[JURIST] Churches across the US have agreed to become part of the New Sanctuary Movement [advocacy website], a program to protect illegal immigrants from arrest and deportation and place pressure on the government to make becoming a citizen an easier process. Thus far, churches in five large US cities have plans to protect illegal immigrants, with the possibility of housing them on church grounds, and on Wednesday San Pablo's Lutheran Church in North Hollywood and Our Lady Queen of Angels [church website] Catholic Church in Los Angeles offered their buildings as shelter to one person each. The New Sanctuary Movement states in its pledge that:
We stand together in our faith that everyone, regardless of national origin, has basic common rights, including but not limited to: 1) livelihood; 2) family unity; and 3) physical and emotional safety. We witness the violation of these rights under current immigration policy, particularly in the separation of children from their parents due to unjust deportations, and in the exploitation of immigrant workers.Adalberto United Methodist Church in Chicago has housed [statement] deportation resister Elvira Arellano [Wikipedia profile] since August with no attempts by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement [official website] to arrest her. ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice, however, declined to tell AP whether the lack of action is a representation of ICE policy, but stated that ICE agents have the authority to arrest and detain any person violating immigration regulations. AP has more.