July 12, 2016

Undocumented immigrants remain in limbo after Supreme Court deadlocks

By Catholic News Service

Archdiocese of San Francisco Catholic Charities teamed up with community organizers to inform undocumented immigrants and their families and friends about what the U.S. Supreme Court tie vote on immigration means to them.

Two meetings were held at St. Peter Church in San Francisco and at St. Anthony of Padua in Menlo Park shortly after the June 23 tie vote by the Supreme Court that blocked the Obama administration’s plan to temporarily protect more than 4 million unauthorized immigrants from deportation.

The court’s 4-4 vote leaves in place a lower court injunction blocking the administration’s immigration policy with the one-page opinion stating: “The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided court.”

Catholic News Service reported that legal experts have called it an ambiguous and confusing political and legal decision that leaves many in a state of limbo. It also puts a lot of attention on the vacant Supreme Court seat that may determine how the case is decided in an appeal.

California Catholic Conference president Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento said the tie decision throws the issue back to Congress. “It is time for our elected representatives to bring reason back into this urgent agenda, to seize the opportunity to legislate for what makes sense and gives strength to America – a comprehensive immigration reform bill,” Bishop Soto said in a statement.

In the Archdiocese of San Francisco, the meetings at St. Peter in San Francisco were informational, said Francisco Gonzalez, Catholic Charities program director of the immigration program in San Francisco. “It boils down to we cannot do this now. People were eager to know why and what it meant, what the future holds. And it was also a way for us to say that we have to be more vocal now. Maybe now take this setback as an incentive to fight for comprehensive immigration reform.”

Read more.