Sanctuary in the Streets Raid Response

In the face of the Trump Administration’s extremist anti-immigrant agenda, Sanctuary in the Streets draws on our ancient traditions to respond with courage, spirit and bold action. Since a family cannot seek Sanctuary in a congregation if their house is raided, we will bring the congregation to them by holding an interfaith service. An internal memo in ICE prevents officers from conducting enforcement in sensitive locations, such as congregations, schools, and hospitals. The interfaith service claims the space as holy ground, as a place of worship, and therefore ICE should not conduct enforcement.  An interfaith service also sets the tone of the action as peaceful and prayerful. In this dark time people of faith must increase our light – by lifting up, and living out, our values of love and radical hospitality.

Why: We believe the mandates to love our neighbor and welcome the stranger are not just words, but calls to action. We ground ourselves in the faith and collective action of our ancestors – from Puah and Shiphrah of Exodus who chose to follow God and thus defy Pharoah, to Jesus picking grain on the Sabbath. We continue to respond to times of oppression with faith, boldness and risk. Sanctuary in the Streets responds to a call for solidarity from our immigrant members.

This disastrous political moment is also the birth of something big and beautiful and powerful.  It is the birth of an expanded Sanctuary for everyone.  We see Sanctuary as the umbrella to cover all of us from the storm, and the womb to birth a new world.  We are committed to the work of building not just Sanctuary congregations or Sanctuary Cities, but a Sanctuary world. We stand in solidarity with all our brothers and sisters in this city and this earth fighting for collective liberation.

All our work, campaigns and community building are part of a larger vision to build Sanctuaries within ourselves, our cities, and our world for personal and collective transformation.

The goals:

  • Stand in solidarity and accompany families targeted by raids
  • Prayerfully disrupt raids – we will bring our presence, songs, prayers, and bodies to peacefully and prayerfully disrupt a raid.
  • Put public pressure on ICE and the Trump Administration to stop all raids and deportations.  These raids violate our values and we will not stand silent when ICE comes into a neighborhood and takes tares apart families. This action will shine a light on raids and uncover the persecution of immigrant communities in the US today.
  • Raids and the threat of raids send a wave of terror through the immigrant community.  Sanctuary in the Streets counters this with a message of hope, faith and planned action in immigrant communities.

The Plan:

  • We have two raid phones that are staffed 24/7:  Spanish/English and Indonesian/English.
  • When ICE shows up at someone’s door, they immediately call the number and staff will activate the text system, sending an emergency alert to all trained members of Sanctuary in the Streets.  We have over 1,300 people registered and 500 people trained.  Members respond and head to the site of the raid to hold an interfaith service.
  • We enter into this space with love and compassion for all there, including ICE officers.  While we will disrupt what they are doing, we strive to extend our love toward them and recognize their humanity.  When ICE is terrorizing our families, friends and neighbors, as people of faith and conscience, we have no option but to prayerfully and peacefully disrupt the raids.  A smaller group will circle the house or ICE vehicle to nonviolently disrupt the violent separation of families.
  • All members are trainined not only on what to do and how to act in a raid, but we also engage in a spiritual discipline as a community to prepare for Sanctuary in the Streets.

For more information please email maria@sanctuaryphiladelphia.org.