July 2, 2023
“We still have more to offer,” said Stevanie, a young-adult DACA recipient and member of Marturia Presbyterian Church. As the Supreme Court deliberates on how protections under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will continue, we are reminded of the millions of people who are in the United States under temporary immigration statuses. The temporary statuses provide relief from deportation orders and provide access to work authorization but are precarious. They must be renewed every year to every two years, and individuals must put their lives on hold during each renewal process. Regardless of the amount of time someone has been a recipient of these temporary statuses and vetted for renewal, there are no pathways to permanent residency or citizenship. These protections can also be revoked with the change in presidential administrations. Life is precarious.
Dr. Tamar Wasoian, originally from Aleppo, Syria, has dedicated her professional life to preparing faith leaders in the United States. She expresses how tiring and stressful it is to maintain Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Although grateful for the status, she lives in constant fear as renewal times come up every 18 months. It diminishes her life and possibilities. She says, “Look at what I have accomplished with TPS. Imagine what I could do if I had access to a permanent status.”
As people of faith, we understand that we are all created in God’s image and called God’s children. As our neighbors are burdened with obstacles involved in temporary statuses, may we be reminded of the countless ways they invest in and improve our communities. They work tirelessly to seek ways to seek lasting and just solutions, so, may we feel invigorated to amplify their call for legislative solutions that allow for pathways to citizenship.
For more information on DACA, visit the Office of Immigration Issues DACA page. Learn how to engage your congressional leaders with the Interfaith Immigration Coalition (IIC) Toolkit. The PC(USA) is a steering committee member of the IIC and is deeply involved in these efforts. Read an article from faith leaders calling for greater protections for DACA recipients.
Amanda Craft, Manager of Immigration Advocacy, Mid Council Ministries, Office of the General Assembly
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, July 2, 2023, the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)
Today’s Focus: Immigration Sunday
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Michael Gehrling, Associate, Northeast Region & Assessments, 1001 New Worshiping Communities, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Alexander Germosen, Cook, Stony Point Center, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Let us pray
God, you invite us not to a temporary life but to life eternal — one that allows all to live as full participants in your creation. Help us understand how our nation constructs stumbling blocks for many immigrants who are not able to fully participate, who cannot be their full self. Inspire us to seek ways to smooth out those stumbling blocks to create a pathway to justice.