People protesting the deportation of illegal immigrants
With the future of immigration policy uncertain, hundreds of churches are stepping up to offer sanctuary to illegal immigrants at risk of deportation.

A Troubled History

I had always hoped that this land might become a safe and agreeable asylum to the virtuous and persecuted part of mankind, to whatever nation they might belong. George Washington

From the time of its founding, America has been a nation of immigrants. In fact, 7 of the 39 men who signed the U.S. Constitution were immigrants. The process of foreigners leaving their homelands and coming to the United States has played an important role in the country's growth and development into a world power. However, this phenomenon has also been a constant source of tension throughout history. Some people think America should welcome everyone who seeks a better life regardless of their race, language, nationality, or religion. Others believe that doing so will harm the fabric of American society, and we should be very selective about who is allowed to cross our borders.

Fear of Deportation

It's no secret that this issue has gained a new significance in recent months. Officials estimate that there are about 11 million immigrants living in the United States illegally. With a new administration that appears to favor a hardline approach on immigration, these individuals are at risk of being deported. Some illegal immigrants, fearing deportation, have found a new ally: the church.

Church Protection

Javier Flores spending time with his son in the church basement.

Meet Javier Flores, an illegal immigrant from Mexico living in the basement of a church. After receiving a deportation order from the federal government, he sought sanctuary at Arch Street United Methodist Church in Philadelphia. The government considers churches to be "sensitive locations" places where immigration laws cannot be enforced. To Flores' relief, Arch Street agreed to take him in. "Jesus said we are to provide hospitality to the stranger," explains the church's pastor, Rev. Robin Hynicka.

Mr. Flores, whose wife and two children come to visit him frequently, fears being separated from his family. He stays in the church at all times to avoid being apprehended and forced to leave the country. The accommodations are far from luxurious Flores sleeps on a cot in a small Sunday-school classroom. However, for now at least, he is safe from deportation. "What better work for the church to do," said Rev. Hynicka, "than to provide what we know God gives us, our heartfelt commitment to family, whether that family comes from Mexico, or from Philadelphia, or wherever.''

The Sanctuary Movement

The Philadelphia church is just one of over 450 houses of worship across the United States that have joined the "Sanctuary Movement", an alliance of churches and faith communities pledging to offer sanctuary or other forms of assistance to people living in the country illegally. Some are simply offering financial aid, while others are taking a more active role. Notably, the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles has recently declared itself a "sanctuary diocese", calling for a "holy resistance" to mass deportation.

A similar movement back in the 1980s spurred the creation of an "underground railroad" of sorts to help move immigrants around and keep them safe from deportation. Church leaders say that if the promised crackdown occurs, they will consider reactivating this network. In the meantime, they remain on-guard and watchful.

The New Sanctuary movement in Philadelphia The Moral Debate

There is an important moral debate happening in the country right now. While the founding fathers may have intended for America to be a land of refuge for the poor and the persecuted, the world is also a much different place than it was back then. The question is: do we have an overarching moral obligation to accept immigrants to this country even those who did not arrive through the proper channels?

In engaging in such a debate, it's hard not to be reminded of the poem inscribed on the Statue of Liberty:

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Does America have a duty to provide sanctuary to the huddles masses of the world, or do we have bigger problems to deal with? What do you think of the Sanctuary Movement?


  1. John Maher's Avatar John Maher

    the USA was always ready to help the NEEDY only as of LATE the RNC/GOP GREEDY BASTARDs ONLY CARE ABOUT MONEY in THEIR OFF SHORE BANK Accts.

    1. Carol Amina's Avatar Carol Amina

      Thank you John Mather. I agree!

    2. Ray's Avatar Ray

      Sir I disagree with such langauge here. And for the record illegal is illegal. The same for killers, rapist or drug dealers. The law is the law. There is no grey area and no one is above it. Don't like the law, change it. It cost me over $20K to get my wife here from the Philippines and one year waiting. It can be done legal. For this reason I will part ways with this church, I refuse to tolerate such behavior. After seeing your words, I will pray Trump adds another foot to the wall. Have a good day abd GOD bless.

        1. caesar's Avatar caesar

          you want another foot on the wall because a church is showing humanity and remember there is gods law which is higher then mans law , you must be a sheep who doesnt have his own moral compass , you go with what your told probably a very intolerant person you bought you a wife thats good for you but let me ask you this if you had a family whos going to starve or live in a danger zone basically would you cross an invisible line (border) to give them a chance at life or let them rot in mexico , your a sheep so your answer would be obvious illegal is illegal , good for you that you had money to buy a wife , kinda says alot about you already you better put a foot on the wall you need to build around your house to keep her from leaving you as soon as she gets them papers she will be gone

      1. Richard Johnson's Avatar Richard Johnson

        Oh wow. Leaving because of one word? It's ironic that you would not tolerate immigrants coming to this country. Many of them are happy doing the jobs that most Americans do not want. Marrying you, for instance...

