(sanctuary definition: refuge, haven, harbor, port in a storm, oasis, shelter, retreat)
Every day’s news brings reports of attacks on Muslims and deportations of Latinos. One way that all of us can resist the rising tide of hostility and anger in the United States is by declaring our town a place of sanctuary for people fleeing war and crime and poverty in their own countries. We do not accept migrants simply out of sympathy or a sense of goodwill, but because we acknowledge their contribution
to our economy and our culture. In addition, we need to explore our country’s role in creating the conditions that have destabilized the nations from which the immigrants come.
The roots of the modern sanctuary movement date back to the 1980s. U.S. churches, synagogues and other religious institutions began to provide refuge and services to thousands of undocumented immigrants from Guatemala and El Salvador who had fled civil unrest at home but were denied sanctuary in the U.S., largely due to Cold War politics.
“Sanctuary says: We will not allow their lives to be filled with fear. It is our duty to protect our brothers and sisters. If history has taught us anything, it is that we must never be silent when members of our communities are threatened. A government that threatens any of us is a danger to all of us.