Columbia church declares itself sanctuary for immigrants

1 year 6 months 6 days ago Wednesday, April 12 2017 Apr 12, 2017 Wednesday, April 12, 2017 2:57:00 PM CDT April 12, 2017 in News
By: Erin Reynolds, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - The Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia will provide sanctuary to undocumented immigrants or refugees who are at-risk of deportation or detention while the individuals pursue legal recourse.

Members voted Sunday to become a sanctuary congregation. Ninety-seven percent of those present approved the declaration.

Reverend Molly Housh Gordon said the congregation felt becoming a sanctuary aligned with the church's mission. 

“We want them to know that we value their presence in our community and all that they bring to our community," she said.

Gordon said the declaration of sanctuary is in response to some recent policy changes regarding immigration in the United States.

“We know from our conversations that there are people who are living in fear in Columbia, and we want those people to know that they’re not alone," Gordon said.

The church would provide food and shelter to an individual who entered the sanctuary.

According to the church's website, there is some legal risk involved with providing sanctuary to people not authorized to be in the United States.

The church and individuals using the sanctuary would rely on a policy set forth by the Unites States Department of Homeland Security. The policy asks Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers to avoid focus on "sensitive areas," including schools and churches. However, the declaration of sanctuary has no legal standing and arrests could still happen.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement FAQ on sensitive sites says, "Enforcement actions may occur at sensitive locations in limited circumstances, but will generally be avoided. ICE or CBP officers and agents may conduct an enforcement action at a sensitive location with prior approval fro the appropriate supervisory official, or if the enforcement action involves exigent circumstances."

The individual seeking sanctuary would not be able to leave the site until their legal case is resolved.

Gordon said funding is not clear at this point. She said the church could receive support and resources from the National Sanctuary Movement and other people of faith in Columbia.

"We are not, as a congregation, doing this alone in Columbia or in the country," Gordon said.

The church will celebrate its sanctuary decision on Tuesday, April 18.

 

More News

Grid
List
ST. LOUIS - Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill and Republican opponent Josh Hawley were sometimes heated and often derisive as they... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 9:02:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Chamber of Commerce will debut its plans to install a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Friday at... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 8:16:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Issues like Proposition D, Vision Zero and more were discussed at Thursday night's Transportation Committee Meeting in Columbia.... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 7:31:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
MEXICO - October is domestic violence awareness month and businesses across Mexico are showing their support for survivors by decorating... More >>
12 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 6:02:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS - Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill and her Republican opponent, Josh Hawley, are hoping for a debate win tonight... More >>
12 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 5:43:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The Latest on the trial of two maintenance workers charged with misleading investigators after a 10-year-old... More >>
13 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 5:09:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Hundreds of people gathered for the grand opening of CenterPointe Hospital on International Drive Thursday. Governor Mike... More >>
14 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 3:42:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The influence of lower prices and convenience are affecting the way millennials approach primary care, according to... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 3:38:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MU honored Dr. George Smith, the first Nobel Prize winner in university history, with a reserved space to... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 3:30:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
MOBERLY - Police arrested a man Wednesday after a search warrant led to finding five gallon-sized bags of marijuana. ... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 3:08:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - State House of Representative candidates talked public transportation and education, amongst other things, at a disability issues forum... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 2:00:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Officers have arrested one man after a home invasion Wednesday night, but are still looking for a second... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 1:58:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Jurors on Thursday began deliberating the case of two Kansas water park maintenance workers accused... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 12:39:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a man who was in a wheelchair has been found dead in a... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 10:52:34 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Authorities say a St. Louis police officer has shot and wounded a suspect during a struggle... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 10:48:28 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
HOUSE SPRINGS, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say it appears that a man was killed after his car fell on top... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 10:35:41 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – The National Rifle Association is backing Republican Senate candidate Josh Hawley while claiming Senator Claire McCaskill will take... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 9:54:00 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in Target 8
(CNN) -- The former head of USA Gymnastics has been accused of removing documents linked to the Larry Nassar sexual... More >>
21 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 8:56:00 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 50°
7am 48°
8am 48°
9am 48°
10am 50°