A message to the diocese from Bishop Marc: Protect the Dreamers

Posted on September 6, 2017

With you, I received the news that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) will be terminated. I join with the Dreamers (DACA recipients) and all of the people of the diocese in your dread and hope, in your disappointment and faith, in your hurt and healing, and in your righteous anger at the flagrant disregard for God’s call to treat others as we want to be treated. I speak especially in solidarity with Dreamers, their parents, and all who were born in other lands and have made this community their home. But more generally, I speak to all. 

An injustice to one part of the Body of Christ is a blow to us all.

What the termination means, exactly, will undoubtedly become clearer after the next few days. In the meantime, I join you in prayer for more and deeper justice; and I join you in the struggle to make that a reality. Whatever happens, I know that Dreamers will not let the dream end. You will continue to seek justice, freedom, and opportunity for yourselves and others.

DACA refers to children who entered the U.S. without authorization, who have a clean criminal record, and have fulfilled the other requirements. Successful applicants would continue to live, study, and work in the U.S., renewing their DACA permission every two years. Tuesday, the administration talked about an “orderly process” by which DACA recipients would lose this protection and become subject to deportation, like any other undocumented immigrant. In six short months, whatever protection and achievements they had (e.g., university, job, home) would be stripped away.

The Episcopal Church dedicates itself to seeking justice and peace, respecting the dignity of every human being. In this diocese, we have tried over the years to move society in this direction. With many others, we have engaged in and for our immigrant communities — Episcopalian or not — with some success, especially at the local and state level. That will continue with sanctuary cities, churches, and communities. We are working to make California a sanctuary state, and we’ll know in a few days what was able to be accomplished. In partnership with the Episcopal Office of Government Relations and innumerable other churches, mosques, synagogues, and other houses of worship and moral good, we continue to influence the federal government toward social justice.

It takes all of us to make a community where immigrants and non-immigrants can live as equals – creatures made in the image and likeness of God, sisters and brothers from birth. Jesus said that people would know his followers by our love. In that spirit, I urge each of you to look for ways that we can support and encourage one another, especially Dreamers, who yesterday received a stunning blow. We have taught them to plan, to look to the long term, to build for the future; and now they are told that they have no way to know their future beyond maybe six months.

I ask you to pray, to speak out, and to take special care of Dreamers and those people and organizations who work to give them a chance to continue to live in the only home that they know, the United States.

We’ll be publishing local resources shortly. In the meantime, contact the Rev. Davidson Bidwell, Ms. Sarah Lawton, or the Rev. Anna Lange-Soto for ways to take action on DACA.


Una Colecta para Refugiados e Inmigrantes:

Padre Celestial, de quien cada familia en la tierra derive su nombre, ten misericordia de todos los que caminan por este mundo.

Tal como le diste refugio a tu hijo Jesús, que huyó de la tiranía de Herodes, ahora provee nuevos hogares a todos los que huyen de la violencia de este siglo, para que conozcan la paz de Cristo.

Concede a tu pueblo corazones de bienvenida y vidas de valor, a través de Jesucristo, que vive y reina contigo y el Espíritu Santo, un solo Dios, por los siglos de los siglos.



A Collect for Refugees and Immigrants:

Heavenly Father, from whom every family on earth derives its name, have mercy on all those who sojourn in this world.

As you sheltered your son Jesus who fled from the tyranny of Herod, so now provide new homes for all those who flee the violence of this age, that they may know the peace of Christ.

Grant your people with hearts of welcome and lives of courage, through Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.