Interfaith Letter to Congress on Passing A Permanent Legislative Solution to Protect Dreamers, and TPS and DED Holders

March 4, 2019


RE: Interfaith request to protect Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Enforced Departure Holders through swift passage of a permanent legislative solution.

Dear Honorable Members of the 116th Congress,

On behalf of the 82 undersigned national, state, and local faith-based organizations, as well as 509 faith leaders from across traditions, we respectfully request that you co-sponsor and pass a permanent, legislative solution in order to provide urgently needed protection for over a million dreamers and recipients of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED). We urge you to ensure these protections are brought to the floor and passed in both the House of Representatives and the Senate as clean, unified, and stand-alone legislation that would provide a path to citizenship for all dreamers, TPS recipients, and for persons with DED status.

As you know, the Dream Act of 2017 (H.R. 3440 and S.1615) and the American Promise Act (H.R. 4253) enjoyed broad support in the 115th Congress for offering a path to citizenship for dreamers, TPS and DED communities at risk of losing their protected status. Similarly, the Safe Environment from Countries Under Repression and Emergency (SECURE) Act, S. 2144, offered protections for Liberian DED holders in addition to TPS recipients. The communities addressed by these various bills have a lot in common, including being part of the same families, sharing an urgent need for relief, and often being from the same countries. Thus, we urge both the House and Senate to pass a legislative package such as the Dream and Promise Act of 2019, to the extent this bill offers swift, permanent protections for dreamers, TPS, and DED populations, as hundreds of thousands face the threat of deportation.

Every day that a solution for DACA and TPS is not enacted, countless members of our community have to live in anxiety and fear, unsure if they will be allowed to stay in the country they call home, or if they will be forcibly returned to nations they have never really known. While various lawsuits have provided some relief for a fraction of dreamers and TPS holders, the vast majority are still at risk of falling out of status. This same fear is felt by our community members with TPS and DED, especially those whose country designations have been revoked, namely Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Liberia, Nepal, Honduras and those whose are from countries for which the TPS status was not re-designated. Despite reports, lawsuits and investigations demonstrating that country conditions in all of these countries rendered them unsafe to return to, the administration has consistently turned our nation’s back on these populations by terminating protections. These decisions have put over one million members of our communities who are legally living, studying and working in the United States at risk of deportation. These terminations an affront to our American values, will cause irreparable harm to families and our economy, and will force TPS holders to either become undocumented or return to countries in turmoil.

Dreamers inspire us to live into our shared faith values of unconditional love for our neighbors and determined belief in the possibility of justice for all people. Their vision is our vision, that we can realize an immigration system that affirms the sanctity of family unity, respects the rights and dignity of all, and makes the American Dream truly achievable. Dreamers cannot wait, our businesses cannot wait, and our country cannot wait. It is equally imperative that Congress does not pair relief for dreamers with policy that puts their parents, siblings, and other immigrants at increased risk of deportation or detention or further infringes upon the rights and safety of border communities.

This is not a partisan issue – Republicans, Democrats, and the American public support dreamers. Dreamers are immigrant youth who are parents and doctors; they serve in the military and as police officers; they rescued, and died rescuing, Harvey flood victims; and they teach our children in our schools. 91% of dreamers are employed, pay taxes, and contribute to Social Security. The average age dreamers entered the United States is 6 years old. Some don’t even speak the language of the country where they were born. Legislation to protect dreamers has broad support from the faith community, state and local elected leaders, business leaders, and faith and secular educators, and would provide the pathway to citizenship that would treat dreamers with the dignity they deserve. This legislation was crafted in consultation with dreamers themselves, and is the strongest legislative vehicle to permanently protect DACA recipients and strengthen the U.S. economy.

