Our last stop on the Sanctuary 2015 was to Rosa Robles Loreto, who has been in Sanctuary at Southside Presbyterian Church for almost seven months. Through weekly phone calls and doing the rosary together, Angela and Rosa had already created a friendship and it was wonderful to bring these two leaders together in person.
Southside Presbyterian was the birthplace of the original Sanctuary movement in the 1980’s and it’s commitment to social justice is profound. A day laborers center, headstart center, and a group that gives out water and medical aid to people the crossing the desert all meet out of the Southside property. They have a beautiful shrine to migrants who die in the desert trying to come to the U.S. and have gave Sanctuary to two people, Daniel and Rosa, in 2014.
Our first night in Tucson, there was a community forum with four Sanctuary leaders: Angela, Rosa, Francisco, and Daniel. These amazing leaders reflected on their experiences in Sanctuary, what was challenging, and what gave them hope in their very public fights to end their final deportation orders. The inspiring evening ended with a commitment to keep supporting Rosa in the fight to keep her in Tucson with her family.
The following day, Nicole, Manrique, and Angela went to the historic San Xavier de Bac mission with Cecilia, who is head of hospitality for Sanctuary at Southside Presbyterian. At the beautiful 400 year old mission church, we learned more about the history of Arizona and lit candles for the three remaining Sanctuary cases. In the evening, Angela gave a workshop for Southside members about our successful Sanctuary campaign.
We returned from the Sanctuary tour with strong new friendships, a deep appreciation for the beautiful hospitality shown upon us, and a strong commitment to continuing our organizing with Sanctuary until all of our friends win their cases.
Thank you, Rosa, Misael, Arturo, Tucson, Phoenix, and Denver!