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Resurgence of the Sanctuary movement

Resurgence of the Sanctuary movement

The crisis on the southern border has spurred a resurgence of the Sanctuary Movement–where churches and other houses of worship offer shelter to undocumented immigrants.


The Sanctuary Movement started in the 1980s, during a widespread period of civil war and unrest throughout Central America, which, in turn, led to a surge of Central American refugees coming through our southern border. At the time, a small Presbyterian church in Tucson, Arizona offered to let a few immigrants stay in their church to prevent ICE from deporting them.

Now, that same Tucson church has opened its doors to a Mexican woman who is facing a deportation order, which would separate her from her 2 school-aged children, both of whom are citizens.

Robles is being sheltered at the Southside Presbyterian Church, where immigration officers were unlikely to enter. ICE has a policy of not raiding a church unless there is a clear threat to national security or terrorism. She has no idea how long she will need to stay, but she knows her children won’t be able to come with her; so she gives some parting advice to her youngest son.

“Emiliano, I want you to listen to your brother, ok?” she tells her eight-year-old son in the car. “He is going help you with your homework. You have your brother, and your brother has you.”

Read the whole article here.

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