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.

We pledge to resist any policy proposals to target and deport millions of undocumented immigrants and discriminate against marginalized communities. We will open up our congregations and communities as sanctuary spaces for those targeted by hate, and work alongside our friends, families, and neighbors to ensure the dignity and human rights of all people.

Sanctuary2017
39,364
of 40,000 signatures
across 12 local campaigns
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Campaigns (12)

  • We Pledge To Resist Deportation And Discrimination Through Sanctuary
    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. We find ourselves entering a new phase of U.S. history wherein the politics of fear has stoked an atmosphere of racism and xenophobia across the country. The new Administration has pledged to criminalize, detain and deport undocumented people at new levels that will tear families and communities apart. As people of faith and people of conscience, we will take civil initiative out of our moral obligation to embody principles of human rights and dignity, and resist any harmful and unjust policy proposals that further undermine due process and lead to racial profiling and discrimination. By signing this pledge, we are dedicating ourselves to educate and activate our congregations, to amplify and respond to the voices of immigrant leaders, and to speak out against the discrimination of any and all marginalized people. We are ready to open the doors of our sacred spaces and accompany those facing deportation and discrimination. We support those answering the call to provide sanctuary at schools, hospitals, college campuses, community centers and family homes. We will work with partner organizations to create sacred space of sanctuary wherever it is needed.
    6,722 of 7,000 Signatures
    Created by Rev. Alison Harrington Picture
  • Tell Chicago ICE: Don't deport Jose Juan, father of 5
    My church took emergency moral action when Jose Juan was placed in deportation proceedings and ordered to leave the country and his family by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Chicago Field Office. "Abandoning my children is not a choice I can make. I live for them, and I will fight to stay with them,” says Jose Juan. As people of faith, we opened our doors to Jose Juan and offered him a sanctuary so that he can continue to fight to stay with his family. On behalf of University Church, my congregation, and signers of this petition, I urge you to reconsider Mr. Moreno’s request for use discretion, and allow him to stay with his family. I understand that Mr. Federico Moreno has a charge for an “aggravated” DUI, and that the aggravated charge is solely because as an undocumented immigrant he had no access to a driver’s license and that Illinois law unfairly punishes those without one. As people of faith, we also understand that we are more than our mistakes and that all of God’s children deserve second chances. Faith compels us to respond to injustice, to welcome the stranger, and to promote families staying together. My church first offered Sanctuary to immigrants fleeing violent war in Guatemala and El Salvador in 1985. Now, because of cruel US immigration enforcement practices, my church has once again opened its doors for Sanctuary. As a church, we have seen firsthand the loving and generous sacrifices Jose Juan makes for his family each day. As people of faith, we call on you to stop his deportation to allow this family to stay together.
    3,338 of 4,000 Signatures
    Created by Rev. Julian DeShazier Picture
  • Tell the Obama Administration: Stop the Deportation of Asylum Seekers Hilda Ramirez and her son Ivan
    Hilda Ramirez is an asylum seeker in danger of deportation to a country where her family will be subjected to violence, discrimination, and extreme poverty. A 28-year-old Mayan mother from San Marcos, Guatemala, Hilda fled to the United States with her 9-year-old son Ivan after facing threats of violence. Arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border in 2014 hoping to find safety, she was instead detained at the border and jailed at the Karnes detention center with her son in inhumane conditions for 11 months. There, Hilda participated in a courageous hunger strike with another 77 immigrant moms to shut down family detention centers.1 Hilda was eventually released on bond and forced to wear an ankle bracelet. After several months of staying in an Austin shelter for immigrants, the danger of impending ICE raids became overwhelming, leading Hilda and Ivan to seek Sanctuary in St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas while she fights deportation orders for herself and her young son. Although she was previously unable to win her asylum case, she continues to appeal her case with the assistance of legal counsel. After the recent decision from the Obama administration to target Central American asylum seekers for immigration raids and deportation, many immigrant communities have been left in a state of fear. As a result, many families and individuals in danger of losing