Immigration has become a pressing national issue, now more than ever. Over time and due to changing circumstances, immigration has instigated major concerns at economic, political, and social levels. While many view immigration as a threat to national security, others speak of its beauty and power of diversification. They view immigrants as individuals from across the world, each of whom has a story to narrate, an experience to share.
In a country where an overwhelming number of immigrants do not feel welcome, many have stood up to protect their rights. One solution is the creation of sanctuary spaces.
Sanctuaries would require authorities to obtain warrants before entering for searching purposes. In line with the fourth amendment which provides for the rights of people in their homes and prevents unreasonable search and seizure, these homes are meant to support immigrants and protect them from government threats.
To support this effort, community members from several organizations across the nation have lended their helping hands. Reverend Zach Hoover, the executive director of the interfaith community organization "LA Voice", is the founder of this particular practice in his community.
The Rapid Response Team, a group of religious leaders in Los Angeles, have recognized the need for reaching out to immigrants in need by providing private homes and ensuring the protection they can offer. Hoover’s tactic to create a framework of protection lies in the power given to home owners by the fourth amendment. According to a CNN article on this project, these private homes “offer a higher level of constitutional protection than houses of worship and make it harder for federal agents to find undocumented immigrants."
The Rapid Response Team is just one of many groups working toward the protection of immigrants in this country. Across the nation, people take it upon themselves to stand up for what they believe is right and offer their help to a cause that is about humanity, and not nationality. And while most of these efforts do not get publicized in our media, they serve as a hidden strong force standing for those whose voices have been silenced, their presence ignored, and their value to society unappreciated.