New Sanctuary Church Movement


May 3, 2007

Contact:  Michael Ramos, (206) 525-1213 x3950


Religious congregations and their allies in the
Seattle area have joined together to pledge to open their hearts and doors to immigrant workers and their families on the brink of deportation.  The New Sanctuary Movement, an interfaith public, moral stand for immigrant rights, will be launched at a press conference on Wednesday, May 9, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Mark’s Cathedral, 1245 10th Avenue East in Seattle.  The Very Reverend Robert Taylor, Dean of St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral and Fr. Tony Haycock, Pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, will be among the speakers.  St. Mary’s Church will announce its commitment to host a family at risk of deportation, to take place within the next few weeks.  Community organizations, unions, and others who seek policies that affirm the rights and dignity of all immigrants will also be in attendance.


On February 15, numerous organizations came together at St. Mary’s Church to express solidarity with immigrants who were subjected to workplace raids in Auburn and elsewhere, some of whom were separated from their young children.  The practice of raids, lengthy detentions without due process and deportations has continued unabated since then, despite community calls for a change in policy.  “Through our sanctuaries, we can build momentum for real and comprehensive immigration reform to create policies that are effective and humane,” said the Rev. Sandy Brown, Executive Director of the Church Council of Greater Seattle.  Michael Ramos added, “Providing physical sanctuary, as well as spiritual, legal and financial support, to immigrant families who work hard and seek a better life, but fear deportation, is in keeping with the best of our faith traditions.”


The New Sanctuary Movement will be launched simultaneously in cities throughout the United States, including New York and Los Angeles.



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