Sanctuary cities

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

In this image, a woman stands facing an unseen window as light falls on her face.
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.

Washington joins West Coast sanctuary states

. Jay Inslee of Washington state photographed on Monday, May 13, 2019, on Bainbridge Island, Wash.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. Photo: Jovelle Tamayo for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) said Wednesday immigrants play a vital role in communities after signing into law a bill that brings in broad sanctuary protections.

Why it matters: Washington is the latest West Coast state to protect migrants' rights (California and Oregon have similar laws.). The Trump administration is targeting sanctuary cities — seeking to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, increase migrant detention and make it tougher for people to seek asylum.

Go deeper: Jay Inslee on the issues, in under 500 words