Written by John W. Pestle, Moderator-Elect, The Good Shepherd UCC, Sahuarita, AZ
In major court cases the Southwest Conference has been actively opposing the President's executive orders on immigration.
On June 12 the Conference was part of a small group of faith-based organizations which filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court opposing the President's executive orders on immigration. The orders would prevent immigration from many Muslim countries, among other things. The issue in this case is whether the orders should be allowed to go into effect until the courts have finally ruled on their legality. Currently the orders are blocked by two lower court decisions.
The latest decision blocking the orders is by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The conference, as part of a larger group of around fifty faith-based organizations, filed a brief in that case opposing the orders. The brief showed that the orders (1) Improperly bar entry based on ethnicity, nationality and religion, and (2) Harm refugees in violation of the Golden Rule. Then the brief showed that the “Golden Rule”—to treat others as we wish to be treated—is a tenet shared by most organized religions.
The Court of Appeals decision expressly referred to the group's brief in ruling that the immigration orders should continue to be blocked.
Some of the participants in this group include American Jewish World Service; Church World Service; First Institutional Baptist Church (Phoenix); Friends Committee on National Legislation; Good Shepherd United Church of Christ (Sahuarita, Arizona); Islamic Relief USA; J Street; Leadership Conference of Women Religious; Reverend J. Herbert Nelson, II as Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.); North Carolina Council of Churches; Scottsdale Congregational United Church of Christ; Shadow Rock United Church of Christ (Phoenix); T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights; Unitarian Universalist Association and United Sikhs.
Later this summer the Southwest Conference will be part of a faith-based group that will file a brief in the San Francisco court case that blocked the President’s order punishing “sanctuary cities”. That order is intended force cities to turn immigrants over to the Federal government for rapid deportation. The brief will oppose the order.
In all these cases (and several others) the faith-based groups have been represented at no charge by the national law firm of Morrison & Foerester, for which the Conference is most appreciative.