Every day, dreamers, TPS holders, and DED holders make great contributions to the U.S. They are vital workers, caretakers, community volunteers, taxpayers, academic achievers, innovators, and more. Dreamers, TPS holders, and DED holders are our friends, neighbors and beloved members of our communities and congregations. They are parents and family members of U.S. citizens. Many have called America their home for decades. As people of faith, our message to you is unified and clear: we demand passage of the a permanent legislative solution with a pathway to citizenship, such as the Dream and Promise Act of 2019 to the extent it reflects those values. We believe this is a matter of morality, justice, and the values of welcome, dignity, and protection that run common through the faith traditions that make up our country. The terminations of DACA, TPS, and DED have left over a million well-rooted, essential members of our society in a cruel state of limbo.

As faith leaders and members of faith-based organizations across the country, we urge you to join us in standing shoulder-to-shoulder with dreamers and TPS and DED holders, and to ensure that permanent protections are swiftly passed. We pray you will work to introduce and pass unified legislation as soon as possible to protects all dreamers, and TPS and DED recipients. Thank you most sincerely for your consideration of this request. If you have any questions, please contact Menty Kebede at


Faith-Based Organizations:

Africa Faith & Justice Network
African American Ministers In Action
Alliance of Baptists
Anti-Defamation League
Bend the Arc: Jewish Action
BPFNA ~ Bautistas por la Paz
Buena Vista UMC Immigration Committee
Catholic Charities Bureau, Inc.
Central Pastoral Office for Hispanic Ministries- Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Church World Service
Churches for Peace
Collaborative Center for Justice
Congregation Beth El, Berkeley
Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, US Provinces
Cranaleith Spiritual Center
Cristianos Comprometidos
Crossing Borders – Dubuque
Divine Word Missionaries
Dominican of Sinsinawa
Downtown Disciples
Ecumenical Poverty Initiative
El Pueblo
Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren
Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration
Episcopal Diocese of California Migration & Immigration Task Force
Faith in Public Life
Families and Children’s Ministry Team, Disciples Home Missions, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Franciscan Action Network
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Gainesville (FL) Interfaith Alliance for Immigrant Justice
Holy Trinity Episcopal Church
IJAM-Immigrant Justice Advocacy Movement
IMMIG/Refuge Covenant Olympia WA
Integrated Refugee Immigrant Services (IRIS)
Jewish Council for Public Affairs
Joint Immigration Venture
Justice, Peace and Reconciliation Commission, Priests of the Sacred Heart, US Province
Leadership Conference  of Women Religious
Little Sisters of the Assumption
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
Massachusetts Conference United Church of Christ
Meriden Congregational Church, UCC
National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
National Council of Jewish Women
National Farm Worker Ministry
NHCUCC Immigrant and Refugee Support Group
North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church
Northern Illinois Justice For Our Neighbors
Office of Social Justice, Christian Reformed Church in North America
Oregon Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice
Our Lady Queen of Peace
Pennsylvania Council of Churches
Plainview reformed church
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
School Sisters of Notre Dame – Central Pacific Province
School Sisters of Notre Dame Atlantic-Midwest Province JPIC Dept
Sisters of Charity, BVM
Sisters of Mercy
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas – Institute Justice Team
Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in USA
Sisters of St. Dominic of Blauvelt, New York
Sisters of the Holy Family
Srs. of St. Joseph of Carondelet
St. Louis Inter-Faith Committee on Latin America (IFCLA)
St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church
St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Children’s Ministry
T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
The Episcopal Church
The Hat Project
The Leadership Team of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods Indiana.
The Reformed Church of Highland Park
Union for Reform Judaism
Unitarian Universalist Association
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice (UUSJ)
UU College of Social Justice
Welcoming Immigrant Faith Network
Wellspring United Church of Christ
Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual (WATER)


Faith Leaders


Dr. Mary E/ Hunt, Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual (WATER)

Dr. Jim Winkler, National Council of Churches

Sr. Teri Hadro, BVM, Sisters of Charity, BVM

Past-President Carol Blythe, Alliance of Baptists

Rabbi Salem Pearce, T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights

Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster, T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights

Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

Sister Dominica Lo Bianco, OSF, Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia

Ms. Harriett Olson, United Methodist Women

Reverend Stacey Siebrasse, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Sr. Brigid Lawlor, Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, US Provinces

Sister Sharon Altendorf, Union of Sisters of the Presentation of the BVM US Province

