The number of congregations joining the “sanctuary” effort to help protect undocumented immigrants from Donald Trump’s deportation force has doubled since his election, according to faith leaders.
“Congregations have been knocking down our doors,” said Rev. Noel Andersen of the Church World Service. “We expect more because of the outcry from our congregations that we’ve heard.”
This “holy resistance” of some 800 congregations is a part of a larger effort throughout schools, cities, and states to protect immigrants. That number is expected to continue growing, with Muslim leaders saying they will ask mosques this week to join the movement.
“We really have to stand strong in the face of the bigoted forces that are targeting our communities,” said Imam Omar Suleiman, a bilingual professor of Islamic Studies at Southern Methodist University.
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Ingrid Encalada Latorre, a Peruvian fighting her deportation case in Denver, said immigrants should stay hopeful.
She’s one of five unauthorized immigrants who have benefited from the sanctuary of food and housing, leaders said.
“Trump is not the only one in charge of this country,” said the immigrant, who found refuge at a Quaker church.
Leaders from across 30 states and Washington, DC have now affirmed or are reaffirming commitments to help protect immigrant residents of their communities from Trump’s destructive deportation proposals.