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Arizona Faith Leaders Call For Political Action To Protect DREAMers

Arizona faith leaders respond to DACA
(Photo by Mariana Dale - KJZZ)
Faith, community and local political leaders gather to voice their support for young undocumented immigrants who have DACA.

Valley faith leaders are rallying their congregations to support young undocumented immigrants who will lose their legal status in the country after Tuesday’s announced repeal of Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

“It is biblically obvious that we are to protect dreamers,” said Kit Danley, president of Phoenix’s Neighborhood Ministries. “We are to speak up for their plight. We are to call out the untruths spoken about them and we are letting all power brokers know that God and God’s people stand with them.”

She joined leaders of multiple faiths in a press conference at the Arizona Capitol on Wednesday afternoon.

“The Jewish community understands very well from our experience as Israelites in Egypt what it meant to be a stranger in a foreign land,” Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz said. “Though that narrative comes over and over the obligation not only for compassion, but for justice.”

RELATED: Activists, 'DREAMers' March To ICE In Phoenix After DACA Decision

Leaders urged people to unite, pray and act.

“Political action is the moral, righteous and faithful response to what dreamers are facing today,” said Bill Lyons, United Church of Christ Southwest conference minister.

He called on people to write and call their senators and representatives and ask for a legislative solution for those protected by DACA.

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Mariana Dale rustles up stories as a senior field correspondent based out of KJZZ’s East Valley Bureau in Tempe. She’s followed a microphone onto cattle ranches, to the Dominican Republic and many places in between. Dale believes in a story’s strength to introduce us to diverse perspectives, inspire curiosity and hold public leaders accountable for their actions. She started at KJZZ on the digital team in 2016 and still spends a lot of time thinking about how to engage with our community online. Dale has learned from stints at Arizona Public Media, The Arizona Daily Star, The Arizona Republic and as an intern at NPR’s Morning Edition in Culver City. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Dale is grateful for the mentoring of the New York Times Student Journalism Institute, the Chips Quinn Scholars program and AIR’s New Voices Scholars. A desert native, she loves spending time outside hiking, tending to her cactus and reading.