Supreme Court’s Refusal to Decide DACA Case Spurs Call to Prayer

The Supreme Court’s refusal to fast-track a Trump administration appeal related to immigration has given Congress more time to resolve the fate of undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.

In response to the high court’s action, Southern Baptists with an eye to the legislative process have urged prayer that Congress will act justly and offered a variety of legislative proposals.

“Everybody is tossing this [issue] back to Congress,” said Mark Harris, who resigned the pastorate of First Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C., last year to run for the U.S. House of Representatives. “… At the end of the day, it’s Congress that’s got to pass laws.”

After a federal district judge in California blocked the Trump administration from ending former President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the current administration asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its appeal immediately and forego the normal appeals process through the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in California.

The Supreme Court denied that request Feb. 26 in a two-sentence order, concluding, “It is assumed that the Court of Appeals will proceed expeditiously to decide this case.”

In the meantime, Trump’s March 5 deadline for Congress to send him legislation on the category of undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers appears moot. The California federal judge’s order — and a similar order by a New York federal judge — block the administration from ending DACA while courts consider legal challenges to the president’s action.

Mike Whitehead, general counsel for the Missouri Baptist Convention, told Baptist Press in written comments, “The intermediate courts of appeals are there for a purpose, and the Supreme Court has declined to make an exception here. It may take several months to get a final decision from the Ninth Circuit, and then the president will have the opportunity to make his appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, the court of ‘last resort.’ They will still have discretion whether or not to hear it.”

It is “totally predictable,” Whitehead said, that the “always-liberal Ninth Circuit” will rule against the Trump administration.

By the time the case reaches the Supreme Court again, “there may have been a political compromise which will make this particular appeal moot,” Whitehead said.

Thus far, Congress has failed to reach a compromise regarding hundreds of thousands of Dreamers currently in the U.S.

Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, told BP “it is well past time for both the White House and Congress to stop playing politics with God-imaging human lives and fix this.”

“Thousands of young men and women who have only ever known the United States as home wake up every morning fearing the loss of their livelihoods and in some cases the splitting apart of their families,” Moore said in written comments. “Even with this recent decision in the Supreme Court, both this fear and imminent threat remain for many. The greatest shame is that all of this chaos and uncertainty is totally avoidable. The overwhelming majority of American people agree on both the problem and solution when it comes to Dreamers.”

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Source: Baptist Press