This week the 2011-2012 Supreme Court term is drawing to a close, and earlier this week the Court announced it's decision on a controversial immigration law in Arizona. The Court determined that the some aspects of the law were unconstitutional, specifically those aspects which make it a misdemeanor for undocumented individuals to be present in Arizona, or to seek employment. However, the Supreme Court left one piece of the law intact, which allows state law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of an individual while enforcing other laws, if they have a “reasonable suspicion” that the individual is undocumented.
This ruling highlights the complex immigration crises that our nation is facing. Congress has been unable to pass comprehensive immigration reform, and so in recent years states have attempted to create their own policies. But we lack national policies that appropriately address the needs and concerns of the 11 million undocumented people currently within our borders.
People from a variety of faiths are increasingly concerned about how this nation “welcomes the strangers” in our midst. Many of us, across the religious spectrum, are united in opposing pernicious measures - at the state and federal level- that separate families unnecessarily, penalize children for their parents’ decisions, or eliminate basic health and education benefits for those here without proper documentation. With the Supreme Court’s decision, the need for comprehensive reform at the national level is clearer than ever before. As people of faith, we stand united in calling on our elected officials to work together to pass comprehensive immigration reform that preserves the God-given dignity of every person within our borders. Join with us, by signing our Interfaith Statement of Support for Compassionate Immigration Policies.