      2. Kathleen Barrett's Avatar Kathleen Barrett

        I wouldn't leave because of an opinion, but I agree, illegal is illegal. Why not come the legal way? Others have done it and many of them feel the same way.

        1. Elisabeth WALKER-HERNANDEZ DIA's Avatar Elisabeth WALKER-HERNANDEZ DIA

          Many countries make it very difficult for their citizens to leave and come the "right" way. Many have to leave their home country then once they have snuck in then they apply for residency or asylum but because they had to pay someone to bring them in underground from their home country they don't know how to start the process right away. Our country has now made it very difficult for even people like this to get their status changed. The government has even made it hard for people whose parents brought them in as infants and they try to make it right when they become of age. I'm sorry but we do need to look at the immigrants whole picture before making a decision that they must remain illegal. There should be away to right their wrong.

      3. CDawson's Avatar CDawson

        I agree with you Ray. Illegal immigration is a cancer on our working class, by lowering the pay scale, and welfare system, by getting food stamps and medicaid. There are channels to enter this country "legally" and those avenues should be used. There are homeless AMERICANS and VETERANS on the street that could benefit from the services offered by these Sanctuary Churches, but cannot because they are full of illegals. I believe in the humanitarian efforts of the Church. I do not believe that the church is above the law of the country in which they reside. Sheltering illegals from deportation is breaking the law itself. NO ONE is above the law. God Bless.

        1. James Hoff's Avatar James Hoff

          @ C.dawson... There are copious pros & cons to being an immigrant on both sides of the fence (wall). Im not overtly for or against.. BUT I will say a few words.. If one not pay into our system they should get NO benefits. Remove all the perks that leach the system, illegal or not. As the old metaphor says... Sour the milk & the baby will die. Remove the perks for any one who not pay in.and the problem should start to fix its self. AKA remove the temptations.

        2. j Christopher boyd's Avatar j Christopher boyd

          Problem arises from the presentation of double standards. Right is right wrong is wrong, hot is hot and cold is cold. One can not sit and determine accepting portions of one value while berating part of the same value. One is compelled to draw a line. Am I compassionate to the suffering a mankind, sure I am but looking at the big picture, from a financial standpoint the line will draw it self and create chaos. There are ways to come to America, legally, professionally, and be welcomed. Sneaking in, hiding taking a job from some one whom has earned it......

        3. Kelly's Avatar Kelly

          Illegal Immigrants are not allowed to receive any sort of state assistance. The only way is to have had a child born in the United States with a social security number issued to thar child . And the assistance is specifically for the child. The adult is not allowed to apply for themselves because they have no legal standing and or real documentation for themselves. I know many ilegals who work pay taxes never file for a tax return pay their own hospital, Dr. Ect out of pocket. Your perpetuateing a lie. Ilegals are not taking jobs away from Americans, the majority do jobs that Americans believe they're too good to do. I am 50 years old, I have been immersed in the Hispanic world for nearly 4 decades. 40 year's. I can tell you that without racism involved in my statement and observations, Hispanics work the jobs that black white yellow green purple Americans wont. I can tell you that all are proud ,work hard and the majority are honest good hearted hard working people who only want a chance at a better life for themselves and families . Our system is broken ,not just immigration, our entire system is broken. It has evolved into a system for the rich of the rich. Ilegal Immigration started roughly 30 years ago at a record rate because of the conditions in Mexico and because the majority were living in 3rd world conditions. No running water, no electricity, no indoor plumbing, no gas to coon food with. The majority were living in dirt floor huts, cooking over open fires or wood stoves, no refrigerators, having to walk upto 10 miles one way for fresh water and back to their homes. Food was scarce. Poverty rampant. Most only had tortillas,jalapeños to eat. Sometimes not even that. Jobs were scarce. People had to walk to big towns and city's 30, 40 ,50 miles away to find work. Or ride a donkey if they were lucky enough to be able to afford to buy it . The whole immigration thing makes me sick.

          1. Carol Amina's Avatar Carol Amina

            Kelly, Thank goodness another sound minded person out there! your correct on all accounts. I was born and grew up in San Diego right next to the Mexican boarder. I went to school with many folks whos parents worked harder than mine ever did! They were and are good people who came here to provide a better life for there kids. These people did jobs no one else did or wanted to do. I will stand in support of keeping people out or putting them out if they commit crimes. However leave the other hard working folks alone!

