Durham Gives Sanctuary Stamp of Approval To Churches
By Colton R. Overcash | August 16, 2018
If something is wasteful or pointless, but gives the appearance of having value, it’s commonly called a “boondoggle.” That is exactly what one North Carolina city has created with its resolution in support of houses of worship providing sanctuary to illegal aliens, despite the state’s 2015 anti-sanctuary law.
In June, the Durham City Council unanimously passed a resolution in support of the National Movement of Congregations of Faith and its members who are offering protection to illegal aliens. The resolution also implored U.S. Representatives David Price (D) and G.K. Butterfield (D) to intervene on behalf of two illegal aliens living in Durham churches.
Samuel Oliver-Bruno and Jose Heriberto Chicas, who have lived in the U.S. illegally for 20 and 30 years respectively, fled to local churches for protection after receiving removal orders from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The churches who’ve accepted these fugitives belong to a statewide organization called the NC Sanctuary Coalition, a pro-amnesty group committed to circumventing state and federal law by offering sanctuary to illegal aliens.
According to Alerta Migratoria North Carolina, a deportation defense group, Chicas and Oliver-Bruno are appealing the removal orders before a federal immigration judge. That decision will not happen quickly, though, as such appeals can routinely take up to two years.
While Reps. Price and Butterfield did not introduce private legislation in Congress as the Durham resolution requested, they released a joint statement in support of it. It is unclear whether or not they’ve had any influence over the proceedings or if ICE intends to rescind the original removal orders.
According to Church World Service, a pro-amnesty group advocating for open borders, North Carolina has seven known church sanctuary cases: two in Durham, two more in Greensboro, plus one each in Asheboro, Chapel Hill and Raleigh. Perhaps surprisingly, this appears to make it the state with the most illegal aliens in religious sanctuary in the country. North Carolina is also home to an estimated 394,100 illegal aliens in total, costing state taxpayers approximately $1.8 billion each year, according to a 2017 report by FAIR.
Yet while North Carolina law has prohibited sanctuary policies for almost three years now, cities like Durham and Asheville continue to pass boondogglish local measures like this in efforts to circumvent state and federal law and advance their extreme agenda on illegal immigration.
Religious leaders, like everyone else, are entitled to disagree with the immigration laws of this country and to work to get them changed. But they have no legal or moral right to engage actively in the obstruction of immigration enforcement. And while freedom of religion is a constitutional right,churches and religious leaders certainly don’t have the right to pick and choose which federal laws they decide to obey. Sanctuary policies, even ones that permit fugitives to find safe harbor in religious institutions, shield criminal aliens from being removed and thus endanger the public.