their lives and loved ones are looking for safe haven and support with legal services. Already, more than 120 people have been apprehended in the raids, 77 people immediately deported, including parents with U.S. citizen children.2 Another round of raids has been announced, but no one knows where or when they will happen. OUR VALUES Families like Hilda and her son should not be targeted by immoral and unjust ICE raids. They should be provided the safety they seek, not met with further violence and discrimination. With continued raids announced, it is more important than ever that we stand with Hilda, Ivan, and all our immigrant brothers and sisters living in danger of deportation and separation. On February 9th, 2016, Hilda and Ivan took the prophetic and courageous step to enter into Sanctuary at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas. Hilda explains that, "I feel safe here. I don't think immigration agents will break down the door and take me away. That is why I came here." Sanctuary is a place where God’s love and protection is a living reality. Our faith demands that we treat refugees as neighbors. Our faith demands that we open our doors, even when others are shutting theirs. As people of faith and people of moral courage, we cannot stand idle in midst of the inhumanity of raids, deportation and detention. We must be in solidarity with Hilda, Ivan and our immigrant neighbors who are facing similar situations where a deportation could have fatal consequences when returned to their countries of origin. All families are sacred and each individual deserves justice, dignity and hospitality, regardless of their immigration status. TAKE ACTION By signing this petition, you are taking action to stand in solidarity with Hilda and Ivan, and all people suffering because of the United States’ inhumane mass deportation system. Your support of immigrants and refugees as a person of faith or a person of moral courage can help us put pressure on the Obama administration to use their power to end unjust and inhumane raids and deportations. Watch the video of our press conference at St. Andrews Church: https://vimeo.com/154776260 [1] "Mothers held at Texas detention centre go on hunger strike to demand release," The Guardian. April 1, 2015. [2] "U.S. authorities begin raids, taking 121 illegal immigrants into custody over the weekend," The Washington Post. Jan. 4, 2016.
    3,757 of 4,000 Signatures
    Created by Rev. Jim Rigby
  • Tell The Obama Administration: Stop Misael From Being Deported
    Misael came to our church seeking sanctuary because he is facing deportation after being racially profiled and pulled over in Phoenix — he did not even receive a ticket for any traffic violation. Misael made the difficult journey to the U.S. from Guatemala 9 years ago to provide for his family. As the eldest child, he took on the responsibility to care for his parents and younger siblings, hoping to raise his family out of poverty and provide a path to higher education for his brothers and sisters in Guatemala. Misael's drive and strong work ethic landed him a stable job as a roofer for the past 6 years, where his hard work and sweet spirit have made him a valued employee. His dedication to service extends beyond his family to his community here in Phoenix, where Misael serves as the keyboard accompanist during church services. If Misael is deported back to Guatemala, it’s not just him who suffers injustice: Misael's parents and younger siblings lose the main provider for their household, his employer loses a valued worker, and his church and community will lose a beloved neighbor. Our church has offered Sanctuary as an emergency action inspired by our deepest faith values in the face of a broken and outdated immigration system. We will continue to provide Sanctuary to Misael while we ask the Obama administration to close or put a stay on his deportation order until he can obtain legal status. CAN WE HELP? Yes. Misael's consistent employment and commitment to his community make him eligible for “prosecutorial discretion” by ICE — they have the power to drop his deportation proceedings. But if current rumors of executive action hold true, Misael may not be eligible for deferred action when it comes. As President Obama gets closer to taking action, we need to push for compassionate reform that extends relief to all 11 million undocumented immigrants living in fear of separation by supporting those who may not qualify, like Misael. OUR VALUES Deportations that create the suffering of thousands of families are not a policy of God. God's work expands love, justice, peace, and joy in our lives and in our communities. That's why our congregation welcomed Misael into Sanctuary. As people of faith, we stand with Misael and act with compassion and justice. All other political, economic, legal arguments and rhetoric fail in the light of this human being and his need. TAKE ACTION Join us in asking Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and the Obama administration to close or put a stay on Misael’s deportation order and to take immediate action to declare a moratorium on deportations.
