesterday’s decision by the President to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program shattered the dreams of many immigrants and their families, promoting fear among those who entered the United States as children and have known no other home. Nearly 800,000 young people across the United States received protection since the program’s inception in 2012. Although DACA does not provide government benefits and legal status, it does provide recipients with temporary authorization to work, obtain an education and have protection from deportation.

Like the Catholic Church, the Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina has watched with pride through our Immigrant Families Initiative as DACA youth live their lives courageously with hopes and dreams to make a difference in their communities. We have witnessed first-hand DACA recipients add to our South Carolina economy through their hard work, provide for their families, serve in the military, and make multiple sacrifices to pursue an education better positioning them to serve and share their talents across the state – from the Low Country, to the Midlands, to the Upstate. Yesterday’s repeal of the DACA program now places many of these young people at risk of deportation, breaking families apart and undermines individual and family economic stability. This decision does not reflect the values America is built upon, nor the wishes of the majority of Americans.

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina strongly urges Congress to act immediately on a legislative solution. In the meantime, we will do our part to support and protect DACA recipients and Dreamers in our state. As people of faith, we support DACA recipients and other immigrant youth, regardless of their immigration status, in search of a better life. We will do everything within our power to advocate alongside and on their behalf. We commit to work to ensure DACA recipients and Dreamers can learn, work and fulfill their dreams in South Carolina, the place they know as home, in solidarity with our nonprofit partners and community.