Rise Of The American Sanctuary Movement. Before Addressing

1522 WordsApr 27, 20177 Pages
Rise of the American Sanctuary Movement Before addressing the contemporary concerns surrounding immigration and undocumented immigrants, it is fundamental to address the historical antecedents to today’s widespread undocumented immigration population as well as the elicited political response carried out by the Reagan Administration during the 1980s. In the heart of the Cold War, the United States actively supported and funded the El Salvadorian government — a military government that ran death squads in opposition to anti-capitalist rebel forces. The Salvadorian government, as a means of subverting communism through violence, killed and displaced tremendous numbers of civilians. The Center for Justice and Accountability, an…show more content…
In regards to illegally protecting refugees, Reverend John Fife gave these remarks, “I assumed it was illegal, but I could not claim to be a Christian and not be involved in trying to protect refugees’ lives.” Reverend Fife continues, “Sometimes you cannot love both God and the evil authority. Sometimes you have to make a choice” (Haberman, 2017). Similar to Fife, Jim Corbett, a co-founder of the movement and a Quaker, began to transport and house refugees seeking political asylum. Although it was illegal to assist the illegal migrants, Corbett used scripture and international law as a tool to demonstrate the inherent rights the federal government was violating. In a letter, devising the creation of a sanctuary movement, Corbett wrote these profound remarks on his decision to provide sanctuary to those seeking asylum: If Central American refugees ' rights to political asylum are decisively rejected by the U.S. government or if the U.S. legal system insists on ransom that exceeds our ability to pay, active resistance will be the only alternative to abandoning the refugees to their fate. The creation of a network of actively concerned, mutually supportive people in the U.S. and Mexico may be the best preparation for an adequate response (Corbett 1988). Reverend Fife and Jim Corbett had to make a decision — and he chose to follow the Bible and his heart. The 1980’s

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