On Monday, February 5, the inter-religious social justice organization Protected by Faith held a press conference in Federal Plaza, downtown Chicago, to demonstrate their support of young DREAMers. Fr. Tony Pizzo, O.S.A., Pastor of St. Rita of Cascia Parish, was invited to set the opening context for the organization's support of the nation's young, vulnerable immigrant population. The full text of Fr. Pizzo's statement can be found below.
Thank you all for joining us in the cold; however, we hope that our faith that compels us to be here warms our hearts and enlightens our minds to allow God's spirit to support our immigrant brothers and sisters and especially our young DREAMERS.
We share in the Mission that We are Protected by Faith as religious leaders and people representing various faith traditions. We join together to respond generally to the rising wave of division and hatred that we encounter in unjust policies that target communities of color and other marginalized peoples in our country. We share in the mission that fosters unity based on the conviction that we are bound to one another as sisters and brothers in the human family and that we share common values upon which our diverse faith traditions are founded.
Many clergy of diverse faith traditions from across the Chicagoland area have joined together to call on Congress to protect DREAMers. February 5th marks one month before the March 5th DACA deadline, after which, over 900 DREAMers will lose their protection from deportation and their ability to work and attend school in the US every single day.
First Principle of the Church's Social Doctrine on migration teaches us that:
People have the right to migrate to sustain their lives and the lives of their families including children. Through no fault of their own these young people arrived with their families so that they would be provided a life here whereby in their country of origin they may not have been able to be sustained by lack of resources and opportunities that are available here in the U.S.
Absolute equality for all people and the commitment to the common good of all.
Therefore, deporting DREAMERS is not what our faith teaches us. Justice must be tempered with mercy and mercy with justice.