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Washington, D.C., June 23, 2016 – Today, the Supreme Court issued a 4-4 decision in Texas v. U.S., a case concerning the constitutionality of President Obama’s executive action to extend deportation protection to an additional five million undocumented immigrants. In response, Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
We are disappointed that the Supreme Court failed to reach a conclusive decision on the constitutionality of President Obama’s executive action to expand Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and create Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA). The Supreme Court’s 4-4 split allows the Fifth Circuit’s ruling against the executive action to stand, meaning that the nearly five million hard-working undocumented immigrants who would have been eligible for deferred action will continue to live in fear of deportation and that their families will continue to face the unconscionable threat of being torn apart.
As Reform Jews, we are compelled by our tradition’s repeated instruction to welcome and care for the stranger. Further, our own ancestors’ history as immigrants in the United States underscores our deep commitment to supporting immigrant communities and advocating for robust reform to the immigration system. The Court’s action today is a setback for immigrant families, but it also demonstrates that our woefully broken immigration system can only truly be fixed through legislative action. We call on Congress to swiftly pass comprehensive immigration reform in order to make our immigration system more humane and more just.
Furthermore, the Court’s failure to reach a majority opinion in this case shows once again the necessity of having a fully functioning Supreme Court with all nine justices. The Senate must act quickly to hold hearings and a confirmation vote on President Obama’s nominee, Chief Judge Merrick Garland.
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose nearly 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 2,000 Reform rabbis. Visit www.rac.org for more.