If you are looking for a safe space or long term sanctuary:
- call the hotline (903-884-help (4357) / 908-791-5309)
- or ask a supporting house of worship in the map below.
If you are looking to set up a sanctuary space, go to our 'Become Sanctuary' page.
The resurgence of the Sanctuary Movement has created a platform for those who are brave enough to speak out against the injustice of deportation. Faith communities play a critical role in responding to the post-election reality where fear, discrimination, and xenophobia have become the driving force behind our country’s politics. Because the Trump administration has promised to deport millions, people of faith have a moral responsibility to act.
But the Sanctuary movement extends beyond faith-based congregations to other spaces too. Sanctuary is a unique and powerful tool to stand up against hatred and bigotry by offering our neighbors safe spaces. Sanctuary is a moral and political commitment. Sanctuary provides a broad umbrella for an intersectional coalition of people and organizations to stand together, provide resources and training, and build coalitions with and in support of vulnerable populations.
For other kinds of support see Programs & Campaigns, Events & Actions
WHAT IS SANCTUARY?
Immigration authorities traditionally do not come into religious spaces to deport immigrants, and therefore religious congregations have both a unique ability and imperative to help people who have a fear of deportation. An immigrant facing deportation may seek protection by coming into a house of worship to stay “in sanctuary” for some period of time.
The New Sanctuary Coalition has also worked to expand the network by suggesting different levels at which sanctuary can become operational for a range of organizations and groups. A sanctuary space can at minimum agree to:
- Provide a safe space where people won’t be mistreated because of their race, gender, ethnicity, immigration status, gender, sexual orientation, religious faith, political or scientific views.
- Make a public statement regarding their commitment to protect information on immigration status of all members, staff, artists and visitors.
- Agree to not allow federal immigration authorities to search the premises without court-issued warrants specific to those premises. This is legal and in line with the declarations of many sanctuary campuses and sanctuary cities. Due process is an important aspect of the judiciary that needs to be upheld.
- Disseminate information and provide programming and resources helpful to undocumented and other vulnerable populations.
In addition to these, each space can opt to adopt further policies such as:
Short term Sanctuary – “Safe Space”:
If an immigrant has not been named as an ICE target for immediate deportation, taking Sanctuary in a house of worship may be useful for a short time (a few hours, one day, or a short overnight stay) to help the immigrant feel safe and become calm rather than panicked, and to get information on what to do next, so they can make good plans. This usually would happen in the event of immigration raids or acts of hate occurring in the area. Immigrants also face day-to-day struggles that faith communities should be ready to address through short-term sanctuary.
Long term – “Physical Sanctuary”:
If an immigrant with a final deportation order is an actual named target for immediate deportation, going into Physical Sanctuary may be a way to avoid deportation for an indefinite period, which could last for weeks or months or even years. The immigrant moves into the house of worship and lives there full-time until some agreement can be made with ICE to let the immigrant live outside the house of worship without fear of being immediately deported.
Congregations & Allies Supporting NSC