Welcome! St. John’s is in the process of discerning to become a Sanctuary Church. If you are looking to join the Sanctuary Huddle and get involved, let pastor Theresa (firstname.lastname@example.org) know.
We also welcome you to look through the materials on this page to familiarize yourself with the New Sanctuary Movement.
What is the New Sanctuary Movement?
Calling upon the ancient traditions of our faiths, which recognized houses of worship as a refuge for the runaway slave, the conscientious objector, and the Central American refugee fleeing the civil wars of the 1980s, sanctuary is once again growing among communities of faith that are standing in solidarity with immigrants and marginalized communities facing immoral and unjust deportation and discrimination policies.
View the video below for an overview.
What are Sanctuary Cities?
Sanctuary Cities are municipalities that have adopted policies of protecting undocumented immigrants by not prosecuting them for violating federal immigration laws in the country in which they are now living. Such a policy can be set out expressly in a law or observed only in practice. The term applies generally to cities that do not use municipal funds or resources to enforce national immigration laws, and usually forbid police or municipal employees to inquire about a person’s immigration status. The designation has no precise legal meaning.
This January 25, 2017 Wall Street Journal Article describes how Sanctuary Cities work and how President Trump’s recent executive order may affect them.
What are Sanctuary Churches?
Sanctuary Churches support the efforts of the Sanctuary Movement or are willing to open their doors to people fearing repatriation. Churches, along with schools and hospitals, are considered “Sensitive Locations” by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. That means federal agents will avoid arresting, searching or interviewing people there under most circumstances.
Read ICE’s 2011 Memoranda regarding its enforcement policy on Sensitive Locations.
Prior to the November presidential election, there were 400 Sanctuary Churches nationwide. Since the election, there are over 800 churches across the country now involved in creating sanctuary spaces for undocumented immigrants and people in need.
Currently, there are 5 Sanctuary Churches and only 1 that offers physical sanctuary on the San Francisco Peninsula.
What does Sanctuary look like?
There are four ways that congregations are demonstrating their commitment to Sanctuary: physical sanctuary for someone facing final deportation; accompaniment of immigrant families or youth; advocacy; and networks of projection of rapid response.
Congregations that offer physical sanctuary on religious property, as a way to protect individuals from the reach of ICE, are supported by other congregations and community groups committing to be part of a local network of Sanctuary by assisting with hospitality, protection, and advocacy.
St. John’s is considering being a congregation that assists in hospitality, protection, and advocacy, but not providing physical sanctuary.
What additional resources exist to learn more?
National Sanctuary website and toolkit: www.sanctuarynotdeportation.org
Bay Area Organizations: www.im4humanintegrity.org
Sign the Sanctuary Pledge: http://www.sanctuarynotdeportation.org/sign-the-pledge.html