5 more churches providing sanctuary for those facing deportation
(WJBK) - The sanctuary support for immigrants is growing and Wednesday, faith communities stepped forward, calling for neighbors to help.
"I really appreciate all of you guys in here supporting me and helping stay with my wife and kids," said Ded Rranxburgaj back in January.
Rranxburgaj spoke to the media as he went into hiding inside Central United Methodist Church in Detroit, seeking sanctuary there to stay with his sick wife and sons defying his deportation order.
His story has inspired both support and outrage but it's just one example of a growing movement in churches across the country - and in metro Detroit.
"Five religious congregations, five faith communities have joined the sanctuary movement," said Mary Anne Perrone, Washtenaw Congregational Sanctuary.
On Wednesday the Washtenaw Congregational Sanctuary announced additional congregations there, are now willing to provide sanctuary if needed. That brings the total number of congregations there, to eight.
"These are people already in our community who are under threat of deportation," said Rev. Lindasusan Ulrich, First Unitarian Universalist Church of Ann Arbor.
"It's time for people of faith to stand with those our government is persecuting as people of true faith they have always done," said Pastor Joe Summers, Episcopal Church of the Incarnation.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement has told FOX 2 it does not conduct enforcement activities at sensitive locations like churches.
And with the deadline drawing near and no decision yet reached on the future of DACA recipients, those gathered there say their sanctuary may soon be needed.
This administration is possibly unique," said Sherrie Kossoudji, professor, University of Michigan. "In that it blatantly and gleefully uses deportation to punish and exclude and to change our countries and the targeted communities.
"This is not okay - this is not who we are as a people who love our neighbors," said Ulrich. "Who love strangers and the people around us."