Will raids inspire more sanctuary churches?

Back in the 1980s, a network of U.S. churches and synagogues offered sanctuary to Central American refugees and organized an “overground railroad” to take them to safety in Canada. Now the U.S. immigration raids directed at Central American women and children are inspiring a new round of sanctuary churches.

NPR reports that 12 religious congregations have harbored immigrants this time around — a far cry from around 500 in the 1980s. But, reports NPR, “Church World Service says it knows of more than 300 congregations in 30 states eager to support the new sanctuary movement.”

Tucson’s Southside Presbyterian Church is a stalwart, offering sanctuary then and now. St. Andrew’s Presbyterian took in a Guatemalan mother and son in January. North Hills Methodist Church is one of three Los Angeles area churches to join in, according to the Los Angeles Times. And, reports NPR,

“The new sanctuary movement is having some success. Since the current ICE crackdown, 11 of 13 immigrants who have sought protection in churches have gotten stays of deportation after their cases were made public, reports Church World Service.”



About Mary Turck

News Day, written by Mary Turck, analyzes, summarizes, links to, and comments on reports from news media around the world, with particular attention to immigration, education, and journalism. Fragments, also written by Mary Turck, has fiction, poetry and some creative non-fiction. Mary Turck edited TC Daily Planet, www.tcdailyplanet.net, from 2007-2014, and edited the award-winning Connection to the Americas and AMERICAS.ORG, in its pre-2008 version. She is also a recovering attorney and the author of many books for young people (and a few for adults), mostly focusing on historical and social issues.
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