Administration’s Immigration Plan’s Impact on Family ‘Deeply Troubling,’ says Bishop

Beneficiaries of the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program attend the "Keep Our Dream Alive" binational meeting in 2017. The Dreamers, as DACA recipients are known, gathered at a section of the U.S.-Mexico border wall in Sunland Park, N.M. (CNS photo/Jose Luis Gonzalez, Reuters) See DACA-GOMEZ-HUMANITARIAN and DACA-JUDGE Jan. 10, 2018.

WASHINGTON (CNS) – The chairman of the U.S. bishops’ migration committee said Jan. 30 that the Catholic bishops welcomed the Trump administration’s proposal to give “Dreamers” a path to citizenship, but at the same time, they are “deeply troubled” about the plan’s “impact on family unity.” On January 26, the White House released a proposal offering a path to citizenship for approximately 1.8 million of the so-called Dreamers and asking for a $25 billion investment in a border wall and other security measures. The plan also calls for an end to the diversity visa program, popularly known as the “visa lottery,” and also a program that grants visa preferences to relatives of U.S. citizens or residents. The administration said its focus for immigration policy is to keep the “nuclear family” intact. “We welcome the administration’s proposal to include a path to citizenship for Dreamers. However, the proposed cuts to family immigration and elimination of protections to unaccompanied children are deeply troubling,” said Bishop Joe S. Vasquez of Austin, Texas, who is chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration. He made the comments in a statement released ahead of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech, delivered that night. Immigration and border security were among the topics Trump was expected to address in the speech, in addition to the economy, tax reform and the country’s infrastructure needs.