Bishops file brief on behalf of immigrants, refugees

April 23, 2017

[Episcopal News Service] Attorneys representing 14 Episcopal bishops filed a friend-of-the-court brief on April 21 in support of appellees and in affirmation of U.S. district court in Hawaii in opposition to President Donald Trump’s executive order restricting immigration in the U.S. Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit.

On March 15, a federal judge in Hawaii halted Trump’s revised executive that would have suspended the U.S. refugee program

From the brief:

“The Bishops earnestly believe the President’s recently revised executive order impedes the ability of Episcopalians to practice their faith and keep their baptismal covenant with God. This executive order has slammed the door on people who have suffered some of the greatest atrocities in recent times, and it does this solely on the basis of their religion. From its earliest inception, America has been a safe haven for victims of religious oppression in part because religious tolerance is a value enshrined in our Constitution through the Establishment Clause. The President’s original executive order and his recently-revised order directly contradict those values, and in doing so undermine America’s longstanding and special status as a place of refuge for the world’s most vulnerable populations. Both as leaders in the Episcopal Church and as members of the broader faith community, the Bishops have a deep interest in preserving this country’s special status as a safe haven for refugees and in protecting the fundamental principle of religious tolerance enshrined in the Establishment Clause.”

The following bishops signed the brief:

The Rt. Rev. Laura J. Ahrens
Bishop Suffragan of Connecticut

The Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus
Bishop of California

The Rt. Rev. Patrick Bell
Bishop of Eastern Oregon

The Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas
Bishop of Connecticut

The Rt. Rev. Dan Edwards
Bishop of Nevada

The Rt. Rev. Thomas Ely
Bishop of Vermont

The Rt. Rev. Mary Gray-Reeves
Bishop of El Camino Real

The Rt. Rev. Scott Hayashi
Bishop of Utah

The Rt. Rev. Mark Lattime
Bishop of Alaska

The Rt. Rev. Dorsey W.M. McConnell
Bishop of Pittsburgh;

The Rt. Rev. Robert O’Neill
Bishop of Colorado

The Rt. Rev. Rayford Ray
Bishop of Northern Michigan

The Rt. Rev. David Rice
Bishop of San Joaquin

The Rt. Rev. Gregory Rickel
Bishop of Olympia