DAVENPORT, Iowa– A Davenport church is giving refuge to immigrants who may face deportation.
Unitarian Unversalist Congregation of the Quad Cities (UUCQC) announced Wednesday to become the first sanctuary congregation in the area.
“What we wanted to do was to show our support for immigrants in this country who are going through a tough time and giving a refuge, a place to stay while their case is going through the court system,” said John Dunsheath, UUCQC Chair of the Sanctuary Task Force.
The Church’s Reverand, Jay Wolin, said members of the congregation voted in majority to provide sanctuary for immigrants fighting deportation. The decision was made during their annual congregation meeting in May. Wolin said the decision was made after concerns over the aggressive actions of the U.S immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that affects families and children.
“We are called to affirm our profound commitment to our fundamental principles of justice, equity and compassion and our belief in the inherent worth and dignity of every person. Our values compel us to act,” said Wolin in a press release.
Dunsheath explained a review group would decide who would get sanctuary status at the congregation. The group would not consider anyone with a criminal background.
The UUCQC plan would prioritize offering shelter to those facing a final notice of deportation.
Church members have volunteers to help with security, food, laundry and routine medical services since those seeking sanctuary would not be able to leave campus. The church is currently looking for volunteers to create a Sanctuary Coalition throughout the Quad Cities.