Difficult. I feel for the family, but not sure if I were a judge that I’d come down on their side. My thoughts:
“entered into a voluntary departure program. Juan never left but reported to ICE periodically” Does this mean that the US Gov’t knew he was here illegally and allowed him to stay? That may give some weight to his case.
As noted in the article, his wife was naturalized in 2010, he should have done something before Mar. of 2017.
Legal theory of Adventism and marriage. Mr. Rodriquez is arguing that it ends his marriage for him to be deported. Nothing the state is doing is nullifying the marriage and as noted, the family intends to travel with him if he is deported so in there is a remedy that does not require marriage nullification. As such, it’s hard to see how they make their case.
If I’m the SDA church, while very sympathetic for this family, I would not put church resources behind their support because I would hold our view on separation of church and state to be a higher principle than the Rodriguez’s argument that deportation is the de-facto end to their marriage. Furthermore the church teachings about marriage are regarding a relationship between the couple, not between the couple and the gov’t.
Regarding David Read’s statement that the SDA Church should magnify a patriarchy doctrine and instead promote female headship, with apologies this is so much bunk and should not have been included in the article. Just because the majority of the NAD voted at the GC that individual Divisions or Conferences should have the right to determine if they wish women to be ordained as well as men does not mean that the NAD promotes female headship. And, as noted, nothing in this case has anything to do with patriarchalism. (But if you want to talk politics, if this family had been deeply involved with an Evangelical denomination and had the vocal support of some of those prominent members such as Tony Perkins, Dobson, or Franklin Graham and others, I think the current administration might find a way to provide clemency in this case.)
While I wish for a different solution for those here illegally, and I would especially wish for a different solution for this particular family, if I were a judge who’s sole responsibility was to decide on the point of law if Mr. Rodriquez should be allowed to remain in the US based upon religious reasons only, I would have to sorrowfully say no.
Prayers for this family in their difficult time.