Christian leaders have expressed their disappointment over U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to overturn the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protected children brought by illegal immigrants to the country from deportation.
The Archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, described the move as "very regrettable and harmful." The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops also issued a statement calling Trump's decision to end DACA a "reprehensible" one, The Washington Post relayed.
"Now, after months of anxiety and fear about their futures, these brave young people face deportation," the conference of bishops said in a statement. "This decision is unacceptable and does not reflect who we are as Americans."
The United Methodist Church also joined the voices of criticism and called Trump's efforts to overturn the Dreamers' program as "unconscionable." The Evangelical Lutheran Church released a written statement that asked its members to pray for the people who will be affected by the move to end the program.
Some of those who criticized the effort to rescind DACA are faith leaders close to the president. Some of them signed joint letters appealing with Trump to let the program continue as Congress comes up with legislation to legalize it.
There were also other evangelicals in Trump's council who agreed with the president's decision. Faith and Freedom Coalition chairman Ralph Reed posted a Twitter statement that said the executive order which created DACA was "illegal and unconstitutional."
Meanwhile, the Trump administration has just given Congress an opportunity to create an immigration law to legalize DACA, and not just an executive order. In light of this development, The Latino Coalition chairman Hector Barreto posted a commentary on CNBC that urged leaders to refrain from fear mongering, saying mass deportation will reportedly not happen and is not the goal of the president.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions explained that DACA will be winded down to enable the Department of Homeland Security to enact the appropriate changes in an orderly manner. Congress, on the other hand, should use that six-month time frame to come up with a permanent solution to the issue.