One of those religious events your parents absolutely made you attend was Ash Wednesday. It didn’t matter if you had work or had school, they sent you a church schedule with a list of service times all throughout the day, so you had no excuse not to go. There was no way you were getting out of the Ash Wednesday service, and this is what it was to attend that mass…
The first thing you notice is that the church is overflowing with people. People who clearly don’t go to church on the regular.
As the 2020 presidential campaign draws closer and immigration policies are increasingly relevant in key districts, the Trump administration is doubling down on its efforts to catch and deport undocumented migrants. At the same time, Catholic churches and other places of worship are doubling efforts to house and protect migrants. This is why and how religious centers can protect migrants: they are traditionally considered a “sanctuary” in which peace cannot be violated. This has to do with the right to worship, but also on the moral authority that religious organizations traditionally hold.
However, things are not that simple when thinking about the laws that actually govern the relationship between religious organizations and the State. We explain it here:
The traditional status of “sanctuary” is what allows religious authorities to harbor immigrants.
As U.S. Catholic explains, churches have special status: a sanctuary. Because of the separation of the church and the State, places of worship are considered a no-go zone for ICE and other agencies. However, having a “sanctuary” status is more custom and tradition, a sort of unspoken rule, rather than a law. As U.S. Catholic explains: “ICE has operated with a policy of avoiding Safe Zones, which are locations where it has traditionally not raided or arrested people. Those include schools, hospitals, and churches—places where people who are in need go, where the most vulnerable are found.” Jesuit Father Bryan Pham says: “As a practice, ICE has not gone there,” says Pham. “But it’s not a law, so it can change or be interpreted at a local level.” The Trump administration is famous for breaking with traditions like this, so it has been more common now to see places that were considered safe to be raided by the authorities.
ICE is sending churches letters and fines for harboring migrants: financial pressure is another ICE technique.
The Irish Times reports on the case of Edith Espinal, an undocumented migrant who has been harbored by a Mennonite church in Columbus, where she has been living for 21 months. The church received a letter from ICE advising them of a half a million dollar debt incurred by Espinal for refusing to leave the country. The newspaper reports that it has known of “several immigrants living in houses of worship who this week received similar notices, the latest measure taken by the Trump administration in its crackdown on illegal immigration. Citing the Immigration and Nationality Act, ICE officials said the agency has the right to impose civil fines, up to $799 a day, on immigrants who have been ordered removed or who have failed to leave the country. Officials said the agency began issuing such notices in December, although it was not clear on Thursday how many had been sent.”
There are some heartbreaking stories: imagine being pregnant and living con el alma en un hilo at a sanctuary site.
In a story published by the Daily Herald on May 25, 2019, we knew of Adilene Marquina, who is an undocumented migrant who has found refuge inside the Faith, Life and Hope Mission in Chicago. She has received notices from ICE urging her to leave the country. This pregnant Mexican woman fled her country seeking political asylum, only to have it denied four years later. She has to leave the country in October.
Faith has no color: Churches and other centers of worship are mobilizing.
As reported by The Washington Post just this past July 15, “Churches and other houses of worship have offered their buildings as sanctuaries, and activists have volunteered to stand watch”. This is in response to reports of possible massive raids by ICE to target migrants. It is not only churches that are working as safe places for migrants, but also Hindi temples, synagogues, and mosques.
Jewish communities are also doing their part.
Jewish communities in the United States are a product of migration and sometimes forced migration. Just like Central American migrants today, they fled persecution and war in Europe to settle in the United States. As reported by Haaretz on July 14: “The New York Jewish community mobilized on Sunday to help undocumented immigrants who are at risk of being rounded up for deportation.” Further, they explain: “The organization T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, joined the New Sanctuary Coalition, a network of houses of worship around the New York area which are offering a haven to undocumented immigrants during the raids. T’ruah also organized and guided some 70 synagogues across the country in serving as places of refuge for those at risk as part of its Mikdash initiative.” The group includes more than 2,000 rabbis and cantors “who want to represent the moral voice of the Jewish community.” They called the raids cruel, immoral, and inhumane.
Bishops have asked priests not to let ICE agents into churches without a warrant.
As reported in the Daily Herald, Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, Illinois, one of the cities with a higher concentration of undocumented migrants, wrote a letter to priests saying: “Threats of broad enforcement actions by ICE are meant to terrorize communities.” Cupich urged priests in the Chicago Archdiocese — which serves more than 2 million Catholics, many of which are of Latino heritage, “not to let any immigration officials into churches without identification or a warrant”.
New legislation is being put together: The Protective Sensitive Locations Act.
Legislators and policymakers are mobilizing to extend the special status to other organizations and places that are sensitive in nature and could be affected in greater measure by ICE roundups. Oregon’s United States Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley introduced legislation to block ICE actions at sensitive locations without prior approval and exigent circumstances. Foreign Affairs New Zealand reports that: “The Protecting Sensitive Locations Act requires that, except in special circumstances, ICE agents receive prior approval from a supervisor when there are exigent circumstances before engaging in enforcement actions at sensitive locations, such as schools, hospitals, and health clinics, places of worship, organizations assisting crime victims, and organizations that provide services to children, pregnant women, victims of crime or abuse or individuals with mental or physical disabilities.” This makes total sense in light of traumatic experiences suffered by undocumented migrants and their loved ones, such as mothers being taken away while picking up their kids from school.
