AMERICA/UNITED STATES - Last option for undocumented immigrants: to live in a church

Monday, 6 March 2017

Denver (Agenzia Fides) - Testimonies of the situation experienced by undocumented migrants continue to be sent to Fides since Donald Trump’s presidency.
Between fear and anxiety, many children no longer attend school because they do not want their parents to risk expulsion or forcible repatriation (see Fides 18/02/2017). In Protestant churches support groups were organized for migrants for the reception and the defense of their rights, whenever and wherever it is possible. In Denver (Colorado), for example, the First Unitarian Society which brings together Christian and other religious groups, promoted the posting on the entrance doors of churches regarding the information for both immigrants for their reception, and for members of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), recalling the rights of migrants, which indicate that in places of worship there are people waiting for a response for a visa or for asylum. Practically these people are forced to live inside the church waiting for a reply from the authorities.
This situation also involves authorities. In late January, the mayors of the "Sanctuary Cities", American cities, both big (including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago) and small (like New Haven, Syracuse and Austin in Texas), which have laws aimed at limiting the collaboration with federal immigration agencies responsible for the expulsion of undocumented migrants, spoke out against President Trump’s measures.
In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, said: "Let me be clear, we will remain a 'Sanctuary City'. There are no strangers among us. Whether you come from Poland or Pakistan, Ireland or India or Israel, from Mexico or from Moldova, everyone will be welcome in Chicago". (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 06/03/2017)