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Ann Arbor Church Offers Sanctuary To Undocumented Immigrants

Sep 6, 2017

A day after the Trump administration said they will eliminate a program that protects hundreds of thousands of young adults from being deported, local churches got together to show their support for undocumented immigrants.  A press conference was held to announce that support.


Over 70 community leaders and residents attended the press conference at The Church of the Good Shepherd in Ann Arbor .  That church is now serving as a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants after the Trump administration announced they plan to eliminate the "Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals" program, known as DACA.

Reverend Deborah Dean-Ware is pastor at Good Shepherd.

"The administration has become so hateful and it's rhetoric.  It's like I said earlier, it's the original sin of the Trump campaign and administration to viciously target undocumented immigrants."

Maria Ibarra currently benefits from DACA but says she would consider using the new sanctuary once her temporary legal status expires.

"Going to a friends house, going to someone else, even if they are a U.S. Citizen, there is a risk to them.  They would be considered harboring me.  And I would hate to put someone in that situation."

The First Congregational Church in Ypsilanti and the First United Methodist Church of Ann Arbor have also pledged their support.  The churches are part of a larger group called Washtenaw Congregational Sanctuary that was formed earlier this year to help immigrants. 

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— Jorge Avellan is a reporter for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him javellan@emich.edu