          2. Guy's Avatar Guy

            Kelly, you are totally wrong. A south of the border woman presents to a local health dept in Tennessee, who is pregnant gets WIC immediately. She stays on WIC until 6 weeks postpartum. Delivery is covered. Baby will be placed on TennCare until adulthood. In the mean time, if it is a female, this person starts having babies. In the meantime we get food stamps, etc. They are taught the system. I worked public health for 34 years. This happens daily.

        4. Carol W Waldenburg's Avatar Carol W Waldenburg

          Yes, C. Dawson and Ray. I don't understand where or how so many people think money is going to appear to pay for the needs of thousands of illegals when we have trouble taking care of our own in addition to the fact that we have laws to keep ORDER. There are thousands of people waiting to hear from our government about their Legal applications - how are we to take in illegals ethically if we are ignoring our contracts with those who go by the rules we have made law? The issues are full of questions of money, logistics, ethics, healthcare and Protection for those of us who were born here, work here, and Pay Taxes. What about our "Christian" duties to our brothers and sisters right here?!?!?!

      4. James Hoff's Avatar James Hoff

        @ Ray.... I hope you know that ULC was only the messenger of this article. An article related to some un-named facility doing this work.

    3. Sid Rimmington's Avatar Sid Rimmington

      I am an immigrant. I had to obey and adhere to the USA laws in order to apply for work. A USA employer had to assert that my education and skills were in short supply, so I got my visa. I paid all my own expenses to get here. It grieves me to see so many uneducated, non-english speaking people pushing their way in as though it is their right. They all have the right to stay in their own country, get an education and then be worthy of applying for work in the USA. If they don't qualify then they should keep working and studying until they are good enough. We have enough poor, uneducated Americans to take care of so why should the Americans get displaced in favor of the illegals?

      1. John Maher's Avatar John Maher


        1. Carol Amina's Avatar Carol Amina

          lol... John, can you see Sid and others standing in line to pick the fields for less than minimum wage or maybe clean houses, and other dirty little jobs that many folks that come from Mexico do? Yeah I cant wait to see how many of those jobs get filled and for the same pay that many from Mexico do for little$$.

      2. CDawson's Avatar CDawson

        I completely agree with you Sid.

      3. Toni King Roberts's Avatar Toni King Roberts

        Agree and well said. All anyone is saying that there is a LEGAL way to get here. I am a bit saddened by waiting in line on Friday evenings at Wal-Mart while illegal immigrants use their free food tickets while my basket is piled with cheap $1.00 products and coupons to pay from my own hard-earned money. No one is giving me "free stuff" just because I don't speak English. Well said.....

        1. hsw's Avatar hsw

          Undocumented immigrants do not/cannot qualify for "food stamps," welfare, Medicaid, or another form of government assistance other than emergency medical care, which is a right given to all humans in this country.

          Whoever you're standing behind at Wal-Mart is here legally or they couldn't get assistance.

          1. John Maher's Avatar John Maher

            CORRECTOMUNDO hsw, BUTT there are TOO many PEOPLE in the WORLD that WEEBBLE and WOBBLE when they WALK and TALK BS with their FOOT in their MOUTH, KNOWLEDGE is GOLD BUTT without it ONE just TALKs SHYTE, WHAT WERE THEY DOING AT WALMART ???

          2. espinja's Avatar espinja

            Their American-born children, and their DACA children, DO QUALIFY, for all the programs you listed and more.

          3. hsw's Avatar hsw

            espinja I'm not sure what your point is. The comment was about undocumented immigrants. Those children are American citizens.

      4. Sheri Neeley's Avatar Sheri Neeley

        I agree with you Said Rimmington, You had to do it the right way ..All need to adheare to the laws of the land be it the USA, Canada, where eve they are trying to go.

      5. Carol W Waldenburg's Avatar Carol W Waldenburg

        Thank you SID!!!

  1. James Mounts's Avatar James Mounts

    Emma Lazarus's poem is hardly a "founding document." Everything about the statue: the acceptance, the erection, and yes even the poem, were done without government involvement. We are in no way obligated by them. We are rather obligated by The Constitution. Yes, as humans we care about all people, and we feel obligated to help them. But our obligation does not include tearing down The United States. If the last great hope for the world is destroyed, who will help the "huddled masses" then. Immigration yes, but controlled immigration which helps both the huddled masses AND America.

