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
41,772
of 45,000 signatures
across 15 local campaigns
Find your local campaign

Your Location

Campaigns (15)

  • 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
  • Tell the Obama Administration: Save Rosa from being deported
    In Tucson we witness the disappearance of community members by Border Patrol every day. We see mothers and fathers taken from our neighborhoods, the pews in our churches, the desk next to us at work. We cannot bear to see any more families torn apart—which is why we welcomed Rosa into Sanctuary on August 7. She will stay within the safety of our church grounds until her deportation order is closed. Through the power of Sanctuary and the power of our petition, we stand in-between a deportation order and a mother in our community. As people of faith, when we witness things that are against the will of God (like a mother torn away from her children), we are called to act. Rosa has two beautiful boys, a loving husband, and has lived in Tucson since 1999. She is an active member of the community, volunteers at her church, her sons’ school, and their baseball teams. But she was ordered to be deported after a minor traffic violation. Like millions of other undocumented immigrants in the United States, Rosa's case is considered low-priority for ICE—she has no criminal history, is a caretaker for minors and has long-standing community ties. But she was in detention for 53 days and fought her immigration case through the courts to no avail. Now, Rosa lives with an order of deportation hanging over her head and is not safe to move freely in her home community of Tucson. The only way to keep Rosa’s family together is for Secretary Johnson to hear from you that her deportation must be stopped right now. CAN WE HELP? Yes. ICE officials have been directed to use "prosecutorial discretion" in cases like this, and showing Secretary Johnson that Rosa and her family have a community that supports and loves her will force them to review Rosa's case. It is critical we ACT NOW on her behalf. Rosa cannot stay in sanctuary forever, and even a stay of deportation would need to be renewed each year—we need a real solution to stop family separation and stop deportations. The House of Representatives has failed to take up immigration reform, and now the President must act to expand deferred action for all undocumented people that will provide relief from deportation and a work permit. It's why we're also telling the Obama Administration: "Stop tearing apart families like Rosa’s and take administrative action to grant Deferred Action for All.” OUR VALUES Compelled by the demands of our faith to love our neighbor as ourselves, we offer Sanctuary to our neighbor Rosa so that she can stay with her family. Our scriptures command us to care for widows and orphan – which is why we must act now to *prevent* the separation of Rosa and her children. We are joined by 17 other local congregations who are working alongside us to guarantee that Rosa is able to watch her sons – Gerardo Jr and Jose Emiliano – grow up. We want to make sure that she is there cheering them on with all the other mothers and fathers in the stands. So we ask that you join us in asking Secretary Jeh Johnson to close Rosa’s 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.
    4,593 of 5,000 Signatures
    Created by Rev. Alison Harrington Picture
  • Tell Secretary Jeh Johnson: Close Daniel Neyoy Ruiz's Deportation Case
    In 2011, Daniel was driving to work and was pulled over by the Department of Public Safety because his car was emitting too much exhaust. Although he was never cited, Border Patrol was called and he was detained for one-month and placed in removal proceedings. 30 days ago, he was told he had to leave the United States by May 13th. On May 12th Daniel, surrounded by a large group of clergy walked into our church and entered into sanctuary. Although ICE has said that they will not actively come and apprehend him, this does not guarantee that he won’t be arbitrarily pulled over by the police, turned over to Border Patrol and immediately deported. Daniel will remain in sanctuary at our Church in Tuscon until ICE officials close his deportation case. Now, for the first time in over 30 years, Southside Presbyterian Church has offered sanctuary to a family in our community. WHY DANIEL? Daniel Neyoy Ruiz came to our country 14 years ago, seeking what we all seek: a better life. During the past 14 years, he and his wife had a son, he has paid state and federal taxes since 2005, he is a music leader at his church, he is the primary financial provider for his family, and has no criminal history. CAN WE HELP? The good news is that what we are asking ICE to do, is something they do every day. The Obama administration has said that people like Daniel - individuals with no criminal history, with strong ties to the community, and with US Citizen children are a low priority for deportations and he has said recently that we should not be in the business of tearing apart families. While our current system needs serious reform, there is grace within our current system for people like Daniel and we are simply asking the administration to show Daniel that grace by closing his deportation order and allowing him to remain in Tucson with his wife Karla and son Carlos. OUR VALUES As a Pastor in Arizona, I have witnessed the way in which our broken immigration system is tearing families apart. I have heard over and over the stories of mothers afraid to go to the grocery store, fathers who want to chaperone their children’s field trips but can’t for fear that a simple traffic stop could result in deportation. As people of faith, scriptures command us to care for the widow and the orphan but sometimes we are called to act sooner and prevent the loss of parents and spouses through our immigration policies, and at Southside we believe this time is now.
    1,782 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Rev. Alison Harrington Picture
2 Next →