Archbishop Gomez Calls Decision to End DACA ‘A National Tragedy and Moral Challenge to Every Conscience'

September 5, 2017

In a statement issued today, Archbishop José H. Gomez urged leaders in Washington to set aside partisan differences and come together to find a permanent legislative solution to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).

“I am deeply disappointed by President Trump’s decision to end the DACA program,” said Archbishop Gomez.

“I speak as a pastor not a politician. I cannot address the constitutional or political questions raised by this program. But as a pastor I think we need to clearly understand what this decision means. Today our country is announcing its intention to deport more than 800,000 young people. This is a national tragedy and a moral challenge to every conscience.”

“As Americans, we are a people of compassion. I do not believe this decision represents the best of our national spirit or the consensus of the American people,” said Archbishop Gomez. “This decision reflects only the polarization of our political moment.”

In the statement, Archbishop Gomez said that it is not right to hold young people accountable for decisions that they did not make.

“America is their home, the only country they have ever known. Most of them are working hard to contribute to the American dream — holding down jobs, putting themselves through college, some are even serving in our nation’s armed forces.”

Archbishop Gomez, stated that he agrees that “immigration policy should be made by Congress, not by presidential executive order.”

“We need to remember that then-President Obama established the DACA program in 2012 because members of Congress could not get beyond their partisan self-interests to come together and fix our nation’s broken immigration system,” stated Archbishop Gomez.

Archbishop Gomez concluded the statement by sharing that he is praying for Congress and the 790,000 young people who have received deportation relief and work permits through DACA.

“And I am praying that finding a solution to DACA will mark the beginning of new work to seek immigration reform solutions in all areas: securing and protecting our borders; modernizing our visa system so we can welcome newcomers who have the skills our country needs to grow; and providing a compassionate solution for those who are undocumented and right now living in the shadows of our society.”

For the full text of the Archbishop’s statement, visit