On Dec. 4, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York ordered the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to reinstate the entire Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program by Dec. 7, and to resume accepting first-time DACA applicants. Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration issued the following statement:

“We welcome the full reinstatement of the DACA program and are particularly pleased that with this ruling, youth who are first-time applicants are allowed to apply for the program for the first time since 2017. The DACA program directly benefits immigrant youth, their families, and the communities we serve.

“To all Dreamers, the Catholic Church continues to stand with you and will advocate with you to ensure you reach your God-given potential here in the United States.

“While we are pleased that the DACA program will be restored, we note that only legislation that provides a path to citizenship will give Dreamers and their families true security and the ability to fully thrive. For this reason, we again urge the U.S. Congress to take up and pass legislation granting Dreamers a path to citizenship.

“We hope the reinstatement of DACA begins a new chapter of possibility on the issue of immigration, including the introduction and passage of legislative reform by Congress that addresses our broken immigration system. We will continue to advocate for reform that values family unity, honors due process and the rule of law, recognizes the contributions of workers, protects the vulnerable fleeing persecution, and addresses the root causes of migration.”

For more information on DACA and the Catholic Church’s work with Dreamers, visit the Justice for Immigrants website.