    575 of 600 Signatures
    Created by Ken Heintzelman
  • Tell The Obama Administration: Stop Angela From Being Deported
    Angela’s home is in Philadelphia, where she has raised her 2 children, Arturo, age 11, and Mariana, age 8. She is an active leader in her church and the immigrant rights movement. The US has been her home for 12 years, and now Angela and her family need our support to stay together. SANCTUARY On November 18, 2014, Angela took the prophetic and bold step to enter into Sanctuary at West Kensington Ministry Church, a member congregation of New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia. Angela explains that, “I have taken this decision for my own life, my family, and the entire immigrant community. I have lived in fear for over 10 years and I can’t continue living this way.” OUR VALUES We are called to stand in solidarity with Angela’s leadership. As people of faith, we cannot witness the inhumanity of deportation and stay silent. All families are sacred and each individual deserves justice, dignity, and hospitality, regardless of their immigration status. TAKE ACTION By signing this petition, you are taking action to stand in solidarity with Angela Navarro and all people suffering because of the US’ inhumane mass deportation system. Please sign and share Angela’s petition asking: 1) Department of Homeland Security Secretary Johnson to stop Angela’s deportation 2) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to stop Angela’s deportation 3) President Obama that he must immediately end all deportations and create humane immigration policies that reflect our faith values of justice, dignity, and hospitality for all. ------- SANTUARIO Angela, nacida en Honduras, ha vivido 12 años en los Estados Unidos. Su hogar es en Philadelphia, donde ha criado a sus niños, Arturo de 11 años de edad, y Mariana, de 8. Es una líder en su iglesia y en el Movimiento Nuevo Santuario. Es una empleada ejemplar, y su patrón apoya su liderazgo en el movimiento por los derechos de los inmigrantes. Angela es parte de nuestra comunidad: la amenaza de deportarla es una amenaza contra todos nosotros. Con sus palabras, “He tomado esta decisión por mi propia vida, por mi familia y por toda la comunidad inmigrante. He vivido con miedo por más de 10 años y no puedo seguir viviendo así.” El 18 de Noviembre de 2014, Angela ha dado un paso audaz y profético, entrando al Santuario en la Iglesia del Ministerio de West Kensington, una congregación miembro del Movimiento Nuevo Santuario de Philadelphia. NUESTROS VALORES Seamos solidarios con el liderazgo de Angela: como gente de fe, no podemos presenciar la inhumanidad de la deportación y permanecer en silencio. Todas las familias son sagradas, y todo individuo merece justicia, dignidad, y hospitalidad, cualquiera sea su situación migratoria. ACTUA HOY MISMO Al firmar esta petición estás demostrando su solidaridad con Angela Navarro y todos los que sufren por culpa del inhumano sistema de deportaciones en masa de los Estados Unidos. Por favor, firme y comparta la petición de Angela. Al firmar usted está pidiendo que: 1. El Secretario del Departmento de Seguridad Interna (Homeland Security) Jeh Johnson, pare la deportación de Angela: 2. Que ICE (Aplicación de Leyes de Inmigracion y Aduanas) ordene anular la deportación de Angela. 3. Que el Presidente Obama termine inmediatamente con todas las deportaciones y cree una politica humana de inmigración, que refleje nuestra fe y nuestros valores de justicia, dignidad y hospitalidad para todos.
