During the administration’s announcement that DACA will be rescinded, GBM received this message from a DACA recipient in Clanton, AL: “Two minutes into the broadcast and my ears went numb, my eyes filled with tears…”
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a program enacted by former President Obama in the summer of 2012. Since the program’s beginning, approximately 800,000 undocumented immigrants brought to this country as young children and raised here without knowing any other way of life, have been able to step out of the shadows and become contributing members of our society.
Greater Birmingham Ministries condemns this horrendous action against these students and workers and their families. As we have sought to do for 48 years, we will continue to stand on the side of justice and love and the right side of history by supporting our undocumented community among us. Likewise, we will continue the struggle for a just solution to our broken immigration system. We insist that there is no just repair to our broken immigration n system that does not include every family who contributes to our economy and who bring richness to the diverse fabric of our nation.
Today, and the days ahead, will be a very difficult time for all DACAmented students and their families. Anxiety about what the future holds is something that can trouble us all, but we cannot imagine what it would be the feeling to know that the policies that allow you to study, work, have a driver license and achieve your dreams, will be taken away. It’s a horrific feeling that Immigration and Customs enforcement (ICE) could come to your home anytime or stop you on your way to work and take you away, deport you, dividing your family and drowning your hopes. That’s a feeling most of us who have the privilege of US citizenship can hardly fathom.
While talking to a mother of a DACAmented student recently, she said: “it is hard when you see your kids having wings to fly and suddenly realize that those wings will be cut off”. Denise Macias, a DACA recipient in Oneonta, answered the question of what DACA means this way, “the possibility to accomplish my dreams and form a better future, for me and my family in the nation of dreams.”
We are making a call to all people of good will and all people who love and care for their undocumented friends to be available for them, to lend them a hand, to give your shoulder so they can rest on us. We all need to be aware of what this announcement will do to the 16,400 students in Alabama who received DACA and their families. Our nation of immigrants, the formerly enslaved and indigenous peoples cannot sit idly by.
We need to stand together! We need to stand with them! We need to #Standasone.