WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, more than 200 Catholic Sisters, Priests, Brothers, and lay people participated in a mass, civil disobedience, prayer, and lobby day in support of Dreamers. Their message: Congress must pass a legislative solution for Dreamers that includes a path to citizenship.
Laura Peralta-Schulte, NETWORK Immigration Lobbyist, released the following statement prior to her arrest for civil disobedience:
“Ever since the Trump Administration callously threatened to terminate the DACA program, NETWORK – our members and our staff – have worked hard to press for a legislative solution that offers a pathway to citizenship for these aspiring citizens. We have met with Members of Congress and their staffs, made thousands of calls, held vigils, masses and press conferences all aimed at helping to secure protections for our beloved Dreamers.
“All the while we have witnessed the fearless leadership of Dreamers themselves who have brilliantly created a movement for change. They put their bodies on the line every day to demand justice from leaders of the only country they have ever known. Thus far, they have been failed. Failed by a President who professes love but who is seeking to use them as leverage to deport their families. Failed by Members of Congress who are too timid to stand by them if it means pushing back on this Administration.
“We are failing our young people. We are causing them to despair. We are neglecting to afford them their God-given dignity and that is a sin.
“Today I will participate in civil disobedience. I fully recognize the privilege I have in choosing to engage in this small gesture of solidarity. It comes out of deep frustration of a broken process and the hope that an outward display of defiance by white religious leaders who traditionally don’t engage in civil disobedience will somehow help even if only for Dreamers to know we are in this together.
“It is critical for lawmakers to understand the deep pain they are causing our beloved Dreamers who deserve full citizenship. Time for action is running short. I am participating today as an act of solidarity with DACA recipients whose courage and leadership is a source of inspiration. My faith calls me to step out of my comfort zone and fight injustice and neglect. Today’s prayer is for lawmakers to put aside partisan politics and act now to protect the lives and dignity of Dreamers.”
Additional Support for the Day of Action:
Statements of support from Catholic Bishops:
Quotes from Catholic Sisters:
NETWORK – advocates for justice inspired by Catholic sisters – educates, organizes, and lobbies for economic and social transformation. They have a 45-year track record of lobbying for critical federal programs that support those at the margins and prioritize the common good. www.networklobby.org