MPAC Urges Supreme Court to Overturn Arizona’s Anti-Immigrant Law

50 Faith-Based Groups Sign Amicus Curiae Brief

March 29, 2012

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

SEE: Full Text of the Amicus Curiae Brief (pdf) 

“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 the 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.”

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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