    1. Alan's Avatar Alan

      Factual history disagrees with your comment that "Everything about the statue: the acceptance, the erection, and yes even the poem, were done without government involvement."

      March 3rd - President Ulysses S. Grant signs a bill designating Bedloe's Island as the Statue's site.

      February 22nd - The U.S. Congress accepts the Statue of Liberty as a gift from the people of France.

      March 3rd - President Ulysses S. Grant signs a bill designating Bedloe's Island as the Statue's site.

      The United States begins fundraising for the construction of the pedestal through the American Committee for the Statue of Liberty, which is chaired by William Maxwell Evarts. Bartholdi's friend Richard Butler is also heavily involved. The committee raises $125,000 between 1877 and 1884.

      1901- Control of the Statue is transferred from the Lighthouse Board to the U.S. War Department.

      1924- The Statue is designated a National Monument by President Calvin Coolidge by authority of the Antiquities Act.

  1. angel's Avatar angel

    Immigration isn't the problem. Coming here illegally is. My mother migrated here from Germany. My dad was a US Army soldier. After two tours in Vietnam, he was stationed in Germany, married my mother and had me. When my mother came over here, she didn't speak any English, she couldn't get a job, welfare, school,housing, NOTHING! She was literally 100% dependent on my dad. She went to night school and took classes to learn English, she paid the money for her naturalization, signed the papers, gave up her citzenship to Germany and is now one of the proudest Americans I know! It took her years to go through this process, and so do all the other immigrants who do it legally and go through the same process. It's literally a slap in the face to all the immigrants who are actually willing to do it legally! There is a reason for this process and the reason is to prevent the disaster that is now the United States. The amount of illegals that come here, get on welfare, shoplift, sell drugs, contribute to the large volumes of identity theft, gangs, and lawyers, police, jails, the list just goes on.., we simply can't afford it! Look at your border states. California...BROKE, Arizona...BROKE..New Mexico.. Broke...Texas... Broke! Here's how it works... Many years ago illegals started entering the country and dropped a bunch of babies who are now US citizens,aka..anchor babies. These anchor babies have grown up and have taken over all kinds of government offices that deal with anything welfare, including low-income housing, WIC and many non-profits. When they come over, they either go to friends/relatives, or directed to the nearest drop-house. These people hook them up with people who give them fake ID/SS cards, usually US citizens,and many of them dead. (Identity theft) and every welfare they can imagine. They walk in applying and walk out with everything, then directed to other services that take care of housing, food, clothes, utilities, whatever. Since the anchor babies are US citizens, it is easy for them to do this. Meanwhile, US citizens go in and either have to wait or are denied all together because "they don't qualify". Many of the men work under the table and since they were not married in the US, they don't have a marriage certificate, so their income is not recorded. Many of them will also apply under several different name, doubling,tripling, or more the benefits they already receive. Then they get another name and will obtain a mortgage loan under the stolen identity. If they default on loans, then they walk away and if the identity who was stolen is still alive, they have to front the bill. (I've seen all of this!) This doesn't include the theft. They will usually use their WIC/food stamps to buy the food and steal clothing,shoes, dvd's, HBA,cosmetics, basically everything else. And it's NOT the cheap stuff! (Yes, I worked LP for several years and the majority were illegals!) Then, they send over half of the money they have to Mexico. The bottomline is the amount of resources that are spent in the communities don't even come close to covering the costs of the resources being used! It's no wonder everyone is going broke! But in California, you don't need to jump through hoops because illegals can get driver's licenses! Yet, they have no INS, so when they are caught for crimes, many are released and he cop say's "there is no way for us to know who they are and they won't show up for court anyways" so they get another identity and start all over! There is no incentive to becoming citizens because they have more rights then citizens! If you want to help people, go to their country and help them fix the problems they have, but don't hand over the farm because you won't have a farm anymore! And that's where are at now! To much money and to many people. We can't save everyone and at this point, we can't even save ourselves!

    1. Sid Rimmington's Avatar Sid Rimmington

      I agree. Your story is similar to mine. Illegals are allowed to exist because we have a weak government. It pointless starting wars in Iraq, Syria and God knows where else if we let the societal rot of illegal migration go unchecked and pull our society down to the level of a rat-hole country. The illegals homelands do not have welfare systems similar to ours so obviously a free American hand out is better than staying at home with nothing, and doing nothing.

      1. Reverend Krystina S.'s Avatar Reverend Krystina S.

        They are Undocumented Immigrants, not "illegals." Undocumented Immigrants have been proven to be a net benefit to our country. Ignorance and hate and bigotry and xenophobia ought not to be characteristics of a person in the ministry. Any ministry.

