Resource: Sanctuary Movement in the Trump Era New Strategy and Tactics in the Post-Election Reality

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RESOURCE: Sanctuary Movement in the Trump Era

New Strategy and Tactics in the Post-Election Reality

As people of faith and people of conscience, we pledge to resist the newly elected Administration’s 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.
Sign the Pledge For Sanctuary
Find more information at
Sanctuary as a Tactic Will Change

There are over four hundred congregations that have been supportive of the Sanctuary Movement by joining an organized movement of faith to stop deportations. Since May 2014, we have been able to stop fifteen deportation orders through public cases wherein an undocumented person has lived in a church until they were able to win a stay of removal or other deportation relief. In addition, the Sanctuary Movement has helped stop dozens of deportations of cases before physical Sanctuary became necessary.

Nobody knows exactly what the Trump Administration will do on immigration, but the President-elect has said they will deport at least 2 million undocumented people. They will also revoke President Obama’s Executive Actions on immigration prosecutorial discretion guidelines, which means it will be more difficult to win a stay of removal for public cases.
Priority Goals of Sanctuary Movement

As the faith community, we are called to accompany our community members, congregants and neighbors facing deportation. By offering sanctuary we can fight individual cases, advocate to stop deportations, and make it possible to win deferred action at a case-by-case level to keep families together.

Amplify the moral imperative to stop deportations by lifting up the stories of sanctuary cases and ensuring the prophetic witness of the immigrant taking sanctuary is heard at the national level.
Defend administrative policies such as Prosecutorial Discretion  so that we can still win stays of deportation case by case and keep sacred spaces and schools protected under the Sensitive Locations guidelines.
Work alongside undocumented students to defend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program (DACA)

Support local work to defend Sanctuary cities or local detainer policies and push back against unjust enforcement policies such as the Priority Enforcement Program or 287 g in the jails

Participate and help create protection networks to provide know your rights education, sanctuary space, legal assistance, housing assistance, family planning and bail support funds
Stop the Trump border wall and any attempt to increase criminalization or mandatory sentencing for immigrants
Defend asylum seekers by pushing back against expedited removal and helping provide critical resources such as legal assistance so they can defend and win their case.
Building a Protection Network

Congregations who are part of the Sanctuary Movement will open their doors to undocumented people in need of safe refuge. This should be in coordination with partner immigrants’ rights organizations. Together we can work to build a protection network infrastructure that would include creating sanctuary safe zones, housing assistance, legal assistance, family planning, advocacy, organizing and bail support.

Expanding Sanctuary Beyond the Congregations

Congregations, schools, and hospitals are considered “sensitive locations” under the ICE Sensitive Locations policy, but this policy could be revoked. Students are beginning to organize on college campuses to call on university administrations to create safe spaces on campuses and not collaborate with ICE. Campus organizers will be working to protect undocumented students by organizing to keep the DACA program intact. Sanctuary cities have come out declaring they will continue to be Sanctuary cities in midst of a Trump Administration. We must protect and expand Sanctuary spaces.

Sanctuary in the Streets

As a result of announcement of increased raids by the Obama Administration last year, many have organized rapid response networks. New Sanctuary Movement Philadelphia created the Sanctuary in the Streets to bring faith communities to protect people in their homes, should ICE arrive.

Know Your Rights

It is imperative to educate all immigrant communities on know-your-rights resources. The most important information is DON’T OPEN THE DOOR to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), police or anyone else if they do not have a warrant signed by a judge.

AFSC- Know Your Rights- Conozca Sus Derechos

United We DREAM Know Your Rights

Guide to sharing your story of rights abuses, raids and deportation


Report When A Raid Is Happening:

HOTLINE: 1-844-363-1423


Find Partner Organizations

National Day Labor Organizing Network

United We DREAM

Fair Immigration Reform Movement

Not1more Deportation
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