Heartening Stands

When the administration’s attempts to end deportation protection for young undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children (DACA) seem mercilessly cruel, it’s uplifting to hear about those who resist such inhumane treatment of innocent people. For instance, John Bates, a DC federal judge, called the government decision “virtually unexplained, arbitrary and capricious.” He offered the chance for a better explanation within 90 days. But if that doesn’t come, he will rescind the White House order and reopen the program to new applicants.

Trump may use young peoples’ lives as a bargaining chip to get a border wall, but Jesuit Thomas Reese deliberately got arrested on Feb. 27 to express solidarity with “Dreamers.” They have been students, parishioners, friends and colleagues, he writes in National Catholic Reporter (Mar. 23-Apr. 5, ’18). He admits that his symbolic action is nothing compared to the devastating arrests that cause untold damage to immigrants. Many would be torn from families, returned to the most violent countries on earth and targeted because they don’t know the culture or the language. They have grown up in the US, the only home they know.

Sen. Nancy Pelosi of California stood before the Senate for more than 8 hours without a break, in 4 inch heels, to defend the Dreamers. Reading passages from the Bible and Dreamers’ letters, she delivered the longest continuous speech in the chamber’s history (Washington Post, 2/7/18).

In fifty years, when the Dreamers’ grandchildren hear the stories of threats to civility and blatant disregard for human rights, may the parts of brave witnesses be told too, underlining, “In the face of powerful attack, some people stood for justice.”

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