Several Latino men had just left the hypothermia shelter at Rising Hope Mission Methodist Church in Alexandria, Virginia, yesterday, when a dozen federal agents suddenly surrounded them, pushed them up against a wall, and began checking their immigration status.
Under a policy set by the Obama administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are supposed to avoid churches and other "sensitive locations." But now that Donald Trump is president, ICE has apparently decided that it's okay to lie in wait outside a church and indiscriminately detain those leaving it.
This raid appears to be the first of its kind, so campaigners are calling for a huge national outcry immediately - before ICE attacks the sanctity of any more churches.
The ecumenical campaign group Faithful America - whose motto is: 'Love thy neighbour - no exceptions' - has launched a petition addressed to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which says: 'Sending agents to lie in wait outside a church is unacceptable. Please respect the ancient tradition of sanctuary by following both the letter and the spirit of the "sensitive locations" policy.'
Sign the petition here: http://act.faithfulamerica.org/sign/ice_alexandria/?t=1&akid=995.504440.NPCWC9
Read more about Faithful America: www.faithfulamerica.org/