    6,140 of 7,000 Signatures
    Created by Nicole Kligerman
  • OREGON LABOR AND IMMIGRANT RIGHTS LEADER FACES CHARGES FOR 15 YEAR OLD DEPORTATION
    In September 2014 immigration agents came to the house of labor leader and Oregon immigrant rights organizer Francisco Aguirre house looking to take him into custody to deport him. When he did not open the door and asked for a warrant, they left. For the next two months, Francisco took Sanctuary in a local Portland church, while his family, advocates, and faith leaders organized a campaign to stop his deportation. But a two months into the sanctuary fight, immigration decided to seek a felony charge for “re-entry” into the United States for Francisco, in collaboration with the U.S. Marshall’s office. ICE is pursuing Francisco despite his many contributions to Oregon, where he is raising 3 children and where he has lived for almost 20 years. Francisco has been a long-time organizer at VOZ Worker’s Rights and Education Project, where he works with low-income workers and helps them fight for fair labor rights. He has helped claim stolen wages for workers, has been involved in improving health and safety labor standards, and is a musician who signs for social justice-related causes. Francisco is also one of the pioneers of advocating for the rights of day laborers across the country working closely with the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. Since his story became public, ICE has declared Francisco a “criminal alien” who is “considered a public safety threat and a priority for removal” in relation to two prior and isolated convictions. Twenty years ago Francisco pled ‘no contest’ to a drug-related charge, and was deported. The charge itself is questionable, and Francisco maintains his innocence. As he has explained, the only reason took a plea was due to encouragement by his public defender without knowing that ICE would take this as an admission of guilt and use it to deport him. Under today’s law, this would be considered misrepresentation and potentially grounds to re-open the case. Francisco came into ICE’s radar when last July Francisco was pulled over and charged with a DUI. Once in court, because there was no one harmed in the incident, and because this was his first driving offense, Francisco was given the chance to enroll in a Diversion program. Those who know Francisco well, know his dedication for social justice and his passion to advocate for the improvement of his community. Contrary to ICE’s claims, his community and his family do NOT believe that these convictions make that Francisco is a “public safety threat.” Please sign the petition to support Francisco and help stop his deportation.
    3,154 of 4,000 Signatures
    Created by WJ Mark Knutson
  • Ask the Department of Homeland Security: "Where's the Discretion? Grant Arturo a Stay!"
    The Metro Denver Sanctuary Coalition welcomed Arturo into sanctuary October 19th at First Unitarian Society of Denver. We are putting into action our commitment to welcome and accompany our immigrant neighbors into our community because we are called upon to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Arturo is our neighbor, and his threat of deportation is a threat to our entire community. We do not accept anyone's right to tear apart loving families in our community. We have chosen to bring Arturo into sanctuary because it is just, and believe the injustice of our immigration policy is an offense against our community and our faith. ARTURO'S SITUATION Arturo is a loving husband, father of two children and small business owner who has lived in the US for 15 years. His home is here in Colorado with his family where he can fulfill his dream of seeing both his daughters off to college one day. He and his family have exhausted every resource and legal recourse to stay together over the last four years and need your participation to stay together now. Arturo Hernández has been married for 16 years and has two daughters- Mariana, a 15 year old in the process of qualifying for Deferred Action and Andrea, 9 year old U.S. citizen. He and his family have lived in Colorado for 15 years. Here is a video from his daughter about his petition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3iP9SPnD0Y&feature=youtu.be Arturo is a small business owner and started his company as a subcontractor in the construction industry in 2008. He provides employment for an average of 8 to 9 people annually, and he also contributes to a bible study in the Catholic Church as well as service projects. In 2010, Arturo was unfairly arrested by local police, but was proven innocent in court and all charges were withdrawn. Unfortunately, even though he was acquitted, he was detained by immigration and deportation proceedings continued. ICE continues to deny Arturo’s appeals, saying that the suffering of his family is not reason enough to stop his deportation. How can we accept this immoral answer? When Arturo’s sick father died in Mexico last year, Arturo could not be with him for fear of aggravating his immigration status and placing the stability of his family in jeopardy. How can we stand by and witness this pain? Because of the significant suffering his deportation would cause his daughters, his wife and the families of his employees, we ask that his deportation be stopped immediately and that he be granted a stay of removal so he can stay with his family. We urge you to Sign and Share this petition asking Immigration to grant Arturo a stay of removal. Such action would not only be in line with the teaching of our faith traditions, but true to the values of our communities and nation. TAKE ACTION We ask that you join us in asking Secretary Jeh Johnson to close Arturo’s deportation order and encourage President Obama to take action and expand deferred action for all 11 million undocumented people who are part of our communities and congregations. Sign and share the petition today.
