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USCCB Migration Committee Chairman Reacts to Supreme Court Decision on Immigration

 
June 23, 2016

WASHINGTON—The chairman of the Committee on Migration of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops expressed disappointment in relation to the June 23 per curiam ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of United States v. Texas, in which some states are challenging immigration guidelines issued by the Secretary of Homeland Security, relating to the DAPA and expanded DACA programs.

The Court deadlocked in a 4-4 tie, which means that the programs will remain preliminarily blocked nationwide from going into effect, and the matter will return to the federal trial court for further proceedings. The original DACA program is not affected by the injunction.

Prior to the decision, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and 24 other U.S. faith-based organizations, who advocate or provide aid and resources to recent immigrants and their families, filed an amicus curiae brief with the Supreme Court. The brief stressed the public interest and humanitarian arguments for supporting the guidelines, explaining that the guidelines facilitate family stability and community participation.  

The full statement from Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop of Seattle, follows:  

Statement of Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, chairman of the Committee on Migration of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

For over fifty years, USCCB Migration & Refugee Services has helped create a world where immigrants, migrants, refugees, and people on the move are treated with dignity, respect, welcome, and belonging. For over fifty years, Migration & Refugee Services has welcomed the newcomer —the immigrant—to this great country and helped them get on their feet, facilitating access to education, healthcare, language assistance, employment, and much more.

The Court's decision today does not change that.  

That said, the decision is a huge disappointment; it means millions of families will continue to live in fear of deportation and without the immediate ability to improve their lives through education and good jobs. However, in the wake of this opinion, we must also focus on the bigger picture: comprehensive immigration reform is necessary to fix our broken system. We need to bring people out of the shadows. We should not separate families. While today's decision is a setback, we must not lose hope that reform is possible. It is both necessary and possible to safeguard our immigration system in a humane manner.

People do not cease to be our brothers and sisters just because they have an irregular immigration status. No matter how they got here, we cannot lose sight of their humanity — without losing our own. Let us pray for all of our immigrant brothers and sisters today.
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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, deportation, raids, Central American, humanitarian crisis, migration, Committee on Migration, DACA, DAPA, Supreme Court
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