Sister Simone Campbell, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice

Rev. Jose Luis Casal, Presbyterian World Mission

Leadership Team Member Sister Eileen Gannon, Dominican Sisters of Sparkill

Sr. Rose Therese Nolta, SSpS, Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters

Rev. LeDayne Polaski, BPFNA ~ Bautistas por la Paz

Sister Dominica LoBianco, Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia

Sister Sara Dwyer, Adorers of the Blood of Christ, US Region

Ms. Aida Bound, The Ht Project

Sister Rita Valade, Sisters of Mercy

Sr. Michelle Salois Michelle Salois, Sisters of Mercy

Mr. Jonathan Boyne, Universalist



Sr. Anne Pellegrino, Sisters of Mercy



Elder and Church Secretary Susan Harris, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Pastor Martin Tapia, Iglesia Alas de Salvacion
Rev. Ailsa Guardiola Gonzalez, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Tucson
Mr Don Benton, Desert Foothills UMC
Frank Bergen, Episcopal Church of St. Matthew
Reverend Kenneth Kennon, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Sister Lucy Nigh, School Sisters of Notre Dame
Mrs. Jo Vredenburg, Desert Palm United Church of Christ, Tempe



Rev. Stephen Copley, Faith Voices Arkansas

Rev Lu Harding, Camden First United Methodist Church

Ms. Buff Easterly, Our Lady of Holt Souls



Rev. Diane Mettam, United Methodist Church
Rabbi Diane Elliot, Wholly Present /ALEPH
Rev. James Conn, United Methodist
The Rev. Norma Guerra, Church of the Messiah & St. Clement’s by-the-sea
Rabbi Sharon Brous, IKAR
Ven. Tenzin Chogkyi, Land of Medicine Buddha
The Rev. Jeffrey Spencer, Niles Discovery Church
Rev. Mary Kay Will, United Methodist Church (retired)
Rabbi Laura Owens, B’nai Horin, Children of Freedom
Rev. Elaine Schoepf, Seaside UCC
USA J. Alfred Smith, Jr., Allen Temple Baptist Church
Founding Rabbi Burt Jacobson, Kehilla Community Synagogue
Ms Jane Holt, Los Altos United Methodist Church
Rev. Paul Elder, St Aidan’s Episcopal Church
Mrs. Jan Warren, Lafayette Christian Church
Rev. Cheri Metier, First Congregational Church of Perris UCC
Rev. Jason Bense, Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer
The Rev. Anna Lange-Soto, Episcopal Churches of El Buen Pastor & NS de Guadalupe
Rev. Dr. L Barrett, UCC
N/A Hanan Bloomer, Independent
Rev. Rhina Ramos, Ministerio Latino
The Rev. Lucretia Jevne, St. Brigid of Kildare Episcopal Church
Ms. Mary Louise Gotthold, St. Timothy’s , Danville
Rev. Dr. Sharon Rhodes-Wickett , United Methodist
Senior Warden Sarah Lawton, St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church
Rev. Heidi Worthen Gamble, Presbytery of the Pacific
Mr. Robert Lane, Oakland City Church
Rev. Dr. Matthew Colwell, Knox Presbyterian Church
Ms Nancy Taylor, Skyline Community Church UCC
Ruling Elder Frances Goodrich, Brentwood Presbyterian Church
East Bay Interfaith Immigration Coalition Member Mirtha Ninayahuar, Skyline Community UCC
Ms. Wendy Gist, Presbyteries of San Fernando and San Gabriel, PC(USA)
Rev. Dr. Steven Craig, St. John’s Presbyterian Church
Rev. Dr. Arlene Nehring, Eden United Church of Christ
Rev. Geoff Browning, Presbytery of San Jose
Elder, Berkeley Friends Church John Maurer, Berkeley Friends Church
Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, Shomeret Shalom Global Congregation
Rev. Theresa Cho, St. John’s Presbyterian Church
Rev. Dr. Allison Tanner, Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church
Friend Sandra Schwartz, San Francisco Friends Meeting
Elder Stephanie Gee, Calvary Presbyterian Church
Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, Vista La Mesa Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Mrs. Ann Willard, Chalice Christian Church
Ms. Annette Lomont, St. Ignatius Parish, San Francisco
Sister Judy Carle RSM Judy Carle, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas
Dr. Hilda Mateo, Missionary Guadalupanas of the Holy Spirit
Sr. Judy Cannon, Sisters of Mercy
Sister of Mercy Mary Ann Clifford, Sisters of Mercy
Peter Diaz Peter Diaz, Mercy High School, Burlingame, CA
Sister Mary J. Gorman, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas
Ms. Ramona Harris, St. Jude’s Catholic Parish
Sister Eileen Pazmino, Sisters of Mercy
Sr. Madeleine Meagher, Religious Sisters of Charity
Sister Laetitia Bordes, SH Laetitia Bordes, Society of Helpers
Rev. Dr. Myrna Tuttle, United Church of Christ
Sister Esther McEGAN, Sisters of Mercy
Sister Linda Snow, CSJ Linda Snow, Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet
DRE Refugio Godinez, Sisters of Mercy
Sr. Hannah-Mary o’Donoghue, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas
Sister Terese Perry, Sisters of Mercy
Sister Diane Clyne, Sisters of Mercy
Ms Maureen Shannon-Chapple, InsightLA



