DACA recipient: ‘My message would be of love’

ALLOUEZ – The Supreme Court began hearing arguments Nov. 12 in a case that could eventually end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA.

The High Court will rule on three lower court rulings that blocked President Donald Trump’s 2017 order to end DACA, which was established by executive order in 2012 by then-President Barack Obama. The U.S. bishops, at their annual meeting in Baltimore this week, have voiced support for DACA.

An estimated 700,000 young adults, who arrived in the United States as children without legal documentation, are DACA recipients. They face the possibility of being deported to countries they do not call home.

Last week, Ana Rodriguez, who served as an immigration counselor for Catholic Charities since 2017, spoke to The Compass about her life as a DACA recipient and why she and her husband decided to give up on remaining in the United States due to DACA’s uncertainty.

At the conclusion of my interview with Rodriguez, who flew to Mexico City on Sunday, Nov. 10, to visit her parents and grandmother, I asked Ana what her message would be to clients and to fellow workers as she departed. She immediately grabbed a tissue and offered these words:

“My message would be of love. I think when you love Jesus, you share Jesus. And joy just comes out of it. That has been my mission here since I started. I want to show the love of Jesus and I want  people to know that Jesus is alive, and that I care for people and that I have compassion. … I just want people to feel the same joy. To express it and to share it with all the people who come here.

“I got to know Jesus here in the Curia by my co-workers and by the people who sit in my office. To me, that’s a reflection of Jesus. When they come in need and they want something, when they are hungry or they don’t have a coat in wintertime, I try to go and find it for them. I just try to find the resources . That is Jesus coming into my office and I think ultimately, it’s just love.

“Oftentimes we make it about ourselves a lot of the times. But it’s nothing about us, it’s about the people that we serve. Every time I came into work, I didn’t’ care about how much money I made. I cared about the people who came here. That it isn’t about me, it’s about serving others. And that’s how I can give back to my community and that’s how I can share the love of Jesus. If you don’t have love, then what do you have to share?”

Read Ana’s story at this link.

About Sam Lucero

Lucero is news and information director for The Compass and a 30-year veteran of the Catholic press. When not at his desk, he enjoys taking photos and posting them online to share with friends. His “Bugs Up Close,” a macrophotography gallery of insects and plants found in his back yard, is a work in progress.  To see a sample go to his Inspired Images website. Follow him on Twitter for tweets about church, photography and technology.