When many different groups are being targeted for arrest and detention, people of faith and conscience must work with local partners to make sure their community is a sanctuary for all. Community protection networks, where neighbors work together and look out for each other, have reduced or stopped raids, deportation orders and detention practices. Forming grassroots community protection networks is one way to promote sanctuary, which also includes advocating for sanctuary policies in cities, counties, school districts and on college campuses, and offering physical sanctuary.
Here are ways that you and your congregation or group can organize to directly intervene in discrimination and immigration enforcement. Download these action-oriented toolkits and guides to help get involved at any level - don't feel like you have to do them all, find what your community needs most!
Creating Sanctuary Communities
Build Community Support
If local, business and political leaders are organized to support immigrant and threatened communities, they can shine a light on the way our criminalized system tears families apart.
- Community Defense Zone Starter Guide (Mijente) - A roadmap for setting up community defense zone local campaigns and reaching out to local leaders.
- Combating political hate speech (UUSC) - Ways you can take action to counter anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant bigotry.
Know Your Rights
Helping to make sure people in immigrant and threatened communities know their rights, and what to do if they are targeted by a policing action, can be the difference between being safe and getting arrested.
- Know Your Rights for Immigrants & Muslims (ACLU) - Downloadable tip sheets and videos for what to do when confronted by discrimination or by police action, available in many languages including English, Spanish and Arabic.
- Know Your Rights and Deporation Defense Cards (United We Dream) - Print out these simple guides for how to interact with Immigration & Customs Enforcement agents. Available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Arabic.
- Informed Immigrant Resources 101 - Stay updated with the changes happening to America's immigration policies and enforcement.
Prevent Raids and Arrests
Allies and supporters can sometimes help prevent raids and arrests by US Immigration, Customs and Enforcement by showing solidarity and being present during the enforcement action.
- ICE Raids Toolkit (Immigrant Defense Project) - Download this comprehensive toolkit that describes where and how Immigration & Customs Enforcement raids happen, and how to challenge them.
- Preparing for Raids Guide (National Immigration Law Center) - A quick outline of ways that immigrant community members and allies can prepare for immigration raids.
Community support can help stop a deportation order, after someone has been detained.
- Anti-Deportations Toolkit (Not1More) - Learn how to influence deportation proceedings through community campaigns and public advocacy for individuals with a deportation order.
End Abusive Detention
The holding and detention facilities for the US immigration system are often inhumane and violent. Here are ways that supporters outside the system can improve conditions on the inside.
- End Abusive Detention Toolkit (National Immigrant Justice Center) - A guide to organize and advocate for more humane detention centers through Immigration and Customs Enforcement contracts and inspections.
- Staring a Visitation Program Webinar (SSL) - Watch this webinar from the Standing on the Side of Love campaign on how to break down the isolation of immigration detention.
- Detention Support Toolkit (Black Immigration Network) - Download this complete toolkit for how to start a visitation program at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility.
- ICE Death Watch Toolkit (National Immigrant Justice Center) - Over 160 people have died while in custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement since 2003. Download these talking points and resources to advocate for a more humane ICE detention system.
Read about congregational grassroots organizing to stop mass deportation and detention.