Kino Border Initiative and U.S. Jesuit Conference Support DREAMers

The Kino Border Initiative and the U.S. Jesuit Conference support the eight DREAMers who tried to re-enter the United States on Monday, July 22, asking for humanitarian parole.  Today a statement was released, expressing this support and connecting the action of the DREAMers to the overall effort for comprehensive immigration reform.

July 23, 2013

The U.S. Jesuit Conference and the Kino Border Initiative recognize the enormous courage of the eight young “DREAMers” who crossed through a port-of-entry at the U.S./Mexico border yesterday, July 22, 2013 to reunite with their families and communities and to call attention to the continued deportations of hundreds of thousands of our undocumented community members, even as Congress seeks to address problems in our broken immigration system.

The eight young people, who call communities across the United States their home, presented themselves to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Morley Gate in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico.  Accompanied by their lawyers, U.S. citizen friends, faith leaders and supporters, these young men and women walked to the official pedestrian crossing point and requested humanitarian parole to rejoin their family members and communities within the United States. 

All eight individuals were born in Mexico but were brought over the border as young children and would be eligible for the DREAM Act currently being considered as part of the immigration overhaul legislation pending before Congress. The eight youth are currently in CBP custody, awaiting review of their requests for humanitarian parole, among them an aspiring lawyer, Lizbeth Mateo who is registered to attend Santa Clara University’s Law School, a Jesuit University this fall.  Lizbeth and her compatriots represent the kind of promising, bright, and courageous young people that Jesuits encounter every day in ministries throughout the United States, especially in our schools and universities. 

Last week, Jesuit University presidents joined other Catholic college presidents in a letter calling for immediate, comprehensive, moral and humane overhaul of our country’s broken immigration system, which continues to separate families and “trap aspiring Americans in the shadows.” We echo this call, and we stand with the eight DREAMers who crossed yesterday seeking a humanitarian parole policy that reunites families and puts on hold further deportations of our students, our parishioners, our friends, and our family members as comprehensive immigration reform legislation is being debated.

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