Sanctuary for immigrants hiding from Trump

Sanctuary in churches and synagogues is on offer to illegal immigrants in the US.

President-elect Donald Trump wants to deport all illegal immigrants, especially criminals.

If they’re not deported, he says they will be incarcerated.

His election vow to deport an estimated 11 million people has seen illegal immigrants hiding from federal authorities.

Many are looking to churches to help hide them.

Churches are considered “sensitive locations” by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

They avoid going to these places to arrest, search or interview people.

Churches therefore make ideal places for people to seek sanctuary.

Schools and hospitals are also viewed as “sensitive locations”.

Over the past few years, 15 people have sought sanctuary.  Caring for them has involved 13 churches in nine cities.

The 15 people were in imminent danger of being deported.

The Rev Donna Schaper, who is a senior minister of New York’s Judson Memorial Church, says New York City has 11 congregations offering illegal immigrants refuge.

Some illegal immigrants have moved into “sanctuary churches” for indefinite periods.

She thinks the number will increase when Trump is inaugurated.

“The newly elected president is threatening to deport many of them and they want to be safe — churches have a moral mandate to help people in a way that is different than cities in general,” she said.

Peter Pedemonti, executive director of the New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia says there has been and “outpouring of inquiries and support”  from congregations all over America that want to sign up in sanctuary sites.

Pedemonti’s New Sanctuary Movement provides spiritual, financial, emotional and legal support to illegal immigrants.

His group includes 17 churches and two synagogues. They have joined together to stop deportations.

They have also offered their sanctuaries as safe havens.

The New Sanctuary Movement provides spiritual, financial, emotional and legal support to illegal immigrants.

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News category: World.

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