A collaborative church group in the Washington D.C. area is vowing to ensure that illegal aliens in the nation’s capital and the surrounding states have a place to hide from ICE when President Trump gives the go-ahead on the upcoming raids. The Congregation Action Network sent out a press release this weekend urging area churches and members of the collective to shelter aliens and provide for their safekeeping in the event of immigration enforcement action.
“In response to President Trump’s announcement that his administration would deport ‘millions’ of undocumented immigrants in the coming weeks, the Congregation Action Network asserted its faithful solidarity with immigrant families across the DC Metro area who have been put into a fresh state of fear and trauma,” the press release read. “Network clergy are speaking out and urging their communities to stay safe and their congregations to take action.
“The Network has urged its members to reach out to local governments and law enforcement and urge them not to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE),” the release continued. “Lack of access to area detention facilities or support from law enforcement will make it harder for ICE to carry out widespread arrests.”
ICE has protocols on the books that advise agents to show extra caution when carrying out enforcement actions in school, healthcare facilities, and churches. This gives groups like the Network an additional advantage over immigration enforcement agents, who would just as soon steer clear of these areas when rounding up illegals.
“God promises often in the sacred scriptures of my faith to protect, defend, and comfort those in distress,” said Rev. Sharon Stanley-Rea, director of Disciples Refugee & Immigration Ministries. “I am disturbed, as a Christian and a U.S. citizen, with the need for hardworking, family-focused immigrant friends and neighbors to raise cries for God’s protection against terrorizing ICE raids that threaten not only to separate families, but to separate us from our best values of welcome, compassion, and hospitality.”
That’s all well and good, but at the end of the day, this is about enforcing the law. And there is nothing in the Scriptures that prohibits a country from protecting its own sovereignty. Deportations can be done while also maximizing dignity for those individuals and families who are in the country illegally. This is made easier when Americans cooperate with ICE enforcement actions rather than try to stick gum into the works.
As far as we can see, deliberately trying to thwart an ICE operation is akin to aiding and abetting criminality. We’ll leave it to the Trump administration to determine whether prosecutions are necessary, but it could be an idea worth floating.