    4,894 of 5,000 Signatures
    Created by Jennifer Piper
  • Tell The Obama Administration: Stop Francisco From Being Deported
    As a church in Arizona, we witness the suffering of our neighbors fearing deportation and feel the damage when families are broken apart EVERY DAY. Francisco came to our church after the threat of deportation had been looming over his family's life for 8 months. A husband and father of 5, Francisco is considered a low priority for deportation by ICE—he has no criminal history and has proven himself to be a stable and valued member of our community, working full-time and paying his taxes faithfully. But every time he left his home he ran the risk of never returning. Since the promises of action and reform have been broken by Congress and the Obama Administration, we are compelled by our faith to stand in the gap of justice for our undocumented neighbors in need. This is why we welcomed Francisco into Sanctuary at St. Francis in the Foothills United Methodist Church. CHOOSING LOVE A family is formed around love, and Francisco and Sarai have done a marvelous job of creating and growing that love in their family. As people of faith we believe that we should do all we can to assist families in the challenging work of "love-development." The biggest obstacle to that love is fear. Fear should never stand in a central place in any family. Whenever we work to remove some of the causes of fear, we are doing God's work here on earth. Whenever we take away barriers that stand between families and the possibilities that lie in front of them, we show heaven to each other. There are enough obstacles in this life without us creating more through laws that unfairly divide families and stand in the way of the love they are nurturing. CAN WE HELP? Absolutely! Through administrative closure or “prosecutorial discretion,” government officials have the power to stop deportations. You can shine the light of justice on Francisco's case by helping those officials see the importance of his place and presence in his family and community. With your voice and actions we can lead the Department of Homeland Security on a better path, by stopping Francisco’s deportation and showing support of deferred action for all. TAKE ACTION We ask that you join us in asking Secretary Jeh Johnson to close Francisco's deportation order and encourage President Obama to take action and expand deferred action for all 11 million undocumented people who are part of our congregations and communities. Sign and share the petition today.
    290 of 300 Signatures
    Created by Jim Wiltbank
  • Tell the Obama Administration: Stop Beatriz from being deported
    Beatriz came to our church seeking sanctuary because she is facing deportation and is a mother of two U.S. Citizen children: Donato, who just turned 3 years old, and his 8-month-old sister, Iran. Beatriz is from Veracruz, Mexico and has been in deportation proceedings since 2010. She is fighting to keep her family here in Illinois, where they have created a home and are part of the community. She is also a very special case because Beatriz was a victim of aggravated criminal sexual assault in 2009 and worked with law enforcement to testify and convict her rapist—which makes her eligible for a U-Visa. However, a paperwork technicality has prevented her from getting the relief she needs, and now she is in danger of immediate deportation. Beatriz had no other options when she came to our door. Our church offered Sanctuary as an emergency action inspired by our deepest faith values. We will continue to provide Sanctuary to Beatriz and her children while we ask the Obama administration to close or put a stay on her deportation order until she can obtain legal status. CAN WE HELP? Yes. We can stand with Beatriz in her time of urgent need. Beatriz is a low-priority case, especially with two American-born children and the possibility of a U-Visa around the corner, which qualify her for ICE’s “prosecutorial discretion.” If we draw attention to her story and show she has a community that loves her, the Department of Homeland Security has the power to drop her case. OUR VALUES We are a church in the heart of a Mexican community in Chicago, and our work has always been “creating hope for those without hope, through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” To be undocumented in this country is a fearful and heartbreaking situation under our broken immigration system. And in Beatriz’s case, to be undocumented and the victim of sexual assault is an even worse trauma. Beatriz’s bravery inspired our compassion and decision to welcome her into Sanctuary. With over 52 congregations around the country supporting the Sanctuary Movement, we’re proud to join in the ranks of these faithful communities providing physical and spiritual relief to our undocumented brothers and sisters in need. TAKE ACTION We ask that you join us in asking Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and the Obama administration to close or put a stay on Beatriz’s deportation order and encourage immediate action to declare a moratorium on deportations.
