Session Commits to Support The New Sanctuary Movement

The New Sanctuary Movement (also know as the New Sanctuary Coalition) was founded in 2007. From their website:

“The New Sanctuary Coalition of NYC is an interfaith network of congregations, organizations, and individuals, standing publicly in solidarity with families and communities resisting detention and deportation in order to stay together. We recognize that unjust global and systemic economic relationships and racism form the basis of the injustices that affect immigrants. We seek reform of United States immigration laws to promote fairness, social and economic justice.”

The New Sanctuary Movement includes an Accompaniment Program, Immigration Rights Legal Clinics, Information for Sanctuary Communities and Jericho Walks around Immigration Control and Enforcement (ICE) offices and courthouses.

On March 21, 2017 our Session signed the New York New Sanctuary Movement Pledge.

We covenant to:

  1. Take a public, moral stand for immigrants’ rights.
  2. Reveal, through education and advocacy, the actual suffering of immigrants.
  3. Protect immigrants against hate, workplace discrimination and unjust deportation.
  4. Demonstrate solidarity by accompanying them throughout the process of trying to remain in the US and keep their families together.

On Sunday, April 9, Ralph Jones and Art and Mary Hunt attended a New Sanctuary Meeting for faith based leaders who are interested in offering sanctuary to immigrants facing deportation at Iglesia de Dios Pentecostal in Fair Haven. At the meeting, led by Pastor Héctor Otero of Iglesia de Dios Pentecostal, Rabbi Herbert Brockman of Congregation Mishkan Israel & Reverend Paul Fleck of Hamden Plains United Methodist Church, we discussed a range of options available for those interested and able to support and provide refuge to immigrants.

As a result of this meeting, Ralph, Art and Mary asked the Mission Committee to submit a request to Session for First Presbyterian Church New Haven to respond in tangible ways to raids and the threat of separation of immigrant families.

On Tuesday, April 25, the Session approved our commitment to support the sanctuary movement in the following ways:

  1. Accompaniment – Our congregation commits to partnering with at least one immigrant to accompany them to any and all hearings and court dates.
  2. Our congregation can supply food to immigrants seeking sanctuary and their families.
  3. Our congregation can fundraise for the Immigrant Bail Fund, Junta, ULA, etc.
  4. Our congregation can offer childcare for families facing deportation and/or seeking sanctuary.

If you would like more information on the New Sanctuary Movement or how you can participate in this import social justice work, please speak with Mary Hunt, Ralph Jones or Art Hunt.