Perhaps the most interesting response to President Trump’s decision to end DACA, the immigration haven for about 800,000 young people, has come from Pope Francis. Like TSTA and milllions of Americans, the Pope believes the decision was a mistake.
Sure, the president deferred any deportation action against the so-called Dreamers for six months to give Congress time to enact legislation reauthorizing the program, but he has put the lives of these young people in limbo as they await action from a Congress that usually has difficulty even agreeing on the time of day.
Pointing out the cruelty inherent in making these Dreamers subject to deportation, Pope Francis said the decision to end the DACA program means Trump may not be as “pro-life” has he has previously claimed.
“The president of the United States presents himself as pro-life, and if he is a good pro-lifer he understands that family is the cradle of life and its unity must be protected,” the Pope said aboard his plane this week, according to news reports, as he returned to the Vatican from a trip to Colombia.
Although undocumented, these young people, including about 120,000 in Texas, were brought to the United States as infants or young children, and they consider themselves Americans because this is the only home most of them have ever known. Deporting them would break up thousands of families throughout the country.
The Pope, of course, is one of the world’s most outspoken “pro-life” or anti-abortion advocates. As president, Trump claims to be anti-abortion, although his record on that issue has not been consistent over the years.
TSTA takes stands on education, not abortion. We have members on both sides of the abortion issue, and we respect their beliefs. But TSTA wholeheartedly agrees with Pope Francis that the respect for life obviously extends to the living, all the living, including undocumented young people who are students in our schools and universities, teachers in our classrooms and productive members of our work force.