Detroit houses of worship become immigrant sanctuaries

Posted at 12:59 PM, Mar 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-14 12:59:28-04

Diverse houses of worship across metro Detroit are seeking ways to become sanctuaries for immigrants living in the U.S. illegally and fearing deportation amid the Trump administration's immigration crackdown.

About 50 church leaders gathered last month in Dearborn to figure out how to become sanctuaries and understand the legal ramifications of the decision. Many churches and synagogues have already declared their congregation as sanctuary houses of worship.

Michigan United executive director Ryan Bates says civil disobedience is necessary when the overall system is unjust.

Declaring an institution a public sanctuary requires the house of worship to run a campaign for a family in imminent threat of deportation. A private sanctuary is simply housing a family.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Michigan branch spokesman Khaalid Walls declined to comment on the topic of church sanctuaries.