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USCCB, other faith groups file Supreme Court brief in immigration case

USCCB, other faith groups file Supreme Court brief in immigration case CNS photo / Shawn Thew / EPA

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and several other Catholic organizations joined in filing friend of the court briefs March 8 urging the Supreme Court to support the Obama administration's actions that would temporarily protect from deportation more than 4 million immigrants in the country illegally and enable some immigrants to legally work in the United States.

 Immigration guidelines that defer the deportation of millions of people provide "substantial humanitarian benefits" and should be permitted to stand, said the brief filed by the U.S. bishops and 24 other faith-based organizations.

Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc., or CLINIC, similarly joined an amicus brief with more than 325 immigration groups, civil rights, labor and social service organizations in urging the court to uphold the Obama administration's executive actions. At least three Catholic colleges also joined an amicus brief with more than 75 education and children's advocacy organizations.

Other briefs were filed by House Democrats and a group of more than 60 entrepreneurs and business leaders including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

The briefs were filed in the case United States v. Texas, which comes before the court April 18. The eight justices will consider if the Obama administration was entitled to shield a group of immigrants in the country without legal permission from deportation. The program had been put on hold last November by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, upholding a Texas-based federal judge's injunction against Obama's actions.

In 2015, President Barack Obama's executive actions expanded a 2012 program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, and created the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, known as DAPA. The USCCB supported the plan and CLINIC, an umbrella organization for Catholic legal services providers, was among 224 organizations that filed a joint brief urging the Supreme Court to take the current case.

The brief signed by the U.S. bishops, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, other groups of women religious and other faith organizations stressed that faith plays a "significant role in the lives of most recent migrants and their families" and that faith-based organizations have played a leading role in serving their needs.

These faith-based groups, the brief said not only help immigrant communities but also include many of them in their congregations.

Through their work, the brief points out, these faith-based groups have a "unique and firsthand knowledge of the adverse impacts that family separation, immigration detention and deportation have on immigrant families in the U.S., particularly young children."

The brief cited Scripture references about the need to care for strangers and also said that even though the groups that signed together might disagree on some issues, they "each support the vital interests of immigrants and refugees who are so seriously disserved by the preliminary injunction that is the subject of this court's review." (CNS)

Last modified onMonday, 11 July 2016 04:22
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