National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Ala. governor rejects bishops' immigration plea

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (RNS) Gov. Robert Bentley won't support a repeal of the state's get-tough immigration law, rejecting a Christmas appeal from a group of top religious leaders.

"Gov. Bentley believes Alabama needs an effective illegal immigration law because the federal government has failed in its duties to enforce the law," wrote Bentley's press secretary, Jennifer Ardis, in an email.

A half-dozen religious leaders on Tuesday (Dec. 20) delivered a letter to Bentley's office asking him, in the spirit of the Christmas season, to support the repeal of the law, which one bishop called one of the nation's "meanest."

The religious leaders -- including the state's Episcopal, Catholic and United Methodist bishops and others -- are part of a lawsuit that was filed against the state this summer seeking to have the immigration law overturned.

"In this time when we celebrate the greatest of gifts, we pray that you will show great political courage and leadership and support the repeal of this unfortunate legislation that has brought such heartache to our state," the letter said.

Short of a repeal, the letter asks for "much-needed revisions to an unjust and unfair law." Religious leaders have vigorously opposed parts of the law that make it illegal to help undocumented immigrants; several portions of the law are currently under review in federal court.

screen-shot_FB-video-promo-9-12.jpgOur Sept. 12-25 edition is in the mail, on its way to subscribers. Take a look inside.

Not a subscriber? Become one today!

"People of faith must be free to exercise their religious beliefs in loving their neighbors, whoever they are, without fear of persecution or prosecution," the letter states.

Ardis said Bentley -- a former Southern Baptist deacon -- remains convinced that "there is nothing unkind, unjust or unwarranted about asking everyone in Alabama to obey the law."

[Kent Faulk writes for The Birmingham News in Birmingham, Ala.]

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

 

Feature-flag_GSR_start-reading.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

September 12-25, 2014

09-12-2014.jpg

Not all of our content is online. Subscribe to receive all the news and features you won't find anywhere else.