Pope Francis acknowledged that he hadn’t read the fine print of President Donald Trump’s decision to end the DACA program, but said any decision that breaks up families can’t be squared away with the pro-life ethos.
“I believe that this law comes, I think, not from parliament but from the executive branch of the government,” he said, according to Crux. “If it is so, I have the hope that it’s re-thought, because I heard the president of the United States introduce himself as a pro-life man. A good pro-lifer understands that family is the cradle of life, and that its unity must be defended.”
DACA, established by President Barack Obama, protected undocumented immigrants who were brought over to the United States by their families when they were too young to have a say. In order to qualify, DREAMers must have a high school graduate degree or the equivalent of one, have a spotless criminal record, and pay a $500 annual fee. Trump’s decision will wind the program down over the next six months, at which point the DREAMers who were protected under DACA will be subject to deportation.
As Pope Francis alludes to, many of the DREAMers have been in the United States long enough to have families of their own, meaning deportation would take them away from their partners and children. Trump has said he will “revisit” DACA if Congress cannot agree on a plan to protect DREAMers by the end of the six month window.