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50 Faith-Based Groups Join Legal Brief Urging Supreme Court to Overturn Arizona’s Anti-Immigrant Law

March 29, 2012, 9:31 am | Posted by Casey Schoeneberger

As the Supreme Court prepares to take up legal challenges to Arizona’s controversial immigration law (SB-1070), more than 50 prominent Catholic, Protestant and Jewish groups signed on to an amicus curiae brief arguing for suspension of the law.

“People of faith are compelled to oppose unjust laws that fail to uphold the dignity of every human being,” said Lisa Sharon Harper, Director of Mobilizing at Sojourners. “All people are created in the image of God, and the Arizona law is an assault on that moral reality.”

According to the brief, SB-1070 “endangers a large swath of Arizonans” by requiring law enforcement officials to demand that residents provide proof of citizenship.  As the brief points out, the law deputizes local police officers as immigration agents, creating a host of legal problems and humanitarian issues.

“This immoral law is turning people of faith into criminals,” said Rev. Luis Cortés, President of Esperanza, a prominent Latino evangelical organization. “Laws that promote inhumane treatment of God’s children have no place in our country and will lead to civil disobedience. Christ demands that of his followers.”

People of faith provided a constant witness at the Arizona Statehouse as SB-1070 was debated, and after its passage they have pressed the courts to dismantle the draconian legislation. Arizona was the first state in the U.S. to pass this type of “attrition through enforcement” anti-immigrant law, and dozens of other states have since taken up similar proposals, which have passed in states such as Alabama and Georgia. Faith leaders in these states have spoken out against these laws that divide communities and separate immigrant families.

“We have seen firsthand the devastating effect of anti-immigrant legislation on all Arizonans, immigrant and non-immigrant alike,” said Bishop Minerva Carcaño of the Desert Southwest Conference of the United Methodist Church. “I have confidence that the U.S. Supreme Court will repeal SB 1070. However, even if the Supreme Court is unable to make this right and bold decision, United Methodists in Arizona and across the U.S. will stand firmly and compassionately with our immigrant brothers and sisters.”

Signers of the brief expect the Supreme Court to overturn the law, but regardless of the verdict remain focused on the higher law that commands us to love our neighbors as ourselves.

“As people of faith, we are called to welcome others as God has welcomed us,” said Dr. Sharon E. Watkins, General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  “May God move the hearts of our political leaders in the direction of greater hospitality and compassion toward our sisters and brothers in immigrant communities across this nation.”

Read the whole brief here http://www.nilc.org/document.html?id=641 (full site of all briefs: http://www.nilc.org/USvAZamici.html).  Signers include:

African American Ministers In Action

American Jewish Committee

Church World Service


Franciscan Action Network

Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society

Holy Cross Ministries

Jewish Labor Committee

Leadership Conference of Women Religious

The Conference of Major Superiors of Men

Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Service

Muslim Public Affairs Council

National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd

National Council of Jewish Women

National Latino Evangelical Coalition

NETWORK A Catholic Social Justice Lobby

Refugee & Immigration Ministries, Disciples Home Missions, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund


United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries

Southwest Conference of the United Church of Christ


Adorers of the Blood of Christ, U.S. Region

Adrian Dominican Sisters

Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes

Congregation of St. Joseph

Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul of New York

Convent of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia

Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, Province of St. Louise

Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, Province of the West

Dominican Sisters of Peace

Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine de Ricci

Dominican Sisters, Grand Rapids, MI

Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart

Religious Sisters of Charity

School Sisters of Notre Dame, Central Pacific Province

Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters

Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati

Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth

Sisters of Charity of Nazareth

Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy

Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth

Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill, Greensburg, PA

Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Sisters of Mercy of the Americas

Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, USA

Sisters of St. Francis of Dubuque, Iowa

Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Charity

Sisters of St. Joseph of Rochester, NY

Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield, MA

Sisters of the Divine Compassion

Sisters of the Holy Cross

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