Bay Area Churches vow to be sanctuary in face of toughen immigration policy

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KGO) -- Undocumented immigrants, who may face deportation under President Trump's policies, are turning to churches. A number of churches here in the Bay Area and nationwide becoming sanctuary churches to help those who may face deportations.

The Montclair Presbyterian Church in Oakland has a long history of involvement in sanctuary movements. Reverend Ben Daniel says from the Vietnam War to Central American refugees in the 1980's to the current climate, his congregation feels compelled to act.

RELATED: San Leandro declares itself a sanctuary city

"It's the job of Christians to welcome strangers. Jesus said in Matthew 25, "I was a stranger and you welcomed me."

Since President Trump's election and worries about immigration raids, some sanctuaries are literally becoming sanctuaries. The University Lutheran Chapel in Berkeley has actually created a small apartment to house a family facing deportation. In Los Angeles a church is building a safe house, part of an underground network.

RELATED: Trump administration hires more border protection, immigration agents to target undocumented population

Under an Obama administration policy, federal agents did not enter houses of worship without approval, but fear of what may be coming under President Trump has some congregations turning to organizations, like Mirian Noreigea's Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, which is training churches how to respond quickly.

"It's important that congregations collaborate because we need movement to help each other,"Noreigea.

Reverend Daniel says that support could be housing, legal or financial aid.

RELATED: Santa Cruz police chief slams Homeland Security after immigration raids

"We need to help people and we need to help people even if it means breaking an unjust law," he said.

For folks like Reverend Daniel, it's a moral decision.

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