A broad and controversial immigration enforcement law in Alabama has even religious leaders in the state uneasy because many of them believe the law stands in their way of being good Christians.
Saying the law criminalizes their efforts to be good Samaritans, three Christian bishops recently joined a growing number of groups who are challenging the law in court, including the American Civil Liberties Union, a number of teachers’ unions, the U.S. Justice Department and even 16 foreign countries.
The statute not only makes it legal for law enforcement officers to attempt to determine the immigration status of people they pull over for traffic violations, but also makes it a crime to “transport, harbor or rent property to people who are known to be in the country illegally.” Furthermore, the law makes void any contracts with illegal immigrants.
The situation here is a bit out of the norm for liberal politics, with the left in this case citing biblical principles to support its stance, but hey, the more challengers to such a discriminatory law, the merrier! —BF
The New York Times:
An Episcopal bishop, a Methodist bishop and a Roman Catholic archbishop, all based in Alabama, sued on the basis that the new statute violated their right to free exercise of religion, arguing that it would “make it a crime to follow God’s command to be Good Samaritans.”
“The law,” said Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi of Mobile, “attacks our core understanding of what it means to be a church.”
While church leaders have spoken out against similar laws elsewhere, Alabama is the only state where senior church leaders have gone so far in formal, organized opposition. But the law in Alabama, a state with an estimated 120,000 illegal immigrants, according to the Pew Hispanic Center, goes further than any other.
Flickr / NatalieMaynor (CC-BY)