Latino Senators are joining the fight to expand the status of Safe Zone to other locations.
United States Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and a group of fifteen Senators in this initiative. She told Foreign Affairs New Zealand: “It’s disgraceful that ICE is targeting schools, churches, and hospitals, preventing immigrant families from going about their daily lives and accessing essential services. There are reports across the country of parents and children who are missing doctor’s appointments, dreading going to school and avoiding reporting domestic violence due to fear of arrest or deportation. This legislation will ensure ICE agents respect existing policies that prohibit indiscriminate immigration enforcement at sensitive locations, keeping families safe and respecting the basic rights of our immigrant communities.”
In case you missed it, there was a full out, nearly five-minute brawl at Disneyland on Sunday, and it was all captured on video. In the brutal video, we mostly see a man in a red shirt throwing punches at several different women and men. The actions are hard to watch, but the startling scene has the Internet obsessed. The brawl broke out right in front of Goofy’s Playhouse in Toontown, and the original video clip now has over 3 million views. Everyone in the brawl is assumed to be part of the same family.
If you’ve seen the video, you’ve probably only had the emotional bandwidth to ask this question.
Credit: @boopluvv / Twitter
Someone insulted someone’s mother, another mother was thrown to the ground, and it seems like everyone is just going at each other, regardless of gender or relation. It was a sad scene to
The narrative of the story is that they are related, hence the fact that they stayed together despite the fighting.
Credit: SJP35 Productions / YouTube
It doesn’t seem like it’s two separate families defending their own. They seem to be related to each other, which makes the fight exceptionally sad.
The Internet has provided a flow chart.
Credit: @dipbih / Twitter
None of this is confirmed by the family or authorities. We’re all in this together. From here on out, the term “we” will be used to describe the collective Internet “we.” We think White Shirt girl, Red Shirt and Black Shirt Girl are all siblings. Their mom is the Mama in the wheelchair.
White Shirt Girl dissed Red Shirt Guy’s girlfriend (Tan Shirt Girl).
Credit: SJP35 Productions / YouTube
Red Shirt Guy clearly has the biggest temper of them all, and resorted to physically attacking (what we think is) his sister. Her boyfriend (White Shirt Guy) stepped in to defend her. Then they start dancing around like they’re in a boxing ring. Black Shirt girl tries to intervene to get them to stop fighting. Then White Shirt guy just punches Tan Shirt Girl (Red Shirt’s girlfriend) straight in the nose. Now it’s really getting heated between Red Shirt Guy and White Shirt Guy.
While trying to intervene, Mama gets knocked down in the fight.
Credit: SJP35 Productions / YouTube
Now Red Shirt Guy is yelling, “I’m ready to go to jail tonight. I’m ready to go to jail.” Then Red Shirt Guy sees White Shirt Guy and starts yelling “fired on my motherf***ing b****, put your hands around my b****!” White Shirt Guy starts retreating, but Red Shirt Guy pulls White Shirt Guy’s girlfriend (also wearing a white shirt) by her hair.
Things start to calm down until Black Shirt Girl tells Red Shirt Guy that his girlfriend (Tan Shirt Girl) hit his Mama.
Credit: SJP35 Productions / YouTube
He turns to his girlfriend saying, “You hit my mama?” Tan shirt tries to explain that it was an accident (it was), but he punches her straight in the face. Then he starts violently pounding on her on the ground while a group of people tries to lift him off her. He pulls her hair along with him. Red Shirt Guy is finally restrained in a chokehold, and then the security finally shows up.
This whole time, the only Disney employee intervening is an older custodian.
Credit: @etherealtb / Twitter
Our hearts dropped for fear this older man would be violently attacked but he thankfully wasn’t. There are memes on memes of other Disney employees in costume just standing around.
Other folks are getting philosophical about the many bystanders who did nothing.
Credit: @lexiivilla / Twitter
Magic Mountain is side-eyeing this whole brawl so hard right now.
Meanwhile, Universal fans are taking the moment to show appreciation for their theme park of choice.
Credit: @ladante15 / Twitter
For all the shade amusement park goers throw at each other, we still don’t understand how this mega fight happened in Toontown.
This one media outlet’s narration has truly tickled The Internet.
Credit: @Iffy_Mae / Twitter
This reporter describes the fight with vivid detail. Rewatching the fight with narration that sounds like “but then, he slapped the daylights out of her,” is truly rewarding if you’re into that kind of thing.
The family maintains it never happened.
Credit: @j_t_starwars / Twitter
The family was all released once they all told park authorities that the fight never happened. Once the video footage came out, however, their questionable loyalty didn’t matter. Orange County prosecutors are currently reviewing the video to determine whether criminal charges will be filed. If they decide to file felony charges, the county district attorney’s office will also assess misdemeanor counts. If they don’t find any grounds for felony charges, the Anaheim city attorney would take over to pursue misdemeanor charges.