Opening America’s Arms to Immigrant Youth
By Sister Michele S.
Through my work and living situations, I have been privileged to meet several youth who will benefit from the recent shift in policy for undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. with their families when they were children through no fault of their own.
In many situations, the youth effected are the eldest children in their family who assume the role of translator for the parents regarding health, legal, financial and education issues. Often, the other children in the family were born in the U.S.
These youth, who work hard to be the bridge between two languages and cultures to hold their families together through economic hardship, deserve a chance for the DREAM Act. They are law-abiding and willing to go through the process to stay.
While we wait for the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform to pass, President Obama’s announcement to defer deportation for some undocumented young people and give them the chance to work here legally is a good step.
What happened to the open arms — “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of you teamming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” — that received so many immigrants before us?
Thank God for all who are supporting the needs of undocumented youth!