Upstate churches explore idea of sanctuary network

A handful of pastors hope to create a sanctuary network for immigrants in the Upstate. The group hopes to have a proactive plan rather than be reactive with the unknowns of President Trump’s immigration policies.

Some pastors said when it comes to immigration; it doesn’t matter if you are Catholic, Methodist or even Lutheran. What matters is making sure that every person whether an immigrant or not is safe and protected.

So with the unknowns surrounding immigration policies and the increase in immigration raids, these pastors hope to create a sanctuary network to house immigrants. While only one church is close to committing as a public sanctuary, there are nearly a dozen other pastors who willing to help if the need for the network arises.

But they said it’s about more than just having a safe place for the immigrants, but providing tools for them to be successful.

“Maybe set up a legal clinic a way for folks who need services like creating a space where an attorney could step in and help them,” said Rev. Keith Ray of Clemson United Methodist Church.

What the pastors believe is standing in the way of full support of this network is general fear and lack of knowledge. But they hope overtime they can change these and gain more support in the Upstate.

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