Immediate Reactions to SCOTUS DAPA/DACA Decision
Supreme Court Strikes Down Immigration Executive Actions; Chicagoland Faith Communities to Continue Organizing and Fighting Deportations
Thursday morning the Supreme Court delivered its decision on Texas vs. US, a Republican-led lawsuit against the deferred action programs announced in November, 2014. After years of intense fighting and organizing to push President Obama to take action and waiting more than a year for this moment, immigrant communities have once more been let down by institutional and political gridlock.
Despite widespread agreement by legal and constitutional experts that the expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA+) and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) programs were lawful exercises of President Obama’s authority and the projected human and economic benefits, the Supreme Court’s split 4-4 decision effectively prevents the executive action programs from moving forward for now.
Even though a majority of the undocumented community would have still been excluded, DACA+ and DAPA would have benefited an estimated 4 million undocumented individuals. The programs were much needed.
The Supreme Court’s failure to provide even limited forms of relief to a portion of the undocumented community, while it experiences record high deportations, nationally coordinated immigration raids targeting women and children, and the application of increasingly harsh, deceptive, and abusive enforcement tactics, is unacceptable.
“The Supreme Court has let immigrant communities down today, but now is absolutely not the time to quit, not when our communities, our homes, and even our churches are under attack. We must channel our frustration and our anger to shed light on ICE’s abuses and to re-double our efforts to stop deportations. Our communities’ safety depends on this,” said Pastor Gerson Moreno of the Christian Pentecostal Center, a congregation in Schaumburg, Illinois which earlier this year saw the deportation of Reynold Garcia, a congregant, after ICE agents used false pretenses and text messages to lure him out of that congregation.
Faced with the failure of the Supreme Court to protect their rights, we know that the immigrant community will continue to demonstrate their great resilience, perseverance and power. As people of faith, we know that we are called to stand alongside our undocumented brothers and sisters as they continue to fight deportations and to organize for systemic changes to immoral immigration enforcement practices and policies.
Julian DeShazier, senior minister of University Church, a CRLN member congregation offering Sanctuary to Jose Juan Moreno, stressed “Although the Supreme Court’s decision has failed to challenge this country’s deportation status quo, good faith pulls us towards action. As faith communities, now more than ever we are called to stand with our undocumented brothers and sisters in the fight against deportations and to take firm stances against ICE abuse. If half of the congregations in the Chicagoland area were willing to do this, through Sanctuary and other prophetic actions, it would certainly shake the status quo.” Sign Jose Juan's petiton here.
We know that the difficult moment we are currently experiencing requires all those who believe in immigrant justice to re-double their efforts. CRLN urges faith communities to respond to the Supreme Court's decision and the ongoing deportation crisis by becoming an Immigrant Welcoming Congregations and/or a Sanctuary-offering Congregation. For information about the impact of the Supreme Court's decision, how to become an Immigrant Welcoming, and/or a Sanctuary-offering congregation, please contact Lissette Castillo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Chicago Religious Leadership Network (CRLN), a network of over 50 congregations and religious communities across Chicagoland.