2937 Veneman Ave. Suite B150
Modesto, California 95356
2021 Annual Conference Session
We recognize, embrace, and affirm all persons, regardless of country of origin, as members of the family of God.
United Methodist Social Principles, ¶162.H
The 2021 California-Nevada Annual Conference offering will support students working under the temporary protection of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). In California and Nevada these young people arrived in the US as children arrived primarily from countries in Latin America and Asia including the Philippines, China, Vietnam, India.
Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño shared, "DACA protects young people in this country who were brought here as children, and thus, with absolutely no say in the matter. For many of them the US is the only home they know. I have met and worked with DACA students, some of them members of our United Methodist churches. They are young people already contributing to the future of our communities and congregations – bright, passionate, committed to creating a better world. I pray that we will choose to be present in their lives through the gift of our offerings. May our financial gifts lead us to a relationship with these young people and their families as we seek to be a present and healing balm in a broken world."
DACA is a policy fought for by immigrant youth to protect certain undocumented individuals who came to the United States as children from deportation. In addition to protection from deportation, DACA recipients are eligible for work authorization, a social security number, and a state-issued identification or driver’s licenses. DACA does not grant lawful status such as a visa or green card, nor does it offer a pathway to U.S. citizenship. The Department of Homeland Security first announced the DACA policy on June 15, 2012, and the US Citizenship and Immigration Services began accepting DACA applications on August 15, 2012. There are approximately 650,000 current DACA recipients, but many other young people are eligible to receive life sustaining support through DACA.
Without the protection of DACA, students live in the shadow of deportation. Even students who are under the temporary protection of DACA do not want to be widely identified for fear they or their families will be targeted for deportation if their application renewal is denied. Currently DACA applications must be renewed every year. The cost to apply for renewal is $495, plus additional legal fees to process applications through the immigration system. Sadly, many immigrant young people eligible for DACA struggle to remain in this country with their families because they have no one to help them understand DACA, provide them legal assistance or financial help for the cost of the legal assistance and application processing fees.
Rev. Gary Pope-Sears, Chair of the Commission on the Annual Conference said, "Enabling young people to feel more at home and therefore prosper and bless the world around them amounts to funds well invested. I hope all our churches will generously help us confirm the hope of these Dreamers in our midst by supporting this special offering."
Click here to learn more about our United Methodist immigration witness and ministry being led on our behalf by our General Board of Church and Society.