The Sanctuary Movement Put US Foreign Policy on Trial

Source: In These Times
by Natascha Elena Uhlmann

“Forty-two years ago, a Tucson congregation changed the landscape of immigration politics when what started with a legal clinic for Central American asylum seekers quickly grew into a nationwide movement. Now, some immigration scholars who have tracked the Sanctuary Movement for many years say the spirit of the movement is alive and well in student organizing for Gaza. The Sanctuary Movement was born in the ​‘80s against the backdrop of repression, death squads, and massacres in El Salvador and Guatemala. Refugees were arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border in desperate search of safety, but few would find the refuge they sought. Recognizing the claims of asylum seekers would require admitting to President Ronald Reagan’s own complicity in funding and enabling these atrocities. As such, the government deemed them ​’economic migrants’, with no claim to safety.” (06/06/24)