Jul 17, 2019

Religion is fueling a new wave of immigration activism

Protestors on July 16, 2018. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

Never Again Action, a Jewish activist organization formed last month, led a protest of hundreds on Tuesday that closed ICE's headquarters in Washington, D.C., for several hours, NBC reports.

Why it matters: Religion is fueling a new wave of immigration activism. Clergy members rallied for immigrants from their pulpits over the weekend, offering sanctuary as ICE carried out a small number of raids on undocumented migrant families. Never Again Action, which has organized over 1,000 protestors at more than 10 events this summer, is led by mostly young Jews.

The big picture: Democratic presidential candidates including Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren believe ICE should be restructured or its duties redistributed. 2020 hopeful Kirsten Gillibrand said the U.S. should "get rid of" ICE and "start over."

The bottom line: Unprecedented numbers of migrants are coming into a broken U.S. immigration system that is often failing to provide proper care for those in its custody.

Go deeper: Churches offer sanctuary and support to immigrants over ICE raids

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680 immigrants arrested in Mississippi ICE raids

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers gather for a debriefing after operations in 2018. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

680 immigrants were arrested Wednesday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents at 7 food processing plants in small towns in Mississippi, the AP reports.

Why it matters: ICE Acting Director Matthew Albence said these could be the largest workplace raids ICE has had in more than a decade, and likely the biggest for any single state, per the AP. This comes just a few weeks after ICE raids that reportedly targeted thousands of immigrants resulted in just 35 arrests. ICE detention facilities still hold thousands more migrants than Congress has approved funding for.

Lutheran denomination claims it is the first "sanctuary church body"

An undocumented mother of four stands in the First Unitarian Society Church in Colorado in 2017, after taking refuge to avoid ICE officers. Photo: Chris Schneider/AFP/Getty Images

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the largest Lutheran denomination in the U.S., announced Wednesday that it had voted to become a "sanctuary church body" for undocumented immigrants, claiming to be the first North American denomination to do so.

What it means: Sanctuary cities and counties, the most frequently designated areas to dub themselves as "sanctuaries," "generally describe places that limit how local law enforcement can cooperate with federal immigration agents," per the New York Times.

Go deeperArrowAug 9, 2019

Jewish groups mark remembrance day with Trump immigration policy protests

Members of the Jewish community protest to demand an end to the detention of migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers, Los Angeles, Aug. 11. Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

Dozens of demonstrators were arrested at an Amazon store in Manhattan Sunday as thousands of Jewish Americans across the United States protested President Trump's hardline immigration policies and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) this weekend, PIX 11 reports.

Why it matters: Rallies took place during Tisha B'Av, traditionally a Jewish day of remembrance marked by fasting, reading from the book of lamentations and going to temple, per the Washington Post. It notes there's been a rise in activism among Jewish Americans against Trump's policies, reminiscent for some of the way Jewish people were treated in the past.

Go deeperArrowAug 12, 2019