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More Than 60 DC Congregations Join Network To Fight Deportation Of Illegals

ICE Agents Detain Suspected Undocumented Immigrants In RaidsU.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), agents detain an immigrant on October 14, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. ICE agents said the immigrant, a legal resident with a Green Card, was a convicted criminal and member of the Alabama Street Gang in the Canoga Park area. ICE builds deportation cases against thousands of immigrants living in the United States. Green Card holders are also vulnerable to deportation if convicted of certain crimes. The number of ICE detentions and deportations from California has dropped since the state passed the Trust Act in October 2013, which set limits on California state law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration authorities. John Moore/Getty Images.

More than 60 congregations in Washington, D.C., are banding together to fight President Donald Trump’s plan to deport illegal immigrants.

Foundry United Methodist Church pastor Ginger Gaines-Cirelli announced the creation of the DMV Sanctuary Congregation Network Tuesday, which has the goal of stemming the tide of deportations by providing physical sanctuary to illegals and educating them on their rights, Washington City Paper reports.

“We have seen this administration’s demonizing and fear-driven rhetoric become concrete in ways that deny the humanity and dignity of our immigrant neighbors, friends, co-workers, and family members,” said Gaines-Cirelli.

Numerous Christian denominations joined together for Tuesday’s press conference, in addition to representatives of other faiths.

After the press conference concluded, supporters marched to the White House to loudly signal opposition to Trump’s plan to enforce immigration law.

Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde, who heads the Washington National Cathedral, participated in the march.

Although the congregations plan to provide physical sanctuary for illegals, the Trump administration is not hampering itself the same way the Obama administration did. In other words, schools and churches are not off-limits to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. Additionally, ICE agents no longer have to abide by the Obama administration’s self-imposed restriction that only illegals convicted of violent crimes should be deported.

The website for the DMV Sanctuary Congregation Network lists multiple ways churches can assist illegals, from accompanying them to ICE check-ins and legal hearings, to hosting families who could face deportation.

“We are a network of congregations in the DC/MD/VA region that are providing support and solidarity to neighbors, friends, and family who fear being detained, deported or profiled,” the group’s Facebook page states. “Our faith will not allow us to permit the criminalization and scapegoating of immigrants and people of color. In the face of hate and discrimination we are committed to showing love, compassion and hospitality.”

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