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Iowans offer their churches as sanctuary to people at risk of deportation

This news story was published on June 29, 2017.
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Rev. Ryan Arnold, pastor of First Christian Church in Des Moines, announces that his church
will provide Sanctuary for immigrants facing the risk of deportation.

DES MOINES – Eleven Iowa congregations recently announced the formation of the Iowa Sanctuary Movement, a network of faith communities which are the first in the state’s recent history to publicly offer sanctuary and support to immigrant families who are targeted under the Trump administration’s expanded detention operation.

More than one-third of undocumented immigrants are raising at least one US citizen child under the age of 18. In Iowa, groups tracking Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) operations and providing support to families report that families are being separated and mothers being left to care for children when ICE arrests the father. ICE’s increased enforcement operations are especially impacting Latino families in Iowa, 75% of which have children under 18 years of age.

“We remember our Holy Scriptures are univocal in their hospitality commands,” said Rev. Ryan Arnold, pastor of First Christian Church in Des Moines. “Saint Paul, writing to the Church in Rome instructed, ‘Let your love be genuine … extend hospitality to immigrants, We remember that throughout Christian history, houses of worship have served as safe-havens for vulnerable people escaping state-sanctioned violence and seeking due process under the law.”

On Father’s Day, June 18, the “Iowa Dads in Detention” event at First Christian Church brought together 85 people to learn about the statewide impact of recent ICE raids on Iowa families. The two-part event featured a panel discussion as well as a declaration from leaders of the Iowa Sanctuary Movement offering their congregations as safe refuge for those who fear or face deportation.

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7 Responses to Iowans offer their churches as sanctuary to people at risk of deportation

  1. Avatar

    Watchdog Reply Report comment

    July 1, 2017 at 8:27 am

    This is a case of compassion that has went awry. All the problems with illegal people coming into our country could all be solved with some simple legislation.

    1. Heavy penalties and fines for employers that hire anyone here

    2. No welfare given to any person here illegally. Providing welfare
    encourages people to come here and creates a burden on our
    welfare system and our educational system.

    3. Children born in America shall NOT be considered citizens of the
    U.S. No other country in the world allows this that I know of.
    Allowing a child born here automatic US citizenship only
    encourages illegal entry by their parents.

    If we took these steps the “wall” would not be necessary.

    There are a lot of people to blame for America’s illegal alien problem. The Democrats want want the illegals to get more voters (they think) for their left wing progressive agenda. The Republicans and Democrats want the illegals for their cheap labor. The Church wants the illegals so they come to their Church to help fill the offering plate on Sunday morning.

    Sanctuaries only create lawlessness and provide a place for criminals to seek refuge.

    Compassion is a good thing but can also be misplaced!!

  2. Avatar

    bodacious Reply Report comment

    June 30, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    You want to take away the churches right to avoid taxes, but it is ok for churches to encourage their members to vote for candidates for public office without feeling the wrath of the law. I personally think that any church that advocates for political causes should not be exempt regardless of the stance they take. However, churches have always been sanctuaries for people who are concerned for their safety. You can’t have it both ways people. Either all churches pay taxes or none of them pay taxes.

  3. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    June 30, 2017 at 8:17 am

    If the churches want to get involved in politics and take sides and violate our laws they should have their tax exempt status revoked immediately and the church leaders should be jailed as law breakers.

  4. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    June 30, 2017 at 8:04 am

    The democrat party is behind this ploy – It;s nothing more than an Anti Trump/Anti American plot – Anti American POS.

  5. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    June 29, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    I guess since churches think that it is ok to do this, then it’s time the government take away the church’s tax exemption status and make these law breakers pay taxes like every other entity

  6. Avatar

    Carly Reply Report comment

    June 29, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    These families do not have to be separated. They need to take their families with them. The illegals make a choice when they break the law to get here. They make a choice to have children and in doing so they need to accept the risk of being deported. I do not feel sorry for them. They are draining our resources and my tax dollars.

  7. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    June 29, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    these churches should be targeted and raided. Harboring a illegal alien is and always has been against the law. Good thing it is starting to get enforced. Immigrants are welcome here, just come into the country legally. I can’t believe a church would encourage law breaking. The illegal that killed Sara Root was deported 5 times before he killed her. So I guess the church thinks this behavior is ok? People need to take a look at these churches doing this and hold them accountable for their actions.