Hundreds of churches in the United States have come forward to offer sanctuary to undocumented migrants facing the threat of deportation in the wake of Donald Trump's victory in the recent presidential election.
According to the Philadephia-based New Sanctuary Movement, around 300 churches have volunteered in the last two weeks to provide sanctuary for undocumented migrants in the United States. Since Election Day, the number of volunteers for the movement's "sanctuary in the streets" program has jumped from 65 to more than 1,000, The Guardian details.
Peter Pedemonti of the New Sanctuary Movement said the people have become scared and that they are angered by the "rise of white supremacism" brought about by Trump's election. He also highlighted the role of the faith community in standing up, speaking out, and helping provide sanctuary for those who need it.
The Church World Service, on the other hand, says there are about 400 churches all over the country willing to welcome people threatened with deportation. Synagogues are also reportedly becoming active in preventing deportations.
During his campaign, Trump had vowed to deport an estimated 11 million undocumented migrants from the country. After he won, he revealed his plan to immediately deport or detain two to three million undocumented migrants with criminal convictions.
"What we are going to do is get the people that are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers, we have a lot of these people, probably two million, it could be even three million, we are getting them out of our country or we are going to incarcerate," Trump told Lesley Stahl in an interview with CBS' 60 Minutes. "But we're getting them out of our country, they're here illegally."
Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, and more than a dozen other cities have declared themselves as "sanctuary cities" and their mayors have vowed not to cooperate with federal orders leading to deportations. As a consequence, Trump has threatened to block federal funding to these cities.