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Southern Californians Creating an Underground Network to Hide Undocumented Immigrants

Sunday, February 26, 2017 6:36
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    After being deported, a man says goodbye to his partner through the fence at the U.S. border with Mexico.BBC World Service / CC BY-NC 2.0

A group of religious leaders that goes by the name Rapid Response Team is preparing private homes to provide refuge to undocumented immigrants as the immigration crackdown broadens.

From CNN:

The [network’s] intent is to shelter hundreds, possibly thousands of undocumented people in safe houses across Southern California.

The goal is to offer another sanctuary beyond religious buildings or schools, ones that require federal authorities to obtain warrants before entering the homes. … The idea is not necessarily a new one, according to Reverend Zach Hoover, executive director of the interfaith community organization LA Voice.

Hoover, 37, wasn’t an active member during the Sanctuary Movement of the 1980s when US congregations across faiths resisted federal law and provided shelter for Central Americans fleeing violence in their home countries. Many congregations offered direct sanctuary, housing the undocumented immigrants, while others offered food and legal assistance.

The Rapid Response Team mirrors that structure, but goes one step further by also incorporating private homes, which offer a higher level of constitutional protection than houses of worship and an ability to make it harder for federal agents to find undocumented immigrants.

Read more.

— Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

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