I am pleased to report that the U.S. District Court in Seattle has rejected the federal government’s request to lift the preliminary injunction issued by the court on December 24 that prevents the government from indefinitely barring certain refugees from entering the country. In denying the government’s request, the court has validated our concerns that this administration’s policies have caused immediate and irreparable harm to our own Refugee Resettlement Office, and other agencies like it across the country.
The ACLU lawsuit that we have joined has now been consolidated with another case brought by the International Refugee Assistance Project, the National Immigration Law Center, HIAS, and others on behalf of Jewish Family Service of Seattle and other plaintiffs. I will continue to keep you informed of developments in this case as they arise.
I did not enter into this lawsuit lightly, and only did so when it became apparent that the administration’s travel ban would have devastating consequences for those we serve through the work of our Refugee Resettlement Office. We are living through one of the greatest refugee crises in recent history, and turning our backs and closing our borders to those in need is shameful. If we are to live out our calling as followers of Christ, we must follow his exhortation to act out of love and welcome the stranger, not act out of fear and close ourselves off.
It is gratifying to see the court uphold our belief that this travel ban is unnecessary and has heartlessly added to the heartbreak and loss so many refugees have already experienced.
I’ve spoken extensively on this subject in the past and have included links to my previous statements on the issues, including two videos that speak directly to the lawsuits and how I believe we are called to engage with politics and the issues of our day.
Previous Videos, Statements, and Updates
Bishop Rickel’s Video Statement, Part 1
Bishop Rickel’s Video Statement, Part 2
Lawsuit Statement (February 7, 2017)
Lawsuit Update (March 16, 2017)
Lawsuit Update (July 10, 2017)
Lawsuit Update (September 13, 2017)
Lawsuit Update (November 10, 2017)