Posted by: smstrouse | June 25, 2016

I Pity the Poor Immigrant

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The Supreme Court dashed the hopes of millions of immigrants this week when it was deadlocked over United States v. Texas, No. 15-674. This is the case that opposed the 2014 executive action taken by President Obama to shield as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation and allowed them to legally work in the US.

The proposed program, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) would give unauthorized immigrants who were parents of either citizens or of lawful permanent residents the possibility of obtaining work permits.

But the Supreme Court is down to 8 members due to th2016-06-23t22-32-03-166z--1280x720.nbcnews-ux-1080-600e death of Antonin Scalia in
February and the refusal of Republicans to consider the appointment of  Judge Merrick B. Garland, the president’s nominee to fill the vacancy. The 4-4 tie leaves in place an appeals court ruling blocking the plan. According to the terse wording of the decision: “The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided court.”

So in the midst of our splintered political system, this is just one more example of how real people are forced to suffer.

At an anti-racism workshop I attended today, we were asked the question: why should we as Christians care about ending racism? We were supposed to come up with a 6-word answer. In my small group I suggested we could cut it down to one: Duh! Of course we went on from there to expand on that flippant response.

It’s the same answer for caring for the plight of immigrants. Jesus was all about crossing boundaries, including people considered to be “other,” showing compassion, and healing what was broken – both people and systems. How can a Christian not be in favor – at least – of helping immigrant623supreme-court-immigrations who are parents of people who are already citizens or lawful permanent residents? We’re talking about families, for God’s sake.

 In our Pluralism Summer series, we’ve asked our guest speakers to address the question: how does your tradition inform your politics? In my opinion, the only answer a follower of Jesus could possibly give is to side with the justices who voted against the appeal. And if anyone has any doubts about the far-reaching implications of Supreme Court appointments, this should convince them.

In the meantime, we continue to care for those caught in the middle – in both our thoughts and prayers and our actions – which include getting into the voting booth and voting as a follower of Jesus.

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