        1. angel's Avatar angel

          Lol, you call me out on my "judgement" yet you judge me and tell me I should be in any ministry because I don't support your views. Wasn't there a scripture somewhere about a plank?

        2. espinja's Avatar espinja

          Reverend Krystina Szabo,

          You didn't argue against any of the points Mystic Angel made, all of which he explains are backed up by experience. All you did was insult him.

          You basically called a good citizen whose parents followed the rules ignorant, hateful, bigoted, and xenophobic (all the usual Democratic Socialist talking point insults). Then you elevate yourself as if you're taking the ministerial high road.

          You're an idiot.

        3. Guy's Avatar Guy

          It is illegal to come into America if you are illegal. Your underwear may not have documentation but, as a person you, by law, need to have all the correct papers and wait in line.

        4. Carol W Waldenburg's Avatar Carol W Waldenburg

          Please, are we not PC'd to death? Do you know what they call us?!?!? Not too savory - I live in South Florida where there is a huge, healthy populations of ILLEGALS.

    2. James Hoff's Avatar James Hoff

      @ Mystic... A lot of truth in your words. fix OUR issues, remove the perks unless they pay in. Remove the temptations and they may fix their own problems in their own country.

    3. Carol Amina's Avatar Carol Amina

      You cant get WIC or Food Stamps if you dont have your Birth Cert, Social Security Card, and a State ID. Illegals do not get access to any social programs. Now people who are war refugees and who are registered as such can. People need to get it right ok. The people who work the fields are doing just that. They are not taking jobs I ask you would one of you want any one in your family to do the kind of labor jobs they do and for under minute wage? I think not.

      1. angel's Avatar angel

        Ahhhh, but they do! How? Probebly paying 50 bucks to get one off the street which is stolen! Or anchor babies in office. Don't believe me, go to any California welfare office and sit there for a day. And if your white, try to apply! Ask anyone from that state, or any border state for that matter! And the rest is also not true. Ask the illegal who was in my husband's office, spending his break on practicing his forged signature, gettingit ready for a home application! Funny part about it, the name on the application was NOT the name of the guy signing it! Let's talk about the illegals that bought a vehicle from a citizen and never registered it. Then totaled my friends car and injured her as they ran off. They also had no insurance and thecitizen and her got stuck paying the bills. And let's discuss my former childhood home, Salinas, CA. Their crime and murder rate is extremely high and has shootings daily, all by illegal gangbangers! They literally over run the entire city. The list goes on and on and on, so you can believe whatever you like , but if you want the truth. I suggest you get a reality check and California is your place to start!

        1. Anne Konecny's Avatar Anne Konecny

          You sound barely literate. Maybe you should get some more education. It couldn't hurt.

      2. Guy's Avatar Guy

        Carol Amina, you are totally wrong. Just hide and watch. Health dept have hispanics doing the paper work. I was there for 34 yes.

  1. James Mounts's Avatar James Mounts

    Wow, someone knows how to google. But you neglected to post all those events which oblige us to use the poem to guide our government decisions.

    1. Alan's Avatar Alan

      Perhaps the same very same events that "oblige" our government to pass laws based on "Christian Values"?

      1. James Mounts's Avatar James Mounts

        I will make my point once more. Maybe it will sink in this time. How long do you think those "Christian values" will last if we keep letting in those who don't live by them, and refuse to adopt them, but rather expect us to change for them?

        1. Alan J Meunier's Avatar Alan J Meunier

          I was being extremely rhetorical as the USA is NOT based on "Christian" values...but some folks (passing laws) seem to think so...and would like it to go both ways. Back in the day they use to ask "WWJD"...and now seldom, if ever, act on it while at the same time attempting to create a theocracy. Hypocrisy 101.

          1. James Mounts's Avatar James Mounts

            Render unto Uncle Sam, that which concerns the US security, and to JC that which makes you feel smarter.

  1. Kirk's Avatar Kirk

    Illegal is still illegal! Blame the illegals for their troubles (and those of the government employees overworked with 11 million illegals to deal with) not the Republicans! The Democrats are fostering this illegal behavior!

    1. Reverend Krystina S.'s Avatar Reverend Krystina S.

      Once again, they are human beings. Undocumented Immigrants, not "illegals." And the FACT is that these human beings have been proven to be an economic BENEFIT to our country. Please get your facts straight. The Democrats want common-sense answers to the problems posed by people being undocumented. The Republicans are showing a racist and xenophobic hatred of these people, similar to other Nazionalists throughout time and throughout the world. This need to blameshift and vilify is UN AMERICAN and unfit for a person who espouses a life of service to others (we, ministers).

