Disappointment with immigration ruling

Families praying for relief from deportation got none when a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that would have shielded as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants died in a deadlock 4-4 decision.

The ruling was on an executive action taken by President Barack Obama in 2014 that would have allowed parents of citizens or of lawful permanent residents to apply for a program that would shield them from deportation and provide them with work permits.

Bishop Minerva Carcaño addresses a rally of Methodists in support of immigration reform at the Convention Center Plaza outside the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. File photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

Bishop Minerva Carcaño addresses a rally of Methodists in support of immigration reform at the Convention Center Plaza outside the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. File photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

“Separating children from their parents is immoral and is contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ and The United Methodist Church,” said the Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe, top executive, United Methodist Board of Church and Society, and Bishop Elías Galván, executive director, Metodistas Representando la Causa de los Hispanos Americanos, in a joint statement.

“We remain committed to education and advocacy efforts that support our sisters and brothers who flee violence and terror and are in search of a better life.”

“The court’s 4-4 indecision means that President Obama’s executive actions, which were announced in November 2014 and have been tied up in the lower courts since early 2015, cannot go forward at this time,” said Rob Rutland-Brown, executive director, National Justice for Our Neighbors, a United Methodist network that offers free legal services to undocumented people.

“This leaves our immigrant neighbors in fear of being separated from their parents, children, and family,” he explained. “This indecision denies many immigrants the opportunity to work lawfully, drive, or to truly become part of our American society.”

Upon hearing the court’s ruling, Christ Foundry United Methodist Church in Dallas, immediately convened a press conference and a prayer journey to show unconditional support for the families of undocumented immigrants and to affirm the church’s disagreement with the ruling. Read the story in The United Methodist Church's Hispanic news.

The United Methodist Church officially is in “support of just and fair immigration policies that benefit and allow the family to preserve and maintain its unity” (2012 Book of Resolutions, “US Immigration and Family Unity”).

The General Conference, the denomination’s lawmaking body, approved a resolution affirming the president’s executive action during its May 10-20 meeting in Portland, Oregon.

“Welcoming the Migrant to the U.S.” called the action to halt deportations a “necessary temporary step that allowed certain groups of immigrants to apply for temporary legal status, though not citizenship.” Acknowledged that legislative change is “the permanent step that is needed.”

Rutland-Brown said his organization would continue advocating for immigration reform.

“Our network will continue assisting with the 2012 DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival) cases, which are not affected by today’s ruling,” he said.

Gilbert is a multimedia news reporter for United Methodist News Service. Contact her at (615) 742-5470 or [email protected]. 


Like what you're reading? Support the ministry of UM News! Your support ensures the latest denominational news, dynamic stories and informative articles will continue to connect our global community. Make a tax-deductible donation at ResourceUMC.org/GiveUMCom.

Sign up for our newsletter!

UMNEWS-SUBSCRIPTION
Immigration
A guide using a raft made from inner tubes ferries people across the Suchiate River from Guatemala into Mexico near Ciudad Hidalgo. Migrants routinely cross the border into Mexico here, many of them hoping to eventually make their way to the United States. Photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.

Photo essay: Strangers and sojourners

As record numbers of migrants continue to cross Mexico’s southern border, the Methodist Church of Mexico is seeking new ways to be in ministry with immigrant families on the move. UM News accompanied church leaders and longtime partners as they sought ways to help. Mike DuBose reports.
Social Concerns
The Rev. Stefan Schörk, who granted asylum to an Iranian man in his church in Pegnitz, Germany, in January, has been fined for “aiding and abetting unauthorized residence.” The United Methodist pastor said he is disappointed with the verdict but hopes it provides an opportunity for changes regarding church asylum in the state of Bavaria. Photo by Klaus U. Ruof, UM Communications Germany.

German pastor sentenced for providing asylum

A United Methodist pastor faces a penalty of 1,500 Euros (more than $1,700 U.S.) for “aiding and abetting unauthorized residence,” a sentence upheld in a Nov. 8 court hearing.
Local Church
A mural at the United Methodist Christ Ministry Center in San Diego illustrates part of the text of Matthew 25, the biblical basis of the center’s ministry among immigrants who have crossed the nearby border. Still frame from video by Joey Butler, UM News.

Haitian migrants bring vitality to declining church

Congregation changes from being a traditional church to a ministry center and opens its doors wide to those in need.