Evangelical Advisors Take Credit For Pause On DACA Rollback

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter
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Leaders on a Trump advisory board took credit for the six-month delay attached to the administration’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program Tuesday.

Various members of President Donald Trump’s Evangelical Advisory Board suggested that their influence with Trump may have played a role in the six-month stipulation attached to the DACA rollback, reports The Washington Post.

“A week ago when it started becoming clear DACA would come to an end it seemed there would be no other solution,” Pastor Tony Suarez, executive vice president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, told The Huffington Post. “But under the current plan, there’s a six-month window for Congress to act and a two-year extension for children currently enrolled in the DACA program. That’s a direct outcome of our work.”

The Trump administration announced that they would be rolling back DACA with a six month delay in order to give Congress the chance to act if they want.

“This is a gradual process, not a sudden phase out. Permits will not begin to expire for another six months, and will remain active for up to 24 months. Thus, in effect, I am not going to just cut DACA off, but rather provide a window of opportunity for Congress to finally act,” Trump said in his statement.

The Evangelical Advisory Board consists of various Christian leaders Trump selected during his campaign to advise him on spiritual matters and faith issues that concern Americans. Two of the members on the board, Suarez and NHCLC President Samuel Rodriguez, said they spent the past year trying to convince Trump to help DACA recipients. Suarez added that he and Rodriguez had a video conference with Trump on Friday and had someone deliver the president a letter from 1,000 pastors asking for protections for DACA recipients.

Jentezen Franklin, a white Atlanta pastor, told WaPo that he asked the president to consider the plight of those on DACA.

“I shake their hands at the end of my sermons,” Franklin claimed he told Trump. “I stand and shake hands for hours: I pastor the dreamer kids.”

The NHCLC and other organizations still plan to fight for DACA recipients by asking Congress to come up with a solution to help DACA recipients permanently, Suarez added.

“If he’d ended DACA without a provision then, yes, we would feel let down. But he heard us. He had compassion for these children and has given them an extension of time,” he said.

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