Bishops ask Supreme Court to uphold immigration executive action

On Tuesday the US Conference of Catholic Bishops urged the Supreme Court to uphold the executive action taken by President Barack Obama to give temporary relief from deportation to millions of undocumented immigrants already living and working within the country.

The amicus brief that was filed on March 8 by a number of faith-based groups including the UCCB points out that in the past courts have frequently acknowledged that maintaining stable communities and keeping families together is in the public interest. The United States vs Texas court case has at stake the future of the 2014 executive actions taken by Obama in the form of the Deferred Action for Parents or Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents to delay the deportation of potentially millions of undocumented immigrants.

The action allowed immigrants who had children that were born in the United States, and thus already held citizenship or at permanent residency, relief on their eligibility for deportation so long as they met a number of conditions including paying taxes, passing a background check, and having lived in the US for a minimum of five years. The Migration Policy Institute estimates that around 3.7 million people could be eligible for the program.

26 states led by Texas blocked the program from being implemented. The brief filed by the religious groups says that children can be harmed both socially and emotionally if their parents are deported or even detained, and that just the fear of deportation harms immigrant families and society as a whole.