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Churches announce new sanctuary movement.

New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of

Members of the religious community in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area.  are reviving the ."sanctuary movement The Sanctuary movement was a religious and political movement of approximately 500 congregations in the U.S. that helped Central American refugees by sheltering them from Immigration and Naturalization Service authorities. The movement flourished between 1982 and 1992. " of the 1980s by launching a national drive to protect undocumented workers who face possible deportation from the U.S.

The sanctuary movement two decades ago offered protection in the United States to refugees fleeing wars in Central America Central America, narrow, southernmost region (c.202,200 sq mi/523,698 sq km) of North America, linked to South America at Colombia. It separates the Caribbean from the Pacific. . The new effort will be based on local congregations, and will provide assistance to undocumented workers who face the threat of being deported because they do not have the proper papers to work legally.

"We are responding to a broken system that is increasingly creating broken families, and broken lives," said Rev. Alexia alexia /alex·ia/ (ah-lek´se-ah) a form of receptive aphasia in which ability to understand written language is lost as a result of a cerebral lesion.  Salvatierra, a leader of the New Sanctuary Movement.

The movement is multi-faith, with Jewish, Muslim and Christian groups involved. More than 50 congregations in the U.S. have committed themselves to the campaign.

According to some estimates, there are about 12 million undocumented persons in the U.S. Places of worship that will participate in the New Sanctuary Movement say they hope to offer shelter, financial help, assistance from immigration immigration, entrance of a person (an alien) into a new country for the purpose of establishing permanent residence. Motives for immigration, like those for migration generally, are often economic, although religious or political factors may be very important.  lawyers, and, in some cases, actual physical sanctuary. Qualifying families will be those with at least one parent facing a deportation order.

However, Ira Mehlman, a spokesperson for the Federation for American Immigration Reform The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is a non-partisan, non-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization in the United States that advocates for reforms of U.S. immigration policies that would result in significant immigration reduction. , an advocacy group, criticized the latest sanctuary move. "Churches and religious workers, like everyone else, are subject to the laws of the United States, and what they are engaged in is harbouring of fugitives," Mr. Mehlman told ENI. "They certainly have a right to their points of view but they are not above the law."

The announcement of the new initiative,came the same week that a newly-formed coalition, Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, called for changes to U.S. immigration legislation. The coalition said changes were needed to allow undocumented workers "to come out of the shadows and pursue the option of an earned path towards permanent legal status and citizenship upon satisfaction of specific criteria."

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Title Annotation:WORLD
Publication:Anglican Journal
Date:Jun 1, 2007
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