      1. angel's Avatar angel

        It's not racism, if we had this problem with Canada then it would be Canadians we would have the problem with. Nice try, though!

      2. espinja's Avatar espinja

        Reverend Krystina Szabo,

        This "racist and xenophobic" line of yours is really the only go-to argument you have, isn't it?

        The Democrats get 8 out of 10 illegal immigrants agreeing with the Democrat party line, and raising their anchor baby kids to do the same. If they were voting 8 out of 10 Republican, they'd feel differently.

        There is no economic benefit to having illegal aliens in our country. In Los Angeles, the 9.5% sales tax rate means one child costs the equivalent of $100,000 worth of taxed purchases from his illegal immigrant DAPA protected parents to pay for that child's education. Add in the kid's WIC coupons, health/dental benefits, and, well, you see where this is going.

        Illegal immigrants are a drain on resources. And those are the HONEST ONES, it's worse with the ones running under the radar with all the STOLEN BENEFITS our UNMONITORED social programs provide for them.

        You call anyone who doesn't agree with you a racist. You really are an idiot.

  1. Lloyd Hargrove's Avatar Lloyd Hargrove

    [Rom 13:1-5 KJV] 1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to [execute] wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5 Wherefore [ye] must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

  1. Richard Filaski's Avatar Richard Filaski

    One Word: illegal !! Follow the rules and laws and I don't have a problem. That's why our Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution.

  1. Reverend Krystina S.'s Avatar Reverend Krystina S.

    Churches in the United States have had a long, proud history of supporting immigrants, both legal and illegal. Kudos to the churches who sponsor refugees, especially. I remember when every church in Ann Arbor was proud to sponsor a refugee family--especially the Laotian "boat people." We are responsible to care for our fellow human beings. I applaud churches which continue in this important work, especially in the frighteningly Xenophobic and Racist climate our country is expressing through this last election. Compassion is our idiom. Preaching tolerance, love, and being good Samaritans is our responsibility.

    1. hsw's Avatar hsw

      Thank you. I was beginning to think the good people had left the building. Too many people are letting fear trump (pun intended) the compassion, tolerance, and love you speak of. The rhetoric that paints refugees as criminals is itself criminal. I'm betting most of the "build the wall" people call themselves Christians, yet Christ would be ashamed of not only how they treat their fellow man, but how they speak.

      1. Sid Rimmington's Avatar Sid Rimmington

        Refugees may not be criminals, but we need to check just to be sure. Remember we already have a large population of home grown, All American criminals that continue to destroy our society so I see no need to swell their ranks with foreign riff-raff.

        1. Reverend Krystina S.'s Avatar Reverend Krystina S.

          Sid, you are conflating refugees with immigrants with "illegals." I know it must be confusing to you. So. REFUGEES are NEVER criminals. They have been PROVEN to be people who, through no fault of their own, will be killed if they remain in their country of origin. They are "vetted," and the United Nations is the responsible agency for determining who is a REFUGEE. Immigrants are people who move INTO a country, no matter their legal status. Some immigrants have "papers," and some do not. Some immigrants overstay their "papers." Refugee and "illegal" are SUBSETS of IMMIGRANT. "Illegal" means not having current papers giving permission to stay, and there are FEWER criminals among "Illegals" than among the GENERAL POPULATION of AMERICAN CITIZENS, for your information!!! However, Refugees are ALWAYS LEGAL, and NEVER CRIMINALS. Okay now?

          1. James Hoff's Avatar James Hoff

            @ RKS... Well described... Let me see here. If I sneek into a given location where I know I'm not allowed. Illegally set up camp, partake & use resources I not pay into or pay for & get some non-profit to assist me & make sure I'm not discovered, find some work where I get paid under the table, maybe in some cases commit a few crimes knowing I'm under the radar, I'd be set. Opps,,, did I just describe what we can all do at any hotel (trump tower).

  1. Minister Dave's Avatar Minister Dave

    When you shelter a person you offer hope. Not every person whom seeks the church to hide from the elements is a felon. How many times have people tried to see and gain another way a safe way of life . I can not deny my home to anyone whom has a plan and now hope. Kinda hurts being so rich. What happens to culture ask will work. Bad people do get through. Through what. U s a not great power. Anyone can build a wall. Few can talk.

    1. hsw's Avatar hsw

      You're a good man, Minister Dave.

  1. biblical scholar's Avatar biblical scholar

    I say send them all back! 11 MILLION immigrants here illegally, and I'll tell you what, they aren't doctors and teachers! It's plainly put in the BIBLE: zero tolerance for illegal immigrants!

