NSM emerged in 2007 when a group of clergy and organizers from the immigrant and ally communities began yearning for a bold, faith-rooted vision for immigrant justice. WIth rising anti-immigrant fervor, an extremist bill passing the House of Representatives, and an increase in workplace raids, the group began to organize. Months of conversations in immigrant and faith communities identified a need for interfaith organizing for immigrant rights and leadership.
NSM Began to Fight
In 2008, NSM began fighting this collaboration with Accompaniment of families affected by police/ICE collaboration, Know Your Rights targeted to interactions with police, and then NSM’s first campaign to break the collaboration. Six years later, NSM was part of a coalition that not only ended all collaboration between the Philadelphia Police Department and Immigration and Customs Enforcement(ICE), but passed the best Sanctuary City policy in the country, blocking collaboration for all people and pushing the narrative around criminality.
We Won Our First Sanctuary Case.
In 2014 the same year of Sanctuary City policy victory, we won our first Sanctuary case. When Congress failed to pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform, NSM was part of a campaign to pressure President Obama to take Executive Action. Angela and her family entered Sanctuary at West Kensington Ministry as part of a national escalation of civil disobedience challenging unjust deportation laws that were harming families and communities.
Sanctuary lifted up this state violence for all to see, and congregations opening their doors modeled the moral response of love and solidarity for our country and all of us.
This campaign successfully got President Obama to pass an Executive Order giving relief to the parents of immigrant youth and passing prosecutorial discretion. Though this Executive Order for parents was blocked in the Supreme Court, it demonstrated the power of bold, faith-rooted action. After two months in Sanctuary, Angela won her case. NSM has grown to work with over 30 congregations, bringing together the Latinx, Indonesian, Caribbean and ally communities in solidarity as we develop leaders, walk with people in deportation, and fight direct action campaigns in order to concrete victories while working to transform the immigration system and alter the balance of power.
New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia builds community across faith, ethnicity, and class in our work to end injustices against immigrants regardless of immigration status and express radical welcome for all.