The double-edged question vexes many local congregations in the middle of the immigration debate: What is legal—and what is right?
That dilemma has permeated church discussions in Portland, Oregon, after 167 suspected illegal workers were detained in a June 12 raid at the Fresh Del Monte Produce plant. In community-room meetings and in pulpits, church leaders ask whether they should provide sanctuary for undocumented immigrants.
Augustana Lutheran Church in Portland has officially signed on with the New Sanctuary Movement, a national effort to shelter people facing deportation. Other churches—not only in Oregon’s biggest city but also in other states—are contemplating that move.