Jamaican and Honduran Families take Sanctuary at FUMCOG

Refusing to be separated from their families, the Thompson and Reyes families entered Sanctuary today.  Surrounded by clergy, immigrants and allies, they send a bold message to ICE and the Trump Administration to stop taking away our loved ones, and to listen to the holy teachings to love your neighbor and welcome the stranger.

“Whether we are here for two days or two years, we are ready to fight to keep our family together.  We cannot understand laws that would take us away from our children. We believe in God and know that we will win.”  – Oneita and Clive

“I will do whatever it takes to keep my children with me and provide a better future for them.” – Suyapa

Oneita and Clive came here from Jamaica 15 years ago fleeing gang violence.  They have seven children, two of which are citizens.  They lost their asylum case and now face being separated them from their seven children.  They take Sanctuary with their two youngest.  Suyapa and her five children are from Honduras and came here four years ago fleeing violence.  They have also lost their asylum case, and enter Sanctuary with four of her five children.

They are only two examples of the millions of people who have been affected by the Trump Administration’s extremist anti-immigrant agenda.  Today, the Jamaican and Central American communities stand together to challenge these policies – showing this is a time we all need to stand together.

Stand with Oneita, Clive, Suyapa and their kids by signing their petition today. Click here to sign.

“We are in the Sanctuary together to offer God’s love in a time of inhospitality.” – Pastor Bob Coombe, FUMCOG

In taking Sanctuary, they step into a tradition thousands of years old that confronts immoral and unjust laws. FUMCOG – First United Methodist Church of Germantown – was part of the 80’s Sanctuary Movement.  In September 1984, they provided physical Sanctuary to a Guatemalan couple fleeing persecution and organized to change US policy.  Thirty-four years later – almost to the day – they again answer this sacred call in an urgent time.


1. Sign the petition and share it with your contacts. Click here to sign.
2. Donate to support the two families by clicking here.
3. Keep an eye out for upcoming actions.
4. Write a letter showing your love and support to the families and mail them to the church.

Donate to support Supaya, Oneita and Clive

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Immigrant led Community Organizing

Our staff manages our campaigns and programs while our members join our working committees to inform our programming, choose our campaigns, and plan our strategies to win. Through conversation and listening, our members and the community on the ground are the ones directing the organization. When people reach out to NSM, they connect with someone who speaks their language, looks like them, and is committed to empowering immigrant communities because they understand their journey and struggle. At NSM, our communities see their peers guiding our mission, creating trust, and allowing members to recognize NSM as an immigrant-led organization.
NSM works to lift the skills of the affected community and dismantle systems of oppression while promoting systems of mutual support, collective liberation, and respect for all people, which is why we provide interpretation services, respect childcare needs, schedule our sessions during times that work best for members who work multiple jobs or cannot meet in person, and allow members to inform us about their individual needs before meetings.
The community leads our work at every level to eliminate unnecessary barriers and meet the varied needs of our members.

Leadership Development

Our Leadership Development Program is a step in recruiting and training new leaders and training. The program blends the skills and experiences members bring from their home countries with NSM’s signature faith-rooted and anti-racist organizing model.

We have curricula for each level of membership, which includes workshops on the history of detention, community organizing, nonviolent protest, campaign strategy, and ongoing anti-racism training. Our programming encourages immigrant leaders to find their voice, understand the power of collective resistance, and join a community of immigrant leaders fighting for transformational systemic changes rooted in social and economic justice.

Leading this initiative is Bertha Murcia, one of NSM's Community Organizers. She is an alumna of NSM’s Promotoras de Justicia immigrant leadership program and oversees member engagement.

Build Community Power

NSM’s organizing efforts emphasize community building, inviting people to new roles, deepening Black and Brown solidarity, long-term leadership development, and impactful campaigns.

We build a base of people from our 33 congregations and Accompaniment Team and direct that people-power to fight specific campaigns. Staff members work with immigrant members to choose our campaigns, guide our strategies, lead events, and ensure our work is focused on meeting the needs of Philadelphia’s various immigrant communities.

Having a hands-on role in changing policy allows our members to gain a sense of empowerment, confidence, and self-respect. Empowering immigrants of color to organize collectively is part of NSM’s long haul work to create a people-powered movement for immigrant justice.