Nearly 500 churches, synagogues, and mosques are joining forces to serve as a modern-day “underground railroad” source for undocumented immigrants as Donald Trump’s presidency approaches.
The 450 houses of worship that are stepping up to the plate are part of the sanctuary movement that has picked up steam following the election of Trump, who plans to carry out mass deportation raids, RawStory reports.
Although many of the faith-based organizations don’t have the ability to house immigrants, they’ve all pledged to provide “money, legal aid, food, child care, or transportation” to immigrants and their families.
Churches, along with schools and hospitals, are considered “sensitive locations” where immigration authorities are ordered not to make arrests unless they have direct permission from an Immigration and Customs Enforcement supervisor or if there are “exigent circumstances” that require urgent action, which is a large part of what makes these entities perfect sanctuaries.
The Rev. Alison Harrington of Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson, Arizona, noted, however, that there’s no guarantee that churches will remain secure once Trump takes office.
“We can’t assume that churches and houses of worship will remain safe locations,” she said.
Regardless, these houses of worship are prepared to go the extra mile to protect families from Trump’s wrath.
“What better work for the church to do than to provide what we know God gives us, our heartfelt commitment to family, whether that family comes from Mexico, or from Philadelphia, or wherever,’’ said the Rev. Robin Hynicka of New York City’s Arch Street United Methodist Church.
Although these efforts are nothing new, the amount of congregations joining the initiative has more than doubled since Trump was elected, according to The New York Times.
We can only hope that this network continues to grow to counteract Trump's attempts to round up hardworking people and turn their lives upside down.
Banner/ Thumbnail Photo Credit: Public Domain Pictures, Sharee Jablonski