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Unpublished Paper
The New Sanctuary Movement: When Moral Mission Means Breaking the Law, and the Consequences for Churches and Illegal Immigrants
ExpressO (2009)
  • Kara L. Wild, Santa Clara University School of Law
Abstract

Are the churches involved in the New Sanctuary Movement -- a movement that hides illegal immigrants in churches to prevent them from being deported -- acting legally? If not, is there a way that they could pursue their goals in a legal manner? The author explores the movement's goal, to win public sympathy and eventual legality for the nation's illegal immigrant population by using methods that were popular during the successful 1980s Sanctuary Movement. The author examines the differences between the 1980s Movement and the current one, the likelihood of success for the New Sanctuary Movement's legal arguments, and the gap that exists between the New Sanctuary Movement's goals and the reality of comprehensive immigration legislation in Congress. In the end, the author concludes that the New Sanctuary Movement's actions are illegal and that its members need to find a different method for dispersing its views. The author then states a number of ways in which the New Sanctuary Movement could remain relevant, yet legal. These include widespread use of media to articulate their views and the creation of a list of goals that, while not legislative proposals, could be adopted and passed by Congress.

Keywords
  • churches,
  • politics,
  • church and politics,
  • immigration,
  • illegal immigration,
  • sanctuary,
  • legislation,
  • federal legislation,
  • comprehensive,
  • asylum
Disciplines
Publication Date
August 9, 2009
Citation Information
Kara L. Wild. "The New Sanctuary Movement: When Moral Mission Means Breaking the Law, and the Consequences for Churches and Illegal Immigrants" ExpressO (2009)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/kara_wild/1/