Immigration is a topic I’ve written about extensively during the past few months. Why does an organization like Providence St. Joseph Health care so much about this issue?
We care because it’s a matter of social justice – one of our core values. It’s also at the heart of Catholic social teachings, which call us to honor and respect the life and dignity of every human being, including undocumented immigrants.
The Sisters of Providence and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange have always been a voice for the marginalized and forgotten, and have a long tradition of reaching out to immigrants living in the shadows illegally. Most have come to the U.S. to escape grinding poverty, widespread violence or persecution.
Children of undocumented parents are a particularly vulnerable population. But thanks to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, these young people have had an opportunity to temporarily live, study and work legally in the U.S. without risk of deportation.
At Providence St. Joseph Health, we are proud that 147 of our caregivers are “Dreamers,” or individuals covered by DACA. They play a vital role in the health and well-being of those we serve, contributing their gifts, energy and skill to many of our communities, especially in California, Oregon and Washington.
While we are deeply disappointed and concerned by this week’s decision to rescind DACA, Providence St. Joseph Health is committed to working with other organizations on a legislative advocacy campaign to protect the Dreamers.
Our organization was proud to be one of 16 leading Catholic health care systems to sign a letter to the president, urging the continuation of DACA. As we said in the letter, “Welcoming the Dreamers, both those who have overcome incredible obstacles to build successful lives and those still on the path to doing so, demonstrates to all that America is still the land of opportunity.”
To the Dreamers who are part of the Providence St. Joseph Health family, please know we stand with you and will do everything we can to help you stay and live freely in this country, which is the only home many of you have ever known. Our HR and legal teams are available to answer questions and provide support.