TWO dioceses in the Episcopal Church in the United States and two churches in New York and Boston have joined a lawsuit to stop President Donald Trump using federal funds to build a wall on the United States’ border with Mexico.
The dioceses of Long Island and Western Massachusetts, and the Boston Episcopal City Mission and Trinity Church, Wall Street, have joined 71 other religious organisations in the action brought by the Muslim Bar Association of New York.
The Bishop of Long Island, the Rt Revd Lawrence C. Provenzano, said in a statement: “The administration’s fixation with constructing this wall is representative of its sinful and unlawful scapegoating of asylum-seekers to promote an un-American, protectionist, nationalist agenda. It must not be allowed to happen.”
The Bishop of Western Massachusetts, Dr Douglas Fisher, said that he “fully supports this effort for a permanent injunction to stop the federal government from mis-directing and illegally using Defense Department and Treasury funds to construct an immoral, impractical, and useless border wall.”
The action challenges President Trump’s use of emergency powers to divert funds to construct the wall, after Congress refused to appropriate $5.7 billion for it. It says that the powers that the President invoked apply only to military construction projects that are necessary to support the armed forces.
Trinity Church, Wall Street, works with immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, including organising trips to the border; convening a conference about migration; advocating for detention centre reform; supporting individual asylum seekers; and participating in rallies and vigils, such as an overnight “tent city” in Trinity’s churchyard.
The Boston Mission said that the decision to build a wall with government funding “targeted those people with whom we are most called to demonstrate solidarity”.