Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

Dreamers must have our protection, support

By ARCHBISHOP WILTON D. GREGORY, Commentary | Published December 7, 2017  | En Español

The Bible regularly uses people’s dreams to announce important messages of faith. Both the Old and New Testaments frequently employ dreams to reveal God’s plan and design. In the teachings of the Old Testament, Jacob’s dream was a confirmation of God’s promise to lead his people into a rich new land. The youthful Joseph was called “the dreamer” by his brothers, who resented him because of his dreams. In the New Testament, the dream of Joseph was perhaps the most important as it invited him to accept God’s design in choosing Mary to become the Mother of his Son, born of the Holy Spirit.

Dreams are wonderful and important in helping discover what God may have in store for us.

We Americans currently have about a million “Dreamers” in our midst, who need us to help them complete and fulfill their dreams. These young people take their name as an acronym from a legislative proposal (the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) act) to protect people who were brought to the United States as children—many as infants.

Most of the Dreamers simply know no other country than ours. They have been good students, honorable residents and significant contributors to the U.S., including some who even currently serve in our military. They deserve to be protected, allowed to continue making positive contributions to our nation, and finally, permitted to formalize their citizenship as Americans. They are now caught in political gamesmanship that demeans us all and frightens them. These young people should not be pawns in the chess game of U.S. politics. Their lives are far too valuable to be manipulated, as we continue to engage in political brinkmanship.

Ultimately, our nation urgently needs to enact reasonable, effective and ethical comprehensive immigration policies that respect the human dignity of those who seek admission to our country; these policies should secure and monitor our borders and continue our proud legacy of being a welcoming nation for those who seek the benefits of freedom and opportunity. Our Dreamers represent the best of that heritage, as they have already demonstrated honesty, hard work, civic cooperation and a willingness to advance the strength of our nation. Their need for security and the resolution of their status is vitally important at this time.

I ask all of you at this time as we enter Advent—a season in which dreams play such an important role—to contact your elected officials in Washington and urge them to act on this matter, which so embroils the lives of these fine young people. Our Dreamers should not be treated as anything less than the hopeful and compliant young people they are.

Advent is the season of the Church where dreams play a distinct role in God’s plan for our salvation. Our Dreamers should be able to welcome the Christ Child free from the threats that continue to cloud their futures and dampen our great national legacy of welcome and compassion. The vast majority of Americans believe that our Dreamers should be respected and safeguarded from further doubts about their tomorrows, and we as God’s people ought to insist that their dreams be fulfilled and our nation made more just in doing so.

Take a few moments to write, call or e-mail your elected officials and tell them to support pending legislation that will resolve the state of those in our midst who dream of nothing more than to live in and continue to contribute to this nation, which they have known from childhood and would proudly call their own.