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Rhode Island Getting First ‘Sanctuary Church’

First Unitarian Church in Providence is planning to offer a twin bed, a mini-refrigerator, a microwave, and an as-yet-uncompleted shower to an illegal immigrant to be named later.

The church is the first in Rhode Island to join the Sanctuary Movement, an agreement by churches to offer safe haven to people in danger of being deported because they are in the United States illegally.

Federal immigration authorities can raid churches under the law, but their typical practice is to leave churches alone.

An immigrant activist quoted by the Providence Journal did not thank the church but said their activities are needed and should spread.

The newspaper translated the comments of Catarina Lorenzo, executive director of Alliance To Mobilize Our Resistance, from the original Spanish about the church’s sanctuary offer:

“I don’t like the fact that it’s the case, but there’s a high probability that we will need the space. I know that this is something risky to do and that not everyone is able or ready to do something like this. As an activist and immigrant I can say that this is a needed resource … if other churches can join and do this, it would be better so that there could be more such spaces.”

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