Rev. Eve Ilsen, independent Jewish Renewal
Rabbi Nadya Gross, Pardes Levavot: a Jewish Renewal Congregation
Rev. Wayne A Laws, Mountain View United Church
Rabbi Deborah Bronstein , Congregation Har HaShem
Sara Swartz The United Church of the San Juans,
Mr James A Clark Jr



Mrs. Joanne Coghill, First Church in Windsor
Ms.Julia Porter Julia Porter, St. Mark’s Episcopal
Reverend David Taylor, First Church, United Church of Christ
Reverend Persida Rivera-Mendez, Ministerio Nueva Creacion
Sister Mary Daly RSM, Sisters of Mercy
Sisters of Mercy RSM Sr.Christel Nolan, Sisters of Mercy
Sister Elizabeth deManbey Elizabeth deManbey, Sisters of Mercy
Sister Cecilia Baranowski, Sisters of Mercy
Sister Claire Filippone, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas



Rev. Dr. Robert Carpenter, Penney Memorial Church

Mr & Mrs Gerald Black, Friends of Sisters of Mercy



Ms. Camille Yahm, Carrollton First United Methodist Church

Dr. Belle McMaster, Monticello Presbyterian Church

Rev. Ms. Linda Jones, Barnesville First United Methodist Church

Rev Orlando Scott, First Christian Church Atlanta

Rev. Tom Hagood, Columbia Presbyterian Church



Sr. Rosemary Boessen, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas



Sr. Kathleen Desautels, SP, Sisters of Providence of Indiana

Mr Tom Cordaro Tom Cordaro, Pax Christi Illinois

Rev. Chuck Maney, United Church of Christ

Rev. Dr. Rafael Malpica Padilla, Bethany Lutheran Church

Rev. Nayoung Ha, Lincoln Park Presbyterian Church / HANA Center

Rev. Kimberlee Whisler-Vasko, St. John’s United Church of Christ

Sr. Kathleen Desautels, SP, Sisters of Providence

Sister Mary Sheehan, Sister of Mercy Mary Sheehan, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas

Sr. Carlotta Oberzut, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas

Ms Monica Jennings, Sisters of Mercy WMW

Dr. Karen Wilson, Oriental Institute

  1. Betty Jean Bischel S. Betty Jean Bischel, Religious Sisters of Mercy

Lay Person John Cheung, Northbrook United Methodist Church

Mr. Gene Majewski, Guerin College Prep High School

Sister Rita Specht , Sisters of Mercy

Sister Maria Zeimen, Sisters of St. Francis, Clinton, Iowa

Sr. Dominga Zapata, Society of Helpers

Rev. April Gutierrez, Berry UMC



Laura Ward, Disciples

Rev. Dr. James Higginbotham, Earlham School of Religion

Rev Dawn Barnes, Central Christian Church