Ohio Clergy Call For Withdrawal From Immigration Lawsuit

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More than 200 Ohio clergy members are calling on Attorney General Mike DeWine to withdraw Ohio from a lawsuit attempting to block President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration.

These state faith leaders say blocking Obama’s order shielding millions of immigrants from deportation is an assault on family values.

Clergy members submitted a letter to DeWine Thursday, asking for the state’s withdrawal.

Rev. Lynda Smith of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Athens said the attempted block goes against values found in all world religions.

“I think Mike DeWine needs to back off from this and see the light about what’s right and wrong to support family values here in Ohio,” Smith said.

Clergy gathered in the sun outside the Trinity Episcopal Church on Third Street across from DeWine’s office to read scripture, share stories and make demands of politicians.

They invoked the attorney general’s Catholicism, citing the lessons of welcoming and equality it supposedly teaches.

“Scripture tells us when an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien,” said Rev. Mark Diener of Grace of God Lutheran Church in Columbus. “The alien who resides with you shall be to you as a citizen among you.”

Along with their appeal to DeWine, the clergy members called on Speaker of the House John Boehner to rally Republicans in Congress to develop and support comprehensive immigration reform.

Ohio is one of 26 states backing the lawsuit in a federal district court, which halted Obama’s executive action the day before it was set to take effect.

The Obama administration has appealed the case.