When Frances Xavier Cabrini arrived in New York from her home in Italy, her experience mirrored that of many immigrants in this world: she was told to go home.
A house that was promised for her and her sisters by the Archdiocese of New York was no longer available and the archbishop insisted that she return to Italy. She refused. Improvised housing was found and she and her sisters went to work scrambling (even begging) for funds, overcoming hardship after hardship, to ultimately found 67 institutions to serve the poor, the uneducated, the sick, the abandoned and especially the immigrant.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the death of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini whose feast day we celebrate on November 13th. It is no coincidence that the centennial of her death falls this year when Pope Francis launched Share the Journey, a global campaign inviting people around the world to love our immigrant and refugee neighbors, to get to know them because Mother Cabrini is the Patroness of Immigrants.
Meet your Neighbor
Ruth turned her dreams into reality thanks to DACA. What now?
Ruth* takes pleasure in doing simple things other parents may take for granted. One of the most notable is she can drive her kids to soccer practices, school and community services events without worrying about being stopped by law enforcement. But the joy and freedom Ruth experiences from taking her children to their activities may be in jeopardy.
Ruth came to the United States at age nine. Since she arrived, she has always lived in fear of being separated from her family due to her legal status in this country. She was young when she made the U.S. her home and didn’t understand all the legal challenges she would later face. Ruth says she was forced to live in the shadows, not being able to fully socialize with other kids.
As an adult, Ruth’s situation got even worse. She was not able to continue her dream of going to college. In fact, she could not even obtain a simple job or drive, or go to the emergency room without being asked for identification.
When former President Obama introduced DACA, Ruth says her life completely changed. DACA is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. DACA provides no legal status or government benefits, but does provided recipients with temporary employment authorization to work in the U.S. and receive a reprieve from deportation.
On September 5, the Trump administration announced the DACA program will be terminated in the next six months. The future is uncertain for hundreds of thousands of people like Ruth who came to the U.S. as a child. What will happen next for Ruth?
* Not her real name. To read more of Ruth’s story: https://www.sharejourney.org/stories/ruth-turned-dreams-reality-thanks-daca-now