    1. Richard Johnson's Avatar Richard Johnson

      The only reason that they "Aren't Doctors or Teachers" is because of the right pushing their personal RACIST agenda on us. In order to "Make this country great again", the government needs to put more money into schooling for these underprivileged children instead of criminalizing them and "Sending them back" as you so eloquently put it. Just look at Canada. Canada is making it easier for immigrants to become citizens and they are a better country for it! We need to look at to our neighbor to the north and try to imitate what they are doing. They are doing it right!!

      1. Carol Amina's Avatar Carol Amina

        Thank you Richard Johnson! I find myself without words for people like Bernard Moleman and his side kick trump. Well said my friend. thank you

      2. espinja's Avatar espinja

        Canada is taking them. Let's send them there. Excellent idea..!

        We get to secure our borders, and Canada gets to pat themselves on the back for being so wonderful.

        Problem Solved.

    2. Carol Amina's Avatar Carol Amina

      I am sure you can figure out where I would like you to sick your bible.

  1. Maiane santo santos's Avatar Maiane santo santos

    This is great news, just great, I'm going to listen to Obama now for more great news, I can't believe all this news and it's all great, wow, I couldn't ask for better news to make a great day, great just great.

    1. hsw's Avatar hsw

      I'm going to assume that if there was a sarcasm font you'd be using it?

      1. Maiane santo santos's Avatar Maiane santo santos

        The funny thing is you are half right, but the other half is if I put a legitimate feeling on this board it gets canned, just because I come from a different country the mods prove that free speech ain't that.

        1. hsw's Avatar hsw

          I've never seen a comment removed from this board, no matter how vile. I sometimes wonder if its moderated at all.

          1. Maiane santo santos's Avatar Maiane santo santos

            It is, and they do. And as for vile, I know what you are saying, but don't knock the morons who play piano in hooeywood, the powers that br don't like that.

  1. Ed McLaughlin's Avatar Ed McLaughlin

    The immigration issue is way too complex and important to solve in this forum. However, the issue of the Church deciding which of our laws to break is a slippery slope, dumping them into the quagmire of political correctness, We have Courts and Legislators to decide if a law is wrong or needs to be adjusted; let's not get the Church involved in taking that action.

    1. hsw's Avatar hsw

      Yep let's definitely leave it to the people who made the laws to decide if they made a mistake. I guess it missed your notice that churches are among the entities who have fostered change all down through history. They have been on both sides of many battles, but they've always been there. In recent history, during the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Era, churches and their ministers played a big part in working for and creating change.

      Churches continue to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, and many more acts that directly impact both society and the face of change. When people with AIDS had no place to turn in my area, it was a church that founded a free clinic that has since become the most active resource for people with HIV in the state. Churches in this area have banded together to provide overflow shelter for the homeless on bitter cold nights when some would otherwise not make it through the night.

      Churches are providing resources and shelter for immigrants, both legal and undocumented. Until the pendulum of society swings back to a place of compassion and love, may they continue to do so.

      For the record, I'm an atheist, but I've lived through all of what I mentioned. Were it not for the Berrigans, much of what the Pentagon Papers revealed might still be unknown. Were it not for one minister, Dr Martin Luther King Jr, the country might have exploded in flames rather than passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964. So many examples, so little time.

      1. Reverend Krystina S.'s Avatar Reverend Krystina S.

        HSW, thank you for your spot-on response. I agree with you! On a related note: why do churches exist, if not to fulfill the mission of the faithful, who in these cases are likely followers of Jesus.
        The Social Justice movement of the 70s, and the WWJD movement of the 90s show that, truly, the Greatest of these is Charity (Love in Action), and that Faith without Works is Dead (James 2).
        Although I am an interfaith minister, I certainly follow the Jesus way in terms of his message of compassion and his call to action.
        I have also seen the compassion and good works of the Muslim community in Flint and Raleigh, and the Sikhs in Ann Arbor, as well as the Buddhists. The Jewish community was central to the U.S. civil rights movement. We are all brothers and sisters.

        1. hsw's Avatar hsw

          We can now add to that the Jews in Canada who offered their synagogue to the congregants of the Mosque that was burned.

      2. Lawrence Rupp's Avatar Lawrence Rupp

        Most commenting here seem to be FlatEarthers, who believe the earth is flat and goes on forever, thus producing no end of natural resources to sport an ever growing population. Wake up! the /earth is a globe with finite resources, already overpopulated far beyond sustainability.

