Right now, there’s an underground network being prepared to hide illegal aliens from the authorities. Religious leaders are readying homes and spare bedrooms to shelter these people. These leaders call themselves the “rapid response team.” Some are even putting God’s law above federal immigration laws, saying that the laws are broken. It’s an effort to expand the existing sanctuaries that exist within churches and other places of worship. As CNN put it, an area of safety that requires a search warrant before immigration agents can enter the home. This network could hide hundreds, potentially thousands of illegal aliens from immigration enforcement agents:
A hammer pounds away in the living room of a middle class home. A sanding machine smoothes the grain of the wood floor in the dining room.
But this home Pastor Ada Valiente is showing off in Los Angeles, with its refurbished floors, is no ordinary home.
"It would be three families we host here," Valiente says.
By "host," she means provide refuge to people who may be sought by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as ICE. The families staying here would be undocumented immigrants, fearing an ICE raid and possible deportation.
The purchase of this home is part of a network formed by Los Angeles religious leaders across faiths in the wake of Donald Trump's election. The intent is to shelter hundreds, possibly thousands of undocumented people in safe houses across Southern California.
At another Los Angeles neighborhood miles away, a Jewish man shows off a sparsely decorated spare bedroom in his home. White sheets on the bed and the clean, adjacent full bathroom bear all the markers of an impending visit. The man, who asked not to be identified, pictures an undocumented woman and her children who may find refuge in his home someday.
The man says he's never been in trouble before and has difficulty picturing that moment. But he's well educated and understands the Fourth Amendment, which gives people the right to be secure in their homes, against unreasonable searches and seizures.
The religious leaders have a name for their network: the Rapid Response Team. The idea is not necessarily a new one, according to Reverend Zach Hoover, executive director of the interfaith community organization LA Voice.
Hoover, 37, wasn't an active member during the Sanctuary Movement of the 1980s when US congregations across faiths resisted federal law and provided shelter for Central Americans fleeing violence in their home countries. Many congregations offered direct sanctuary, housing the undocumented immigrants, while others offered food and legal assistance.
The Rapid Response Team mirrors that structure, but goes one step further by also incorporating private homes, which offer a higher level of constitutional protection than houses of worship and an ability to make it harder for federal agents to find undocumented immigrants.
The strong current carrying the Rapid Response Team is the divergence of federal laws and the moral teachings of their religions. Hoover points to the Bible's Matthew 25, which teaches the faithful should feed the hungry and fight for those in prison.
"The God that I worship sent a person to earth in the name of Jesus who did not always get along with the authorities," Hoover explains. "I feel really convicted that I answer to God at the end of the day. That's who I'm going to see when I die."
One pastor, Ada Valinete, says that she prays President Trump’s “heart will grow more compassionate to the plight of undocumented immigrants.”
Okay—so what about the numerous families that have lost loved ones that were murdered by illegal aliens? Are they not worthy of such compassion? The point is that they would still be alive if immigration enforcement would have been allowed to do their jobs. Recently, immigration raids have rounded up nearly 700 illegal aliens, 75 percent of which have criminal records. Yes, Obama did deport hundreds of thousands of people every year while he was president. The difference is the media didn’t go nuts over it. Under the Trump administration, 680 people get arrested—and you would think that the police state is upon us.
Also, Trump has promised—and most Americans agree—illegal aliens that have committed additional crimes, murder, rape, grand larceny, etc., should go. In New York City, there’s a rather interesting protocol, where illegals caught with a weapon, having committed a murder, or involved in any violent crime, is usually reported to federal authorities. Yet, Mayor Bill De Blasio admitted on CNN last month that drunk driving isn’t considered a crime that would meet that standard unless it leads to another “negative outcome.” So, NYC shields undocumented drunk drivers. That’s absurd.
Concerning the story about the underground network, CNN certainly does pull at the heartstrings, especially when it comes to the Jewish man who wished to be unnamed:
"It's hard as a Jew," he says, "not to think about both all the people who did open their doors and their homes and take risks to safeguard Jews in [a] moment when they were really vulnerable, as well as those who didn't. We'd like to be the people who did."
I understand that, but this isn’t Nazi Germany, though many liberals think we’re heading in that direction. That was an odious and diabolical scheme to purge the European continent of an ethnic/religious group that rabid anti-Semites in Germany felt was necessary to successfully usher in the supremacy of the Aryan race and bring a greater purity to humanity. We’re just enforcing immigration laws for people who shouldn’t be here. There is a massive difference here. We’re also not waging genocide either. This return to enforcing our immigration laws isn’t Nazism. It isn’t genocide. It isn’t a police state action. It isn’t racism. It’s law and order. And if these folks think that the authorities under a Trump White House won’t file search warrants for every house suspected of housing illegal immigrants, I think they’re gravely mistaken.