Local Faith, Law Enforcement, Business Leaders Respond to Supreme Court Ruling

Communications Associate

June 24, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Local leaders are reacting to the Supreme Court’s ruling in U.S. v. Texas, the case challenging Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and the expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) on Thursday.

The court’s 4-4 tie leaves the lower court decision in place, and the implementation of the Obama administration’s 2014 deferred-action policy remains blocked by a nationwide injunction.

“Yesterday’s Supreme Court decision was a disappointment to the many families and individuals looking for some sort of short-term relief from our broken immigration system,” said Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum. “But in the end, our country needs more than just a Band-Aid fix to this national law enforcement, economic and humanitarian issue. We need Congress to take action.

“Across the country, our faith, law enforcement and business leaders see the effects of our broken immigration system firsthand. When our community members are left in limbo, we all suffer. It’s up to Congress to move on immigration reform that meets the needs of our communities, our economy and our country.”

The following quotes represent a snapshot of the support from faith, law enforcement and business leaders around the country:

Paco Amador, Pastor, New Life Community Church, Chicago:
“Without a clear resolution from the Supreme Court on DACA and DAPA this session, the responsibility is back in the hands of Congress to pass laws that permanently replace our broken immigration system with a process that strengthens the rule of law, our economy and our respect for human dignity.”

Chief Richard Biehl, Police Chief, Dayton Police Department, Dayton, Ohio:
“The decision by the Supreme Court, leaving intact the decision of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, means that the United States Congress must do the tedious work it has avoided and pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation. The Executive Branch of the United States government has reached a limit on its ability to implement needed change and the courts are reactive to the unresolved issues of immigration reform. The United States Congress must now do what is has not been done and take a leadership role on this issue that deeply affects the American public.”

Cástulo de la Rocha, President and CEO of AltaMed Health Services:
“[Thursday’s] Supreme court ruling is an incredible disappointment to the millions of law abiding undocumented and mixed families who contribute to our communities and make an impact on our economy. I call on community leaders to band together to keep families united and keep immigration reform top of mind among our state and congressional officials.”

Pastor David Galvan, New Life Baptist Church, Dallas:
“The most difficult thing about the Supreme Court’s decision concerning DACA/DAPA is that the fate of millions of young people is being placed against the question on whether the president has or has not violated the Constitution of the United States in the use of an executive order. Let the Supreme Court consider the latter on its own merit and not allow for innocent young people to be used as pawns for the irresponsibility of Congress … Let someone ask these children and/or youth for their thoughts on America? See if their thoughts and responses are not as American or even more so, as American born in this country.”

Craig Greatman, Lead Pastor, Gospel Life Church, Palm Bay, Florida:
“I pray that the technicalities of state laws do not become the pharisaical burdens of the poor and disenfranchised. True justice often comes at a cost to the comfortable. We can too easily lose sight of founding principles that make this a great nation by focusing on every jot and tittle that exonerates or alleviates the burden of pursuing real justice.”

James R. Hawkins, Chief of Police, Retired, Garden City, Kansas:
“The disappointing non-decision of the Supreme Court of the United State in U.S. v. Texas further emphasizes that Congress must enact legislation that enables the approximately 11 million undocumented individuals already contributing to and enriching the U.S. economy and society to remain, and to develop policies that focus law enforcement efforts on true public safety issues and security measures that focus on true threats and not on those merely striving for a better life.”

Greg Hunter, CEO, Hunter Industries, San Diego, California:
“While we are disappointed that millions of immigrants will not be assisted through the executive action, it is time for congress take action to help these individuals who, with support, will be active contributors to our communities, businesses and economy.”

Lt Andy Norris, Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, Tuscaloosa County, Alabama:
“[Thursday’s] 4-4 split by the Supreme Court regarding US, ET AL., Petitioners v. Texas, ET AL., will have an effect on community policing in the immigrant community. How much? Only time will tell. I hope as a result of [Thursday’s] ruling by the Supreme Court, those affected by this ruling that are victimized by crime or affected by natural or manmade disasters will not be afraid to come forward [rather than] languish out of fear from seeking assistance.”

Stan Marek, CEO, Marek Brothers Construction, Houston:
“I’m very disappointed by this non-ruling. We need legal workers and this only helps employers who are cheating the system and forcing workers into the underground economy. This is very disappointing for employers like us who follow the rules.”

Sheriff Bill McCarthy, Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Polk County, Iowa:
“It’s troubling that millions of people will live in unresolved circumstances because Congress is unwilling to chart a course for our nation. The reality is that these hardworking folks who have taken the initiative to try to make a better life for themselves and their families will now be relegated to the shadows once again and find their families under threat.”

Will McCorkle, Ph.D. Student in Curriculum & Instruction; Immigration Activist, Clemson University:
“Ideally, there will be some type of bipartisan, bicameral legislation that would actually solve these issues. However, in the meantime, in a country that wants to be known for its compassion, we cannot be ripping parents from their children because they do not have the correct legal status. Some may argue we have that right as a ‘sovereign’ nation, but I would argue we do not have the moral right to do so.”

Rich Noble, Pastor, Washington Union Alliance Church, New Castle, Pennsylvania:
“The recent Supreme Court decision regarding immigration demonstrates again that the current immigration system in the United States is broken and in desperate need of reform that is both compassionate and wise. In matters like these, politics and political differences need to be set aside for the sake of stronger families and a greater America. Our elected officials (from all parties) need to lead our nation rather than bicker over what divides.”

Travis Trice, Church Mobilizer, World Relief Jacksonville, Jacksonville, Florida:
“DAPA/DACA not only protects the unity of vulnerable families in our communities, but it also helps DHS do a better job of protecting our nation from those who actually do need to be sought out and removed. Until our nation’s lawmakers can introduce real immigration reform which secures the border and provides a fair solution for these families, policies like DACA and DAPA are the best solutions that we have moving forward.”