Bishop appeals to governor about DACA

Published: September 1, 2017

Bishop Anthony B. Taylor released the following open letter to Gov. Asa Hutchinson Sept. 1, 2017, asking him to support the continuation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Dear Governor Hutchinson,

Attorney General Rutledge has indicated that on behalf of the state of Arkansas, she plans to join a lawsuit led by the state of Texas to challenge the continuation of the federal policy initiative known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. I write to urge you in the strongest terms possible to support this DACA program and to prevent our state from becoming a party to this action.

The DACA program has been a great success in Arkansas. Through it, nearly 6,000 young adults have received assurance that they will not be immediately processed for deportation. This has allowed them to enter the workforce, start businesses and pursue an education. In short, the program has been an overwhelming benefit to our state’s economy.

But more important than just the economic benefit is the fact that retaining DACA is simply the right thing to do. It keeps families together (and thus is “pro-family”), and it respects the inherent and fundamental human dignity of each individual person (and thus is “pro-life”).

Opposing DACA in court runs counter to the best interests of our state and unfairly diminishes the dignity of the DACA recipients who have violated no laws. Their dream is to become citizens in the country in which they were raised, in which they were schooled, for which some have served in the military, and in which they call home.

I urge you to support federal legislation that would justly solve the immigration challenge our nation faces. Use your position to protect these “dreamers” who want nothing more than to be productive Arkansans. I appreciate your past efforts in keeping Arkansas friendly to both immigrants and business. Please do the right thing again by standing up for the DACA young people for the good of our state and nation.


+Bishop Anthony B. Taylor
Diocese of Little Rock