Saturday, February 25, 2017

News Update 2/25/17: New Sanctuary Groups Prepare for ICE Raids

Philadelphians train to disrupt ICE raids. Photo: Laura Benshoff/WHYY
The deportation raids earlier this month seem to have galvanized the New Sanctuary Movement. In what many consider a reprise of the 19th century’s Underground Railroad, religious institutions around the country are preparing to combat future raids by sheltering immigrants and disrupting ICE operations.--TPOI editor

Plan to Disrupt Immigration Raids Will Enlist Songs and Prayers

By Laura Benshoff, NPR Morning Edition
February 24, 2017
As one woman yells “Help! Help!” — pretending to be taken by federal immigration officers — volunteers being trained to disrupt a raid begin singing and sit down as one, blocking the officers' path.

This scene is part of a training by a nonprofit advocacy group called New Sanctuary Movement. The group hopes to leverage a long-standing policy that federal agents won't make arrests in houses of worship — to create a kind of mobile sanctuary wherever a raid is happening, through prayers and hymns.

President Trump's immigration enforcement plans are still evolving, but the ominous feeling that they've created in communities of unauthorized immigrants has spurred trainings such as this one across the country.[…]

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These religious leaders are creating a new underground system to shelter undocumented immigrants

By Rafi Schwartz, Fusion
February 24, 2017
Across southern California, religious leaders are hard at work creating the infrastructure for what could become a major form of resistance in the Trump-era: sheltering immigrants.

Calling themselves the “Rapid Response Team,” a grassroots network of pastors, ministers, and laypeople have begun preparing private residences to house—and if need be, protect—undocumented immigrants at risk for deportation under President Trump’s ongoing crackdown on the undocumented community.

“That’s what we need to do as a community to keep families together,” Paster Ada Valiente explained to CNN, which profiled this growing movement on Thursday.[…]

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