Civil disobedience hits the Alabama State Legislature today in opposition of the HB56 legislation on immigration. See the livestream for the latest updates:
Many people in our country say that their Christian faith is a significant force in their lives. I am one of those people. As I listen to my sisters and brothers in the church discuss immigration legislation, I wonder why our faith hasn’t lead us into a way of life that defuses this contentious debate.
If, as Christians claims, the story of the Bible is important to us, then we shouldn’t be so worried about foreigners; we shouldn’t be so afraid of immigrants.
I participated the Jericho March for people of faith, organized by the New Sanctuary Movement of New York. We walked the half mile loop around the Supreme Court in silence, praying for a society that builds up justice and dignity. The tough part about this morning was dealing with “the others.”
The future of Arizona’s immigration law, and by extension the laws in a number of other states modeled on it, was argued before the Supreme Court this morning. While it’s always dangerous to read too much into the questioning during the oral argument, early news reports indicate that the justices were sympathetic to the provision allowing police officers to check the immigration status of people who are arrested or otherwise detained.
According to the Associated Press:
"Liberal and conservative justices reacted skeptically to the Obama administration's argument that the state exceeded its authority when it made the records check, and another provision allowing suspected illegal immigrants to be arrested without a warrant, part of the Arizona law aimed at driving illegal immigrants elsewhere."
The Court’s decision is expected in June, and could become an important issue in the presidential election campaign.
Today, the Supreme Court is hearing a case about the constitutionality of Arizona’s anti-immigrant legislation, SB 1070. It will be months before the case is decided but a broad spectrum of the Christian community already has their minds made up.
This legislation is not just ethically bankrupt but undermines basic Christian values and American ideals. The court will decide whether it is legal, but it is already clear it isn’t moral.
We are both evangelical Christians. One of us is white and one of us Hispanic. It is our common faith commitment, not the color of our skin, that unite us on the need for comprehensive immigration reform and in opposition to patchwork punitive legislation like we have seen in states like Arizona and Alabama.
“See it, say it.”
We’re urged, these days, to be vigilant. I’m alert to this when taking the subway in Washington, D.C., where loudspeakers remind riders that if they “see it, say it.” Speak up, we’re told, if we see a threat.
When the government wants me to be vigilant, I expect no less from the government. That’s why, this week, I’m one of many Americans hoping that the Supreme Court will strike down Arizona’s extreme anti-immigration law, SB 1070.
The 30-second ad features Rev. Steve Jones, senior pastor at Southside Baptist Church in Birmingham.
''We believe in reaching out and ministering to our community. Yet under Alabama's immigration law, we could be prosecuted for following God's call to be good Samaritans,” Jones says in the ad.
This just in from the Associated Press:
"The Obama administration said Monday it arrested more than 3,100 immigrants who were illegally in the country and who were convicted of serious crimes or otherwise considered fugitives or threats to national security. It was part of a six-day nationwide sweep that the government described as the largest of its kind."
The sweep involved more than 1,900 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers and agents. According to ICE, more than 1,000 of the people arrested had multiple criminal convictions. The totals included an estimated 50 gang members and 149 convicted sex offenders, other serious offenses included murder, manslaughter, drug trafficking and sexual crimes against minors. It appears to be a response to earlier suggestions that ICE would not vigorously pursue immigrants who are veterans, elderly, lived in the U.S. since they were children, or have relatives who are citizens of legal residents.
The Rev. Seth Kaper-Dale, pastor of the Reformed Church of Highland Park in Newark, NJ, has been advocating for Indonesian immigrants in his congregation.
After years of living in the United States, a large group of immigrants—many of whom escaped religious persecution at home—is being threatened with deportation. Some have already been deported. One, Saul Timisela, has taken sanctuary in the church.
The mix of the modern and the medieval in the life of restricted life of Saul Timisela is dizzying.
Global positioning satellites track every move the Indonesian immigrant makes while he seeks refuge in a church, claiming the centuries-old right of sanctuary from the reach of secular authority — in his case, the federal Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
To ICE spokesman Harold Ort, Timisela is an "immigration fugitive" who's trying to avoid deportation. But to the Rev. Seth Kaper-Dale, pastor of the Reformed Church of Highland Park, Timisela is "walking with Christ into a conflict with power."