Judicial Watch • National Illegal Immigrant Sanctuary Movement

National Illegal Immigrant Sanctuary Movement

National Illegal Immigrant Sanctuary Movement

NOVEMBER 05, 2007

National Illegal Immigrant Sanctuary Movement    

Although congregations in 50 U.S. cities are flaunting their participation in a sanctuary movement that harbors illegal immigrants with deportation orders, federal authorities refuse to take action in order to avoid a “media circus and a confrontation.”

It is against the law to harbor illegal immigrants or shield them from detection yet churches, synagogues and other places of worship nationwide have publicly joined a movement to do just that without any consequences.

Many of the illegal immigrants were previously deported and reentered the U.S. and others are legal residents convicted of serious felonies that qualify them for deportation. Most have several U.S.-born anchor babies who are receiving free public educations and other costly government benefits such as medical care and food stamps.

From New York to California, illegal immigrants that have avoided deportation thanks to sanctuary congregations are telling their stories in the media without fear of consequences. A Haitian man who became a legal resident has received media coverage because two New York churches are blocking his deportation resulting from a felony drug conviction that sent him to prison for more than a decade.

A Mexican woman, who admitted sneaking into the U.S. after being detained at the border for using a fake birth certificate, has received extensive media coverage from her southern California church sanctuary yet federal authorities have refused to arrest her.

In fact, the Department of Homeland Security is well aware that congregations in numerous cities throughout the nation are publicly harboring illegal immigrants with deportation orders yet no action has been taken. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff actually said that immigration officials want to avoid "a media circus and a confrontation."

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