Disciples News Service

Faith leaders react to Supreme Court decision on Arizona law

On Monday, June 25, the Supreme Court of the United States made a ruling on SB 1070 – Arizona’s immigration law that includes a “show me your papers” provision. The court struck down other parts of the law but retained the documentation provision with the caveat that it would reconsider if there were evidence of misuse, including evidence of racial profiling.

President of Disciples Home Missions, Ron Degges, said, “Because God has called us to be a proreconciling, antiracist church, we oppose racial profiling of all kinds, including those directed at immigrants. Therefore, even as we applaud the positive parts of the Supreme Court’s decision, we also look forward to the end of all laws that allow this kind of discrimination to continue.” (See below for study resources.)

The Justice Table, made up of several of the General Ministries of the Disciples, has identified immigration as one of the four areas in which to focus its work. Participants in the Nashville assembly may remember immigration as a focus of one of the plenary sessions and the workshop “A Case Study on Immigration.”

As Tana Liu-Beers, Disciples Home Missions immigration legal counsel, said, “After prayerful reflection and faithful conversation, our General Assembly has urged all Disciples to advocate for compassionate and humane immigration policies. Today’s US Supreme Court decision strikes down several inhumane provisions of the Arizona law, but leaves one dangerous policy in place. In terms of education, spiritual formation and changes in the law, we still have our work cut out for us.”

Church World Service, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona and more support continued work on this question.

Arizona’s anti-immigrant law SB1070 is in opposition to faith values of welcoming the stranger by sanctioning policies that lead to racial profiling, persecuting those that provide for their families, and promoting the separation families. This law failed to promote a fair justice system for all people and put the burden of federal immigration enforcement on the backs of local cities and counties drawing away from precious local resources.

If you are interested in studying racial and reconciliation topics, resources are available through Refugee and Immigration Ministry,  Reconciliation Ministry and Disciples Home Missions