Phoenix police chief responds to Supreme Court decisionby Anna Groff
In January 2011, the Mennonite Church USA Executive Board affirmed the decision to hold the 2013 convention in Phoenix, a site first selected in January 2009.
In a December 2010 letter, Iglesia Menonita Hispana (Hispanic Mennonite Church) leaders made it clear they want to abstain from Arizona due to the state’s controversial immigration bill, Senate Bill 1070.
MC USA convention planners discuss Phoenix 2013 at the Phoenix Convention Center in March. From left: Hannah Heinzekehr, Ervin Stutzman and Glen Guyton. Photo by Iris de León-Hartshorn.
On June 25, the U.S. Supreme Court reached a decision that rejected much of the Arizona law but allowed one key provision to stand, saying the "federal law did not pre-empt the state’s instruction to its police to check the immigration status of people they detain," according to the New York Times.
On June 26, Daniel Garcia, Phoenix colice chief, made the following statement, which is posted on the MC USA convention page here.
"The Phoenix Police Department embraces a philosophy of 'policing with a purpose,' focused on nurturing and protecting democracy, ensuring justice, embracing the spirit of service, fundamental fairness, and protecting our communities from harm. Treating people with dignity and respect is the ethical foundation of law enforcement," reads the statement.
The law went into effect on July 29, 2010, with the Federal District Court in Phoenix issuing an injunction blocking four provisions of the law, also according to the statement.
Convention planners continue to the engage immigration issues in preparation for the convention, to be held July 1-6, 2013. For example, on March 6, Mennonite Church USA cabinet members, convention planners and representatives from Mennonite Central Committee traveled to the border before further convention planning meetings in Phoenix.
"Citizens of God's Kingdom: Healed in Hope" ("Ciudadanos del Reino de Dios: Sanados por la Esperanza") has been chosen as the convention theme.
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