Bishop Joseph Kopacz sent the following letter in support of Daniela Vargas, a previous DACA recipient, who was detained by federal authorities moments after she spoke about her desire for a path to citizenship at a news conference. Although the letter speaks to a specific case, he writes in support of all DACA recipients.
March 2, 2017
To Whom It May Concern:
I am Bishop Joseph Kopacz of the Catholic Diocese of Jackson, Miss., and I am writing in support of Daniela Vargas who was taken into custody yesterday after speaking on behalf of DACA recipients at the press conference in Jackson. I do not know the details of why her DACA status lapsed or was not renewed in a timely fashion, but I am writing to recommend that whatever steps need to be taken to renew her status as a DACA recipient ought to be implemented as soon as possible and that she should be released during this process. Some have expressed grave concern at every level of government and society that DACA recipients may be especially vulnerable in the transition from one administration to the next, but President Trump has stated that he will honor the status of all DACA recipients. I would hope that local branches of our Immigration and Customs Service will uphold the letter and spirit of the law with respect to the legal status of DACA recipients.
Thank you for your attention to this critical concern.
+Joseph R. Kopacz
Bishop of Jackson
Director of Communications
Catholic Diocese of Jackson