Undocumented immigrants seeking shelter may be able to call a local church home.
- Potential guests must not have been charged with any serious legal offense
- Potential guest needs to be at immediate risk of deportation by ICE and either have, or be in the process of securing legal representation
- Once all legal challenges have been exhausted, physical sanctuary period will end
Members of The First Congregational Church of Ithaca have declared the space a Sanctuary Church. For 15 months members have been researching and discussing the possibility.
Last weekend they voted to make it a reality. While members had already been speaking out about social issues, they believe it's crucial to put their faith into action.
"No matter who you are or where you are in life's journey, you are welcome here. And we feel that one of the fullest extents of that kind of welcome is to give welcome to someone who has no other alternative in their life," said Andy Weislogel, President of FCCI Church Council.
It's a movement this church hopes others will join and help promote change.
"Seven, eight, nine, ten congregations in Ithaca all declaring themselves to be sanctuary spaces and safe spaces for immigrants, that would just be a tremendous show of solidarity," said Reverand David Kaden.