    3,450 of 4,000 Signatures
    Created by Jose Landaverde
  • Tell The Obama Administration: Stop Luis From Being Deported & Keep Your Promise
    We are called to welcome the stranger, but Luis Lopez Acabal is not a stranger. Luis is our neighbor. He is a husband and a father, who came as a teenager to escape death threats from gangs and violence most of us can hardly imagine. He worked hard and made a life for himself and his family. He has fought his case through the immigration courts to no avail. We want him to stay. While ICE officials assure us he is a low priority and don’t intend to seek him out, they refuse to offer him the means to remain in the country legally. THE INJUSTICE A grave injustice is happening when people come to the U.S. to escape unimaginable violence but when every day more than 1,000 people are deported, many ripped away from spouses and children, as a result of a broken misguided immigration system. Despite President Obama’s promise to keep families together, Luis’s family is at risk. This is why we welcomed Luis into Sanctuary at our church on Sept. 4th. He will remain in the protection of this sacred space with the support of the community until his deportation order is removed. LUIS’ STORY Luis emigrated from Guatemala at the age of 17, fleeing gang violence in his country, arriving only a few months too late to be eligible for DACA (deferred action for childhood arrivals). He has made a life, fallen in love, and married Mayra Canales, a permanent legal resident on the path to citizenship and mother of two U.S. citizen children, one of whom has autism. Mayra has struggled with anxiety and depression for many years. Luis has taken in Mayra’s children as his own, and Kevin (5) and Kimberly (2) consider him their father. He is the sole breadwinner for the family, allowing Mayra to act as a full time caregiver for their children. Kevin has thrived in the new family setting and some of his autism related behaviors have been diminished. Kevin’s success and the support of a loving husband and parenting partner has made a huge difference in Mayra’s battles with depression and anxiety. This deportation threatens not only Luis’ life, as he faces deportation to a country with the 5th highest homicide rate in the world, but also Mayra’s mental health and Kevin’s recent progress. There is no value to our society in taking Luis away from his wife and children. PROVIDING SANCTUARY “God is our refuge,” the Psalmist writes, and the church is called upon to reflect God to the world. We invite people of faith and moral courage around the country to stand in solidarity with Luis and our church as we offer refuge from injustice. We call upon President Obama and Secretary Jeh Johnson of Homeland Security to do justice in the face of brokenness: * Secretary Jeh Johnson and those within Immigration and Customs Enforcement, grant a stay of removal or deferred action to Luis Lopez TODAY. * President Obama, keep your promise – stop tearing apart families like Luis’ and take administrative action to grant Deferred Action for All NOW. CAN WE HELP? Yes – ask Secretary Jeh Johnson to close Luis’ deportation order and encourage President Obama to take action and expand deferred action for all 11 million undocumented people who are already part of our congregations and communities. ICE officials have been directed to use "prosecutorial discretion" in cases like Luis’. Showing Secretary Johnson that Luis and his family have a community that supports and loves him will force them to review Luis’ case. You can also follow Luis’ story and help advocate for him by liking the page and sharing our updates and calls to action. Search “Luis Lopez Acabal Sanctuary” Call Jeh Johnson, Secretary of DHS, at 202-282-8495 and leave a message in support of Luis. It is an answering machine that fills up by the end of the day, so please fill it up with support for Luis: “Hello, my name is ___. I am calling to urge Secretary to Johnson to use the discretion available to him to stop the deportation of Mr. Luis Lopez Acabal, A#088-670-167. Mr. Lopez fits the category of a low priority for deportation and should not be removed from his family and his home in the United States.” Call President Obama and Cecilia Muñoz, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, at 202-456-1111 leave a message urging them to take action and defer Luis' deportation. This is a live comment line that will be picked up by a real human being so please be very polite. “Hello, my name is ___. I am calling to urge Director Cecilia Munoz and President Barack Obama to act swiftly to stop the pending deportation of Mr. Luis Lopez Acabal, A#088-670-167. Mr. Lopez fits the category of a low priority for deportation and should not be removed from his family and his home in the United States. The administration, under advisement of the President and Director Munoz, should give guidance to the Department of Homeland Security to intervene in this case and act swiftly to halt the deportation of other parents like Mr. Lopez while they wait to take executive action.”
    671 of 800 Signatures
    Created by Eric Ledermann Picture
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