Immigration

Bahá’í institutions have no influence on the application for refugee status ... They [Bahá’ís seeking refugee resettlement] are solely responsible for their own financial needs and resettlement arrangements. It should be noted that the Bahá’ís in Iran are aware of this guidance.

Universal House of Justice, dated November 21, 2002, to a National Spiritual Assembly

Although Assemblies should always counsel the believers to be obedient to civil law, it is not necessary or desirable for Assemblies to attempt to enforce civil law. The legal system in the United States is complicated, and sometimes actions that appear to be violations of law are not found to be so upon further investigation, or upon consideration by the courts. The civil authorities are charged with this responsibility and Bahá’í Assemblies should not interfere in the civil processes. Immigration laws are particularly complex, and it is not possible to make generalizations as to whether a particular act constitutes a violation of law under a given set of circumstances.

USA- NSA, Guidelines for Local Spiritual Assemblies, Chapter 14, p. 31

If a Bahá’í comes to a Local Spiritual Assembly with specific immigration questions, the Assembly may wish to suggest that the individual contact governmental or service agencies or an immigration attorney (without recommending any attorney or agency in particular) in the area where they live.

USA- NSA, Guidelines for Local Spiritual Assemblies, Chapter 14, p. 30

If an Assembly is contacted by an agency of the federal government, it should seek advice from the National Spiritual Assembly’s Office of Public Affairs at (202) 833-8990 or bahaisus@usbnc.org before responding.

USA- NSA, Guidelines for Local Spiritual Assemblies, Chapter 14, p. 31

In an application for citizenship the applicant, among other things, is asked whether he or she is willing to bear arms on behalf of the United States if the law requires it, and whether he or she is willing to perform noncombatant services (i.e., service in any unit of the armed forces which does not require the use of arms in combat, such as service in the medical department of any of the armed forces), if called upon to do so. Bahá’ís should answer “yes” to both of these questions. As Bahá’ís are obligated to obey the laws of the government under which they live, including federal laws regarding military service, they must be willing to serve in the military, if obligated to do so (in which case they should apply for non-combatant status on the basis of religious beliefs). A letter outlining the Bahá’í position on military service and preference for non-combatant status, which also confirms that the individual is a member of the United States Bahá’í community, is available upon request by contacting the National Spiritual Assembly. The letter should not be needed, however, if the two questions are answered correctly in the initial application.

USA- NSA, Guidelines for Local Spiritual Assemblies, Chapter 14, p. 31

Local Assemblies should not become involved with the legal aspects of refugee, immigration and asylum issues. They should not write to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service or the Department of Homeland Security in an attempt to verify the Bahá’í membership of an immigrant believer, or for any other reason.

USA- NSA, Guidelines for Local Spiritual Assemblies, Chapter 14, p. 31