        1. hsw's Avatar hsw

          I see nothing here to support your assertion, which as far as I can has zero to do with the topic. The immigrants are already here. If you want to reduce the Earth's population, which in principle I support, work for better education on family planning and birth control in their countries of origin, and educate those here who believe large families are some sort of Christian virtue.

          1. Miriam myers's Avatar Miriam myers

            i highly recommend googling "Syria the fertile crescent and climate change" if you trace it far enough back you will find the root source of the syrian conflict is climate change. If you then also google "climate change heat mapping" you will find that in ALL areas of the world where our immigration influx is coming from climate change has ravaged the area.

  1. knighttemplarblog's Avatar knighttemplarblog

    Depends the illegal immigrants i guess.The ones we getting here are quite animals with no respect to our religion.So far they destroyed couple Christian churches by writing arabic words on the walls and burning down Holy paintings to get warm.They even refused help from Red Cross just because the food package had a red cross on it.Little kids playing around and demostrating beheadings with plastic knifes they made.Doubt if these people would live in a church basement.

    1. Carol Amina's Avatar Carol Amina

      Do you live in the USA? and I have never seen or heard of anything like that? Also if your in the USA then religion and religious freedom is part of this countries foundation or at least that what they say... my right to not be christian is just as much a right by birth in usa then yours to be christian. Also if you really knew anything about Islam they believe in both the old and new testament. They just practice differently than christians and jews.

      1. knighttemplarblog's Avatar knighttemplarblog

        No maam im not from states.I never said they shouldnt be muslims thats their right.I didnt said either that i know anything about islam.Just stated what i saw with my own eyes.According to what you said If they really believe in old and new Testament shouldnt they treat Christian churches and Holy Paintings with at least respect?The good thing is they got caught and they gonna face the law for a quite big list of crimes.Now my Order is guarding the churches of my terittory.I understand that not all of them are like these.I treated some of them you can see how desperate they are and their been through a lot.I pray God to help them to reach their destination.

        1. Carol Amina's Avatar Carol Amina

          knighttemplarblog, Thank you for writing back and filling me in. I had not hear of this in USA and have only had the best of experiences with Muslim people I have meet and interacted with. The thing is this, people are people. I have met some rude and hateful people calling themselves christians, and jews. So I was just trying to understand where you were coming from. Thank you for taking some time to fill in the blanks for me so I better understand you. Peace

  1. j Christopher boyd's Avatar j Christopher boyd

    The laws and standards are plain and simple. Follow these guidelines life is good. However we get into these financial legal ethical and moral conversations, that can become cesspools of nothing quickly. That puts us back to basics of the legalities of the situation. If you lie cheat and steal be prepared for punishment. Scripture and the American laws mimic one another on this sorry

  1. Miriam myers's Avatar Miriam myers

    so many ministers on here talking about the law. What is God's law? What is the law of Love? if god is love then we should make love our God. I have worked with church world services for years, let me tell those of you who came here or had family come here legally a few things 1) what country you came from had a lot to do with it how hard it was to LEAVE and how easy it was to GET IN to the USA 2)If the police in your town have threatened your family if you do not do as they say, you cannot go about it "the legal way" since the law has threatened you. 3) the easiest thing an UN DOCUMENTED immigrant can do is pay taxes. 4) to get any sort of welfare they must be documented. I know people here on green cards who can not get help from certain services (even teen mother housing) because they are not citizens. 5) REFUGEES and UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS are different then IMMIGRANTS. Many time the first two are the same except one has been granted a status by the UN. 6) YOU are part of an argument that has sent CHILDREN to their death because they were undocumented. I don't care what faith you follow, our country is turning away children 5 and under and claiming its national security. 7) you do realize that many people who are facing uncertainty have lived her 99.99% of their lives? 8) WHY ARE WE NOT BEING BEACONS OF UNITING LOVE IN A WORLD FULL OF DIVIDING HATRED?????

    1. Miriam myers's Avatar Miriam myers

      i would also like to recommend that EVERYONE who wants to weigh in on this, no matter what side you stand on, you look up immigration data from DHS and immigration, you will find that over the past 10 years illegal immigration rates have actually gone WAY DOWN. and i think you would be shock by where these immigrants are coming from.

    2. Carol Amina's Avatar Carol Amina

      Everything you just said Miriam makes sense. And that last Question is WHY!... I have been asking myself the same thing. I joined this denomination because I thought it was inclusive and tolerant. But from what I have been reading over the past year I am seeing so much hate, so much dictating to others what she should and should not believe. It seems to be that extremes are remint and reason has been lost. Thank you for your post, and the facts you have shared.

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