Recently President Trump repealed an executive order which had instituted the policy called DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). He has encouraged Congress to do their job and pass a law addressing the issue of children whose parents brought them into the USA illegally (something President Obama also desired of Congress). According to a Wiki article, to qualify for DACA, “applicants must meet the following major requirements, although meeting them does not guarantee approval”:
- Came to the United States before their 16th birthday
- Have lived continuously in the United States since June 15, 2007
- Born on June 16, 1981 or after
- Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making their request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS
- Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012
- Have completed high school or a GED, have been honorably discharged from the armed forces, or are enrolled in school
- Have not been convicted of a felony or serious misdemeanors, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety
The article also states, “The policy allowed [those approved who meet the requirements above] to escape deportation and obtain work permits for a period of two years, renewable upon good behavior.” And, “The program does not provide lawful status or a path to citizenship, nor does it provide eligibility for federal welfare or student aid.”
This policy seems to me to be very reasonable. Children brought into this country through no choice of their own, and many remembering only this country as home, should have the opportunity to stay and legally work or pursue education. To deport them would put them in a country foreign to them where they would be strangers to everyone. This seems overly cruel to me. Briefly, I find two scriptural principles that apply.
- Children are not to be punished for their parent’s sins. “Fathers shall not be put to death because of their children, nor shall children be put to death because of their fathers. Each one shall be put to death for his own sin. You shall not pervert the justice due to the sojourner or to the fatherless, or take a widow’s garment in pledge, but you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you from there; therefore I command you to do this.” (Deuteronomy 24:16–18, ESV)
- We are to treat others as we would want them to treat us. “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12, ESV)
I encourage you to support the protection of children brought to our country illegally by their parents, but raised here.
David Harris is the Senior Pastor at Faith Baptist Church. A former programmer, in his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife Kim and trying his hand at the illusive craft of smoking meat.