A project of the Center for Community Change

Clash in front of santuary church

Why do migrants take refuge, like Elvira Arellano, in churches? Better yet, why do churches that are a part of the new sanctuary movement accept these individuals?

Unjust laws must be broken, that’s why.

Unfortunately a clash between advocates occured in front of church in Simi Valley, CA over the refuge of a migrant. An anti-immigrant protester injured one pro-immigrant rallier with a chemical spray.

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. (AP) — Dozens of activists on both sides of the illegal immigration debate faced off outside a church where an illegal immigrant is being sheltered with her U.S.-born infant son.

One immigrant-rights advocate was injured with a chemical spray during Sunday’s confrontation at the United Church of Christ, and police were investigating allegations that an opposing protester was responsible, police Capt. John McGinty said.

Members of the anti-illegal immigration group Save Our State, which organized the rally that drew about 120 protesters and counter-protesters, said they had hoped to make a citizen’s arrest of the woman, who has identified herself only as Liliana.

The woman has been living in the church’s former parsonage as part of the New Sanctuary Movement, which arranges church accommodations for illegal immigrants in the U.S.

Group members shouted for Liliana, who lived in Oxnard before taking shelter at the church, to give herself up.

“I’m here because I’m for the movement for the illegals to go home,” protester Dee Barrow said.

Daniel Smallwood, one of the counter-protesters, accused the anti-illegal immigration activists of racism and said members of his group joined the rally because they didn’t want their ideological opponents “to get all the attention.”

Of note: Remember Save Our State? They’re the organization that started the local antim-migration ordinances that started out in San Bernadino, CA last year. They couldn’t win with that [again, see page 63] so now they’re after sanctuary.

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