Sanctuary Movement and U.S. policy in Central America
Krogh, Peter F. (Peter Frederic)
Person InterviewedDietrich, Laura
Examines the Sanctuary movement in the United States: is it primarily a humanitarian movement or a political challenge to the policies of the Reagan Administration in Central America?
In 1982 the South Side Presbyterian Church of Tucson, Arizona became the first church in the United States to declare itself a sanctuary for refugees fleeing turmoil in El Salvador and Nicaragua. From there the sanctuary movement expanded rapidly, attracting support from Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish religious groups. By 1985 the movement had grown to include over 250 churches around the country. What the religious groups saw as a morally-drive humanitarian movement, however, the Reagan Administration viewed as an illegal political ploy designed to challenge U.S. policy in Central America. Activists claimed that unlike refugees from Nicaragua, where the left-wing Sandinista government was the target of U.S. backed opposition, the majority of those fleeing violence in Guatemala and El Salvador arrived in the United States only to be denied political asylum. Convinced that refugees exported back to their home countries would face persecution or even death at the hands of their government, churches and synagogues opened their doors to those turned away by the United States, setting up a showdown between immigration authorities and the religious community. In this episode, host Peter Krogh sits down with Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder of Colorado and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Laura Dietrich to discuss the growing Sanctuary Movement in the United States and ask, is this movement primarily driven by humanitarian or political concerns?
Sanctuary movement; Political refugees -- Central America; Church work with refugees -- United States; United States -- Foreign relations -- Central America; Central America -- Foreign relations -- United States; Immigration; Society, Culture and Religion; Sanctuary Movement; Political Asylum; El Salvador Refugees; Guatemalan Refugees;
Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean; El Salvador; Guatemala;
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