An Open Letter to President Trump and Congressional Leaders

In response to growing concerns about President Trump’s consideration of discontinuing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Rabbi Lustig and several D.C. area faith leaders together wrote an open letter to the President and Congressional leaders on August 29. We are pleased to share their letter with you here.

Dear Mr. President and Congressional Leaders:

As leaders of the three Abrahamic faiths, we look to our sacred texts and traditions in seeking to follow the way of peace. Our respective teachings are clear, and we speak with one voice when we say: supporting the dreams of young immigrants in the United States is consistent with the foundational values of our nation, and with the moral imperative of extending hospitality to the stranger, of caring for immigrants and children, and of loving our neighbors as ourselves.

Nearly one million young immigrants have benefitted from the DACA program since its inception in 2012. Among that number, many of the program recipients are members of our respective faith communities, as well as the communities we mentor, in and around the nation’s capital. We have witnessed firsthand the relief and pride in our young people’s faces as they finally came to feel validated and safe by participating in a program that made them feel more at home – in the only country they have ever considered home. But now, anxiety and fear for their futures has returned.

We note that DACA has widespread support across the country and among politicians who agree on little else, for good reason. DACA has dramatically improved the lives of these young people and the communities in which they live:

  • 95 percent of DACA participants are working or attending school;
  • 68 percent of those working have seen their pay increase and thus are paying higher taxes;
  • 50 percent now have driver’s licenses, which makes the roads safer for everyone;
  • 54 percent have purchased their first car; and
  • 12 percent have purchased their first home.

Rescinding DACA would have widespread, devastating impact not only on a generation of industrious young people, but also on their families, communities, and our society as a whole. Thus we add our voices to those urging you, Mr. President, to keep this policy in place until Congress puts in place a permanent solution.

It is our collective prayer that in the coming months, Congressional leaders work together to pass sensible and comprehensive immigration reform that our country so desperately needs, including making the DACA program permanent. But until that time comes, the least that our country can do is to continue supporting our dreamers. Keep DACA in place, Mr. President.


The Right Reverend Mariann Edgar Budde, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington

Rabbi M. Bruce Lustig, Senior Rabbi of Washington Hebrew Congregation

Imam Talib M. Shareef, Masjid Muhammad, The Nation’s Mosque

His Eminence Donald Cardinal Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington