In a faith-focused piece from The New York Times, the left-leaning paper gushes over religious institutions across the country offering “sanctuary” to migrant felons.
The piece, titled “Houses of Worship Poised to Serve as Trump-Era Immigrant Sanctuaries,” showcases the movement known as “Sanctuary Not Deportation,” where churches help shield illegal immigrants from federal law enforcement.
For instance, The Times write-up mentions one church which is actively helping to harbor illegal immigrant felon Javier Flores Garcia of Mexico, who is facing deportation again after already being deported three times prior.
Flores “took refuge” in the Arch Street United Methodist Church, according to The Times, after he bypassed federal immigration officials and failed to arrive for his scheduled deportation back to Mexico:
The federal immigration authorities say Mr. Flores has a long history of violations: He was apprehended nine times between 1997 and 2002 trying to cross the border. He re-entered and was ordered removed by a judge in 2007. He re-entered twice in 2014 and served prison sentences for illegal re-entry, a criminal felony conviction.
Flores told the Times that his “only crime is coming back,” referring to the number of times federal immigration officials have had to deport the Mexican national.
The efforts by churches to shield illegal immigrants from federal laws has been ongoing throughout the Obama Administration, but is now being trotted out by the mainstream media more than ever, as President-Elect Donald Trump is set to head to Washington, D.C.
Under Trump’s immigration policies, businesses will have to verify that their employees are legal residents in the country; foreign guest worker visa programs will see a crack-down; and a border wall is expected to be erected along the southern border.
The Times heralded the idea of illegal immigrants no longer having to rely on white Americans for help, quoting Pastor Salvatierra saying, “We’re in a different universe now. We don’t need the white people to rescue us, thank you very much. We need to be in partnership.”
Rev. Alison Harrington of the Southside Presbyterian Church compared her church’s potential relocation of illegal immigrants from states with strict immigration policies to region’s with more lax policies to the “underground railroad”:
Sanctuary workers in the ’80s organized a sort of “underground railroad” to move immigrants from dangerous regions to safer ones, and that may have to be reactivated, she told her workshop.
The Times also downplayed illegal immigrants involved in falsifying documentation papers and faking credit cards, quoting Rev. Donna Schaper of the Judson Memorial Church: “We are talking mostly about white-collar crime. Faking credit cards. Faking IDs. Many of these people are quite middle class and well educated,” she said, and they are not only Latinos, but also Chinese, Russians, Pakistanis and many others.”
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, which is tasked with deporting individuals living in the country illegally, and Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) Policy Director Jessica Vaughn were only given two paragraphs in the Times write-up to counter the pro-illegal immigration narrative in the piece:
But some see sanctuary as misguided, or naïve. Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, which supports tighter controls on immigration, said she understood that churches had sympathy for people facing deportation. “But I find myself wishing that they had as much sympathy for other parishioners they have who are adversely affected by illegal immigration” because of jobs, higher taxes or crime.
Churches, schools and hospitals are considered “sensitive locations,” according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Immigration officers are supposed to avoid those locations, unless they have advance approval from a supervisor or face “exigent circumstances” that require immediate action, said Jennifer Elzea, an agency spokeswoman.
The Times failed to mention how shielding illegal immigrants from federal law incentivizes more to flood the southern border, expecting protection once within the country.
Recently, Breitbart Texas obtained photos from border-region citizens who encountered 21 illegal immigrants crossing the Rio Grande in a matter of minutes.
The illegal immigrants were moved throughout an area that is “used by the Gulf Cartel to move illegal immigrants from Central America and countries other than Mexico across the Texas border with Mexico,” Breitbart Texas reported at the time.
John Binder is a contributor for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.