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Millions of undocumented immigrants face deportation following Supreme Court tie

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A boy wearing a T-shirt reading "Don't Deport My Mom" stands outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington June 23 after the justices issued a 4-4 ruling on President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration.(CNS photo/Andrew Gombert, EPA)

A program designed to shield an estimated 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation and allow millions to legally obtain work in the United States will be suspended after the Supreme Court announced a deadlock over the case on June 23.

Archdiocese José H. Gomez called the 4-4 Supreme Court tie a “humanitarian tragedy,” saying the nation’s ongoing failure to address immigration was due to the negligence on the part of the state and local governments, Congress and the president.

The case, United States v. Texas, debated the constitutionality of the program “Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents,” or DAPA — a 2014 executive action introduced by the president — which would grant status and work permits to the parents of US citizens and lawful permanent residents.

“We need comprehensive immigration reform now,” said Archbishop Gomez in a statement. He also stressed the need for empathy as Americans and lawmakers debate the question of immigration. “Almost every American is the son or the daughter of someone who came to this country from somewhere else,” he said. “Our humanity will be judged by our response to this new generation of immigrants.”

Despite the broken immigration system, Archbishop Gomez says to immigrants: “please know that the Catholic Church will never abandon you. You are our family. We will continue to accompany you and support you and defend your inalienable rights and dignity as children of God.”

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